Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Very Slow Recovery

We had a near-frost event last Sunday, and a frost last Monday.  The gardens took some damage, including the loss of around ten plants that were the least protected.  Another twenty or so frost-burned.

I replaced the ten lost plants, but recovery on the twenty burned (but living and otherwise healthy) plants has been very slow.

When this happens to you, inspect the plant closely.  If the leaves under the burned leaves are still green, there's hope.  Remove the damaged leaves (the leaf is rarely damaged back to the stem on a light frost, and you can leave the green part of it if you want).  It may take a day or so until all of the damage is apparent.

Water well the next morning, and don't feed just yet.  Hold feedings until the weather returns to a more-normal pattern, then resume normally.

This frost was severe enough that recovery is quite slow on most of my plants.  Those that were burned still look fairly badly off a week later.  They should recover, but it does delay those sections of the gardens by at least a week.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The First Feeding

This year, I'm performing an experiment.  I didn't feed the lawn at all this spring--normal if you feed synthetically, but all my feedings are organic except the winterization one in late November.

As of a few days ago, the lawn is starting to lose a bit of color, so it was definitely time.  What I put down now won't activate for about three weeks anyway, so I should see an improvement after Memorial Day.

So I trundled off to the local grain mill and bought 300 pounds of soybean meal.  The target was to have half of that down today.

I missed the target by about 20 pounds, which is completely my fault.  However, I'll divert that last 20 pounds to the June garden feeding.

Still, 13 pounds per thousand (130 pounds total on the lawn) gives a bit over 0.9 pounds per thousand square feet of nitrogen, more than enough for a spring feeding.  The next scheduled feed won't be until August first, to take effect in late August just as the temperatures start to drop.

The gardens get fed monthly through the season with at least half a pound of organic nitrogen per thousand per month, and sometimes up to a full pound of N.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Start of (Solar) Summer!

May fifth was the official start of Solar Summer, the twelve weeks of the year with the most sunlight.  Solar fall officially starts on August 5th.

I actually jumped the gun on Solar Summer by a whole day and started planting my gardens the morning of the fourth.  Seven hundred and fifty annuals later, I'm done (the last hundred and fifty go to my mother for her garden).

Spring isn't quite done for yet.  As always, click on any image below to embiggen.

This is a double daffodil, which blooms rather late.  They're usually the last of the daffodils in the garden, and the patch isn't into full bloom just yet.  They'll finish up in about ten to twelve days or so.

Img 0051

I can't for the life of me remember what these are offhand.  But they sure are pretty!

IMG 0058

While Spring...er, springs...summer is also coming into play.  The first marigolds, just transplanted a few days ago, are in bloom and should stay that way for most of the summer.
IMG 0061

Ageratum is a garden favorite for me.  Strangely, most people tell me they have some difficulty with it, whereas mine get huge and bloom constantly.
Img 0048

Red zinnia are another favorite.  Last year's got somewhat hit by fungus, but I'm hopeful that this year will be better.  This particular zinnia is a Giant Scarlet Flame, alone in a very big pot, and should stand about three feet tall at maturity.
IMG 0049

While currently unimpressive--even a little silly!--here's the photo across the back curve of the rear bed.  I'm presenting this one a little larger so you can actually see the plants, but you can click to make it even larger.
 photo IMG_0043.jpg