Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018

I bought hot pepper/wax spray but haven't used it yet. Online it said it repelled squirrels but the actual bottle says insects, so I'm feeling doubtful. I weeded some this morning. All the dahlia sprouts (except the most recent) have exploded but my new tubers still haven't grown. The chipmunk settled into my pansies with a meal of sunflower seeds. Where it got them I do not know. Lettuce is sprouting but not the regular basil. Tithonia still hasn't come up. The hyacinths were under the downpour from the roof and literally turned into mushy sludge. Ick.

Evening. Spent about an hour, hour and a half, weeding, redoing the wire around the pansies closest to the porch, more weeding, have probably given myself tetanus from all the wire, sprayed the hot pepper/wax spray around the pansy pots and trellis. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 19, 2018

I purchased and planted aristotle basil, 2 gazanias, and a succulent (inside). I moved one pot of chives out and transplanted them. I watered the basil and other trellis pots, but it's supposed to rain tonight so I left the rest. My garden orders haven't come yet...

Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018; Late Spring to-do list

The rain stopped several days ago, but I haven't had the time to water - everything still looks pretty wet though. It's supposed to rain again on Sunday maybe and the temperature will drop again. Thursday I found the squirrel excavating my trellis pots. I am so mad.

Current state of the garden
 - Tulip bed - fancy tulips have all bloomed and will probably have another week or so before they finish. Regular tulips are almost blown. Honeysuckle did not come back. Lots of ground elder and birdseed sprouts did though. Sigh. Also something ripped up one of my window box pansies but hopefully it was a one-time thing. I have a new honeysuckle plant on order, but it won't ship until next week.
 - I need to weed and plant the four-o'clock sprouts that I have indoors and give them little wire cages otherwise the squirrels jump on them. I also need to hang the hummingbird feeder and refill the bird feeder.
 - Big project - pond

 - Monet garden - The tulips have almost all blown except for a few inside the permanent green wire cages. The daffodils are mixed - some are done, some are still blooming. Anemones are starting to sprout, although I haven't seen any sign of my St. Brigida ones from last year. Lots of morning glory sprouts have shown up around the wire trellises and a few rare nasturtiums. Ground elder is making a comeback unfortunately, and there are still a bunch of maple seedlings.
 - I need to weed and thin the morning glory sprouts. I also am going to make some little wire cages in preparation for the St. Brigida anemones, which I still hope to see. Once that's done, the ground will be nice and soft for additional nasturtium plantings and I'm going to throw in some different morning glory varieties around the wire trellis. I'm also going to start nasturtium seeds inside to go into the bird pots on the white trellis.

 - Pansy pot garden. I am still annoyed at the blonde-tailed squirrel. I am going to get more Aristotle basil tomorrow, since the one I nursed all winter promptly died when I put it outside. I also ordered another seed starter and am going to start more genovese basil seeds inside. The peas are doing well, despite being ripped up. I think the lettuce seeds might need more sun, I'm debating whether to start inside and transplant, move the pot under the plant light, or just put something else in. The lemon balm is doing well. I ordered cayenne pepper/wax spray and am going to coat the trellis to prevent further incursions.
 - The fuschia was doing fine until the squirrel started excavating. I am going to cut a better wire surround, one with extra spikey, and spray it. The three pansy pots have been very disturbed. They need a new wire surround and then I'm going to start more pansy seeds inside and transplant additional pansies. The other pansy and calla pots are fine. Many of them have seeds sprouting and them have mostly been left alone. I am going to modify their wire surrounds and spray them just in case though. The big flower pots have seeds starting - poppy, strawflower, and cosmos. Unfortunately, the wire didn't cover the tops and the squirrels dug deep around the edges. I am going to put in new wire, a surround instead of a top, spray the pots, and hope for the best. The tithonia never sprouted - I bought more seeds and am going to start them inside.
 - The mint and chives are not being as invasive as I'd hoped and the ground elder is taking over. I am going to do some weeding and then transplant more of my indoor chives outside when they get stronger.

