Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spring's Almost Done...Almost!

Today was the day that 12 flats of annuals finally came out of the cellar and went into the most shadowed portion of the garden to begin hardening off (click to embiggen):

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Throughout the next week or so, I'll move the flats outward into the sun.  Right now, the most tolerant plants (marigold and zinnia, mostly) are at the front where they'll receive some late afternoon sunlight.  By the end of next week, all the plants will be in the sun.  Our temperatures at night through the period won't go below forty, and usually stay well above that.  I'll pull them in if there's a frost projected, of course.

While that heralds the start of official garden summer, spring isn't done just yet. The tulips, those that remain, are in bloom.  And you can see I seriously need mulch in this area...

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Bonus photo!  Our new puppy, Riley, rather enjoys the lawn.  This was the lawn just after I chopped up the spring trash for the compost bin, so it's a bit of a mess.  The robot is out mowing it now.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring's Still Springing

The Cleveland pear tree finally bloomed on Friday.

Pear Tree Blooming 04 19 2013 (1)

If you look closely at the grass, you'll see a fair bit of Poa trivialis, now turning pale and frightened from the Tenacity I sprayed it with.  I'll need to follow up with another spray, but the vast majority will turn ghost-white and then die.

I did get my soil results back--a lower than expected pH from low calcium levels was the worst problem, along with a minor boron shortage.  I started the correction on the calcium levels today with 5 pounds per thousand square feet of Jonathan Green Mir-A-Cal, probably the most effective and fastest calcitic lime on the market.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring has Sprung!

"The first day of spring and the first spring day can be separated by as much as a month."  --common local saying, original author unknown.

It's true, too, although this year didn't take quite a full month to move into the swing of things.  We've already had two rather warm days and several very nice ones, with the upcoming week looking beautiful.

Still, after a long, cold, and rather dreary winter this year, it's nice to see the gardens moving along. As always, click on any image to embiggen it!

The back bed of daffodils are doing well:

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These Scilla siberica are doing very nicely as well!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pre-Emergent Down!

It's a little early in Pennsylvania, but the pre-emergent went down last weekend.  I use generic Barricade (prodiamine), so the pre-emergent duration is very long anyway.  At this point, I'm definitely covered into late October.  I'll add a bit more in September or so to come up to my yearly allowable amount (1.5 oz per acre equivalent) and protect the lawn and gardens through December.

Historically, I've found Barricade to be about 90% effective against the worst weeds that I want to stop--most notably, P. annua and P. trivialis.

While I was at it, six ounces per thousand square feet of whole milk went down.  It seems to enhance performance just a bit, although I wouldn't bother unless you've already had your soil tested and the soil tuned to optimum resources.

I took my soil tests some time ago.  Now I just have to send them off.  I'll get there.

I did find a few P. annua patches in the lawn, and I've since sprayed those with Tenacity (synthesized bottlebrush plant extract).  They should start dying in ten days to two weeks, although a complete kill in spring is difficult.  At the very least it'll control the issue until fall when I can get a reliable kill.

I absolutely must take lawn and garden photos for posting.  The last two warm days have accelerated things here amazingly, and the daffodils are in full bloom.