Saturday, October 26, 2002High: upper 50s
Overnight low: low 50s
Overcast all day, with a bit of drizzle around noon.
Spent the afternoon weeding the vegetable garden - I'm estimating I have about two more sessions to get it finished. Tony tilled the long bed last weekend, so I just need to turn the small beds and get some clover started.
I've also got some seed (garlic chive, etc.) to collect, so I need to get out there tomorrow and finish that up.
Friday, October 25, 2002High: mid-60s
Overnight low: mid 50s
Overcast all day.
Still potting up a few plants. I had to buy more potting mix. I also ended up buying some darwin tulips (pink, 50 for $6.00), which will go nice with the peony-forms I'm setting out. I think these will make a great display, assuming I get hustling and get them all planted!
I also picked up a bag of bone meal and two 40-pound bags of soil amendment for the bulb-planting.
Monday, November 26, 2001Gorgeous day - high in the low 70s, sunny, but not too hot. Worked outside most of the day, doing the fall cleanup work I had put off too long.
Pruned the shrubs in the front, gathered the fallen limbs and hauled them to a burn pile, pulled the netting off the pond (leaves are all down from the tree), trimmed the pond plants and moved them to the deep end, excep the Lizard's Tail and Thalia - those I put in the GH tub. Also found more Water Lettuce "babies" so I threw those in the tub along with some Anarcharis. Switched out the "bubbler" and pump for my fish "spitter", scrubbed the fish and put him in the GH for the winter. Cleaned off the deck, put the tarp over the outside table and chairs, swept the paths clear around the pond again. Gathered up all the containers that needed dumping, and put the dirt and trimmings in the compost heap, then scrubbed them all clean for the winter. Cleaned off the potting bench (and under it), and cleaned the carport, so the cars now easily fit and we don't have to traipse through leaves getting in and out. Gathered all the buckets and washed them up, and set them on the potting bench to dry. I figure it'll be nice this winter and next spring to have clean buckets available when needed.
A strong line of storms is heading this way, so I was under the gun to get it all done ASAP, since the weather will probably be much cooler in the following days. Felt good to get all this stuff done!
Sunday, November 25, 2001Warm and sunny today - high in upper 60s, low 70s. Planted the helleborus seeds, and will keep on warming cables at night for next six weeks.
Brushed the dirt of the caladiums and elephant ears; will pack them away in a few more days, when they're drier and I have a chance to get some sulfur and peat.
The violet-stemmed taro just begged to be planted, so I stuck it in a quart-size pot with the rest of my "bulb soil". It should add a nice touch to the GH this winter.
Saturday, November 24, 2001Not much happening in the garden today - we woke up to rain starting around 7:30, and severe weather alerts all around. It rained hard most of the day, which is good because we certainly needed it. Warm today - high in the 60s.
Spent a few minutes clipping back some dead foliage on my plants, and that's about it. Tomorrow I'll probably plant the hellebore seeds.
Friday, November 23, 2001Warmer today - overnight low around 45, today's high in the upper 60s. Cloudy, and rain moved in around noon.
We woke up to find the greenhouse filled with smoke - the wick on the kerosene heater had sat and smoldered during the night. What a mess to clean up! Everything had to be taken out, the walls and ceiling washed down with soapy water, and hosed down. The plants got hosed with soapy water, too; the pond plants had to be removed from their container so the water could be changed.
Put down the leaves from Katie's yard in my "Woodland garden". I can start to see the form of the beds taking shape, which is nice. I need a lot more leaves, though :(
Thursday, November 22, 2001Happy Thanksgiving! Didn't do anything in the GH, as we were busy getting everything ready to take to the in-law's for dinner.
Helped bag up Katie's leaves from her front yard - wow, even a light layer of leaves filled up 16 leaf bags - whew!
Also brought home some magnolia seeds and black walnuts to try to germinate.
Wednesday, November 21, 2001Planted several seeds today of hard-to-start perennials. Hope they do well!
Tuesday, November 20, 2001Cold last night - down in the low 30s/upper 20s. I bought an electronic thermometer for the GH, and it recorded a low of 40 degrees. That was with the heater running on low all night. I noticed some good size gaps under the door and in the corners that I'll plug tonight since it's supposed to get even colder then.
Added some liquid seaweed to the horse trough, perhaps it'll help the water hyacinth and water lettuce adjust and grow this winter.
Monday, November 19, 2001Spent most of the morning in the greenhouse and garden, getting ready for the rain and cold front that's headed our way.
Warm today, high in the 60s, but rain tonight, and cold tomorrow - high only around 48. (Okay, not cold, but significantly colder than it has been!)
Potted up several things that were rooted, got rid of some things that just weren't doing well, and generally cleaned out the stuff from the utility room.
Tradescantia pallida - 3 rooted nicely 3 still not rooted. Potted up the three with roots; left the others in a glass of water.
African Blue Basil - cuttings from a friend. Two of them grew exceptionally vigorous roots; two didn't put on roots at all. Potted up the two healthy ones in large pots, and will keep in the greenhouse all winter, and perhaps take more cuttings if they do well.
Helichyrsum 'Icicles' did very well in my experiment, so the rest of the plant was sheared back, and all the stems placed in moist vermiculite in hopes they'll all root similarly.
Sedum 'Matrona' - took cuttings of the healthiest, stil-growing branches. The flowers appear to have some sort of insect infestation, so I'll keep them in the house, away from the greenhouse plants, until I can get rid of whatever these critters are (soft-bodied, gray, aphid-like bugs.)
Took rooted cuttings of Artemisia 'Limelight' and potted them up in hopes they will do well.
Dug the Agapanthus plants, which look really healthy; I hope they do okay over the winter in the greenhouse.
Labeled all the mums so I'll know what colors they are when I get ready to plant them next year, and/or take cuttings and create more plants.
Watered everything, then cleaned out the horsetrough, filled it with water, and brought in three water hyacinths and a water lettuce from the pond. I think I'll try adding a bit of seaweed fertilizer to the water, in hopes that will help the plants along.
Potted up the amaryllis I bought - the silly things were already sprouted, and one has tried to put on its bloom already - grr!!! I'll keep them in the laundry room, out of direct sunlight, and hope the growth can be slowed down so they bloom closer to Christmas!
In looking around the garden, I found 10 more cell packs, which I'll clean up and add to my collection. I can see where I'll need everything I can lay my hands on for the winter and spring ahead. I plan to use plastic cups for the tomato plants I'll grow to sell, which will keep my cell packs free for my own personal use.
Sunday, November 18, 2001Finished the greenhouse today, put hinges on the door and built shelves. It looks really great! Washed up all my flats and many cell packs, so I'm ready to start.
Also moved many perennials into the GH for the winter. I may end up setting them under the shelves once they go dormant, but for now I'll let them have their own spot on a bench.
Saturday, November 17, 2001Worked hard on the greenhouse, and got most of it finished - the film is on and attached; all that's left is to build the shelves and attach the door with some hinges.
Thursday, November 15, 2001Warm weather this week - highs in uppper 60s/lower 70s; overnight lows in upper 30s/mid 40s. No rain, which isn't good :( No rain predicted until late next week.
I raked leaves around the daylily bed - again :) They seem to be breaking down pretty well, but I'll probably need to turn them about once a month from now until March or April.
Tuesday, November 13, 2001Warm today - high in upper 60s.
I planted the Arum italicum bulbs I received from a DG member (VERY generous!) and watered the perennials I haven't yet planted. We really need to get that greenhouse finished, and I probably need to get serious about a cold frame for this winter, so I can overwinter some of this stuff.
Friday, November 9, 2001Tony took off a half-day so we spent the afternoon cementing together the greenhouse frame, as well as getting the gable ends completed. I think we'll end up putting supports at the 7' level on each roof "joist" to lend stability as well as give me something to hang plants from if I ever need to do that (or hang grow lights from.)
We'll work some more on it this coming week, as the weather is supposed to be really nice - 70s by end of the week.
Wednesday, November 7, 2001Went to McMinnville today, and purchased plants for Donna and Keith from the Cedarwood Nursery. I ended up with three redtwig dogwoods ($16 each); three oakleaf hydrangeas ($14 each); 8 azaleas ($10 each); and two dwarf Alberta Spruce ($18 each). They have Ilex 'Compacta' liner plants (12") for $.60 each, and I may go back for those for my own beds, and keep them in the GH this winter, and plan to set them out next fall. Our own beds will have to wait until spring - there's just not enough time to dig out everything before the weather will become unpredictable, and the holidays will demand more of our time and attention.
Monday, November 5, 2001Sunny today, high in upper 60s. Nice weather for being outside. My greenhouse film arrived this morning - yeah!!!! The UPS guy was pretty impressed with the GH - I think he'll be stopping back by to see our progress.
Potted up the peonies from Donna's. I sunk the pots in the West Bed for the winter - I think they'll do great there.
In the afternoon, I moved the active compost piles to an area behind the barn. (I could really use a shredder to work on these corn stalks and woody stuff.) Continued raking leaves into my new beds.
It's very encouraging to see how well last year's leaves broke down and composted - I think adding manure this fall will help them break down faster than they did last year, when I waited until spring to add it. I'll also haul hoses back there to wet them - I think that will make an appreciable difference to keep them more consistently moist than last year's piles.
We need to burn the brush that's back there - maybe in a week or two we can do that.
Sunday, November 4, 2001Dug the two overgrown hosta clumps from the North Bed, and took them to Donna and Keith's. Got them planted in, and they want me to design the beds for them (yippee!) I'll run to McMinnville this week to find shrubs that I think will look nice, and we can get those in this weekend.
We dug up the peonies and I rescued them. Now I need to figure out what to do with them. Also rescued some mums that Keith was ready to "mulch".
Saturday, November 3, 2001It did rain some last night, but not much. This morning we got a load of cow manure from the neighbor's cow pasture and put it on the daylily bed. Will add another thick layer of shredded leaves as soon as they come off the trees.
Brice and I retrieved a large load (full trailer) of rabbit manure, and I spread it all around the perennials in the shade garden, north and west beds. Watered it in well, and hopefully it plus the fallen leaves will provide a nice layer of composting mulch for this winter.
Friday, November 2, 2001Nice today - high in 70s. Rain predicted for tonight. Spent most of the morning getting the daylily bed ready - laid down a thick layer of newspaper, then about 6" of leaves. Shredded a lot of the leaves, which will hopefully help them stay in place and break down faster. Need to get cow manure laid on there soon. (See photo below of finished bed!)
Gathered more pine needles and mulched the West Bed.
The boys helped me clean out the vegetable garden, throw the dead stuff in a new compost pile and double-dig the beds, laying down straw, covered with dirt, and seeded with Crimson Clover. Whew - finally done! Let's hope it rains tonight :)
Wednesday, October 31, 2001Nice and warm today - high in upper 60s.
Took cuttings from the impatiens, geraniums, helichrysum, and torenia. In the afternoon, we used the new lawnsweeper to start getting the leaves out of the backyard. Shea, Brice and I laid down about 18" of leaves on top of newspapers along the East fence row out back. The bulk of the leaves came from one tree in the backyard. The oak leaves are still coming down by the bucketfulls, and there's no end in sight!
