Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Milk and So On

Extended evening hours and warmer weather certainly are nice!

I applied 8 oz per thousand square feet of whole milk, plus 3 oz per thousand kelp, 3 oz per thousand humic acid, and 3 oz per thousand sodium laureth sufate solution.  Those can sit until the next rainfall, which will probably be Friday.

Milk seems to have an odd effect in the lawn, gently enhancing performance on soils that are already resource-tuned and organic.  I'm not certain that it would do much of anything on a poorer soil, however, so this isn't a step I generally recommend.

Kelp contains minor amounts of growth hormones, useful in developing spring root systems.  It also contains just about every element possible, so any temporary shortfalls can be supplied via foliar input.  The amount of organic matter is minor, but I'll take it.

Humic acid encourages fungal development and may help a bit with water retention.  Since the latter isn't an issue in my soil, it's not a real consideration.

Sodium laureth sulfate flocculates (gathers together) soils, making them softer and allowing water and air to penetrate more easily.  Of all the things I used today, this is the one with the greatest impact.  Rather than purchase SLES online (which you can do), it's just as easy to use 3 ounces per thousand square feet of Suave or White Rain shampoo, or the generic baby shampoo off the shelf.

Application of shampoo can be made monthly until the soil loosens up, and should be combined with organic feeding and a soil test and resource balancing.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Everything's Late

Post the rather severe winter we just had, plus a rather cool and wet early spring, everything in the gardens is delayed.  So is the lawn, which is back but not growing yet this year and still a touch patchy with dormancy.

The next week or so should change that as temperatures rise to a bit above normal.  It's far too early to estimate when the 850 sprouting plants in the cellar will go out to harden off in the north garden, but if the weather is average it should be around May first.

So far, the comment's been made, "It's too bad you can't grow crocus around here."  You can see that fact below, and I think this particular patch started as three or four bulbs several years ago.

As always, click on any image to embiggen it.

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This is the first year in several years that the Siberian iris did well.  And when they do well, they do very, very well.

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