Monday, September 20, 2004Cool this morning - overnight lows were in the 50s. Hurricane Ivan gave us a nice soaking last week, and the beds are still pretty wet, but not too wet to get out and pull some weeds and plant the things that came in from Bluestone.
Monday, August 2, 2004Hot again today. I spent time watering the Pachysandra out front (they're still struggling to take off...), sweeping the front walk, watering the potted plants, feeding the worms and making up more alfalfa tea.
THEN I had the bright idea to pluck three buckets (5 gallons each) of weeds from the veggie beds and cutting bed. Sigh...the heat will probably continue for another 6 weeks or more, so I guess I need to get my schedule rearranged and get out there earlier in the day!
Friday, July 23, 2004As I prepare to be gone for a week, I'm frantically picking tomatoes, mulching, watering and fertilizing the veggies and other plants, and generally readying them for a week of benign neglect.
Hot, no rain for a week, so everything has gotten a good soaking. Hopefully it will rain while I'm gone!
Thursday, July 15, 2004I sprayed the creeping charlie with borax. It is becoming a real problem in the side yard and in the back where my wildflowers are. This fall we need to declare an all-out war, and work on improving the soil, thickening up the fescue, and hopefully choking out the unwanted weeds from the turf areas.
Saturday, July 3, 2004In a word: Hot. Whew! 24 hours without rain (knock on wood) and boy was it ever blistering-hot. Worked outside for several hours, ridding the strawberry beds of the old crowns and the Bermudagrass that had taken over. The soil is still very moist, so I'll plan on getting plastic sheeting over the beds on Monday, and let them solarize until early September, then plan on re-planting with strawberries either late fall or very early spring.
The larger pond pump apparently got clogged and burned up the motor....grr. Replaced it with a 675 gallon/hour model. (Now to find some filters that don't cost an arm and a leg!)
Friday, July 2, 2004Found some 3" pots of 'Illumination' Vinca minor for $2.99 each, less a 25% discount because they looked pretty soggy and worse for wear from all the rain we've had. Brought them home, did a tip pruning to encourage some new growth and just for giggles & grins I'm going to try rooting the cuttings (dunked 'em in a diluted Vitamin B1 solution, then dredged them in some rooting hormone powder.) They look pretty sorry right now, but hopefully they'll pull through and perk up with some TLC. As soon as I can kill the grass beneath the Magnolia tree, these will go in there.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004June has been a month of rainy days - very unusual weather pattern, and one that I think everyone's tired of! The vegetable garden is doing pretty well (lots of tomatoes and even some eggplants setting on), but the bunnies have done a number on the more tender shoots (beans, etc.) coming up. Grrr....
Maybe July will be more seasonal ;o)
Saturday, June 19, 2004What a day! We started early with a load of mulch, came home and Tony grubbed out an old privet bush that was threatening to choke out the yuccas, then we began the task of digging planting holes for the new evergreens and ornamental grasses.
In the back, a Mahonia, gold thread-leaf Cypress, and a Picea glauca. Staggered in front of them is Miscanthus sinensis, Eryngium yuccifolium, Pennisetum (a green-leaved variety and a couple 'Rubrum'), Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah', and Phalaris arundinacea.
I also have some Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra' ("Blood Grass"), a Stipa tenuissima, and a couple more Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' to plant (the M. sinensis has yet to break dormancy; it was from Wayside's end-of-season clearance...) Hard to see much from this photo, but the bed is approximately 8' deep by 20' long, in a gently curved shape.
Saturday, May 29, 2004Highs today in the upper 80s, lows in the upper 60s.
We planted Shelby's flower garden today: 'Lilliput' zinnias, "Bunny Tails" grass, some Malabar spinach circling a bamboo pole, burgundy and yellow dwarf sunflowers, orange cosmos and some rose-colored Dahlias. There were already some Perilla seedlings and a Cerinthe (shrimp plant) in the bed, so it isn't completely bare.
Got it planted just in time for the "scattered showers" to hit. A nice rainstorm, hopefully won't wash away the seeds.
Next up: the rest of the flower garden, assuming it stops raining sometime soon!
Monday, April 12, 2004Easter Sunday, so no time to garden. Cloudy this morning, rained during church services, then cool (50s) and cloudy all day. More rain is coming tonight and tomorrow.
Saturday, April 10, 2004Cloudy all day, but still no rain. A bit cooler - high was in the low 60s. No real gardening today - too many other things going on.
Friday, April 9, 2004Spent most of the day in the wildflower plot, weeding and setting out the wildflowers that overwintered in the greenhouse (Mertensia, Aquilegia, Trilliums, Phlox, Polygonum, Hepatica, and several ferns.)
It freed up a lot of space in the greenhouse and spruced up the wildlfower area significantly. Still have one huge patch of "Creeping Charlie" that might just do me in, but as soon as the weekend rains have come and gone, I'll try to remove the rest of it.
Another really nice day - high near 70 and sunny. But rain is predicted for tonight and the next several days, followed by a brief coldsnap next week.