Tuesday, October 30, 2001Weather was nice - high in upper 60s, low 70s. Not much gardening today - had a nice visit with Trish and Susie :)
Monday, October 29, 2001Nicer today than yesterday, but a little breezy. The boys got most of the leaves from the front yard with the new lawnsweeper (let's hope the novelty doesn't wear out for a while!)
Sunday, October 28, 2001Nice weather - high in the low 60s. We started putting the greenhouse together - woohoo! It's looking good, the bulk of the frame is up. We have only dryfit the pieces, we'll need to take them apart and cement them together before all is said and done. It's nice and roomy, plenty of headroom. Now to get film, and figure out how to attach it.
Tuesday, October 16, 2001Susie and her aunt came for a visit today, and brought me some gorgeous plants (mums, daylilies and hosta) for my garden.
Saturday, October 6, 2001Much cooler last night and today - in fact, the wind made it seem downright brisk. Found crimson clover seed at the Co-Op (a whopping $.95 for a pound), and purchased some hardy mums, red and white pansies, and two bales of straw from Home Depot.
Came home and planted out the Great Blue Lobelia, Monardas, Galium, Black Mondo grass, Yarrow (Paprika), and Verbascum that came in trades yesterday and today.
Also planted my shallots - finally got some bone meal. Home Depot has free loose straw from the broken bales - I think I'm going to go get all of it I can tomorrow, and work some of it into my vegetable beds before I plant the cover crop, and use the rest in the compost piles.
May frost overnight, so I need to cover the tomatoes :( Warmer temps coming the rest of the week.
Friday, October 5, 2001Planted all the daylilies PoppySue sent to me - wow some of them had 3-9 divisions each - woohoo!
I also planted the pulmonarias Marcia sent to me - another wow - there were 8+ divisions that I set out.
Warm and windy today, rain tonight followed by much cooler temps for the weekend. I dredged the pond for leaves then covered it with bird netting to try to keep out most of the leaves.
Thursday, October 4, 2001Plant trades are pouring in, and I need to get them all planted, yikes!
Set out daylilies that I let soak overnight first, and put more in the soaking bucket (from PoppySue).
Tuesday, October 2, 2001Typical fall weather pattern - cool overnight (upper 40s, lower 50s), warming to 80 or so in the daytime.
Watered a lot of the garden today - rain is expected by Thursday, but the new plants especially can't wait that long.
Monday, October 1, 2001Morning was cool, but it warmed up to upper 70s by afternoon. A great day to be outside, for sure! Dug several plants for trades, and got everything mailed, woohoo!
Will spend some time tomorrow setting in more of my new things, and watering in the new transplants.
Sunday, September 30, 2001Really beautiful weather - sunny, high in the upper 60s, low 70s.
Added scraps to the compost pile, watered the new transplants again, and planted in some new bargains I picked up at Old Time Pottery:
Anemone sylvestris 'Snowdrops'
Campanula glomerata 'Alba'
Lysimachia congestiflora 'Outback Sunset' (2 4" plants)
Oxalis - pink flowering
Penstemon barbatus var. praecox 'Rondo'
Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'
Penstemon species 'Burnt Orange'
Persicaria 'Painter's Palette'
Persicaria 'Red Dragon'
Phlox 'Miss Lingard'
Tradescantia occidentalis 'Alba Major'
All their plants were half price; I need to check back next week and see if they reduce the prices further.
Saturday, September 29, 2001Cool but sunny - high in low 70s. A little windier than usual, too.
Received a daylily, Acanthus and the wild ginger today. Dug up the English Ivy and planted the ginger, then planted the Acanthus where the hosta was between the Dicentra and the Shaggy Shield fern. Heeled in the daylily in the East Bed for this fall and winter.
Watered the strawberry rooted cuttings again - they're still looking a little tough, but I think they'll pull through.
Cut all the anise hyssop flower stalks and got the seeds - also had a lot of bugs. I sifted the seed through some guttering screen, then a window screen to get rid of most of the chaff and larger bugs. I left the seed in a deep glass bowl in direct sun all day, it seemed to help drive out the tiny "seed bugs". I'll double-check it a couple times before I package it up.
I also got more Summer Poinsettia seeds picked. And do they ever "explode" out of their husks - they pop out of a 4" deep bowl and land anywhere from a few inches to 4' away!
Picked more zinnia seeds and Scarlet Runner beans. The rest of them should be winding down in another few weeks.
The Ipomopsis appears to be nearing harvest - need to find out how.
Also picked the Nicotiana seeds - not a lot left since the plants dried up, but there's enough to share some :)
Friday, September 28, 2001Cool today, but sunny - high in the 60s. Watered the strawberry plants again - they're looking a little wilted, which is to be expected.
I also watered the pulmonarias and took their "caps" off - I think they're ready.
Planted the new Lamium ('Shell Pink' I think) Cerastium and Almond Puff daylily today. I put the Lamium near the stepping stones leading to the paved seating area, and I think they'll do very nicely there.
The cerastium went in the East Bed, as did the daylily. It looked better after soaking last night. I'm sure it'll do fine in its new home :)
Thursday, September 27, 2001Cool nights, warm, sunny days - very nice. Received an 'Almond Puff' daylily in trade today; set it to soak before I plant it out.
Tuesday, September 25, 2001Weeded the strawberry patch and the bed I was holding for raspberries, and the paths between them.
Removed the extra runners from the plants, and filled in the other half of the east bed as well as the raspberry bed. It probably doubled the 50 plants I originally planted. May try to sell the excess plants next spring.
The blueberry plants have grown a lot since I set them out - here's hoping for some berries next year!
The pulmonarias are looking good - I need to remember to water them tomorrow. Leaves are starting to come off the oak tree, I'm going to let them stay on the beds in the shade garden this year, and decompose over the winter.
Snapped some photos today - the zinnias still look pretty, and the coneflower had an interesting white spider on it. The great blue lobelia is in full bloom, so I caught a picture of it :)
Monday, September 24, 2001Drizzling and chilly this morning, but nice in the afternoon. Cooler temps expected all week.
Gathered plants for trades this morning, and boxed everything up and got it to the PO this afternoon.
Jody's package arrived, wow! Not only did I get the Ligularia seeds and Pulmonaria "babies", but she sent along some Delosperma, miscanthus and Pampas grasses. What a great treat to plant everything!
I put the pulmonarias near the astilbes in the shade garden. Watered them in well and covered them with a plastic bucket (with ventilation) to try to keep them from drying out. Will check on them frequently for a few days and make sure they get a good start - this weather should help.
Planted the grasses near the small pond, and the Ice Plant near the oak tree in the shade garden. I'm so excited to see how everything looks by next spring!
Potted up several Ceratostigma stems that broke from the roots when I was digging up some for trades. Hopefully they'll set roots and give me some more plants to set out or trade.
Sunday, September 23, 2001Warm today, but rain moved in late. A cold front is behind the rain, so temps this week are supposed to be in the 60s (lows in the 40s).
Harvested more seeds and got several envelopes made up for trades to be mailed out tomorrow.
Saturday, September 22, 2001Warm today - high in the 80s. Picked a few tomatoes for a salad tonight. There are new tomatoes being set on, so perhaps we'll get another small crop before frost.
I printed off plans for a greenhouse, and Tony bought the 1" PVC to get started on it. I'll need to find a source for some "snap clamps" and GH plastic.
Friday, September 21, 2001Warm today, a little breezy. Watered the Creeping Jenny, Taro and Ajuga since we haven't had rain in a few days.
Added to the compost pile and turned the smaller, almost-ready batch.
Re-fastened the plastic sheeting on the new daylily/daffodil bed as it had come loose in a few spots. (More staples to pick out later, but that's okay.
Wednesday, September 19, 2001Rainy today - I'd guess we got somewhere between one and two inches. Which we needed :)
Should see some cooler temperatures the rest of the week - probably in the 70s and low 80s.
Tuesday, September 18, 2001Took out the cucumber, cantaloupe and watermelon plants. They were pretty well shot - a dry spell had certainly done a job on the leaves.
Shelby's pumpkins are blooming - it's a race against the clock to see if we can have pumpkins by Halloween.
Picked more zinnia and dill seeds. Checked the summer poinsettia and they're not ready quite yet.
Saturday, September 15, 2001Cooler and less humid - overnight temps in the 50s, high in the 70s.
Tony and Shea finished the daylily bed and tilled it. I watered it well then put 7 mm plastic over it.
Will leave up until end of October, then replace with newspaper leaf lasagne.
Friday, September 14, 2001Cloudy and cooler today - highs in the 70s.
Cleaned out the fish pond and the filters.
Thursday, September 13, 2001Rained late, bringing in a cool front with it.
Planted some creeping jenny and ajuga that arrived from trades today.
Sunday, September 9, 2001Rain early morning and late evening. Cold front will follow, dropping overnight lows into the upper 50s, daytime highs in the 80s.
Worked more on the new daylily bed. Tony and Shea used a mattock to dig out the backside of the bed, and laid landscape timbers all the way around. Will need to put the second layer of timbers on next weekend. I think I'll put plastic on the dirt until first frost to see if I can kill the grass, then I'll lasagna mulch with leaves and let it rest until spring.
Saturday, September 8, 2001Cloudy on and off, but no rain (yet). Planted the 'Black Magic' Taro sent by Susie, and watered in the plants around the pond while I was at it.
Set up the bio-filter to start running and hopefully get the pond cleared up by the time cooler weather comes. I'll be keeping a close eye on the filters for the next couple weeks, and be sure they don't get clogged.
Woohoo, my daffodil/daylily bed is underway! Shea had an urge to run the tiller, so I set him to work. We've decided to use landscape timbers to edge it, and I can't wait to see it finished. The only downside is, it'd take a lot of dirt to fill it, so I may create a "lasagne bed" of newspaper + leaves + manure in there for the fall and winter, and move my daylilies next spring, and add daffodils then. It's probably the right thing to do, since I can get a lot of daffs for free from the neighbors after they bloom next spring, plus waiting will give my daylilies a full growing season to get bigger and sturdier before I dig them up again. But there's part of me that really wanted to see those perky daffs in there next easter! Ah, well......
Thursday, September 6, 2001Hot again today; rain to the west of us, but nothing here until tomorrow. Cleaned out the pond and the filter (gross). I need to make it a point to do this at least once a week through October and try to get the water cleaner prior to first frost.
Here's a shot of the pond, with the perilla in the foreground.
Wednesday, September 5, 2001Hot today, high in the mid-90s. Watered plants and harvested more seeds (Cuphea and Impatiens). Keeping an eye on the Torenia, waiting for them to turn.
Monday, September 3, 2001Cloudy all day but no rain. It's been a dreary holiday weekend, for sure!
Went to Katie and David's this afternoon. Took a walk down by the railroad tracks and came upon a huge patch of Fireweed (Epilobium). Tony helped me dig up some starts of it, one pink and one white. Hope they grow well, I'd like to put them along the back fence with some Eupatorium and Ironweed.
I also spotted a large patch of Itea virginica. Need to go back in a week or two and take some starts of it as well. I think it'd do nicely in the same general area.
