Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Lawn Photos

It's been a while! Well, I'm back now!

Very shortly, I'll release the feeding schedule for the lawn and gardens for the year, but I'll wait until I'm sure the weather isn't going to flip on me again and warm up severely for a while. If it does, I may have to tap a bit more winterizer onto the lawn.

For now, photos will have to do.

First, the standard shot. The color is good to excellent, quality is excellent.
IMG 3579

This is down the front yard to include the neighbors' lawns. There's no color comparison, although they all look pretty good for early December. If you look closely at the far point near the corner in mine, you'll see a sizable knockout area where I killed out some P. annua (it was cold enough at the time that I doubted Tenacity would work). That will fill back in next April.
IMG 3580

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August Lawn Photos

Plus some garden photos just for fun, of course. Spraying ferrous sulfate already resumed for the season as temperatures started to drop, so the colors have darkened considerably. They'll continue to darken through September and October as the sun weakens and temperatures drop.

As always, click on any image to embiggen it.

First, the standard lawn shot:
Img 3561

I stood back pretty far to get in the rear garden and a better shot of the lawn. This gives more of an impression of how the lawn looks than most other shots do.
Img 3563

The southern face, including a rather healthy crepe myrtle. Perhaps the most unusual thing here is that I have a healthy crepe myrtle in Pennsylvania.
Img 3559

The southern side of the western garden. Things are a touch faded right now, but they'll be back shortly.
IMG 3558

Around the curve of the western garden.
Img 3557

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Late July Garden

I took these images some time ago but never posted them. Here they are! The gardens are doing extraordinarily well this year, probably from enhancing the potassium levels.

As always, you can click on any image to embiggen it.

A general garden shot from the path:
Lawn and Gardens 07 28 2012 (3)

The front face of the western garden:
Lawn and Gardens 07 28 2012 (4)

The front face from the other direction:
Lawn and Gardens 07 28 2012 (9)

The new Yellow Bird magnolia is very happy, happy enough to be sending a few out of season blooms:
Lawn and Gardens 07 28 2012 (11)

Lisianthus are gorgeous, but difficult to grow and take forever to develop from seed. For next season's garden, I'll start these in December or late November:
Lawn and Gardens 07 28 2012 (6)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

SumaGreen Update

Bottom line: Ineffective.

At week 7.5, and with two full applications down (at start and week 6) at the recommended rate, there is no difference from control in the following areas:

* Heavily fed main lawn
* Moderately fed back line
* Lightly fed tri-mix lawn
* Unfed tri-mix lawn

There were no differences in color, growth rate, density, quality of lawn, or drought resistance in any area.

This photo shows areas with and without SumaGreen. There is no visual difference, and the green lawn wasn't completely treated. Neither was the dormant neighbor's lawn.

IMG 3522

July Photos

Things are doing pretty well for the current short-term drought we're in. I've applied sawdust and soap to the lawn in an effort to increase water penetration and decrease the amount lost to the dry winds. So far that's worked beautifully.

Here's the standard shot, with spot watering in progress. This is the one point the irrigation system doesn't reach well when the gardens are mature. If you look toward the bottom of the shot, you'll see some small drifts of sawdust, too. As always, click any image to embiggen it.

IMG 3520

The gardens are doing very well this year:

IMG 3515

IMG 3519

Here's a Magellan Scarlet zinnia. They're not really scarlet, more of a cherry color, but that's red enough for me:

IMG 3526

At this rate, the pottery fairy will be buried by August. Growth and development really have been extraordinary:

IMG 3531

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June Photos and SumaGrow Update

I took photos earlier than the normal time today so the color of the lawn is a bit lighter than it would be otherwise.

As always, click on any photo to embiggen it!

The basic standard shot.  Color is fair, but quality and density are incomparable this year!
Img 3477

The "standard" garden shot, off the southwest face.
IMG 3480

The Double Knockout red rose is finishing up its first bloom and throwing the buds for the second. I think the potassium I've added has really encouraged this bush as I've had to trim it twice this year so far!
IMG 3484

These Asiatics don't generally blossom until the end of June, but the winter was so light and spring so warm and wet I'm not terribly surprised.
IMG 3488

Some of the more unusual marigolds are visibly extremely happy!
IMG 3496

Now the SumaGrow update photos. At each point in these three images is a control area--either with no SumaGrow, or with an area of SumaGrow in them. At no point can I pick out any difference by eye or on these images. This is week three since application.

