Saturday, August 27, 2016

Soybean Meal Down

I dropped the soybean meal feeding for September this morning, early enough that I thought I'd be OK in terms of temperatures.  I managed to get a bit of heat stress, but that's another story.  Suffice to say, please be careful out there.  This year's late August weather is more like July.

Because of the excessive heat and near-total lack of rain, I doubt that August's feeding has fully incorporated yet.  Consequently, I cut back the September feeding to 2 1/2 bags of soy, 125 pounds, over 10,000 square feet of lawn.  While only about 0.88 pounds of nitrogen, there will be enough left from last month to make up the difference, and the lawn simply hasn't had enough water to be terribly active in terms of growth.

Still Hot and Dry, But...

Following an incredibly hot and rather dry July, August was not quite so hot, but just about as dry.  And unfortunately, there's not much relief in sight and no appreciable rainfall until at least September 15th.

Consequently, the grass is not particularly attractive at this moment and portions are dormant, while the remainder is very, very dry.

On the up side, I had planned for a hot and dry summer and planted the gardens appropriately.  Those are doing amazingly well, and only require watering once or twice a week if it doesn't rain.  For the most part, it hasn't rained.

This is the north face shot, including some "red" marigolds (that tend to be orange and haven't performed all that well), plus Inca II gold marigolds, and yellow Profusion zinnia.  Sticking up in there are some blue Rhea salvia, red salvia, and the remnants of one white cosmos.

The southwest face.  The magenta flowers are Madagascar periwinkle, which strongly prefer hot and fairly dry conditions.  Those have done well this year, but they're comparatively difficult to raise from seed.  The leaves on the Easter Egg plant are a bit curled in the heat (it's currently 96° in the gardens), but those will plump back up as the sun sets.

These Moonstruck deep orange marigolds were done as a trial this year.  They're such perfect flowers on perfect plants that they'll be replacing a lot of the orange zinnia.

While unimpressive en masse, the cherry Profusion zinnia occasionally throw a more saturated set of blossoms.  These have made friends with an Inca II Gold marigold bud, and the two are growing into each other very happily.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Happy Solar Fall!

Technically, that was yesterday.  Solar fall is the twelve weeks of the year, from August 5th through November 5th, when the day length changes most quickly downward, so the days are getting shorter at the fastest rate.

It's not a terribly significant date or event in terms of your lawn and gardens, although flowering plants that prefer shorter days will begin to produce more heavily.  To most plants and your lawn, it's still summer, and it's going to be summer for some time yet!

Another Dry Spell

We ended July fairly strongly with more than two inches of rainfall in a few days, and that brought the grass back beautifully.  Not to mention that we went from D1 on the drought monitor to no longer abnormally dry.

However, it looks like we're due for at least one more week of dry, hot weather before it potentially changes again.

The only solution to that would be to water, which I've chosen not to do this year, and I'm not going to start now.  The grass that didn't come out of dormancy will be fine.  The parts that were merely very dry and recovered will return to being very dry.  The lawn will make it through without any issues.

While fescue and rye lawns might need a bit of watering if dry spells go on for too long, bluegrass is very tolerant of receiving 1/4" of rain every two weeks.  That will be just enough to keep the roots alive, and we've far exceeded that during every two week period.

The gardens, of course, will be watered as necessary, but generally only require water every four or five days.  The plants I chose this year tend to be fairly tolerant of dry soil.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

2016 Garden Additions

While it's very early, the garden additions are essentially complete for the year as there are no major (or minor) feedings remaining that would be recorded here.

One major change is that I've discontinued the use of Miracle Gro in the garden and begun to make my own out of urea, monoammonium phosphate, and potassium sulfate.  Those are not recorded in the table below, and I add a small amount to the fertigation system weekly.  Generally I note these in my gardening log, but don't record them in the tables as the number of rows would rapidly become prohibitive and hard to read.

Organic additions fell a bit this year, but were still comparable to 2015.  These levels are more than enough to adequately feed a flower garden.  I do need to take photos as the gardens are just about at their peak and should remain there through Labor Day or later.

Date N P K Iron Organics Other Notes
3/10/20160.28 1.30 0.000.00 0.00 Monoammonium Phosphate
5/14/2016 1.32 0.30 0.25 0.36 21.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
6/1/20161.32 0.30 0.25 0.36 21.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
7/1/2016 1.32 0.30 0.25 0.36 21.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
8/1/2016 1.32 0.30 0.25 0.36 21.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal

Total per K ft:    5.56     2.50     1.00     1.44     86.0     172.0 active organic total