Sunday, September 19, 2010


The lawn is having some slight issues coming back from this summer's damage. Root growth has been excellent from what I can tell, but top growth is slow and spreading is very slow.

So I applied 4 pounds per thousand of 29-0-4 (4.8% of that is slow release nitrogen) today and I'm currently watering it in. It works out to just about exactly a pound of quickly available nitrogen per thousand square feet.

The weather is still a bit on the warm side for grasses, and very warm for late September. Our daily high today was 82°, with estimated highs ranging from 73° tomorrow to 83° on Wednesday. That's limiting the lawn's recovery, but we're also running out of time. While frost and freeze may be late, I don't think they'll be all that late.

I could be wrong about that. I hope I am.

I should see the initial impact from this application by Tuesday or Wednesday, with faster growth continuing for a number of weeks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seed Starting

I'm putting together a seed-starting unit for next spring. Every year, I need about seven full flats of annuals in the gardens, and our local nurseries always have the same old things available. This will give me a lot more latitude on what I add, although some of the old favorites will still make an appearance.

Seed Starter-Lights Off

That's the unit, a standard shelf with open gridwork for air and light transmission between the levels. I hung a T12 work lamp on each level, with 2 40 watt bulbs in them. One warm white and one cool white should give a good enough spectrum for seed starting and initial growth. With minimal distance over the sprouts, I should have around 1,000 foot-candles. That's a bit low, but should be workable.

I put aluminum foil behind the unit for additional light reflection. Mylar would probably be better, but I had Reynolds Wrap on-hand!

I've been collecting seeds from the garden for storage. At the moment, I have Melampodium (Showstar), Bonfire salvia (although they probably reproduced with the Red Hot Sally), and French marigold seed (of random colors as I have a wide mix).

Germination testing on the Melampodium is going well. I suspect the others require a dormancy period before testing, so I'll try those in December or January, early enough to order seeds if they fail.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September Lawn/Garden Photos

The lawn came through the (very) hot summer pretty well, although there are some scorched areas that are recovering. The gardens seem to be about three weeks ahead of their normal point, so I've been progressively removing plants that are reaching the end of their lifespans. What remains looks fairly shaggy for September, but seed production has been quite good.

Oddly, some volunteer plants that normally wouldn't begin to sprout until next year have already begun in the garden. Those will die out at frost.

As always, you can click to embiggen any photograph. Once on the PhotoBucket site, clicking again will make it larger still.

Here's the standard shot. Color is fair to middling for September, but starting to improve as the season cools and rain comes a bit more often:

Lawn 09.15.2010

Again, I found this amusing. The property line is sharp and there's definitely no doubt of where it is. There's some slight dormancy in here, but that's reversing:

North Face 09.15.2010

Here's a photo of the garden. You can see the marigolds are giving up fast, but the salvia and cannas are doing well:

Back Garden 09.15.2010

Bonus image! A nearly perfect aster (with a beetle of some sort noodling around in it):

Aster 09.15.2010

Another bonus! An almost-perfect beetles on this one!

Rose 09.15.2010