Journal Entries

My vegetable garden 2019

Today I dug three parallel trenches in my front yard, and planted beets in them. It took a while to remove stones from the soil, and to mix compost and fertilizer into them. The last step was to put a fence around the patch.

On Sunday I will plant green beans to the left of the beet patch.

Early next month I will set up a very large long planter along the ground parallel to my porch. In this I will plant zucchini. My brother gave me the planter for Christmas. I think it holds 16 gallons of soil. I will need a lot soil to get it filled up.

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Latest reply: May 25, 2019

Jack in the pulpit

jack-in-the-Pulpits grew in abundance where I grew up. They even managed to survive in places where they shouldn't have. Too dry, too much sun? Even so, there was one stubborn one that persisted, until the drought of 2015 did it in.

I planted four of them (jacks-in-the-Pulpit?) along the edge of my house, under the eaves where they would get dripping rain water. Half of them didn't even come up, but the healthiest one has sprouted three extra shoots.

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Latest reply: May 21, 2019

The milkweed saga continues

here's some context: more than ten years ago I began dreaming about turning my yard into a butterfly garden. I worked toward my dream little by little, starting nine years ago, when I planted Coreopsis, Echinacea, and Rudbeckia in front of my house, plus along the side next to my front steps.

That first year, I also planted some Shasta daisies and some pretty yellow flowers that I didn't realize were annuals rather than perennials. Heck, the Shastas started getting sick almost right away, and were dead well before the Fall. The pretty yellow flowers did fine that Summer, but never came back after the Winter. Oh, well.

I still have the Echinacea, Rudbeckia, and Coreopsis. They keep coming back, year after year.

Butterflies regularly visit my flowers, but it's beginning to seem that I should raise the bar a bit higher, and also grow milkweed, so the Monarch butterflies could lay their eggs and pupate in my yard, not just sip nectar.

This means growing milkweed, of course, which seems so simple, but I have failed to keep any milkweed alive, year after year. Three years ago I planted Butterfly Weed in my back yard. It began dying back almost as soon as it got settled in. I might have watered it too much. Two years ago, I I planted Swamp Milkweed under the eaves along the side of my house. Squirrels dug up the roots. Not a single one survived. Last year I bought a couple seedlings of Poke Milkweed, which can take the shade in my backyard. I put them behind my shed. Squirrels dug one of them up. The other is showing no siogns of life so far.

Now we come to *this* year. Today I planted some Common Milkweed in two locations in my yard. It arrived healthy, and I scrupulously researched the kind of soil milkweed needs. Turns out, it needs smiley - drumroll sandy loam. So I made a pretty good approximation of that.

After Ip lanted them, I sprayed the leaves with "I Must garden" rabbit repellent. Hopefully, the squirrels will also be repelled by it. Not taking any chances, I put fences tightly around the plants.

This is getting way too complicated smiley - wah, but I do love butterflies. Still.

smiley - winkeye

Last Fall Ip lanted

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Latest reply: May 18, 2019

Warm weather means lots of time spent in the garden

I don't like cold weather.

Warm weather is a different story. The last few days have been lovely, and I've been outside a lot. The other day I transplanted a couple of azaleas and Coreopses.

Today I raked leaves off the Coneflower beds so my plants won't have to work so hard to get up into the sunlight. I also cut away some of the dead stalks from last year. The asters grew six or seven feet tall last year, so there was a lot to cut away. Once those tall stalks were gone, I could see, down at the roots, a lot of new green shoots poking up.

Some things seem not to be coming up at all, though. My shade-loving sunflowers aren't showing any new growth. Maybe it's too early to expect them, or maybe they weren't supposed to be long-lived. We'll see.

Problem: I filled four bags with leaves and broken stalks. They weren't leaf bags, those, as those are all sold out at the garden center. They've ordered some more, sop I will need to visit occasionally to see if more bags have come in.

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Latest reply: Apr 16, 2019

Sunday April 7 is National Beer Day

Yep, beer drinkers get their own day, and it will be here soon. smiley - smiley

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Latest reply: Apr 5, 2019


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