Thursday, April 8, 2004Weeds, weeds, weeds. Ugh. Spent a few hours this morning trying to weed around the Sweet Woodruff in the front bed (I won't be so meticulous with the rest of that bed, but I did want to get the weeds pulled from around those plants so when I spray roundup on the rest of it, I'll know where to NOT spray.) A gorgeous day - sunny, and a high in the 60s.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004Fairly nice today; high in the mid to upper 40s (and sunny, even!) But it's supposed to get down to the mid-20s overnight :(
Monday, February 9, 2004Filled up the big propane tank for the third time this year - $23.00
Cool (40s) and overcast, but it's supposed to be fairly nice overnight.
Sunday, February 8, 2004Chilly but sunny today; high in upper 30s. They're predicting snow next week :(
Saturday, February 7, 2004It seems like all I do these days is turn the heater "on" or "off" - not much else to do, at least for a few more days. (Next week is seed-starting time - woohoo!)
Friday, February 6, 2004Rainy and cool; kids out of school due to flooding from the past two days' rain. Took the propane tank to fill it, and the truck died (and had to be towed) Sigh...
Thursday, February 5, 2004Lots and lots more rain today; school dismissed early because of the rising water in so many local creeks.
Wednesday, February 4, 2004The rains predicted have begun; it looks like it's going to be a few days of heavy downpours.
Tuesday, February 3, 2004Cool today; rain and/or sleet predicted for the next few days.
Sunday, January 18, 2004Rainy and cool today; last night's low was only in the 40s, but it may get down to 20 tonight, and in the teens later this week. Still spending time getting my seed-starting list ready :)
Saturday, January 17, 2004Partly cloudy, off-and-on drizzle, and a little breezy today but still got up in the 50s. My Park Seed order arrived today - woohoo!
Friday, January 16, 2004Fairly warm again today - high in the mid 50s. Working to get my seedbox organized and my list of to-do's ready.
Wednesday, January 14, 2004Surprisingly sunny again today, although it may rain tonight.
Placed my JL Hudson order:
Asperula orientalis $2.50
Crambe maritima $3.00
Fragaria 'Reugen' $2.00
Rodgersia aesculifolia $3.00
Tomato 'Nebraska Wedding' $2.00
Corn Salad 'Vert de Cambra' $1.00
Lettuce 'Oak Leaf' $1.00
Tuesday, January 13, 2004Sunny, again. Another day in the mid- to upper-50s. It was getting too warm in the GH, so I propped open the door and set the fan on low to move the air around.
Spent much of the afternoon weeding the veggie garden. Here's my tentative plan for the beds
1 - Lettuce followed by watermelon & bush beans*
2 - Lettuce followed by cantaloupe & bush beans*
3 - Pumpkin & zucchini & radishes (late bush beans*)
4 - Corn (1st planting) + okra**
5 - Corn (2nd planting) + okra**
6 - Cucumbers (vertical) and 3 eggplants
7-12 Tomatoes (36 plants), surrounded by borage and marigolds
13 - Bell peppers (6) surrounded by onions
14 - Peppers (hab & Anaheim) + tomatillo plant + onions
15 - Beans (tower) and Bush winter squash
* Since these beds are on the edge of the garden, I'm going to plant the hill of melons to the outside half, place black plastic on the adjoining turf, and allow the vines to spread out on the plastic. This will let me smother the bermuda in anticipation of new beds next fall.
** Instead of planting okra around each crop of corn, I think I'll plant a single row of ~6 plants along one side of each bed, and plan on harvesting a smaller quantity of okra.
Build a bean tower that is smaller than the rustic poles we've used up til now. Here's one idea:
//www.wrcla.org/cedarprojects/obelisks/rusticbean.asp and here's a ready-to-purchase model (18" square x 65" tall) //www.gardeners.com/sell.asp?ProdGroupID=18388&cmCategoryID=9 - I don't know why we couldn't make one from 1" PVC (use 3-way connectors to make a square at the top, then spray paint it dark green and add eyelets to run twine thru. As long as the top can disconnect, it can be stored fairly easily)
Still need to dig up the existing strawberries and obtain new compost for the beds. I'm planning on trying some alpine-type strawberry plants from seeds, which I can plant around the blueberry bushes.
Monday, January 12, 2004Sunny and warmer here today.
Got my Park's seed order in:
Zinnia Red Spider ($1.95)
Squash Cornell's Bush Delicata ($1.95)
Sugar Plant (Stevia) ($2.95)
Alternanthera Purple Knight ($3.95)
Petunia Double Cascade mix ($2.75)
Coleus Carefree Mix (Oak-leaf type) ($1.95)
High Yield Red Tomato Mulch 18"x25' ($5.95)
Plus five packets - whatcha wanna bet one of 'em will be cantaloupe???)
Sunday, January 11, 2004A bit warmer today - back into the 40s. I don't think I'll have to run the propane heater tonight, or for the next few nights (yeah!) If the highs for the next few days are as-predicted, it should be nice enough to get out and clean out the veggie beds a bit, as well as straighten up the GH.
Saturday, January 10, 2004Cool today (so what's new?) only in the upper 30s. We finally got the Xmas trees down, and I've gotten serious about my seed orders. Looks like TGS for tomatoes and peppers, JL Hudson for a few ornamentals and OP vegetables, and possibly Park's for the remainder. (Not that I need much else, from the looks of my seedbox!)