Sunday, September 2, 2001Tony and Shea helped me create new topiaries for the front porch. These are copper and stand about 5' tall. I've started some ivy on them to trail up, I think I'll leave them on the back porch until fall so I remember to water them and hopefully get the ivy off to a good start before winter arrives. I think they'll look beautiful with some red and white pansies at Christmas time, and some spring bulbs followed by trailing lantana (maybe) in the summer.
Saturday, September 1, 2001Rain this morning; partly cloudy most of the day. Harvested hundreds of Impatiens balsamina seed pods;woohoo!
Also collected Rudbeckia seed heads, zinnias, dill, agastache foeniculum and portulaca seeds. Will need to let everything dry out, then sort and package them.
Turned the compost pile; will be ready to spread around on the leaves and "stuff" when I start the beds this fall.
Here's a photo of the East Bed. Looks better here than in real life!
Thursday, August 30, 2001My gooseneck loosestrife arrived today - hooray! Hope I can get it off to a good start before cold weather sets in.
Sunday, August 26, 2001Hot today. Gathered more Ruellia for trades from the field behind us. Also gathered some Eupatorium colistenum (Hardy Ageratum), need to go back and get some more of it, and get it started in pots before frost.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001Warmer today and muggier. I finally finished pruning and trimming up the tomato plants. I hope they get a chance to put on a last flush of fruit before frost hits.
Here's a photo of the vegetable garden. Still looks pitiful, but better than it did, LOL!
Tuesday, August 21, 2001Beautiful day - overnight it got down in the 50s. I figure this can't but help the tomatoes think it's springtime again :) This afternoon was appreciably warmer than yesterday, but it IS still August. No precip.
Finished pruning the Brandywines today - they look so much better (and happier) staked back up and minus the dead branches. Still need to do some pruning on the cherry and grape tomatoes, but it got too hot.
Picked all the ripe orange and yellow small tomatoes for drying. Also picked about a gallon of grapes for more grape jelly. We may have it coming out our ears before long......
Monday, August 20, 2001This weather is to die for. Low 60s this morning, mid-70s at noon. Supposed to turn hot again by mid-week.
Cleaned out two more tomato beds, but these were the Quick Piks so I pruned the plants and retrained them on stakes, side dressed with fertilizer and watered well. Hopefully they have enough time to put on a second crop of fruit before frost hits.
Will do the same with the Brandywines and mini tomatoes tomorrow (it wasn't sweltering, but it was still too hot to be out there past lunchtime.)
Need to pick grapes and little tomatoes, as well as harvest the scarlet runner bean seed pods - lots of them, and they're ready to be picked and shelled. The hummingbirds really love these flowers, I had a companion most of the morning. He came over and hovered around a few times, right above my head :)
Saturday, August 18, 2001Less humid today; a light rain mid-day.
Started the painful process of picking the last big crop of tomatoes and tearing out the plants that are shot. The cherries are still growing strong, and there are a few green tomatoes on the Brandywine and Keepsake plants, but everything else is ready to be pulled up.
LESSONS FOR NEXT YEAR:
1. Only put four tomato plants per square, no matter what! One variety per bed; plant about 24" apart in the center of the bed, then put stakes around the outside, and wrap twine to cage them.
2. Do succession plantings of seedlings, so that plantings are staggered 2-3 weeks apart from late March thru mid-May. This should help extend harvesting through late August.
The pumpkin seeds have sprouted and are doing well, I just hope they have fruit by Halloween :)
Friday, August 17, 2001Less humid today; we were supposed to get rain today, but none yet.
Planted the Justicia carnea and cane begonias from Trish and Dave, and the Stella d'Oro daylilies from mom. Need to tag them!!!!
Thursday, August 9, 2001Hot today, and very humid.
Received the Water Dragon plants in today's mail, so I potted them up right away and planted them out. Can't wait to see how they do.
Cleaned out the pond and filter (lots of dead lily leaves.) Re-arranged the plants and they look much better, but I really need to trade/SASE some of the iris next spring - way too many for this pond, especially with the new plant varieties I'm wanting to add. The Thalia is doing wonderfully in its new home; seems very happy in its new home :)
The Myosotis scorpoides is putting on a flush of bloom, very pretty. I need to try to divide it and get some good starts around the pond, as it is a nice, delicate touch.
Monday, August 6, 2001Tropical Storm "Barry" still hasn't given us any rain, but our chances improve later in the week. Picked some more tomatoes; the Brandywines are hitting their stride, but there's a lot of cracking, I suppose from the sporadic rainfall/watering schedule they've been on.
Sunday, August 5, 2001Hot, muggy (as usual.)
Picked the first cantaloupe and watermelon today. Hope they're good!
Saturday, August 4, 2001Warm again today; rain off and on. Heat index a little lower, but the humidity is still awful.
Brice and I added quite a bit to the compost pile - all of the corn stalks and the scraps from making salsa, jelly and apple butter.
Friday, August 3, 2001Hot again today; heat index over 100, actual temp in mid-90s. Rain this afternoon, which helped temporarily, but then made everything really muggy.
Before the rain started, I picked apples, grapes and tomatoes, then made apple butter, grape jelly, and salsa while the rain poured.
Wednesday, August 1, 2001Hot, muggy; heat index over 100.
Tore out all the corn plants, (no more corn thanks to the raccoons) and planted Shelby's "Lumina" white pumpkins in Bed 2.
I really need to get the tomatoes re-staked and some of them torn out and tossed in the compost pile; they're looking pretty sad right now.
Wednesday, July 25, 2001Hot again today. Typical summer weather patterns. The East Bed is a little shaggy, but it is a cottage-garden look, so it's not too bad :)
I will have lots of things to divide for next spring, woohoo!
Tuesday, July 24, 2001Hot today, as always.
Made my first batch of salsa today, after picking about 2.5 gallons of tomatoes. Came out good but mild.
Friday, July 20, 2001Hot today - high in the mid 90s; scattered showers. Better chance of rain overnight, which we need.
Planted the Caryopteris and Spiraea bumalda shrubs today, and watered them well. Hopefully they'll take off late summer/fall and be well established before first freeze.
Thursday, July 19, 2001Hot today - high in mid 90s.
Added more kitchen waste and trimmings to the compost pile. While I was back there, I spotted a pretty lavender flower growing in the pasture behind us. Went over and dug up a few plants - I think they're Ruellia humilis. Will put them in the East Bed to cultivate, and eventually move to the Wildflower area when it's established.
Monday, July 16, 2001Hot today; no rain. Left the sprinkler on overnight in the vegetable garden - yikes! I guess at least part of the garden won't need any water this week!
Will need to water this week, and I have GOT to get busy on starting the "hard to start" seedlings.
Saturday, July 14, 2001Cooler and less humid again today - overnight lows were in the upper 50s.
Went blackberry picking again this morning; another 3+ gallons to put up.
Bought three spirea bushes (S. bumalda 'Anthony Waterer') from Home Depot (1 gallon size, $7.50 each.) for the bed near the driveway.
Friday, July 13, 2001Cooler and less humid today - high around 82, overnight lows in the low 60s. Picked tomatoes and cukes today, I think the green beans are about finished, so I think I'll pull them up and start another crop for fall. Need to plant Shelby's pumpkins, too.
Have several baby watermelons and canteloupes. The watermelons are about 3 pounds, and are probably 5" in diameter. Won't be too much longer before they're ready to eat!
Thursday, July 12, 2001Warm and muggy today -high around 90; overnight low in the 70s. The boys mowed today.
Wednesday, July 11, 2001Hot and muggy today; received rain this afternoon. Went to Lebanon and mowed.
Went berry picking this morning; came back with about 3 gallons of berries for 4 hours work. Will freeze them for cobblers and pies.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001Very hot and muggy today; high mid 90s; overnight low in the mid 70s. Started planning a new "wildflower" bed in the back of the yard. The good news is I should have a lot of things I can divide and move into this area.
Monday, July 9, 2001Hot today; rain this afternoon. At least I haven't had to water much!
Danny told me about a blackberry patch near the high school, so after the rain cleared out, Shea drove me over. Picked a few cups of berries while he waited. Will come back one morning this week, when it's cooler.
Sunday, July 8, 2001Hot again today; chances of rain are slim today; should be better chance tomorrow.
Saturday, July 7, 2001Hot and muggy - high around 92, overnight low in mid 60s. Went to Southern Creations nursery and picked up some impatiens for the front window trough and a geranium for the East Bed. Restaked several tomato plants that had fallen over. Picked about 3 pounds of green beans and 1.5 pounds of wild plums. Watered the plants around the pond.
Friday, July 6, 2001Hot and muggy today. Went to Lebanon to mow.
Thursday, July 5, 2001More rain this morning.
Wednesday, July 4, 2001Warm today - high in the upper 80s. Showers in the evening. We picked a quart or more of ripe wild plums, and took most of them to Katie's. Also took a zucchini, pepper and cucumber (the first.) Tony ate the first ripe tomato (a Mini Pearl), but there are a couple Keepsakes that are almost ripe.
The cucumbers and canteloupe are taking over the garden; next year I really need to put them in their own beds and/or give them vertical support to grow up.
The second batch of green beans is about ready to pick; will probably pick them tomorrow.
Shelby's zinnias are blooming very nicely, as are her scarlet runner beans. The marigolds and sunflowers will be budding out soon.
The creeping bellflower is putting on a second flush of blooms, and the Linaria "Butter & Eggs" is in full bloom, and very pretty. The monarda is in full bloom, too - full of bumble bees! The cleome is starting to bloom, and the Love Lies Bleeding is close to blooming. Harvested the rest of the Nigella seeds, sprinklng some where the plant is now, and brought the rest in to save for next year.
Tuesday, July 3, 2001No rain; muggy and hot - high 90, low around 70. 1st planting of corn is tassling and silking; shook the tassles to help ensure good pollination. Got my first cherry tomato, and two more are nearly ripe. The yellow pear tomatoes are starting to look pear shaped, and the Sweet Olives will be next to ripen I think. Some of the Keepsakes are getting to be good sized; two are nearly ripe.
Several cucumbers (no lemon cukes, though) are almost ready to pick. Need to pick more green beans, as they are ready.
Monday, July 2, 2001Warm and muggy today, scattered clouds delivered a few sprinkles early afternoon. High in mid 80s, lows in upper 60s. Put landscaping blocks in place along the new bed; still debating whether to mortar them to the pavement and/or mortar the "v" area between the blocks. I'll need to decide pretty soon.....
Saturday, June 30, 2001Warm, high in the 80s, and scattered showers all day. Didn't do much outside (remodeling inside is going full swing again.)
Friday, June 29, 2001Warm, high in the 80s, overnight low in the upper 60s. Showers in the afternoon. Got out early in the morning and dug up the irises, and planted about half of them along the fence line; took the rest to Katie to plant her new "iris bed" while the boys mowed and ran the weedeater. We'll need to get the landscape blocks installed soon, now that the irises are no longer holding the soil in this bed in place.
Thursday, June 28, 2001Warm, showers threatened but no rain today. High in the upper 80s, lows in the upper 60s. Did some general weeding etc. It's still too wet to get out and do much.
Wednesday, June 27, 2001More rain today - probably 2 -2.5 inches within a half hour period. Not much gardening, too wet.
Tuesday, June 26, 2001We apparently received 3 or more inches in a few minutes (less than an hour) this afternoon. We missed the actual storm, but came home to find roads flooded. The ponds were overflowing, and everything is soaked. The good news is this should help us catch up on our annual rainfall, but it would be nice to get it in a more gentle way.
