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Monday, April 24, 2017

Minor Yard Work

It rained most of Saturday, was originally forecast to rain most of the afternoon yesterday (but didn't) and is forecast to rain most of today and tomorrow.  On one, we need the rain; it's been a dryish Spring.  On the other hand, I have a lot I need to do at this time of year.  So I took advantage of the rain delay to take care of some minor work, expecting that I won't get much done outside today and Tuesday.

First on the list was the remove the seedheads from the faded Spring bulbs.  Removing the seedheads prevents the plants from spending energy developing the useless seeds.  It matters more to Tulips and Hyacinths than to Daffodils, but I did most of them anyway.  There is a border of Daffodils that still have some flowers blooming, so I will wait on them.

A hedge trimmer does the job nicely.  A string trimmer works even better.  Naturally, both had weak batteries so I set them to charge.

So, noticing that the first mosquitoes of the year are out and about, I decided to set up traps.  I have a lot of cheap black plastic pots that seedlings get shipped in, so I found 4 that 1 gallon plastic bags fit onto perfectly.  If you knock down the 1st few generations of mosquitoes, it makes things better all season.  Between the 4 pots, my 5' lily pond, and a tub in the far back yard, that made 6 traps around the backyard.  Black pots work best; it looks dark and safe to the female mosquitoes.

I use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) in water to kill the mosquito larvae.  The stuff works great and is harmless to people, pets, and beneficial insects.  It comes in "doughnut" shape and you can break them apart according to the amount of water to treat.  The pond only needs a 1/4 of one per month; the smaller containers just need a sprinkle of a crushed 1/4.

The female mosquito finds a nice still pot of water and is happy to lay all her eggs there.  She has done her duty.  The Bt kills the larvae, so there are few adults around, so I am happy.   I marked the small pots with an orange landscaping flag so I remember where they are.  Seriously, if I don't sprinkle in some Bt into the pots each month, then I an BREEDING mosquitoes and I would be very unhappy.  So the flags help me remember them.

I moved some fancy hostas from the front yard to a spot under the deck in the backyard last week.  The deer ate most of the fancy hostas in the front the past 2 years.  The hostas survived but smaller each year.  So moving them was essential.  The deer have never jumped the 6' fence in 30 years (I would have noticed plant damage and hoofprints).  So the fancy hostas are safe there.

There are some large hostas in front that the deer never bothered, so I divided each of them in 1/4s and planted them where the fancy ones had been.  Hostas are tough and accept crude divisions well.  I like the new look too.  It brings a uniformity to the front planting near the foundation framed beds (one is 8'x12' and the other is 12'x16').  They are not massed, but individual, so they are each visible from the street.  I do the front yard to make the neighbors jealous; I don't actually spend any time there myself.  LOL!

They looked like this before being divided...
 They they looked like this in the original side after...
But don't worry, they perked right up after some watering.

So the new backyard underdeck hosta bed is planted, alternating 'June' and 'Paul's Glory' with some small ones surrounding them.  But I was 1 Paul's Glory' short.  I thought I would have wait a couple years and divide the largest one to fill the spot, but I realized I had a couple in an old hosta bed along the back fence, so I divided the largest one and moved the division to the empty spot.

Ah...  Completion of symmetry!

1 comment:

Megan said...

Those poor plants at the front looked miserable! I do hope you're right and watering cheered them up. Interesting to hear about the mozzies. Hope it works out.

Sydney, Australia