Viewable With ANY Browser

Note: My Web pages are best viewed with style sheets enabled.

Unrated

My Garden Diary

January and February 2020

Copyright © 2020 by David E. Ross

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. 7

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?


January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017
May-June 2017
July-August 2017
September-October 2017
November-December 2017
January-February 2018
March-April 2018
May-June 2018
July-August 2018
September-October 2018
November-December 2018
January-February 2019
March-April 2019
May-June 2019
July-August 2019
September-October 2019
November-December 2019

Diary entries for 2004 through 2014

Entries below 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 without years refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear — including entries on prior pages for the same year — unless a different year is given.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
23 Feb

Mostly cloudy, occasional hazy sun, and cool

Temp: 46-66
Winter chill: 212.8
Humidity: 60%
Wind: 0-8

Sprayed the peach tree with a mixture of copper sulfate (a fungicide) and dormant oil (to kill over-wintering insect eggs). I also sprayed those roses that were not yet fully in leaf. This is the only preventative spraying I do.

One other preventative — but not by spraying — is that I use a systemic insecticide drench on the peach tree after all blossoms have fallen. The purpose is to prevent bark borers, which severely damaged earlier peach trees that I had. The timing is to avoid injuring bees that pollinate the flowers.


Rain —
This rain-year: 6.82
The past week: 0.11

21 Feb

Mostly cloudy, some hazy sun, and mild

Temp: 59-74
Winter chill: 212.8
Humidity: 22%
Wind: 3-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.71
Days since last: 12

Cleared the leaves from the path between the back lawn and the west bed.

All the roses are getting leaves, so I fed them with ammonium, iron, and magnesium sulfates. Normally, I would wait until March to start feeding my garden; but the roses were impatient.

One of the two Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') cuttings has roots. It has been six months since I put up the cuttings (18 Aug 18). Since I do not think the other one will ever get roots, I discarded it. I used the pot to put up two cuttings of dwarf English ivy to replace the ivy I removed from the mailbox in front (17 Feb).

17 Feb

Mostly clear with a few thin clouds, mostly sunny but sometimes hazy, and mild

Temp: 52-74
Winter chill: 212.8
Humidity: 32%
Wind: 1-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.71
Days since last: 8

The mailbox in front has been leaning at a slowly increasing tilt. Yesterday, I removed all the dwarf English ivy (Hedera helix 'Hahn's') to inspect the post (1½-inch PVC pipe). I discovered that the post had broken at its base, and the mailbox was only held up by the ivy. The roots of the ivy were so thick that I could not dig down to the base of the post, which was merely screwed into a pipe flange.

Today, I created a new support for the mailbox. I pounded a length of steel rebar into the ground right next to the driveway, leaving about 12 inches above ground. (I avoided the concrete plug to which the old pipe flange was bolted.) I took a 10-inch length of ¾-inch galvenized pipe and threaded two successive couplings to increase the diameter sufficient to take a PVC coupling from the 1½-inch PVC pipe. I threaded the galvenized pipe with the couplings on top onto the rebar and pounded it into the ground until the large coupling at the top was even with the rebar. After cutting away the broken end of the PVC pipe, I slipped a new PVC coupling onto the end and screwed it into the galvenized coupling. I then measured the total height. After checking the heights of mailboxes in front of my neighbors' homes, I determined that this arrangement would be an acceptable height for the mail carrier. I removed the new PVC coupling from the PVC pipe, cleaned both the cut end of the pipe and the inside of the coupling with alcohol, and glued the coupling to the pipe with PVC cement.

15 Feb

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 51-71
Winter chill: 212.8
Humidity: 29%
Wind: 1-9

A major limb on the Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) in the teardrop bed was dead. I removed it. Checking the rest of the tree, I am concerned that recent frosts might have caused severe damage. Scratching the bark, I saw no green. (On the other hand, I do see green on the lemon tree (8 Feb) when I scratch its bark.)

Removed leaves from against the house on the west side. If we get more rain, those leaves would retain moisture that could affect the house.