Monday, June 25, 2001Warmer again today - high in the mid-80s, although we've got a storm front coming in from the EAST this afternoon/this evening. Forecast is for thundershowers all week, which would be nice :)
Dug up the Thalia from the compost pile, and put both starts in 1 one-gallon container. So far they seem happy. I did confirm it is T. dealbata, and Home Depot wanted $10 or $11 for a one-gallon pot with a smaller plant than mine :)
Started four cuttings of H. quercifolia in large pots this morning, will give a few to Dave and Trish, and keep one or two to grow out for here. Also potted up the ROS that Lisa sent to me, and set all five pots around in the shade with a large drink of water. I'll move them if the storm seems severe, and put them in a protected spot.
The green beans are maturing rapidly; I picked a small mess of them tonight, and we should have more ready by late this week, if they keep going at this rate.
I worked on the design for the front of the house and the East Bed, and it looks good in 3D, so I'm pretty excited; I think it will dramatically improve the looks of the house to get the beds re-done.
Bought some professional grow mix at Home Depot to start my other seedlings in; no excuses now!
Picked up sticks and rotten apples from the yard, and put them on the compost pile. The small pond had a funky algae, it was almost clothlike. Pulled all of it out that I could, and I'll continue to watch for more growth.
Sunday, June 24, 2001Highs in the mid 80s, overnight lows in the 60s. No precipitation.
Didn't do much in the garden today, either - picked a few weeds, and that's about it. We spent the afternoon in Lebanon. Need to remember to take vegetable fertilizer with me next time I go, so we can fertilize Memaw's plants.
Saturday, June 23, 2001Cooler today - high reach 80, barely. It was in the upper 60s to mid 70s for much of the morning, which was really nice. Cloudy most of the day, clearing off around 4 or 5 this afternoon.
Didn't do ANYTHING in the garden today, as we had places to go, people to see, etc. Will make up for it tomorrow and next week, I'm sure!
Friday, June 22, 2001Much cooler today - high today is upper 70s. Rain this morning; should clear out for a few hours, then more rain this afternoon. Weekend forecast is sunny and cooler, highs in low 80s.
Too wet to work in the gardens, but this is wonderful weather for the new strawberry plants; I couldn't have asked for better conditions for their first few days in the ground.
The first planting of corn is sending up tassles, won't be long 'til we have fresh sweet corn (we hope!!!!)
Thursday, June 21, 2001High in upper 80s, lows in 60s. Rain in afternoon and evening, but probably no more than .3" total rainfall.
A busy morning in the garden. UPS delivered the replacement strawberry plants, so in the ground they went (the driver had barely pulled out of my driveway when I was opening the box and heading for the garden!)
Watered them in and covered them with several thicknesses of bird netting (held up by sticks) to give them some relief from the sun until they start putting on leaves. Will sidedress with more fertilizer in 10 days/2 weeks.
Watered a few things, especially the blueberries, watermelons, and third planting of corn.
Mulched the cukes, cantaloupes and watermelon plants with straw; will use the remaining straw to mulch around the strawberries once they take off.
I cut the dead foliage from the recent transplants; will give them a dose of liquid seaweed later this week (soil was pretty moist still, and I don't want to get them waterlogged.
Picked up dead limbs, weeds, fallen apples and the strawberry crowns and hauled everything to the compost pile.
Just about the time I got the strawberry plants in the ground, the mailman came with a box from Lisa - water hyacinths, Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon) and Zephyranthes (Pink Rain Lilies) - yippee!
As I started researching some pond plants for next year, it got me thinking about a plant I saw growing out of the compost pile. It looked like a canna, and sure enough it's a "Hardy Water Canna" or Thalia. Will offer some for a trade of Gooseneck Loosestrife, and plant the rest in my pond.
Wednesday, June 20, 2001Supposedly cooler today - high didn't hit 90 I don't think, but it still felt hot! There's rain to the north of us, and they're calling for a better chance for rain tomorrow. They're saying it'll be followed by some cooler temps over the weekend - that sounds nice!
Well I finally feel like a bona fide gardener - have my own sprayer, woohoo! Filled it with soapy water and sprayed the tomato plants this morning. Will check them tonight and see if I need to repeat it tomorrow morning.
Zucchinis are big enough to start harvesting. (Can they really grow THAT fast???)
Green beans are setting on nicely, as are the Amira cucumbers.
Reseeded some corn in the 3rd planting - the germination wasn't as good as the first two. I don't know why, the only difference would be temperatures, and I would have thought warmer was better. We'll see how the reseeded areas do.
Fertilized the containers on the deck again. They are doing well, but sure do get dried out fast with this afternoon sun.
Turned the compost piles, and added more to the "active" pile. The others are getting close to being "done" - what a simply amazing/amazingly simple process.
Tuesday, June 19, 2001High in the low 90s, overnight low in the upper 60s. No rain predicted for the next few days.
Took the pruners to the old dead wood of the Hydrangeas. Lesson learned - don't prune them in the fall, for sure.
Wandered through the garden - surprised to find zucchinis already (they just started blooming yesterday or the day before.) Also have a couple baby cukes, and some tiny green beans.
Unless it's my imagination, the Keepsake tomatoes are starting to turn a lighter shade of green. Hopefully that means 'maters soon. Can hardly wait.
Finally finished sorting my seedbox (just in time to start adding more stuff to it, LOL!) I made some dividers, and got everything pretty well organized, with Herbs and Veggies in one row, Annuals and Biennials in the middle, and Perennials in the third row. Even got them alphabetized but who knows how long that'll last!
Monday, June 18, 2001Hot today - high in the 90s, overnight lows were warm - mid to upper 60s. Spent most of the day watering and fertilizing. (The fun part of gardening :)
Got the pond plants fertilized, and found a bunch of the pots turned over. I don't know if the dogs have been barking at a racoon, and that's what causing the mess, or if it's the dogs getting in the pond. Ugh.
I used the little fountain sprinkler and moved it every ten minutes. Took me about three hours to do the flower beds and the garden. Yikes! Will need to start cutting back on watering when possible, unless I want our water bill to look like the national debt.
Also took a few minutes to blast the tomato plants and hopefully get rid of some of the aphids. But my WalMart list has a sprayer on it, just for soap + water for aphids.
Here's a photo of the salvia, centranthus and nicotiana in the North Bed - I think it's been a pretty combination, although I'm sure I'll be rearranging next season :)
Sunday, June 17, 2001Hot today, high in low 90s, overnight low in the 60s. No rain, and I haven't heard whether there's any predicted for the near future.
Didn't get hardly anything done in the garden today - after church we rushed home, changed clothes, and headed out for a drive through the country. Ended up at in-law's house, got to swim, eat a burger, and kick back with niece and nephews - nice way to spend a Sunday for sure!
I did get the three plants I brought back from Nebraska planted, although I don't know whether they'll make it - they were looking pretty rough after sitting in a pail of water for several days (I would too, I suppose!)
Saturday, June 16, 2001Warm today - high in the upper 80s. Overnight low wasn't terribly cool - in the mid 60s.
Got out in the garden around 9, after the sun had a chance to burn off most of the dew. One of the 'Quick Pick' tomatoes was looking really yucky - yellow, curled leaves, spots on the leaves, etc. So out he went. Figured it leaves more room and better air circulation for the remaining plants.
The zucchini may be big, but the Amira cucumbers and the cantaloupes beat it to the punch on blooms. They're in full bloom. The green beans are also blooming nicely, pretty lavender blossoms. Somebody forgot to tell the limas that they're bush type. Had to put a third row of wire up for them today. Oh well!
Added more ties to the tomato plants. I don't know what I'll do when they reach the tops of these stakes - I never dreamed they'd get more than 4' tall, but they're sure working on it. Yikes!
Took advantage of the cool morning and took my seedbox out to the porch to work on it. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of seed that survived the deluge earlier this season. Looked up the things that I wasn't sure of, and found some "jewels" among the unused seed packets. I think everything is now entered under "My Seedbox" in this journal. Just need to get them physically organized now that they're in new, dry, packets.
Friday, June 15, 2001Didn't spend much time in the garden - most of the day was spent at St. Thomas hospital while David had some tests run. When we left, it was pouring rain, and when we got home, Murfreesboro got hit twice in the afternoon. Then about 11:30 pm we got another round. Officially the weather data indicates we received .77" of rain. It sure felt like more than that.
High was a little cooler because of the rain - only in the mid 80s. Supposed to be 80s and 90s all this week.
Thursday, June 14, 2001Warmed up very quickly this morning, and I think we may have hit a new record high "low temp" - 65 overnight. Storm clouds keep passing over - chance of rain tonight and tomorrow.
Fertilized the East Bed and the containers on the deck today. (Had put them on my to-dos for 6/3, just now getting 'round to them!)
Also planted out the glad bulbs today - put the pink and blue in the north bed (some on each side of the sidewalk), and the orange and white ones along the A/C unit. Probably should amend the soil, especially back there, it's very clayish.
Something (caterpillar?) is eating the tomato leaves on the plants next to the zucchini. No caterpillar in sight, but the telltale droppings are there. Grrrr.
Wednesday, June 13, 2001Warm today - high in the upper 80s, low in the 60s.
I inspected the gardens this morning - things were pretty dry. The aphids are very heavy on the tomato plants, and on the nicotiana.
I used a small stationary sprinkler and started watering the beds. Took me the better part of the day, but got it done!
Tuesday, June 12, 2001Got home late this evening, almost completely dark. But the first thing I did was run to the vegetable garden (after greeting the dogs, of course), to see how much everything had grown. Wow!
The tomatoes have all grown at leat a foot, but the zucchini- oh my word, has it ever grown huge! It's at leat 2 feet tall, and these leaves are enormous! The beans have taken off, and tendrils are reaching for the top wire (they were barely brushing the bottom wire when I left!) The first planting of corn is nearly hip high and looks really nice and green - couldn't tell if the third planting was up yet (too dark).
Everything appears to be doing well, although my portulaca was a little parched. And the containers on the porch are a little dry as well (the one on the table was very wilted, we'll see if it makes it after I brought it in and gave it a drink.)
Will check more in the morning - can't wait to see what the flowers look like then.
Monday, June 11, 2001High in the 80s, low in the 60s, again. Still no precip. Went plant hunting today - dug some wild phlox, Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare), and some relative of agastache (smells like licorice.)
Sunday, June 10, 2001High in the 80s, low in the 60s, no precipitation. Attended the Sands family reunion today - great to see Grandma's oldest and youngest sisters.
Saturday, June 9, 2001Highs in the mid 80s, lows in the upper 60s, no precipitation.
Friday, June 8, 2001Helped mom weed some of her garden, and trimmed back her Sweet Autumn Clematis. Will plant Veronicas and Bleeding Hearts soon.
Thursday, June 7, 2001Received rain this morning. Left for Nebraska mid-morning, so no gardening updates for the next few days.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001Warm - no hot - today. Very humid. High in the 80s, low in the 60s. Rain in the forecast.
