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Planting daisies in time for May wedding may work if stock comes from local garden center

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Q: I purchased some (various kinds of) daisies that I want to plant and use as background flowers for my wedding. I read in one of your answers that I'd be better off to buy the daisies for a wedding. Since I just want to plant them outside among the trees in our backyard for photos, would this still be OK? What would I have to do to have daises growing by May 30? Do I have to start growing them indoors because I live in a cold area? Could I plant the daisies in April and keep that area covered at night to protect them from frost?

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A: You should be able to purchase daisies from a local garden center or nursery before that time and have them in the ground and mostly flowering by May 30. Normally, most daisies will flower in mid to late June or July. It depends on their microclimate.

In most cases, garden centers and nurseries know that plant material sells better if the plants are in flower rather than in a vegetative state with the promise of flowering in the near future. Consequently, they push them a little to get them to flower.

Don't fret. Survey the garden centers and nurseries in your area and I'm sure you'll find some that are stocking up on these beautiful flowers. Good luck and enjoy your wedding!

Q: I was wondering if it would be a bad idea to plant grass in the same pot as my jade plant. I think it would look cool, but not if the plant in the middle of the grass is dead.

A: I have nothing that would say it shouldn't or couldn't be done. I can't think of anything from the grass that would hurt the jade plant, unless it becomes overgrown and chokes out the plant.

Q: I planted 13 Norway spruce trees in a straight line. I planted a tree every 15 feet. Did I plant them too close to each other? My grandpa planted Norway spruce trees the same way back in 1978. These trees are about 60 feet tall. Will they still be around in a 100 years? I'm ripping out box elder trees to replace them with evergreens. I think it's a good idea because everyone tells me box elder trees are junk.

A: Box elder trees are not considered junk, but also aren't highly desired by most people. However, they do serve a purpose in many settings and will continue to be used. I have to admit that I've seen some good looking ones.

Your spacing distance is good for planting Norway spruce. I did the same thing for my parents 40 years ago. The trees are large, magnificent and form a nice screen between property lines.

If the trees will be around 100 years from now is something that no one can guarantee because there are too many variables to consider. Who knows, they might not survive a year! However, statistics show the trees will live a long time, but it depends on exposure, climate conditions, pesticide use, and insect and disease activity.

To contact Ron Smith for answers to your questions, write to Ron Smith, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences, Dept. 7670, Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050 or e-mail ronald.smith@ndsu.edu.

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