Img 3486

Img 3490

Img 3494

Monday, May 28, 2012

SumaGreen: Two Week Update

It's actually Day 18+ on the SumaGreen addition.  I applied 2 ounces per thousand on May 11th.  This is an initial evaluation, with the main one around day 30 and an additional one during summer to measure drought resistance with respect to the weather.

There were five test areas, with each report below:

Control Area:  About five hundred square feet on the back line, fed organically at less than half the rate of the main lawn.    Lawn quality is excellent, color is OK.  There have been no changes to this area over the last two weeks.

Back Line:  Maintenance as the control area, except that I applied 2 ounces of SumaGreen.  Quality is excellent, color is OK.  No change.

Main Lawn:  Organically heavily fed, with kelp, humic acid, and iron regularly applied.  Quality is extraordinary, color is good.  No change.

Gardens:  Organically moderately fed, synthetically lightly fed, heavily mulched with hardwood.  I regularly apply kelp and humic acid.  There are many species of zinnia, marigold, verbena, Convulvulus, statice, Melampodium, celosia, salvia, and a large number of perennials.  Growth rate, quality, and blooming are very good, flower  color is excellent.  There are no visible changes from the SumaGreen application.

North neighbor:  I applied over about a hundred square feet over the line.  The lawn is mowed regularly and fed by TruGreen.  Color and quality are poor.  There is no change in the SumaGreen applied area.

South neighbor:  I applied over about a hundred square feet over the line.  The lawn is mowed regularly but never fed.  Color and quality are poor.  There is no change in the SumaGreen applied area.

While it's too early to evaluate at this point, the initial indications are that SumaGreen has no positive effects for at least the first two weeks.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Late May Photos

The lawn is doing exceptionally well this year except for color. This photo is post iron spray the last two days.

The gardens are flourishing even more than normal! The photos below are at one week old.

As always, click any image to embiggen it.

Post iron spray, color has improved here. I certainly have no complaints about density or growth rate!
Img 3447

Week one photo:
IMG 3452

A garden friend coming to visit (and eat my plants, but that's a risk I'm willing to take):
IMG 3461

Some very happy columbine blossoms:
IMG 3466

An equally happy yellow Magellan zinnia:
IMG 3450

Its friend, a scarlet Magellan zinnia (the color is a bit on the orange side as opposed to a pure scarlet, actually):
IMG 3468

And a yellow Knockout blossom. There are about 200 others on the bush that look just like this one:
IMG 3459

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May Photos and Experiment

The May photos for the lawn and gardens are below. The gardens were just planted, so as always this early in the season look rather sad and sparse. This will rapidly change.

I'm trying SumaGreen Turf on the lawn and gardens this year, a biological product with many different types of bacteria in humic acid. I had wanted the reference shots for today as I applied late in the day yesterday. Changes should take place over the next four weeks.

As always, you can click on any image to increase the size.

The May lawn. Density and growth rate are both excellent, although color isn't wonderful at the moment. I haven't had much time to keep up with the spray iron.
Img 3428

The purple rhododendron, which seems to be very happy where it is. It's tripled in size in the last two years.
IMG 3437

The magnolia bloomed nicely earlier, and the rose bush behind it should be along shortly.
IMG 3438

Newly-planted gardens always look sparse, and I just finished this yesterday.
IMG 3444

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cracked Corn Down!

I got motivated and dropped the cracked corn on the lawn immediately. I've applied 20 pounds per thousand square feet.

Cracked corn is a fairly mild and gentle anti-fungal for the lawn, as it encourages Trichoderma fungi which will hunt other surface fungi.

As a feeding source, it's extremely light. All told, it works out to 0.33 pounds of nitrogen per thousand.

This Year's Prices

I finally made it to the grain mill today! Cracked corn was $9.23 per fifty pound bag, down $0.04 or 0.04% from last year. Soybean meal was $12.47, up $0.20 or 1.6% from last year.

All in all, prices are pretty reasonable for 2012 so far.