Planted everything I could today - Ruth's plants (Lunaria, Cleome, "Devil's Castle" which I suspect is some kind of physostegia), Malva 'Zebrina', Platycodon, more Dicentra, and Montbretia. I'm going to take the remaining Platycodon and Montbretia to Ruth tonight, along with an Oakleaf hydrangea rooted cutting.
Put plant tags on just about everything, so I will know where everything is!
Planted the third and final planting of corn. Can't wait to see some ears!
Took some photos of the gardens, which I'll tag onto the next few days' journal entries.
Tuesday, June 5, 2001Rain this morning, then cleared off. Highs in the 80s, and very muggy.
Dave's package arrived, so I planted the Commelina Communis around the dead hackberry in the back of the yard, the Hosta and Siberian iris in the East Bed, the pink Rain Lilies in the pot with the Torenia (should make a nice color combination!), and the Datura got it's own pot (guess I'll still have to find something for an outdoor ashtray!)
Since I was on a roll, I planted the remaining impatiens in the East Bed where I think they'll provide a nice swath of color. I planted the Verbena bonariensis near the lythrum, and the Penstemmon by the Gaura in the East Bed. This bed will definitely need thinning next spring or the following. But it'll be nice to be able to get divisions from these plants, and move them into new spots as I get beds in order. (Someday I'm going to have that 100' fence row completely filled, Lord willing - and it'll take a lot of plants to do it.)
Just need to plant the Lunaria, remaining cleome and (Physostegia???) today, along with as many of my Bleeding hearts and Balloon flowers and Crocosmia as I can. Bad plant addiction, apparently.
Moved the ties up on the tomatoes - again. They're growing well.
Monday, June 4, 2001Warm today, lows are in the 60s, highs in the 80s. Threatened rain most of the day; may still get us tonight.
Finished my "flower chair" with sealer and put screening in the bottom. Planted it with Grandma's favorite - portulaca. Put a plant tag on the chair that says "Port-chair-laca", figured it was about as corny as I could get but oh well! Planted some "Cherry Profusion" Zinnias next to the legs.
Also planted an old canning kettle with Tansy and some ferny-looking plant (from Ruth) and set it beside the chair.
Fertilized the flowers - ugh, big job. Gallon by gallon. Gotta be a better way. Poleumonium is starting to bloom; Centranthus is also ready to burst into color.
Found a Torenia today at Lowe's, am potting it up to put on the deck. Found some tin buckets at WalMart; will use one to plant the Torenia in, the other I'll probably fill with sand for cigarette butts (better than finding them in my garden.....)
Sunday, June 3, 2001Rainy today, and cool. Wasn't supposed to rain until this evening, but it rained mid-morning, and drizzled off and on all day.
Too wet to plant anything, but I did paint an old bottomless chair to make into a "flower chair". Also dragged out an old canning kettle that I'm going to fill with Tanacetum (Tansy), since it's invasive.
Saturday, June 2, 2001What a day! Rain this morning, started about 9:45 and drizzled until around 10:30 or 11:00. Really nice (about 75) for most of the afternoon, but heated up to the 80s by late afternoon. Supposed to get more rain tomorrow afternoon.
Went on the Secret Garden tour today with Ruth, it was so neat! Bought some Penstemmon 'Husker Red' and Verbena bonariensis and Maidenhair fern from the vendors at the first house. The gardens were all really neat, lots of ?Delphiniums, oriental lilies, Astilbe, Monarda, Pulmonaria, Lythrum (really), Tradescantia - especially white - ferns, Tiarella, Coneflower, and many other plants. Each garden was unique, and so many good ideas:
Lots of cracked pots turned on their side with flowers "spilling" out of them, lots of birdhouses, and window box "troughs". Several tubs of Plumbago, one with very red geraniums - interesting combination, with the light blue of Plumbago.
Came home and worked on my raspberry bed (still no plants, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to get the bed absolutely ready): added about 12 gallons of compost, a 40-lb. bag of topsoil, and a good cup of Aluminum Sulfate. Worked it all in and tried to get rid of all the weeds and grass roots I could see.
The tomatoes are really hitting their stride with blooms - the small tomatoes are setting on some fruit, and everything is looking good. The watermelon hasn't taken off yet, but that may have to do with the slightly cooler temps we've been having. The zucchini is getting huge, and the cukes and cantaloupes are doing well.
Friday, June 1, 2001Some bad storms all around us last night - a possible tornado as close as Lascassas. We got rain and some wind, but nothing too bad. Rained until about 10 this morning, then cleared off. It's supposed to rain again tonight, and into tomorrow morning.
As soon as it cleared off, I went out to check on things; the vegetable garden looks fine, the raised beds really help with drainage. Still lots of aphids on the tomatoes (sigh).....On a brighter note, Shelby's marigolds and dwarf sunflowers are coming right along. And the Bachelor's Buttons and Zinnias are huge.
Made some u-shaped pins from wire, and laid over four of the rose bush canes. Covered them with a bag of top soil. I think this plant will root easily - some of the canes that were slightly leaned over were already rooting. Really need to get it pruned back into shape; wish I knew what type it is.
Also need to get the climbing hydrangeas planted. Will try to do that tomorrow afternoon or Sunday, after the Secret Garden tour. We need to get the arbor permanently fastened in place before I do, so that's my excuse for now :)
The cooler, rainy weather has allowed me to catch up on my journal - added some photos as well as sorted out the things that are planted vs. those that didn't make it, etc.
Whew, what a job that is/was! Still need to sort my seedbox, and get some things recorded, and set up for summer/fall planting.
Thursday, May 31, 2001Rain moved in about 5:00 this morning, and it's supposed to rain on and off all day, and sporadically over the next several days.
Warm, even with the rain - this is GREAT weather for the plants. Unfortunately, not so great for me - can't get out in it. Slipped out between showers this morning and got water lilies ready to mail for trades.
Rain let up by late morning, and I was able to go out and check on things this afternoon. I think the tomatoes are growing about an inch a day at this point, and the second planting of corn is peeking out. Something is really eating the lima bean leaves, and the aphids are pesky on all the tomatoes. I hate to think of pest controls already, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to. Will try some low-level intervention for the aphids to start off, and I'm trying to find the "munchers" and handpick them off everything else.
The hydrange and clehtra bushes on the south side of the deck are both looking yellowish. I'm going to put some compost around them this afternoon, and see if that doesn't help. Need to fertilize all the flowers, as they're showing signs of needing it.
Wednesday, May 30, 2001Warm and sunny today - high in the 70s, overnight low in the mid to upper 60s.
Found straw at Lowe's, so I bought a bale and placed a loose 2-3" mulch around the tomatoes. Still have a good half-bale left, so I'll probably try to tie it up and keep it intact until later in the season.
I'm tempted to get a bale of pine straw and use it around the blueberry plants, but I think I'll wait to see how they do with the soil they're in first.
Tuesday, May 29, 2001Very nice today - sunny and warm, high in the upper 70s, overnight low in the 60s. May rain by tomorrow evening, but this is perfect weather.
Took a stroll around the veggie garden today, still seeing a lot of aphids around the tomatoes, so I need to get very serious, very quick about that. The zucchini plants seem to be growing before my very eyes - yikes!
Still no new growth on the strawberries, although one source I found indicated it usually occurs a couple weeks after planting. Perhaps a watched plant never leafs out.
Did a little weeding, and that's about it. I spent most of my day cleaning the house after a long weekend, and did take time to pull up the pond plants to divide off some lily for a trade. Took them to the PO after school let out; last day of school for the kids, so summer vacation has officially begun!
Monday, May 28, 2001Cool this morning; rain by noon. Rained steady for a couple hours, cleared out and was really nice this afternoon. Overnight lows in the upper 50s.
Turned the compost piles and tidied up the area. The "done" pile is still good-sized after being raked; the other two are cooking nicely.
Staked the 12 Quick Pick tomatoes; some of them had aphids again. Will need to get serious about controlling them.
Sunday, May 27, 2001High in the 70s, overnight lows were warmer, near 60. Partly cloudy today, supposed to rain tomorrow.
Checked the garden. Quick Pick tomatoes and a few of the Brandywines had aphids. Will need to keep an eye on them. Also need to stake up the Quick Picks ASAP.
Saturday, May 26, 2001Cool again - high in the low 70s; overnight lows in the 50s.
Weeded and fertilized the vegetables, except the tomatoes. Stopped at the nursery on Windrow Road on our way home today, and purchased some chives, flat parsley, and two hot pepper plants (one jalapeno and one serrano (I think?). Also picked up a start of Malva Zabrina.
Purchased a cattle panel from TSC for the raspberry bed; will get some pressure treated rail posts to attach it. Picked up fish food while we were there - 50 lbs. for $10.99
Tony got 12-12-12 fertilizer for the lawn. He was nice and spread a lot of my mulch around on the beds on the East side of the house today.
Friday, May 25, 2001Cool and breezy; highs in the upper 60s. Overnight lows dipping into the upper 40s.
Rummaged through the brush pile and found enough limbs to stake all the tomatoes except the determinant Quick Picks. They probably will need staking, too but we ran out of sturdy limbs to use. Will probably buy some of the plastic stakes from WalMart for them.
The mini tomatoes are getting blossoms. I noticed some aphids on the Mini Pearls again - it seems like those were the ones that I had to clean off when I set out tomatoes this year. But these are the tallest of the minis. The Sweet Olives are contortionists, and want to keep bending down to grow near the ground.
Planted the yellow and white marigolds and the dwarf sunflower seeds in the remaining corner of Shelby's garden. Hopefully they will grow quickly and catch up with the Cupid's Dart, Batchelor Buttons, Zinnias and Ipomopsis in the other corners.
Planted the 2nd planting of corn today, and fertilized and weeded the first stand.
Received some Parrot Feather and taro from a trade today; placed the Parrot Feather in the pond, and the taro along the back fence, next to the Lobelia.
I hope this area takes off - if it does, there should be a nice blue/pink combo:
Baptisia australis/Gaura/Taro/Lobelia siphilitica/Dicentra
Still looking for something tall to put in the middle - may settle for more Taro if I can get it to grow large enough. Or I may try some Bamboo....ah well, I'll give it time this year, and maybe by the end of the growing season I'll have a better idea of what would look good back there.
Thursday, May 24, 2001Well, they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit (or break an old one.) I am amazed that I have managed to keep my journal going for 60 days now (okay, I cheated and went back in retroactive on a few days to fill in the blanks, but overall this is a first for me.) But it is becoming a habit, and I think I'll really appreciate having this record next year, when I'm trying to remember what to do, or NOT to do again!
The highs today are in the 70s, kind of overcast; we received a little rain overnight.
Need to turn the compost pile again; maybe I can talk Shea into helping me with it.
Wednesday, May 23, 2001Cool again today, and breezy. High in the 70s, lows in the 60s. They're calling for a chance of rain overnight. This weather is perfect for so many of the perennials I've set out - I was really worried that we were going to go straight into summer weather, and they wouldn't have any cooler temps to settle in.
My chelone arrived today from Debby - it looked WONDERFUL. I took it outside and set it in the spot where I tried to grow the other starts I received earlier this year. I think they'll do very nicely in this spot. It looks like the Dicentra spectabilis tubers are trying to set on roots (found out the hard way as I started digging around the edges of the area where they were planted.) Hopefully that means some shoots will show themselves soon.
