email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Three New Planting Areas

You ever get yourself planned for more than you can do  by the time you should?  Of course you have.  Think of that last party you threw...  For me it is planting stuff.  And the order of planting stuff can get awkward too.

I'm tired of digging ditches for edging.  It's harder than I thought for the 3 new planting areas.
Perspective is strange.  That far one is as big around as the near one.  They are 80', 40', and 80' respectively.  So I had to dig narrow trenches 5" deep to set the edging down mostly in-ground.  The far area ground has a lot of gravel and rocks.  Half the digging required a leverage fork to dig dirt loose along the perimeter, a pick to loosen the rocks, a trenching shovel to scoop the loosened mixture out, and a grub hoe blade (the other side of the pick) to chip away the bottom to get in uniformly 5" deep. 

Naturally, all those tools have short handles, so I was either bent over or on my knees the whole way around with each tool.
OK, it's getting easier as I move toward the house.  The soil is better.  Maybe.  Fewer rocks, but more heavy clay.   The clay stick to the tools and I have to bang them on the ground to get the stuff off!  I was going to say I can't decide which is worse, but actually they both are.  :(

Then of course, the edging has to be set in the trench and the trench has to be refilled.  More fun...  Well, it's easier to backfill the soil than to dig it up, but it still takes some work.

So I have the far area finished (took 3 days of off-and-on work).  More "off" than "on" because I'm way past 30 (my vague recollection of when I was at my physically best).  At 65, I'm at the point where I don't mind working hard with rest in between but darn don't want to die of a heart attack just to plant some flowers.  At 30, that possibility never even occurred to me.   So I make sure to stop every 15 minutes and relax for 5.

I finished the middle edged area today.  Just the nearest one left to do, and I am pretty sure that area as the easiest soil to dig in.  I might get that last edging in in 2 days.

But today, it occurred to me that I have a timing problem with the plantings.  The far area will have a natural wildflower area and some transplanted purple coneflowers, goldenrod, and black-eyed susans.  The smaller middle area will have only the invasive Lychimastria Firecracker.  The nearest area will have half-shade wildflowers.  So far, so good...

But 2 weeks ago, I had the great idea of planting a lot of spring-flowering bulbs among the areas for early color (and most enclosed in below-ground 1/2" wire mesh cages for protection from the voles and squirrels).  Well, the daffodils don't need protection, but the tulips and hyacinths do, and that causes a problem. 

If a plant the wildflower seeds in the far are now (as I should), they will be JUST growing when it is time to plant the spring-flowering bulbs in mid November.  Ack!  I would be walking all over the new plants.  I can't plant them now, as they won't arrive until early November. 

The middle area isn't a problem.  The Lychimastria can't be transplanted until they go dormant, and that will be early November.  So they and the spring-flowering bulbs go in at the same time.  The near area isn't a problem, because the half-sunny wildflowers will get sown in Spring and I can easily walk around the emerging bulbs then.

I'll have to think about how to manage the planting of that far area some more.  I'm not worried; there is always a solution to any problem.  I just have to find it.

And I have more on the landscaping To-Do-List.  200 crocus bulbs to plant in vole-proof cages.  But that's for the next post...


Megan said...

Building vole-proof cages for your bulbs? Good grief! At least our local wallabies wait until the plants come up - and then they nibble on the new growth. Which is worse? I like your last answer: they both are! LOL

Sydney, Australia

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

TBT here: At least the voles are strictly underground bulb-eating critters. And they are almost the entire problem, The squirrels sometimes eat a flower or two, but not many and the plants survive. The cages will prevent the voles from getting at the bulbs.

And if any wallabies appear here, I have my crossbow (and camera) ready... The equivalent here is deer and they won't jump the shadowbox fence (not in 25 years anyway), you never know what might happen tomorrow though!

Megan said...

Just you wait Mark. When those vishus deer update their blog with a post advertising fresh bulb shoots in your garden, they'll come from everywhere!

Sydney, Australia