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Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer maintenance

Summer in our climate means heat, dry, heat and more heat.
First rain in summer is nice. And clouds. This means time for summer maintenance.
Does not mean I have to wait for cloudy day for the sake of flowers...
It is cooler for the plants and cooler for my.

If it's not, morning or evening is better. And for most full working folk that's the only time they can do garden maintenance aside the weekend...

do all at once or one thong at a time it depends. I like to get into it and get it over with in one batch.
But at times I can not. So will see how much can be done in one set.

Some like to make a task list, some like me go from bed to bed with tools and just get it done.

In mid summer what needs to be done?

1) Weeds if there are any - pull. After some rain they will be plentiful.
For us it means come back in a week and get the rest

Well ... average gardener does not get it that bad. Why is it? These are weeds that came from sides of the dug out french drains extension that were left not covered with rock for the season to see if these drains are good or need to be filled back in. Turns out they are good where they are and will get rock and all the proper treatment. But the area has zillions of old weed seeds in the dirt.
And bind weed is lurking under my playground. As soon as I've opened that part of the weed fabric to fix my rock area near lawn and do the log work here comes the bind weed. it was waiting for 2 years and here it is. See what am I controlling under weed fabric and wood chips?

Get small weeds in flower beds. Why now? They about to go to seed, and that's not a good thing.

2) Trim and deadhead all early summer bloomers
Early bloomers will be all salvias, roses, and some others if they have blooms that are done and I'm not letting them go seed.

All these need trim, dead branches removal and dead flowers be gut down and go into compost. Heat does its thing on roses and salvia.  Cutting dead flowers (unless the rose is a fruiting rose) forces them to re-bloom. I water them with compost tea and my bindweed brew.
About bindweed brew (bilingual post)

3) cut back all spring flowers if there are any.
I have bulbs between perennials some distance from the perennial. So I just let the spring plants to dry and form ground cover and become dirt.

4) come back for more weeds if there is rain in a week after

5) get to tomatoes and tie to trellises. Because I did not get to them yet... and they have being field tomatoes (planted late) and being neglected and free growing. They types of heirlooms I plant I can do that with if I get too busy.

6) clear bed from spring plants in garden and prep for autumn season because we can get 2 crops of greens here, carrots, even some bush beans.

cleared, garlic pilled, now needs wood chips to mulch, rows, seeds and row covers.
Left my greens bed cleared of garlic
Right my sorrel bed after the seed collection and trim. Dandelions I grow for chickens, they are over my tulips bed.
here is sorrel before

7) pull sunflowers from garden... they are good for beneficial wasps, but if they reseed... that's too many blessings.

8) weed barrage in garden and clear strawberry beds from garlic, borrage and onions. Because that's how I did companion planting, and borrage volunteered, I needed me plants with seeds to throw over new mounds areas where I want my bee gardens.

9) get the rock and the dry creek fixed. Because spring rains did compact the soil and now it was dry enough for long enough.

that's almost done, will have to be after photos.

10) get wood chips on pasture the road, because I have 2 piles and I'm behind :).


I'm raising the level here and adding and compacting wood chips. saves me about 30k in land and grading work...

11) lay wood chips over compostable weeds for summer lasagna addition. Because summer wood chips have high green leaves content. good top layer lasagna for over autumn and for next winter.

There are more things on the list, but that alone makes it for a very busy weekend indeed.

Pick up new plants... maybe no :). But mid summer sales hunting is a good thing. For pollinator plants on sales. They are good in the garden.

oh, forgotten... Rainy cloudy days... plant 3 mini roses first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Keyhole garden update

Keyhole/BTE cross bed officially gone bunkers :)
Some asked me to keep posting about this experiment. So..

here is the initial how i was made post
here is how it looked like in June (end)

From Here

to here

planted, 2 weeks
End of June

And...End of July
I'm glad I put it in the middle of the pasture sort of :)
banana squash and 1 pumpkin over spill...

 banana squash
Now I need to get Armenian cucs from the middle of the compost bed and figure out some kind of a top cover so they do not end up in the middle
 Japanese cucumber
 Patipans, 3 monster plants

 Armenian cucs over spill at the back, where my poo hollyhock is not sure... will find it
 patipans on left, banana squash on right

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The heat, the earwig traps, and some summer food just because...

No rain and the heat. We get it hot and high altitude sun adds to it. It gets very very hot.
All the birds are hiding in shade and not willing to come out till the evening even for the food.

Here what does hot sun do regardless of daily water schedule during the heat wave on some of less heat and drought tolerant plants.
That includes new transplants as well

Established shasta daisy. Even that gets it..
Not established lavender in 1 gal container store bought, planted 2 weeks ago. Not doing well.
 Heat shot gladiolas, very short blooming time this year
 Hear struck roses. deadheading needed.
 Another rose, same, but Purple cone flower at the back is as big as that rose and doing very well
 Heat on pale green roses, many flowers are browned and burned, needs major removal or damaged flowers
 Brandiwine tomato. Does not like it much.

Some things do like it. This very well established currant.
 And hops, also established (3-rd season, first season they did suffer heat a lot and I thought the would not make it, 2 out of 3 did)

Garlic. One row pile...
And there is more, that is exactly what does happen when one does not get the garlic head last year, it does turn into garlic bush. I was harvesting these from early spring. Now need to water that a lot and try to get these this year... or that will be already very problematic clump...

And this dweller...
 it grows in rock, literally...

Also in this heat I've got some unusual thing, summer mushroom under blue spruce log...

Now about bug traps.
Roly-poly are still caught on watermelon rinds under paper plates and collected every morning, and I do not see the end of it so far, I do not recall that many... Even reduction of the water in the garden does not seem to do it, so I put the water schedule back where it was and hoping my strawberries will recover, I did loose not established hardy fig, it did dry off...

Earwigs however... I found more permanent kill trap.
I'ts very simple. Paper plate, has to be placed at the angle. It has about 1/4 cup of oil, first I tried olive oil as it was suggested, but that's expensive,.. so my single test trap was full of bugs in  3 days all right. I replaced that with canola and here is 1 night catch. It does seem to work just the same as olive oil, maybe a bit less, but still they land in there

Trap one, in same spot where olive oil was, it's a mixture of old olive oil and new canola.
 Trap 2, canola
 Trap 3, got some rollies too.
 Trap 4, next to my most suspect hot spot...
 And I was right... yack, but chickens should love it
 Trap 5

Now about more pleasant things. kebabs are good in summer.
It makes a simple meal like this, nothing fancy to serve, but summer is summer. This meal works very well for hungry man :)
 Load one... very reduced till I got to camera
 load 2 :)

 and load 2 done.
these are marinated 3 ways in red sweet wine and pomegranate with garden herbs and garlic, then twist on teriyaki and sesame, and pinot grigio and some special spices for chicken.  Worked well.