Saturday, March 7, 2009

What a day!

It's 75 degrees and sunny. My sunburn is deepening. It feels good to be tired from work rather than tired of not working.

Still in my 'pajamas' this morning, I scattered several kinds of seeds directly into different beds and the gully. I tossed out a native coreopsis seed in the along the retaining wall where I plan to put my rooted willow cuttings in a few more weeks. I wanted to move them out today, but I know the frost will come and kill the leaves and possibly the plants. I should wait. It stays moist in that area almost all summer. The gully is a runoff from the two storm drains from the street. It also explains the mosquito problem I have here in the summer.

I tossed out a few more poppy seeds that I found in my seed box. I lightly covered some ornamental grass seeds in strategic spots around the perennial bed. I'm not sure they're viable seeds, so I didn't want to waste the dirt or containers to wintersow them. I also tossed out some vinca and marigold seeds. I wintersowed some, but the majority just went straight to where I want them to grow. I also tossed out some gloriosa daisy and Gaillardia that I had received in trades. I was told they are prolific reseeders. Let's hope a few come up. I did wintersow the yellow ones.

Speaking of wintersowing, now that it's almost spring, I put out 19 more containers today. I'll have to watch them carefully so that they don't overheat in the dappled sun at the end of the driveway. I took the covers off the rest of the containers. I hope they continue to germinate. I'll need to water them every morning now that they have access to the air, but I'd rather do that than broil the seeds under plastic covers.

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I opened up the hoophouse all the way before noon. It was toasty in there. The concrete blocks hold a lot of heat and have helped to keep my cuttings and seedlings going through the cold winter we had. Well, cold for us. I know some of you think I complain too much about 40 degree days.

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I also moved all the indoor seedlings outside into the shade. Right now, they're sitting next to the truck. Another hour and I'll have to find another spot, or move the truck.

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I planted a few of the rooted cuttings in the bed I created a few weeks ago at the end of the driveway. Two kinds of euonymous were transplanted - Green & Gold and a dwarf leaf variety. I planted two gardenia cuttings in the shadier areas. They didn't have a lot of roots, so I'll need to watch their water needs carefully.

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I planted two sets of rudbeckia too. A set is a group of three or more plants in my book. I like odd numbers when I group plants together. If I had more, I would have done 5. But I am saving some of those plants for my sister and a few friends. I have about 15 more in the hoophouse. I've got other rudbeckia and echinacea too, but I don't think they will bloom this year. So they'll go into a holding bed that has yet to be created. I may just enlarge the perennial bed.

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I finished the tomato plot. I made 4 rows that can hold at least 12 plants each. I double dug the "rows" and tilled in some tobacco fertilizer and wood ashes. I can already taste them.

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Out in the gully, I moved all the limbs and branches to the "creek". I really want to clear more of this out, but I found bats under a few of the concrete slabs. I placed it back where I found it and worked on tidying up other areas instead. I need bats. They kill mosquitoes.

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More crocuses are blooming too. Most of them are this bright yellow that just screams "LOOK AT ME!"

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But there are some purple ones starting to peek through now. I didn't plant any of these. They came with the house. I used to mow them down in the spring thinking they were onions or some other weed. In autumn, there will be a light purple crocus near the roses. I believe it's a Saffron.

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The tulips are disappointing me. I know, it's been cold, but I thought there would be more showing by now. Last year they were in full bloom by April 1.

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Finally, I watered all the planted out wintersown babies. They're mostly doing fine. I have to do something else with the front bed. The soil dries out in a matter of minutes and all the HOS (hunk of seedlings) have died. That's okay, I have another 159 containers to set out. I think I need some more organic matter. I really don't want to take another trip to the landfill. This is lunaria (money plant). It survived the snow last weekend and has grown a couple of new leaves.

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All that done, I need a nap. The hammock is calling me.

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5:03pm - Still 75 degrees. I didn't get a nap. I did make it to the hammock but I saw something I wanted to do instead. So I finished the rock border along the bed at the rear of the house. Then I pulled the miscanthus out of the pot in the hoop house and divided it into 4 small clumps. I planted one in the bed by the driveway and the other three on the front bed's lower section. It's going to be a lavender, grass, salvia bed. A few coreopsis are already there. I think there might be a stargazer or two in the mix too. I can't remember if I got them all out when I amended it. Then, I chopped my ferns into pieces. They have been in the basement all winter. I potted one into 4 small pots and the other one I split between two hanging baskets. They look pretty dead. We'll see if they grow. If not, one fern this summer will give me 4 pieces. They always sell them root bound.

9 comments:

Kris said...

Gee, Tom, reading all the things you are doing already (so soon compared to us in Ohio) makes me feel that I'm looking into a crystal ball - seeing what the future holds for us in northern climes! :-)

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Be sure to stock up on Advil and Icy Hot.

Sue said...

Hi Tom,
I just got caught up with your posts. I forgot, what zone are you in? I loved looking at your sweet seedlings! I'm glad I got a reminder of what the money plant looks like. I planted some late last summer, and they didn't get very big before winter came, so I don't know if they made it or not. I'll be sure not to pull them if they did.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Sue, I'm in zone 7b, almost 8a depending on which map you look at.

Dirt Princess said...

Lowes sells Bat houses, a friend of mine bought one and it does attract them

Jill-O said...

I'm really loving your property. A little bit of woods, a gully, a "creek". You've got a little bit of country going on there. Have you thought of trying to grow watercress in the runoff area?

FlowerLady said...

Tom ~ Your post was a wonderful read this morning. What a great day you had yesterday. Your hammock looks so inviting, and I know how it is when you start to relax, you see something else that needs doing. It is so neat to see blossoms coming up out of the ground after the long cold winter you had. Have fun.

FlowerLady

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Jill, the house I wanted to buy was on 2 acres of completely wooded property. All the houses in that neighborhood were on larger lots. It would have been great, but a crumbling chimney and mortgage lenders didn't allow it. So, I bought an in-town property with some of the same features. There's lots of wildlife here, but no deer.

I've got willow to plant in the gully for now. I haven't done much research on rain gardens yet. Maybe next year. I'll have to keep that in mind.

Thanks Flowerlady. It was a spectacular day overall. No rest for the weary. Trying to get everything done in one day has me hurting in places I forgot I had.

Catherine Epright said...

a busy man! i love the Money Plant, and have not been able to locate any locally.:( i shall keep on the search. Good work