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Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.
Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.
Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?
Entries are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.
When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.
Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. However, they may refer to entries on prior pages.
This diary has been visited 12,591 times since I started it.
|Date and Weather||Observations and Activities|
Clear, sunny, and mild
|The pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum 'Aureum') cuttings (10 Oct) rooted. I discarded their parent plant in the hanging pot in our blue bathroom and potted up the cuttings, which are now hanging.
Sifted compost, not from the compost pile but what I could not return to the pile after laying down the ground cloth under the pile (27 Oct). Then, I watered the pile quite thoroughly and also put some water into the barrel with the sifted compost. While sifting, I notice a large amount of seeds from The Tree. Wetting the sifted compost will promote those seeds to sprout — and then die — before I use the compost.
Gave the circular and camellia beds in back generous doses of gypsum. The soil in the circular bed is quite hard and needs to be broken up while the camellia bed always needs a fresh application to improve drainage. Unlike last year when I applied about 250 pounds of gypsum to all my beds and lawns, this year I will only apply it selectively.
As I passed the counter outside the kitchen window, I noticed that the upper plastic pan where I put up acorns to sprout (6 Oct) was slightly askew. I lifted it with its upper layer of peat moss and discovered that two acorns were moldy and two already had shoots. I left the upper pan off and discarded the two rotting acorn. I hope the other two survive the winter.
Clear, sunny, and cold
|Raked leaves in front of the house last Thursday and again today. On Thursday, I saved enough oak (Quercus lobata), zelkova (Z. serrata), and liquidambar (L. styraciflua) leaves to fill a large trash barrel. I'll add them to the compost pile after some of the leaves already there are "digested". These hardwood leaves make a compost that is close to being leaf mold.
Something has been eating my oranges, not bugs but something large enough to carry an orange half-way across my back yard. I ate one for lunch today. Only three remain.
By this date last year, the accumulated rainfall (starting 1 Oct) was 0.83 inches, almost twice what has fallen in the same period this year. And last year was an extremely dry year; in some parts of California, it was the driest on record. While this past week's rainfall was quite welcome, the overall situation is cause for concern.
Also by this date last year, the accumulated winter chill (hours of temperatures at or below 45°F, starting 1 Nov) was just shy of 11 hours. So far this year, we have not had any winter chill at all, putting my peach tree at risk.
Several years ago, we received a potted Cymbidium orchid in bloom. After it finished blooming, it sulked for several years without any flowers. Right now, it has FOUR flower stalks in bud!
Clear, sunny, and warm
1 Nov: While walking through my garden in back to pick some kumquats (Fortunella margarita 'Nagami') to eat with my lunch, I noticed the 'Study in Black' bearded iris (I. germanica, 31 Oct) had been dug up and were lying on the soil surface. I could find only two of the three rhizomes. I replanted them and then stepped heavily on the soil to discourage further digging. The ranunculus did not seem disturbed. I'm not sure, but I think that whatever is digging up newly planted bulb-like plants is attracted by the scent of the bone meal at the bottoms of the plant holes.
Divided the 'Wenatchee Skies' bearded iris, something that I should have done a year ago. This time, I used superphosphate instead of bone meal at the bottom of the planting hole. I hope this switch will cause whatever creature that has been digging in my garden to leave the iris alone.
Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.
The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.
The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)
Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.
Rain is in inches. Rain amounts are omitted after 60 consecutive days elapse without any measurable amount. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year. Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.
Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold.
The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:
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