Saturday, November 15, 2014

2014 Lawn Additions

Lawn additions, like the garden, were very similar to last year.  About the only changes were the addition of a little cracked corn early on to combat a slight case of snow mold I'd had during the winter, and the reduction of the winterizer amount to 0.87 pounds of nitrogen per thousand.

That reduction was also to fight any potential snow mold this winter, as well as to account for the fact that winter descended a little early--and that was all the fertilizer I had left!

Date N P K Iron Organics Other Notes
5/13/2014 1.21 0.21 0.34 0.00 25.0 Soybean Meal, Cracked Corn
8/1/2014 1.05 0.30 0.15 0.00 15.0 Soybean Meal
9/5/2014 1.05 0.30 0.15 0.00 15.0 Soybean Meal
10/1/2014 1.05 0.30 0.15 0.00 15.0 Soybean Meal
11/12/2014 0.87 0.00 0.15 0.00 0.0 Vigoro 29-0-4

Total per K ft:       5.23    1.11    0.94    0.00    70.0    700 active organic total   

2014 Garden Additions

Garden additions were around the same as last year, just somewhat better distributed monthly.  The heavy-hitter was Milorganite, as usual, with only a small boost of ferrous sulfate in July to deepen leaf colors slightly as the calcium I added kicked in.

Date N P K Iron Organics Other Notes
5/5/2014 0.55 0.22 0.00 0.44 11.0 Milorganite
6/1/2014 0.90 0.36 0.00 0.72 18.0 Milorganite
7/1/2014 1.05 0.42 0.00 1.42 21.0 Milo, Ferrous Sulfate
8/1/2014 0.90 0.36 0.00 0.72 18.0 Milorganite

Total per K ft:    3.40    1.36    0.00    2.48    68.0    136.0 active organic total  

Does Milorganite Deter Rabbits?

Another Dear Reader question.

The answer is "no."  I've never noticed that Milorganite did anything to deter rabbits from the lawn or gardens.  For about the first twelve hours or so, it may discourage them a tiny bit, but the initial scent fades quickly and after that there's no impact on rabbit populations.

What will work is a simple spray:

1/2 tbsp Tabasco sauce (or any hot sauce, the hotter the better)
1/2 tsp dish soap, any kind
1/4 tsp Elmer's glue (optional, but helps it stick)
32 ounces water

Spray on plants, only a mist is necessary.  The flavor is distasteful to rabbits and repels them very well.

That formula is very give or take on amounts, and it's about where I am at the present moment via experimentation of what works best to repel the beasts and also has some staying power on the leaves.  This will be good until the next rainfall and even beyond that if the rainfall is light.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Iron on the Lawn

It was a bit of a speed application this afternoon and evening as sunset gets a bit earlier every day, so my coverage was perhaps a bit thin.

However, I managed to spray 4 ounces of ferrous sulfate monohydrate onto the lawn per thousand square feet, mixed with about an ounce and a half of Miracle Gro (I'm out of ammonium sulfate and didn't notice that until too late).  I used sodium laureth sulfate as a surfactant, somewhat under a tenth of an ounce per thousand square feet.

In this case, given the limited time and limited amount of spray I could get down, I went with a somewhat more dense solution than usual.  All of the above per thousand was mixed into slightly under a gallon of water.  That won't be an issue, and temperatures tomorrow are forecast to go no higher than 60°.  Post that, temperatures tumble for the foreseeable future, with highs in the forties or colder.

Fortunately, the weather was very humid with dew expected this evening, so the grass should stay damp until well after sunrise.  By tomorrow mid-day, the color will be deepening.  The impact of this iron application will continue right through spring as grass growth is about to stop for the year.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dahlia and Moles

It turns out I seem to have a few moles in the garden.  They ate the Blue Boy dahlia tubers, except for one clump.  Fortunately, that one clump had six tubers with eyes on it, which means I have two more Blue Boys than I started the season with!

The Color Spectacle came up beautifully, with two tubers dividing initially into six.

Today also marked the evening I finished taking down the gardens, assembling the compost bin, and getting that started.  In the last six hours, it's already risen to 96° in the bin.  By tomorrow, temperatures should be pushing 130°.

The weather looks likely to turn wintery by the end of the week with very little warming through the remainder of November.  I may spray iron and drop winterizer tomorrow and Wednesday.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lifting Dahlia

The first very heavy frost was the night of October 31st, so an appropriate Hallowe'en occurrence.

Dahlia do best if given five to ten days to harden off after frost, so I delayed lifting them.  We're supposed to get moderate rainfall tomorrow, so I started lifting this evening.  I had enough time to lift the two Sky Angel dahlia and five Sun Lady.

Which are now four Sky Angel dahlia and ten Sun Lady.  The tubers did very well this year in the gardens, with divisions in half required.  Technically I should have divided the tubers further, but I'll do so in spring when the eyes are clearer and beginning to sprout.  It's likely that I'll get another doubling out of this year's tubers.

I still have to lift the Blue Boy and Color Spectacle, but that will have to wait until after this storm system moves through.