Sunday, February 14, 2010


The indoor plant rack is still suffering from the attack of the spider mites. There are tiny webs on nearly everything including the lantana, pineapple sage, and especially the brugs. One day this coming week, I need to take everything to the shower and give them a good bath. A jet of water should remove most of the mites and their webs. Spring can't get here soon enough for my Honeycomb cuttings. Only two have survived the winter, slowly turning yellow and dying under lights. I took cuttings from the largest to see if they can root in the cloner. Stressed plants don't usually fare too well.

I culled a bunch of things this morning including my 5 largest pineapple sage plants. I had stuck them last fall in terrible soil. I'm surprised they made it this far. I used the tops to stick more cuttings in the cloner. I've got another 12 and plenty of seeds. I'm not worried. It had to be done to make room for the plants that have rooted and need to be potted soon.

Valuable real estate has been gained on two shelves.

The cloner is getting used again.

Last night, I arrived home from work to find that my parents had made an unscheduled visit. They were supposed to bring this up on Thursday. It burns better than my wood. I'll move some inside today and maybe split some of the larger pieces if I have time.

On the agenda today: Move the compost bin to a less visible area behind the dead oak tree. Rake and shred all the leaves in the meadow. I'll scatter the finely chopped pieces back over the area. The large leaves are making it difficult for the warm sun to reach the soil. It should warm up quickly beginning next week. I'd like to see it dry out a bit as well. The perennial bed needs the same treatment, but there is still snow on those leaves this morning, although less than yesterday.

I'm only on my third cup of coffee. It's 28 degrees and sunny. The overnight low was 25. By Friday, we should be back to more normal February temperatures. I hope.

10:37am - The compost bin has been moved to behind the tree trunk.

The pitchfork didn't survive the move.

The hoophouse has lots of moisture on the plastic. That's a good sign that things inside are warming up again.

On the North side of the house, there's still plenty of snow.

The ground here is frozen solid. It's been a hard winter with no sunshine on this soil. It will be June before the soil is really warm again.

It's 36 degrees. Still sunny. Heading outside to rake some leaves if the ground isn't too wet from thawing.

12:53pm - It feels good to be working outside again. It's only 41 degrees, a heatwave!

A better shot of the compost bin's new location.

I dig a lot of digging this morning for enough rocks to finish the shrub island's edging. Everywhere I put my mattock, there was another pile of stone. The Farmers Almanac suggested today would be a good day to dig.

Two large stones in the gully need to find their way into the yard. If only I could levitate them. I'm going to wait for help on these.

I finished the edging on the shrub border. It took 6 wheelbarrow loads of stone.

And I raked the leaves off the meadow. I might wait a few days before putting them back. The ground is soaked.

Lunch - Leftover ziti that Carla made and a store bought pizza.


Jean Campbell said...

They might like a little soap in their shower, the plants, not the mites. I use Murphy's Oil Soap. Soap, not detergent, softens up critters and hastens their demise.

David - Pinewood Cottage said...

any luck with the rose cuttings in the cloner? i saved a piece of an old rose from city construction and would love to try the baggy method.

will you tell when and what you do with crepe myrtle hardwood cuttings?

compost in my shoe said...

Nothing like a dependable tool to get the job done! Hey, we finally had some of the white stuff two night ago. Alas, it is gone.

gld said...

Tom, you have great parents, but then you knew that.

May I suggest you take a look at Lee Valley Tools online. I can't tell you how many garden spades and forks I broke until I bought the English ones from them. I have had them probably 10 years now and that is in rocky Ozarks soil.

Unknown said...

busy as usual you are! everything is going to look beautiful this spring..:)


Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Nell, I've heard that before, especially the Murphy's Oil soap. I'll give it a try. I use that on my floors.

David, only two of the rose cuttings made it. Wrong time I would assume is the biggest reason. They were trying to go to sleep when I took the cuttings. If I can, I'll get back this spring to get some nice new growth from them.

The crape myrtles are in the basement in my orchid mix. It's a chunky medium that holds moisture but lets a lot of air movement pass over the cuttings. I hope it works. I didn't have any luck last year in the yard. They're leafing out already.

Compost, that's been a good pitchfork. I can't believe how easily it snapped. Glenda, I will have to look at new ones soon. Thanks for the suggestion.

Cat, I'm always busiest on my days off. ;)

Alison said...

Hard to tell how big those big rocks are......can you do it with a hand truck/dolly? Just kind of wiggle it onto the platform and then slowly lower the handle? Nice that you uncovered a big cache of rocks to use for your edging.

David - Pinewood Cottage said...

thanks Tom - i have some chunky orchid mix - i'll try some cuttings from these crepe myrtles here. thanks for the hints.

Jeff Vandiver said...

Man, that cloner sure does work good....I'll have to make one sometime in the future, but not for a while.

Darla said...

Although it's still cold things are looking real good around your place. What great parents you have Tom! I am also ready for warmer temps around here.