Planted the rest of the Bergenia around the shade garden beds. I hope it will add some winter color when everything else is gone.
Planted the miniature iris from Bridget around the small pond. If I can get these to take off, I think they will be super neat in this area, and provide a good transition at the pond edge.
Also re-trimmed and used new rooting hormone powder on the rose cuttings. Hopefully they'll take off now. I think the other rooting powder was so old, it was probably worthless.
Debby also sent me some ornamental Oregano and some Blackberry Lilies, so I'll be planting those tomorrow.
Sent out more pond plants in trade today - have a few more to go, and I'll be about done.
Tuesday, May 22, 2001Cooler today - temps in the low to mid 70s, lows in the upper 50s. Felt so nice, but almost chilly when the sun went down.
Not much happened in the garden today - finally forced myself to stay inside and work on the house. Shelby's play was tonight, and in-laws came down for dinner and the play.
The cooler weather is supposed to continue through the week, so hopefully the berry plants will take hold with the break in the heat.
Monday, May 21, 2001Warm and muggy, high in the upper 70s, overnight lows in the 60s. The 5-day forecast is predicting much cooler temps, with highs in the low 60s the rest of the week.
It has rained off and on all day - not much real precip, but some nice drizzle. It's supposed to continue into the evening, followed by a cold front bringing us highs in the 60s/lows in the 40s for several days. That will be nice for the berry plants trying to get established.
Took a quick tour of the vegetable garden in between showers today - everything is looking good. The tomatoes are getting some size to them (they're still less than 1" in diameter, but they're getting there!) and the calendula, costmos, garlic chives, cilantro and dill are up in the herb bed, along with the basils. Still waiting for the sage, parsley and chives to take hold. Maybe this break in temps will help them.
With the cooler, rainy weather, I don't have much excuse for avoiding housework this week! Got 5 of the 7 strawberry co-op boxes to the PO today; still waiting on one check, and will mail the others tomorrow along with some pond plants that I'm trading. If the rain clears off, will definitely plant the Gaura and 2nd stand of corn tomorrow, along with the wild irises that are patiently waiting in their pot for me to plant them. May try to plant the mini canna plants I've started from seed, so they'll have a week of less hot temps to take hold.
Sunday, May 20, 2001Hot and sunny today - high in the 80s, and the humidity level was unbelievable. Overnight low in the 60s. Rain moved in about 8:15 this evening, and it's a steady drizzle so far, which we badly need.
Shea and I put mulch down between the new berry patch beds, so the area blends in much better with the rest of the garden.
We discovered the robin's nest in the grape arbor is now home to at least three small baby birds. Mama bird was getting frustrated with us working so close to the nest, as she was trying to feed them. Will try to remember to leave the area alone as much as possible until the birds are bigger.
Shea put tree fertilizer spikes around the fruit trees. He also cut down some of the dead limbs out of the purple leaf plum trees.
Tony tilled up the rest of the East Bed (between the a/c and the front of the house, and removed the rest of the landscaping mulch. I have Prunella vulgaris and Veronica to fill in a little there for this year - will plan more for it next season, when I have some time to think through the site's needs.
Everything in the vegetable beds is growing well - I need to get the second planting of corn in tomorrow if possible.
The Therese Bugnet rooted cutting is setting on new buds, hooray!
Watered the "found" rose bush, and noticed it has some spots; will try to find out what it has and treat it.
Saturday, May 19, 2001Cooler today - high in the 70s; overnight low in the 60s. Rain this morning, moved in about 8:30 and rained steady for about 45 minutes. Drizzled from about l1:30 to 1:00 or so.
Tony tilled up the "berry patch" area for me in between the rain and the ensuing drizzle. This was really good soil; I wonder if the Burton's had some top soil brought into this area, as it's definitely better than the other soil we encountered for the vegetable garden. Good thing, since these beds will be a lot more difficult to amend after everything's planted.
We worked in about 1/2 pound of Aluminum Sulfate into three of the four beds (each bed is approximately 7.5' x 2.5' or 16 sf total). Then I worked in 50 pounds of well-rotted (bagged) manure into the strawberry beds, and 40 qts. of mushroom compost and half a bale of peat into the blueberry bed. The fourth bed is empty until I can get some raspberry starts to set in there.
Shea and I planted the strawberry plants, each plant got a handful (1/3 cup) of 10-6-8 fertilizer worked in before it was planted. The blueberry plants were set in with about 3/4 cup of fertilizer in their planting holes. One of the plants already has berries on it, yeah!!!!
Purchased two Gaura 'Sisikiyou' (gallon sized pots) at Home Depot - can't seem to resist finding some "need to have" plant when I go in there, yikes! They finally had water hyacinths, but they're proud of 'em - $2.75 each. Will wait and see if I can't get some for trade or postage.
Friday, May 18, 2001Warm again today; high in the 80s, overnight lows in the 60s. Rain predicted for tonight into tomorrow and scattered storms through the weekend - we need it for sure.
Planted the caladiums along the back of the pond. Also set out the remaining dicentra and the Baptisia australis in the "corners" of this area. Hopefully those will take off and provide some height to the area.
Transplanted some narrow-leaf iris from the East Bed into the area around the "waterfall" to balance out the purple iris already growing on one side. Planted the Myosotis scorpiodes along the north edge of the pond in a low spot - hopefully it will stay moist. Will get some taro root from the grocery and try growing it along the very back of the pond and see how it does. Depending on how it does, I may end up purchasing alocasia/colocasia bulbs next year.
Thursday, May 17, 2001Warm today; high in the uppper 80s, lows in the 60s (getting in the 70s by 7 or 8 am.)
FIRST TOMATO - spotted today. On my Keepsakes (no surprise since they were planted first.) Yahoo!
Corn, beans, zucchini, cuks, watermelon, cantaloupes are all up. Shelby's flowers are sprouting, as are my Cosmos and Calendula.
Rain predicted tomorrow - at least a 30% chance. Sure hope we get some, as it could be a high water bill year otherwise.
Cleaned the pond filter - it was nasty again; that's becoming a 2x/week chore at this point, especially until we get the biofilter up and running. Looked for hyacinths yesterday at Lowe's; no luck.
Cleaning out the hummingbird feeder and filling it; hopefully we'll have some hummers buzzing around soon.
Wednesday, May 16, 2001Warm again today; high in the 80s, low in the 60s.
Lifted and divided lilies and irises for plant trades. Can't wait to get my plants in return!
Found some dwarf salmon colored cannas on sale at Walmart, so I went ahead and bought the box of four, and planted them in the spot I've been reserving for them. Will plant the two that seem to be surviving from seed, and hopefully I'll have corms to lift this fall.
In the vegetable garden, the runner beans are vigorously growing, the beans, zucchini, cukes and cantaloupes have all sprouted, as has the corn the basils, and a few other things. Definitely need to keep everything watered, with the heat and no rain for at least another 24 hours.
Should probably plan to plant the second corn bed by the end of this week or the first part of next week.
Tuesday, May 15, 2001Warm today; high in the 80s, low in the 50s. There's a high pressure system that's definitely boosting temps - Minnesota and Nebraska are experiencing record highs in the uppper 90s.
Planted most of the remaining plants in the East Bed. This may be the real test of our neighborly relations, once all these things start blooming. There's orangey-red Maltese Cross, with all my purple/blue/pink things: Baptisia, Veronica, Eupatorium, Echinacea, Verbascum, Dwarf Purple Aster, etc.
And I planted Ellen's Princess Feather, Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, and Summer Poinsettia in here, too. Yikes!
Shelby's scarlet runner beans are up, and a few vegetables and herbs are starting to peek through. Will continue daily watering until we get some rain.
Monday, May 14, 2001Overcast and warm today, high in the low 80s, overnight around 50.
Most of the day was spent on Shelby's fieldtrip, but I did get the crinum bulbs and Therese Bugnet rooted cutting planted, and the other cuttings sprinkled with rooting hormone and transferred to very moist soil around in a shady spot.
When I put in the crinums, I dug up the astilbe bulbs that had been originally planted there. They were probably buried too deep and the soil was too heavy, but they just weren't doing much. So they are now in the middle bed, near the Trilliums, and are buried in a shallow spot. I hope they take off in their new location.
Watered the deck plantings and the shade garden, will get everything else watered tomorrow.
Sunday, May 13, 2001Warm and sunny today; high in the 80s, overnight lows in the 60s.
After church, we got two scoops of black mulch and headed to Katie's for Mother's Day.
Tony and Shea placed the mulch in her front beds, and I planted five tomatoes for her, plus four peppers. I used Epsom salt in the tomato holes.
Her roses that we transplanted a few weeks ago are a little shell-shocked from their ordeal; I scratched in a side dressing of rose food, and watered them well. I'll re-fertilize in another month.
We then went to Ellen's for a few minutes, and I gave her some Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea) starts, and she gave me some lyrethum (Morden's Pink); Summer Poinsettia, Princess Feather and Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate starts. It was so nice to get our families together - the guys all hung out and chatted while Ellen and I did the tour of her yard.
Will plant out her gifts tomorrow.
Saturday, May 12, 2001Warm and overcast today, highs in the upper 70s, overnight lows in the 50s. No rain though.
A busy day of spring cleaning around here. Shea and I cleaned out the gutters (yuck), then Shelby and I planted some pink zinnia and blue batchelor's buttons seeds in a corner of her garden.
Shea and I then power-washed the front walk and stoop, and I followed him down the walk with a bucket of bleach water and the push broom. It made a tremendous difference in the appearance of the front of the house, plus it should eliminate the potential for slips-and-falls that the lichen and moss had created.
Tony hung my new trough, and we filled it with soil. I planted Helichrysum (Licorice plant), Jade Wizard coleus and Blue Moon lobelia in it. It's a very soft color combination, but I'm afraid it may be a bit too subtle and dark for the area - we'll see. I planted the tubs flanking the front door with more coleus, impatiens and caladium bulbs.
Tony and Shea worked to remove some of the dead and weaker limbs out of the front oak trees. Tony put down some more seed in the front lawn.
Friday, May 11, 2001Started raining early this morning, about 5:00 I heard it, but I don't know how long it had been raining before then - I'd guess we received an inch or more by 9 this morning. More rain is predicted for tonight, with the high today in the 70s.
Well, with the strawberry co-op closed, I need to get the strawberry beds ready this weekend. I also have some raspberries lined up for a trade, so that will give me blueberries, raspberries and strawberries - yeah!!!!!
Thursday, May 10, 2001Warm and sunny, high in the low 80s, overnight low in the 60s. Rain predicted for tomorrow night.
Took five tomato plants to the Robinsons, as a small thanks for letting us gather rock from their place.
This afternoon I finshed planting the garden, except for the 2nd and 3rd plantings of corn. It was a lot of work incorporating the gypsum into the soil, along with the mostly-finished compost I put on some of the beds.
