Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An Unusual Frost

I've been spending plenty of time putting in my annuals for the last few days. Right now, I have most of 5 gardens done out of 9 total, with two of the heavy-hitters done already. There are still two larger gardens to go, but at least the other two are considerably smaller.

Naturally, we went under a frost warning last night and this. I picked up a neat trick some years ago, although I don't remember where. Something's telling me that it was from Watch Your Garden Grow on NBC in the morning, but I could be wrong.

Regardless. I set my watering system to water for 3 minutes at 2 AM, 4 AM, and 6 AM. The water is fifty degrees, which is more than enough to warm the leaves, and water takes a long time to lose heat. As it freezes, it releases even more heat, limiting the damage to the plants.

If you don't have a watering system, water heavily before the sun goes down. That will carry some of the heat up top down below, plus inject enough water to get you through until morning. Of course, if temperatures dip well below freezing, nothing will work. For very delicate plants, it may not work, and in windy conditions it dries off fast and may cause more issues than it solves.

If you're reading this on a frosty night and the sun's already down, water anyway. It'll still help.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Poa Annua and Feeding

When it rains, it pours. The triv died out, but I got a massive incursion of annua from last fall's reseeding. I had to wipe that out with Round Up, so I now have tons of little dead areas in the lawn. Fortunately, May is spreading month for Kentucky Bluegrass, so they should fill in fairly well.

The lawn, where it isn't in a dead spot, is a beautiful dark green. I'm hesitant to photograph it because the dead spots make it look terrible. Well, maybe this weekend I will.

I just applied 150 pounds of soybean meal, or just over 20 per thousand square feet. That's about 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per thousand, 0.2 of phosphorus, and 0.4 of potassium.

The gardens are coming back nicely and I put the cannas in last weekend. It's a little early, but the coldest weather we have on the docket for the next two weeks is 40 degrees.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Soybean Meal

Today was the first application of soybean meal, but just a little snack for the lawn. I put down 50 lbs, or about 7 lbs per thousand square feet. It's supposed to rain this weekend, so I jumped the gun a little bit.

The remainder won't go down for 2 weeks so it's available during May.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Poa Trivialis and Confessions of an Organicist

I have a moderate incursion of Poa trivialis (okay, it could be P. annua but I'm not inclined to do a precise's one or the other). And I just broke down and spot-sprayed all of it with Certainty herbicide.

So much for 100% organic this year. However, if I let that go it'll beat up on my new grass. That's not acceptable.

No, I'm not taking photos. The lime green incursion into the darkening lawn is awful.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


The grass is starting to come back, but it hasn't grown through the dead layer yet in most places. At least the patches where it has are growing larger. Given the on again, off again weather, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

This month's fertilization is 140 pounds of Milorganite (the other 20 went into the gardens), so about 20 lbs per thousand square feet of grass. I'm calling it 1.2 lbs of organic nitrogen, 0.4 lbs phosphorous, and no potassium. There's an additional 0.8 lbs of iron in there as well.