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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Catching Up With Weeds

I guess I haven't posted in a while.  I guess I haven't done much to mention.  Who gets excited reading that you watered the garden and routine stuff like that?  But such things do need to get done and in August, sometimes just keeping up with watering the garden and flowers is plenty.  Never mind all the inside work which I had gotten behind on as well.

So we had a couple relatively cooler days (meaning 90 instead of 100F) and I took a look around for other things needing attention outside.  Weeds are insidious!  They look about the same one day to another but after a few weeks have gone from a few innocent inches high to 2' high (some straight up, some spreading out sideways).

You may (or not, LOL!) remember that I set up 3 roundish prepared edged planting beds last Fall.
The far one was for wildflowers and I scattered 2 pounds of wildflower seeds there.  A little thin for the space, but I figured I would add transplants into the area later.  I have native flowers growing in a few areas and would add them to places without flowers.  The results have been rather "less than mediocre".  May have been 2 dozen blooms in the whole area.  But most were perennials and they don't bloom the first year much, so I will add more seeds and some transplants this Fall and hope for better next year.

The middle area was going to be for Lysimachia, which has lovely purple foliage and small yellow flowers, but it is invasive.  So I thought putting it were I could mow around would control that.  Alas, I discovered that it is also called Loosestrife and if you look at the common name "loose" and "strife", you can tell it is a problem plant.  I  found it growing in several places on its own and I am trying to pull them all up!  Now I am thinking several dwarf butterfly bushes intermixed with Knockout roses which are generally pest-free and self-dead-heading.  They have no fragrance, but you can't have everything.  I will add a few oriental lilies for some fragrance.

The near area is for color.  I planted 100 or so tulips  and another 100 hyacinths in mesh cages (protection from the voles) and a couple of hundred daffodils straight in the ground as they need no protection).  I'll be adding another couple hundred daffodils in early November.

The hyacinths never came up last Spring, and I figured I planted too late.  But as I was digging around, I found one of the cages and opened the top and pulled out a few bulbs.  To my surprize, they were all solid and had some roots!  They didn't get enough chill time to bloom last year but they seem firm and healthy, and I expect them to come up gloriously in Spring!  And if not, I will dig the cages up and try again.  And if they don't grow next Spring, I will dig the cages up and plant more tulips!

This Spring, I took divisions of standard daylilies (as odd as it might seem, I had a couple dozen 6" pots of daylilies just sitting around existing on rainfall for 2 years) and planted them between the tulip
and hyacinth cages.

 There's a reason for that; the tulip/hyacinth bulbs like to be dry in Summer, and lilies have tuberous roots that store water so they don't need watering in Summer (much).  They make a good combination. I think I will add some Sedum 'Dark Magic' as they are about a foot high and drought tolerant as well as blooming in Fall.  A drought tolerant threesome in Spring Summer And Fall would be awesome. 

But the near spot looked terrible when I paid attention to it last week.  Grasses were growing up all over and spreading weeds below them. 
So I took care of the tall ones first.  Well, there are only 2 good times to weed.  The first is when the soil is soaked.  The weed roots can't hold on to the loose wet soil.   The other time is when the soil is bone dry (unless it is clay).  In good soil the roots come up like they were growing in powder.

So I pulled up all the tall ones in bone dry soil.  I left that one small pile to show them pulled up.  Actually, I filled a trashcan with them.  Not that I would trash them; the nutrients are free and they are great compost after being heated up by sunlight in the closed trashcan for a couple days to kill any seeds.  They look like cooked spinach afterwards.  And then straight into the compost pile they go...
I have some annuals around the outer front edge just for some color this first year.  Being downslope, I can water them enough to keep them happy without soaking the tulip bulbs that don't want to see water until Spring.

And I'm putting up with the orange landscaping flags this year.  Some mark the small newly-planted daylillies (so that I don't pull them up thinking they are grass weeds - because they sure look a lot alike when you are tired) and some mark the tulip and hyacinth cages (so I don't plant anything on top of them). 

Next, now that the tall weeds are gone, I can get at the low-growing weeds. 

2 comments:

Megan said...

C'mon Mark - be honest. You left that pile to show the rest of 'em what was coming!

How about an update on the tomato harvest?

And did you get the painting done in the bathroom?

Megan
Sydney, Australia

Ramblingon said...

As Megan said....