So I'll be able to rotate crops next year, here's the record of what I planted where. Starting from the NE corner working North to South, the beds contain the following plants:
Bed 1.....Bed 2.....Bed 3.....Bed 4.....Bed 5
Bed 6.....Bed 7.....Bed 8.....Bed 9.....Bed 10
Bed 11...Bed 12....Bed 8.....Bed 13....Bed 14
Bed 1: Corn - 1st planting
Bed 2: Corn - 2nd planting
Bed 3: Corn - 3rd planting
Bed 4: Tomatoes - 2 each of 4 cherry/grape varieties
Bed 5: Tomatoes - Keepsake
Bed 6: Watermelon - Sugar Baby
Bed 7: Pepper - Tennessee Cheese and Blushing Beauty
Bed 8: Herb Bed - Chives, Garlic Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Flat Leaf Basil, Spicy Globe Basil, Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley, Creeping Thyme, Hyssopus officinalis, Agastache, White Sonata Cosmos and Calendula
Bed 9: Tomatoes - Brandywine
Bed 10: Tomatoes - Quik Pik (will be replaced with pumpkins after the tomatoes are harvested.)
Bed 11: Beans (Triomphe de farcy) & Cantaloupe (Luscious Plus)
Bed 12: Beans - Lima, bush style, Lemon Cukes & Amira hybrid Cukes
Bed 13: Tomatoes - Quik Pik; and Yellow and Green Zucchini
Bed 14: Shelby's Garden Bed - Teepee with Scarlet Runner Beans, radishes in between, and Cupid's Dart and Ipomopsis mix in the corners.
Even though they're calling for rain tomorrow night, I watered everything in, and used seaweed fertilizer on the new stuff to get it off to a good start. I used Miracle Gro on the tomato plants, as their lower leaves are looking a little yellow from being crowded together waiting to be planted.
Wednesday, May 9, 2001Sunny but not quite as warm today - high in the 70s, overnight low in the 50s.
After a long search, I finally settled on pelletized Gypsum, which is calcium sulfate 75% and sulfur 15%. I'm not sure if it will correct the soil as much as I'd like, but it won't raise the alkalinity, and will help condition the soil.
Sprinkled 40 pounds of it among the beds, and worked it into all but four beds; will do those tomorrow. Planted the tomatoes - all 32 of them. Have enough left over for Katie and Mrs. Robinson (the folks we got rocks from.)
Also planted flowers in containers on the deck - Petunias, Geraniums, Artemisia, Helichrysum, variegated vinca, Salvia farinacea, and Asarina.
Will plant the rest of the garden tomorrow; needed to stop to get ready for evening services.
Tuesday, May 8, 2001Cooler today - high only in the mid 70s. Felt really nice. Was overcast most of the day with light rain off and on. Lows in the 50s.
Planted the daylilies received in the co-op. Hope they do well!
Received the soil analysis today, and will round up some fertilizer tomorrow to try to correct the pH level - it's 7.9, which is on the high side. Hopefully I'll be able to get my tomatoes planted at the same time.
Monday, May 7, 2001Warm again today - high in the low 80s, overnight low in the 60s. This should be the last day of the heat wave for now; they're predicting the rest of the week will have highs in the 70s.
Shelby and I planted part of her garden (the scarlet runner beans, ipomopsis and catanache seeds.) We'll plant the rest of the garden later this week. Hopefully my soil analysis will come in tomorrow, so I can amend the soil before planting everything.
Sunday, May 6, 2001Warm again today - highs in the 80s, overnight lows in the 60s. Predicting rain tonight and chance of T-storms off and on for the next five days. Highs should be lower, in the 70s (will be great for getting the tomato and pepper plants set out.)
Fertilized the pond plants today with tablets. (Not cheap - $15 for 60 tabs, supposed to use 2 per gallon of soil each month during the growing season.) Hope this makes a difference in the vigor of the plants, especially the lilies.
The new rush is coming along nicely; stem is about 4" high already. The two pots of rush aren't dead after all; they're leafing out nicely.
Rearranged the plants to get the lilies at the appropriate depth, and used the irises to mask the area where the liner still shows.
Saturday, May 5, 2001Highs in the 80s, overnight lows in the 60s. Clouds moving in late in the day; rain may come as early as tomorrow evening, we hope.
Got up early and went to Wal-Mart for coffee filters. Couldn't resist buying some petunias and New Guinea impatiens while I was there!
Went to the Robinson's out at Rockvale and gathered several hundred pounds of rock to finish the pond. We have a few nice pieces left over; need to decide what to do with them. Filled the pond up as high as we could, and it looks so nice now, with the water coming up to the first layer of rock.
Planted impatiens, caladiums and bergenia along the perimeter; I can hardly wait for them to take hold and really bring the pond edge to life.
The peony bushes are bursting with blooms; two huge blossoms appeared today. They are white with a pale pink outside row of petals. So fragrant and beautiful!
The rose bush I "discovered" is covered with 2" carmine pink flowers. I really need to determine the variety one of these days! Will watch the canes that are layering, and plan to establish them as new plants as soon as possible.
Friday, May 4, 2001Well, warm and dry again. Highs still in the low to mid 80s each day, with overnight lows in the upper 50s/lower 60s.
Didn't get much gardening done today, as I went on a field trip with Brice's class. Did water the seedlings, as they were looking pretty parched when I got home.
Tony moved the underwater light to the smaller pond, and in the process, has managed to restrict the water flow to the spitter, which makes it work better. We also had to clean out the bubbler, as it was almost 100% blocked with algae and gunk inside the tube. Once we took care of the blockage, it works perfectly, and sounds so nice. The fish are spawning, so maybe we'll have babies this year after all!
HGTV finished filming the Beasley's yard, and the segment should air in December.
Thursday, May 3, 2001Warm and dry again; highs in the low 80s, lows in the upper 50s. Got the rest of the vegetable garden paths mulched, and added about 1/2" of compost to most of the beds.
Set out two Polemonium plants, two Heucheras, a six-pack of Myositis sylvatica and the "mystery" groundcover that Ellen gave me in the shade garden.
[September update - mystery solved - it's Japanese Anemone.]
I also transplanted a "Shaggy Shield Fern" from a clay-packed spot near the pond to a shady moist spot near the water spigot. It's a wonder that poor plant was alive at all; its tag indicates it needs rich, moist organic soil, and it was in a near-brick-like lump of soil. Also moved two smaller ferns from around the pond to a new area, with better soil. And I planted out the Astilbe arendsii I grew from seed, around the Tradescantia. I may need to move them if the Tradescantia becomes thuggish; I'll just let it have the area it's currently in.
We straightened up the carport and driveway in anticipation of the HGTV filming scheduled for tomorrow in the Beasley's yard.
The grape vines are loaded with grapes; we'll see how they do.
Wednesday, May 2, 2001Warm again today; highs in the low 80s, overnight lows in the upper 50s.
Finished setting in the raised bed boxes in the veg. garden. Started mulching the paths between them (ran out of newspapers, so will try to finish tomorrow). Still waiting for the soil test results before planting.
Tuesday, May 1, 2001Warm again today - in the 80s. Chance of rain is slight this afternoon.
Finished cutting away the yucca and tree around the newly-discovered rose bush. Also took down the fence, as it was so rotten, it was going to fall over any day.
The rose appears to be on its own root, and there are a lot of stems coming up. Have laid some over, and will attempt to propagate by layering. Once it's finished blooming, will cut out some of the weaker branches, especially if they haven't rooted.
Starting vegetable garden raised beds. Sure hope my soil analysis from UT comes soon, so I will know what to add before I start planting!
Monday, April 30, 2001Very warm again today - in the 80s. Cools down when the sun sets, though - was down to the mid 70s by 7:00, and into the 60s overnight.
Finished the bed nearest the carport and driveway, replanting the liriope grass and mulching the entire bed. Have lots of liriope left over; Tony's checking at work to see if we can get rid of some there. Will also plant any extra back in the compost area, and next summer or later this year, we may use it to renovate Katie's backyard around the pool.
A discovery - an extremely fragrant rose was growing along the dilapidated rail fence section on the west side of the yard....it was almost completely hidden by a volunteer tree and some overgrown yucca. Will cut down the yucca and the tree, and see what we have left.
Sunday, April 29, 2001Very warm today; highs in the low 90s; overnight lows in the 50s.
This afternoon, planted the rest of the Centranthus, Lychnis 'Rose Campion', Veronica longifolia, Hesperis, Salvia farinacea, Nicotiana and much of the Stachys in the bed around the smaller pond.
Tony dug up the pond and lowered it so that it's even with the ground. When he was done, I divided and moved the hosta nearest the carport to around the small pond, and also planted the Sedum matrona, Agapanthus, and Dutch iris bulbs around the edges. Tony and Shea hooked up the spitter in the small pond, and the light in the bigger pond (under the bubbler fountain.)
Saturday, April 28, 2001Warmer yet today - highs predicted for mid 80s. Overnight low in the upper 50s. No rain in the forseeable future.
Tony put down fertilizer/weed killer this morning. Also have diazinon to put down in the back yard to create a "zone" for the dogs - ticks are bad this year.
Dug landscaping fabric out from tree in secret garden area; found carpenter ants and/or termites underneath. Tony sprinkled a powder around the tree, around the pond and around the house in this area to hopefully avoid them moving elsewhere. Cut back the ivy into a more manageable clump, and fanned it out around the base of the tree on the north/west side.
Dug up the variegated liriope and placed along edge of garden on north side of tree. Looks better all together.
Shea trimmed back several branches from the tree and opened it up. Should keep tree limbs from falling in the pond, and allows in more light.
Planted trilliums, caladiums and more liriope in bed around tree, mulched everything. It's starting to take shape. One of the trilliums broke off when I separated it, so I planted the corm. Will see how they do. Also discovered some wild phlox (Phlox divarcata) growing near the smaller pond. It's another woodland plant, so moved it to the north side of the bench around the oak tree. Hopefully it will do better in this spot - has very pretty lavender flowers. Also planted the Thalictrum delavayi in the bed, near the claadiums. They're small, but the stems seem wiry.
It took four guys (neighbor, his brother, Tony & Shea), a mattock, axe, and a chain and the truck to pull up the crepe myrtle growing next to the carport, but it's gone. Whew!
The bed from the deck to the driveway is tilled. Added the leaf mold/compost before tilling to improve the soil. Will begin planting tomorrow, and hopefully the guys can get the smaller pond re-dug to be lower.
Friday, April 27, 2001Very warm today - high in the low 80s, overnight lows in the lower 50s.
Continued planting the bed around the deck with Veronica longifolia and more Lychnis 'Rose Campion'. Spread mulch around, and placed some narrow limestone along the edge to finish it off. Looks good.
Dug up the trilliums and the liriope that surrounds them; have placed them in water to loosen the soil so I can pry the roots apart. Will plant them out tomorrow.
Had trouble getting the tiller started - spark plug needed to be cleaned off. Added the compost from the city give-away to the garden; Tony will finish tilling everything in tomorrow.
Thursday, April 26, 2001Beautiful day - highs in the 70s, and lows in the upper 40s. Slight breeze.
Planted the bed nearest the deck with Digitalis mertonensis, Verbascum phoeniceum, Centranthus, Lychnis 'Rose Campion', Nicotiana Havana 'Apple Blossom', Myositis sylvatica and Impatiens balsamina. Spread mulch around new plants - really looking nice.
Neighbors gave me some purple water iris; will get them planted tomorrow. He's called his rock source, and I can go dig some up anytime.
Picked up tiller starter, and will hopefully get garden tilled tomorrow afternoon.