Dahlia forest
 - All but one of my dahlias from last year have sprouted. The three new ones have shown no signs. I went crazy and ordered.... some more tubers to add in. The pots do have a lot of alyssum sprouts, which will be disturbed, but I plan to seed some more alyssum. The ranuncula is not happy, I'm not sure why. Maybe because the squirrel keeps digging in it? It is going to get a wire surround. I have 4 smaller empty pots, I will be starting seeds inside for those. They do need holes drilled in them though. The raspberries are growing vigorously, despite the squirrel's continued depredations. My tomato and peppers are almost ready to transplant outside, but I need to fix the wire surrounds - the squirrels are just climbing in to dig up the dirt. They must like the way it feels. I have ordered a blackberry and strawberry plants, but they're not here yet. I think I do want a gazania, I'll see if the plant stand has one tomorrow. Basically, I have to redo all the wire, spray the pots, and plant more seedlings. I may be giving away extra dahlia tubers next fall!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 13, 2018

Several days of heavy rain. Still only two dahlias have sprouted, none of my new ones have shown anything yet. Chipmunk is still digging up pansies in a desultory fashion - even got to my windowsill boxes, the stinker. Fuschia is doing well. I moved one pansy pot back - the rain from the roof was hitting it. No sprouts from any of the flower seeds yet. The drop in temperatures probably isn't helping. Tulips are blooming vigorously, ground elder is taking over again so I weeded a little. It didn't make much of a difference.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 8, 2018

Another hot day. I planted the fuschia and the last alyssum. The squirrels (with help from the chipmunk) have been digging stuff up vigorously. Two of the old dahlias have sprouted now. Still no green from the new tubers or the other two old ones. The alyssum that was planted around the tithonia has been ripped up several times. One calla bulb pulled up, no harm done, replanted. The callas are shooting up. Most of the pansies have rooted well. I got quite a lot of lovely tulips, even though some got eaten, but all together very successful. I think the Aristotle basil is totally dead - apparently moving it outside was just too traumatic in its fragile state.

I watered everything - not too heavily, it's supposed to rain tomorrow. I put some more wire around the fuschia and an empty vegetable pot the squirrels have gone mad in. I added a layer of liquid fence.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

May 5, 2018

Moved the Aristotle basil back outside - it's mostly dead, but there's still some green! Planted Genovese basil seeds, lettuce seeds (they claim to be Buttercrunch lettuce, but this is not true because they don't curl up. But they still taste fine) one pot of flowers (Tithonia seeds and Alyssum plants), and added alyssum to one of the dahlia pots. Gave up and ordered a new blackberry and honeysuckle, as well as some strawberry plants. One dahlia has produced green, the peas are sprouted, and all is well. Deadheaded the ranunculus and now I have a little vase of flowers.

I need more dirt and then I need to plant the rest of the flower seeds, the fuschia, do the pond, soak the nasturtium seeds for the bird pots, and I might need more wire. Or I've thought about netting. It's going to cool off for the next few nights though, so I might wait until next week.

Sara brought me more dirt so I planted the other two pots with cosmos, poppies, and strawflowers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May 2, 2018

I am very happy that my first row of tulips has successfully bloomed! There have been a few scuff marks in the wire enclosure and a couple nibbles on the leaves, but nothing too bad! Although the rabbits and squirrels have vigorously chowed down on the other tulip bed, they have only actually dug up and eaten maybe 2 bulbs, so I have hopes for the future!

The squirrels have done some desultory digging in the three pots of pansies by the front door (the wire is loose) but nothing too catastrophic. They seem to be indifferent to the pots hanging on the trellises and the window boxes.

I’m going to give the blackberry and honeysuckle one more week - if I don’t see green by this weekend, I will order new plants. I should be getting more dirt this weekend as well, and then I’ll plant the alyssum, fuschia, and other flower seeds. I got some tomato sprouts and a few regular chives, but no pepper or garlic chive sprouts yet.

At this point the main need is water - it’s supposed to rain today, but I have not seen any wet yet! My landlord hasn’t turned the water pressure up yet, so they’ve only gotten dribbled on, not the deep soaking they need, especially the dahlias.

When I got home, I saw that one of my chipmunks is back! She went bounding away, but I suspect her of digging around the tulips. Still cute though. My Johann Strauss Kauffmania tulips are gorgeous. Fully opened they are yellow and look almost like daffodils, when they close in the evening you can see their red stripes on the outside of the petals. I see many tulip buds - whether or not they will come to fruition is another question.

My landlord upped the water pressure, so I gave everything a good soaking. It still had not rained. The ranunculus had wilted out of misery, and I watered it especially. It was 80 degrees today! I saw a large woodpecker on the feeder and a dove in the yard yesterday.

I think the sudden temperature change cracked the wooden shelf on which I keep my polka-dot plants. I whacked the board down that was sticking up, cut the lettuce, and took it outside. I need to give it a good scrubbing so it doesn’t develop mold.

The thunderstorm finally arrived late that night. Good thing I watered! My Kauffmania tulips got a little battered, as did some of the pansy pots, but I think everything is in an ok place, not too stuck under the roof drip.