Wednesday, August 30, 2017

September Soybean Meal Down

I was up extraordinarily early today, so after a trip to the grocery store I applied September's soybean meal to the lawn while it was nice and cool.  This time around, I used up most of the spare leftovers from August, for a total of around 160 pounds (16 pounds per thousand) on the lawn.  That works out to about 1.1 pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet, a completely reasonable amount even when delivered synthetically.

That will become available around the middle of September and continue to feed right through the end of the season (and weakly into next year).  However, there's still an October application to go yet, and winterization using urea in November.

Synthetics users should be applying their lawn feeding right about now.  Labor Day is considered the optimal time to feed the lawn.

Also, the gardens are doing extremely well for very late August, so I do need to photograph them.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


It doesn't get any better than this, since the Black Eyed Susans are already starting to fade.  They're not a huge section of the garden, and I can force them to re-bloom, but it won't look like this again this year. As always, you can click on any of these photos to embiggen them!

Here's the standard lawn shot. We've had so much rainfall that the lawn never went dormant this year, and never stressed in the heat.


And the standard garden shot:


I posted this approximate shot last time, so I did it again.  This shows the fading Black Eyed Susans as well.


Visitors are extremely common here.  Although many shots have incidental butterflies in them, they usually won't allow me to get that close.  The bees simply don't care, and tend to ignore me as I'm distracting them from the cosmos.


This was an heirloom flower that apparently crossbred the yellow and orange zinnia from two years ago into a very attractive tangerine color that I've never seen before.  I'm allowing all the flower heads to age on their own, and I'll collect them to see if they breed true next year.  They're an imperfect double flower, taller than the average bedding zinnia, but very attractive.


Sometimes little surprises hide under the leaves, peeking out when the sun touches them.  This is a Sun Lady dahlia, cheaply available every year at Home Depot and a good performer in any sunny spot.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

August Garden; Very Near Peak

The gardens tend to have a very extended peak period from July 15th through October, which is by design.  However, just due to the nature of most annuals, the highest peak is the month of August. The rest of the period is still mountainous, but not quite so much as August is.

Today shows that we're approaching that peak period very quickly.


The bees seem to agree.  There are thousands in the garden at any one time.  Fortunately, they're very well-fed and very placid.  I've had them in my hair and down my shirt.  I've never been stung.


I've always felt like I shouldn't have a favorite flower, per se.  But if you pushed me to choose one, these would be close.  They're Sun Lady dahlia, a gorgeous yellow with a slight greenish tone that makes them look like yellow highlighters.  They're the size of my palm, the 3' bushes produce flowers copiously from now until they freeze, and the flowers are sturdy-stemmed and last four or five days in a vase.

They're also around a dollar a tuber at Home Depot in spring.  They don't store or over-winter well, but they're cheap enough that it doesn't really matter too much.


Rare for me, here's a photo from indoors.  These reflect so much infrared light that the color warps badly when photographed in the garden.  Even here, they're much more purple in person than here, where the color has a strong note of mauve.  My hand is in there as a reference; I have average sized hands for somebody who's five foot eight.  The blossoms really are that big.