Went to city landscape give-away area near greenbelt and got a half truckload of compost and leaf mold. It's still a little hot, but we'll till it into the vegetable garden and hopefully it won't burn the plants.
Wednesday, April 25, 2001Highs in the upper 60s, overnight lows in the 40s. Took tiller starter in for repair; should have it back tomorrow afternoon.
Tuesday, April 24, 2001Cooler today - high in the 60s, overnight lows in the 40s. Taking tiller starter to be repaired, as it needs a new spring. Planted out the divisions that Ellen shared with me; most of them in the East Bed, the Perilla and Tradescantia in the shade garden.
Monday, April 23, 2001Purchased the lumber to create my new 4x4 raised beds in the vegetable garden. ($100 for all) Got all 13 boxes made (one will be 4x6 in the center). I was hoping to get the garden tilled again before the rains hit, but the starter pull cord broke, so now I've got to get that fixed before we can run the tiller.
Sent a soil sample to UT for analysis; should have the results in 7-10 days. Danny mentioned there is a place with free topsoil; will try to get a load of it and add to the raised beds. Then we'll need a truckload of mulch just for the paths, I can tell already.
The pond is clearing, but the clarifier was pretty useless; I think the water cleared by itself. Lots of murk on the bottom though - not a thick layer, but it's not pretty to look at. Will look at getting a vaccuum attachment for the shop vac.
Hopefully I can get some rock later this week; Danny is supposed to find out if his source still has some and if so, if I can come get some.
Warm and windy today - high in the 80s, and strong wind gusts all morning. Calmed down by afternoon, storms heading in later tonight.
Sunday, April 22, 2001Set the rock back around the pond, but since we've added the shelf, we need at least enough rock for one more course around the edge :(
Will try to locate some free rock if possible, although finding nice, smooth, even-thickness pieces can be difficult.
Weather was very nice - warm and slight breeze. Supposed to be warm again tomorrow and windy with a storm moving in tomorrow night.
Saturday, April 21, 2001Overcast this morning, with rain threatening, but never making it. Shelby and I drove to Elena's house today, and swapped plants with her - it was wonderful! Came home and Tony and Shea had emptied the pond, re-located the fish, and were busy digging out a shelf all around the edge so that we can get the water up to the stones and better hide the liner.
Got the shelf dug, placed carpet padding along the shelf and walls of the pond (secured with 12 gauge wire bent into "u" shapes, and patched the two holes in the pond. Smoothed the liner back into place and refilled the pond (had to finish tonight because they're calling for rain tonight and/or tomorrow morning.) There was some clay soil in the bottom of the pond, and now the water's pretty murky, but it'll settle out soon enough. Highs in the upper 70s, lows in the 60s.
Friday, April 20, 2001Cool and very windy today - highs were predicted to be near 80, but it stayed in the upper 60s. Scattered rain on and off this morning.
All the plants stayed last night, covered with a tarp. I lost my buddleia seedlings and a few others that were pretty small - shouldn't have left them out so soon. :(
Thursday, April 19, 2001Glad I covered those peonies last night - the tarp was stiff with frost this morning when I removed it. Brought in all the plants (that was a good move, too in retrospect.)
Started warming up around 10:00 this morning, and was quite nice by 1:00. Set out the plants this afternoon; will watch the news to see if I need to bring them in, cover them, or leave them alone tonight. Today's high was around 70; will be in the 80s by this weekend. Lows are supposed to be 40s/50s for the next week or so.
Wednesday, April 18, 2001Getting warmer again. Today's high is supposed to be 60, and wamer still each day for the rest of the week. Covered the peonies last night; will set back out the flats this afternoon.
Tuesday, April 17, 2001Cold - high in the upper 40s, and we actually had some snow this morning. The cloud cover should clear out, leaving us with an even colder overnight low than last night. Covered the peonies last night, since the flower buds are setting, and will probably cover them again tonight.
Monday, April 16, 2001Sunny, mild, but cooler weather is coming tonight.
Sunday, April 15, 2001Rain and strong winds early this morning - around 6:30. Lost power around 7 am, don't know what time it came back on (sometime after we left for church.)
Was supposed to rain all day, but it cleared off and was quite nice. Spent the afternoon in Lebanon, transplanting trees and shrubs, and helping with yard chores.
Saturday, April 14, 2001Laid 6x8 paved area in corner of garden. Formed the outside edges with treated lumber, then added pea gravel and sand to the base.
Lesson learned: when using the cast concrete pavers, be sure to turn them randomly to avoid having "seams" in the finished product. Had the whole thing laid with the pavers all running north then south then north, and realized it didn't look right. Had to pull them up and start again. Ugh! But it looks really nice now.
Also planted 5 dicentra/bleeding hearts in pond garden area, and transplanted some hosta.
Brought home a very full load (3 scoops) of mulch from Old Time Pottery (on sale for $7.50/scoop).
Highs cooler today -only in the 70s. But still very nice weather! Storms predicted for tomorrow.
Friday, April 13, 2001Brought home a load of pea gravel, and handcarried buckets full to the new path. Sprinkled them in between the cracks, and then brushed them in, then sprayed the whole thing with the hose. It looks really nice.
Warm today - high in the low 80s.
Thursday, April 12, 2001Laid the rest of the path around the pond and out through the arbor. Started raining this evening as I finished up. Will be able to add gravel between the stones tomorrow, and be done with this project, hoooray!
Very warm today - highs in the 80s.
Pruned last year's flowers from the Hydrangea quercifolia bushes, and discovered several new runners. Will pot them up and offer to neighbors and inlaws.
Planted my two clethra bushes in a new bed. They look great!
Wednesday, April 11, 2001Worked on stone path today - got about 2/3 of it laid (about 45 feet or so.) Will get more sand tomorrow, then lay the rest of the path. It's hard work, but it's turning out really nice.
Hot today -in the upper 80s. Nightime temps are very mild, so have set out the flats of seedlings to start hardening them off.
Tuesday, April 10, 2001Started the new garden paths. Hauled a half-ton of sand with the garden wagon, and started spreading it about 2" deep in the areas we've marked out.
Warm today - highs in the 80s.
Monday, April 9, 2001Dug up and divided the hydrangea bush in front of the carport. Was a very big task, but it's done. Transplanted the two halves into areas around the deck, giving a lot more balance to the beds there. The area where it was located will eventually become home to some rose bushes.
Sunday, April 8, 2001Shea tilled in the rabbit manure, and we finished the back rail of the deck and cut off the vertical posts. Power washed the deck, making a big difference in its appearance.
Warm today, so we ate outside this evening.
Saturday, April 7, 2001Sunny and breezy today. The top layer of plastic is tearing loose, and I didn't have time to go fix it. Hopefully it will be calmer tonight, and I can get it fixed tomorrow.
Worked on the deck today, replacing the bench back with railing to match the rest of the deck. Will try to get the beds around the pond tilled up tomorrow, and incorporate the neighbors' rabbit manure at the same time.
Friday, April 6, 2001Weather maintaining summerlike conditions - highs in the 80s, lows in the 60s. Some breezes today, and some breaks in the cloud cover.
Neighbors have offered their rabbit manure if we want it (of course we do!), so I'll go get it this weekend.
Thursday, April 5, 2001Well, we went from winter to summer overnight. Lows are in the 60s, highs in the upper 70s/80s. Cloudy, but no rain.
Wednesday, April 4, 2001Warm today, but cloudy. Supposed to clear off by tomorrow and get up into the upper 70s and 80s through the first part of next week. Will turn the compost pile on Saturday.
Tuesday, April 3, 2001Muggy, cloudy all day. Rained in a few spits and sputters, and that's about it.
Shea added more water to the larger fish pond, and got the pump cleaned out and going in the small pond. Maybe this weekend we'll be able to replace the liner in the big pond, and start working on the waterfall, too.
Vegetable garden: clouds = cooler temps under the plastic, but they're calling for highs in the upper 70s and 80s Friday-Tuesday, so we should be cooking good by then.
Monday, April 2, 2001Warm today - up in the 60s. Showers heading in tonight; chance of rain for the next couple days.
Vegetable bed continues to heat up nicely; would like to get a thermometer probe in there to read the actual temp, but I hate to puncture the plastic. Oh well, it's only four weeks until the plastic comes off.
Checked on the compost heaps; cool, but the manure seems to be breaking down. Will turn them again this weekend.
Pond liner has got to go; hopefully the forecasts will be accurate and Friday/Saturday will be a good time to work on it. Also need to start preparing new beds surrounding the pond, and get the paths settled.
Starting to bring out plants to harden off; will take them indoors when frosts threaten, but otherwise, they will start staying outdoors more and more.
Sunday, April 1, 2001Weather warmer and sunnier than predicted - highs in upper 50s.
Checked on vegetable bed, and the surface is very warm to the touch. Can't wait to be able to uncover it, and get planting at the end of this month!
Saturday, March 31, 2001Very cloudy, muggy day. Highs in mid to upper 50s. Has looked like rain all day, but none yet.
Weather is supposed to be nicer this coming week, with highs in the low 70s; may start working compost into beds around pond if it does.
Thursday, March 29, 2001Weather more mild - last night's lows were in the 40s, highs today in 50s. Cloudy all day, but no rain.
Potted up 36 tomato plants in paper pots. More to do tomorrow!
Wednesday, March 28, 2001Overnight temps were cold (in the 20s), but today should get into the upper 50s, with rain moving in tonight.
Need to add more water to the fish pond - (a regular chore until we get a new liner installed.) Fish are feeding regularly (have been for a couple weeks now.)
Tony says our plastic-covered vegetable garden looks more like a tobacco patch than anything else. Which probably explains why the neighbors kept looking at it so strangely last evening!
Heeled in some apricot-colored daylilies received in trade. Will move them later this spring, when the bed they're going in is ready.
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
Initial NoteThis is where I will keep notes on daily activities in and around the garden, and track information for the gardens, soil conditions, compost heaps, fish ponds, and ambient air temps.
Tuesday, March 27, 2001Cold last night - down in the 20s. High today near 50, although it felt warmer with the sun shining.
Shea, Brice and I covered the new vegetable garden with two layers of clear plastic, separated by 20 or so empty pop cans.
Raked up the remaining compost back into piles; we now have three smaller, active piles and one finished pile. Will try to turn them at least every other week until the growing season arrives.
Monday, March 26, 2001Cold today - high in the upper 30s.
Shea and I added 8 loads of compost from the piles to the new garden. Shea tilled it in, and it seems to be helping alleviate some of the stickiness of the clay soil. We'll cover the beds with plastic tomorrow.
The boys dug a trench all the way around the garden, so we'll be able to firmly anchor the plastic sheets - way to go, boys!
Sunday, March 25, 2001Chilly again today - highs only in the 40s.
Shea finished tilling the garden, but it's good 'ole gumbo clay, and really wet right now. We'll work in some of the almost-finished compost tomorrow before we cover it with plastic.
Saturday, March 24, 2001Chilly today; high in the 50s. Cloudy, but the clouds are supposed to clear out, and the nighttime temps will drop below freezing for the next several days.
Shea and Tony tilled up most of the new vegetable garden bed. The soil was pretty wet, so we'll try the rest tomorrow.
The photo below is a shot of the purple leaf plum and bradford pear trees in bloom.
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