Friday, January 9, 2004Another January day - cold, but no snow or any precipitation. Just cold. Brrr. Did I say it was cold? lololol...I don't think it got above freezing. In my darting back and forth from house to car to house to greenhouse, I did take a second to note the pond is still doing okay with the waterfall running. Hopefully we'll get a break from the cold by early next week. (Oh for highs in the upper 40s again!)
Thursday, January 8, 2004Cold again today - rain/sleet predicted for tonight (but the overnight low will be better than the last couple of nights.)
Since it's been so cold, I've used the time to go through my seedbox and catalogs to come up with the list of tomatoes to grow out this year (guaranteed to change/expand over the next few weeks):
Marianna's Peace (redux: last year they got wiped out by a tornado and monsoon-type rain)
German Red Strawberry
Dr. Carolyn Male
Aunt Ruby's or Evergreen Emerald...
Caribbean Red (hotter-than-habs)
Numex Big Jim
Wednesday, January 7, 2004Still cold here today - I don't think the thermometer rose above 30. I turned off the propane heater as soon as the sun came out (the one saving grace of the day), and the GH stayed a comfy 50-60 all day. As soon as the sun went down, it was a different story, though. One more cold night and then temps are supposed to fluctuate closer to normal!
Tuesday, January 6, 2004Well, tonight has the distinction of being the coldest of the winter - low should get into the very low teens. Brrrrr.
I filled the propane tank (it was two-thirds full, come to find out) and fired up the propane heater only to discover the silly thing won't stay burning. I don't know what the problem is, but we made a quick dash to Lowe's for a replacement. I got a tank-top style heater ($40, and lower BTU's, which is what I needed anyway.) The good news is that it's supposed to burn for 40-some hours on a 20# tank, which means I'll get several more days from each tank than I did in the past.
I also broke down and placed an order with Dutch Gardens for several new things this year:
Ligularia 'Britt Marie'
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
Dahlia 'Tout a Toi'
With a discount, it came out to $41 for ten plants/bulbs, so not a bad deal, all around...)
Monday, January 5, 2004The last warm day for a litle while, I think. Starting to think ahead to seed planting time, and I really need to get my seedbox straightened out, lolol.
I also need to get this poor GH straightened up - what a mess with all the tender plants shoved in. As soon as we get a halfway warm day, I'll spend a few hours moving everything around (hate to open and close the door a lot when the temps are as low as predicted...)
Sunday, January 4, 2004Extremely windy (for here) today - and warm again (high in the 70s.) Supposed to turn cold by tomorrow night or Tuesday, so I'll need to get the propane tank filled ASAP.
Saturday, January 3, 2004Another unseasonably warm day, and sunny to boot! High was somewhere around 70, and even with some wind gusts, it was a great day to be out and about.
I spent some time last night looking for pond deicers (and reading up on all the tips/techniques for keeping an open spot in the pond all winter. Until we make a decision on a deicer, we reconnected the pump, elevated it above where it normally sets, and will try running it unless/until an extended cold spell sets in.
Since we were around the pond, I braved the cold water (at least with my arms) and cleaned out as many of the leaves as I could grab. Still too many on the bottom for my comfort level, but every bit helps.
I also watered the plants in the greenhouse, and cleaned the now-dead lantana from around the mailbox.
Friday, January 2, 2004Warm and rainy - the overnight low was in the 50s, and today's high was a near-record 68. The rains came early this morning, and it was overcast all day, with more rains expected tonight or tomorrow.
Spent part of the day looking for strawberry plant sources - not much luck, I'm afraid. Some places to check back on:
Simmons - //gardenwatchdog.com/c/978/ (TN Beauty is $6/25, plus s/h)
Allen - //gardenwatchdog.com/c/113/ their site is not working currently, but they used to sell Suwannee and Tenn. Beauty
Ison's //gardenwatchdog.com/c/1023/ $8.25/25, plus s/h
Wallace Woodstock's //gardenwatchdog.com/c/2196/ - has Honeyoye for $7/25 plants, plus $5 s/h
A 4-H group that sells certain varieties each year: //188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:XogsO9KJTUQJ:armstrong.extension.psu.edu/4-H/Newsletters/Strawberry%2520form%25202003.pdf+strawberry+plants+order+4-H&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
Thursday, January 1, 2004
Initial NoteA new year, a new journal. And a new resolve to keep this one updated with thoughts, ideas, plans, discoveries, triumphs (and failures) this year!
Thursday, January 1, 2004I got my New Year's off to a good start by spending last evening perusing the latest seed catalogs to come in, mainly JL Hudson's. I need to go through my seedbox and figure out what I have before I start ordering willy-nilly.
'04 is coming in like a lamb, with un-seasonal temperatures in the upper 50s this week, and overnight lows in the 40s. It's been so nice, the bluebirds have been hovering nearby. I hope they don't get too excited - the weather is suposed to do an abrupt shift next week, and lows will drop into the teens.
Until then, there are no excuses to not get outside and finish the fall cleanup that came to a halt when the holidays arrived.
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