Rain —
This rain-year: 6.71
The past week: 0.02

8 Feb

Scattered thin haze, mostly sunny, and mild

Temp: 51-70
Winter chill: 212.8
Humidity: 43%
Wind: 0-7

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.69
Days since last: 17

Yesterday, the owner of a tree service come to see what I need done and give me an estimate. It has been two years (26 Feb 18) since my larger trees were trimmed. He told me that my sad-looking dwarf lemon and kumquat trees were not dead. Instead, they were damaged by frost exacerbated by insufficient moisture. He also said they are very likely to recover.

I picked all the lemons from the tree. Strange as it sounds, cold weather hastens the ripening of citrus fruit; and all my lemons were ripe. I got over three cups of lemon juice, which I froze.

Finally cleared all the leaves from the driveway and brick path in front. I had planned to start removing leaves from the paths in back, but the green garden waste bin is now full.

2 Feb

Clear, then completely overcast, then clear with scattered clouds; sunny, then hazy sun, then sunny again; and mild

Temp: 65-73
Winter chill: 171.3
Humidity: 36%
Wind: 1-17

Finished pruning the climbing 'Fourth of July' rose in front. Then, I pruned the climbing 'Don Juan' rose in back. The latter went very quickly since it has not grown much since it was planted (1 Apr 18). I hope 'Don Juan' is finally well established and grows well this year.

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.69
The past week:
Days since last: 11

31 Jan

Scattered thin clouds, sunny, and mild

Temp: 59-76
Winter chill: 171.3
Humidity: 22%
Wind: 1-17

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.69
Days since last: 9

Replaced the green pothos with the rooted cuttings (22 Jan).

Cleared leaves from the brick walk and removed much of the leaves from the driveway, nearly filling the green trash bin for the county's composting program.

Got half-way through pruning the climbing 'Fourth of July' rose in front.

Because the soil in my garden is still moist from the rains, I have not been running the sprinkler system. Unfortunately, the very large flower pots containing my dwarf citrus did not hold enough moisture. The 'Robertson' navel orange and the kumquat have both wilted, and the 'Eureka' lemon might lose all of its leaves. I watered them heavily today, and I turned the sprinkler system on to run this coming Sunday.

26 Jan

Mostly overcast, clearing before sunset; gray with occasional hazy sun; and cold

Temp: 45-59
Winter chill: 171.3
Humidity: 81%
Wind: 1-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.69
The past week: 0.02

Yesterday, the red fescue (Festuca rubra) lawn in back was mowed. Because of my grass allergy, I paid someone to do this; and they did an excellent job. Fortunately, their mower was able to also remove the thick layer of leaves that hid the grass. Red fescue is an ornamental grass that grows as much as a foot high but flops over. When The Tree drops many leaves, I have to rake them away; otherwise, they will cause dead patches in the lawn. However, I cannot rake the lawn until it is cut short; so I have it mowed once a year, in the late autumn or early winter. This year, I was late in arranging the mowing.

Removed some of the leaves that I mounded along the edges of the driveway in front, almost filling the green trash bin for the county's composting program.

Pruned the climbing 'Peace' rose in back. I left enough room in the green bin to hold the result. The rose now extends over 16 feet tied down to the slough wall that separates the rose bed from My Hill.

22 Jan

Clear, sunny, and cool

Temp: 45-66
Winter chill: 170.3
Humidity: 61%
Wind: 0-9

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.69
The past week: 0.28

Potted up the rooted cuttings of the green pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum 'Jade', 30 Sep 19). This variety appears to be somewhat rare. I only saw it in the nursery (12 Oct 05) where I obtained the original cutting, a nursery that is now out of business; I have not seen this variety any other place. Thus, I will wait to make sure the rooted cuttings survive being potted before I discard their parent plant.

Raked leaves away from the edges of the back lawn. Someone is coming Saturday to mow the lawn, so I wanted to make sure he could see where the lawn ends. With all the leaves falling from The Tree, much of the back yard appears to be one indistinguishable mass of leaves.

Finished pruning the peach tree (3 Jan). (I did two limbs sometime in the past week.)

3 Jan

Some thin clouds, mostly sunny, and mild

Temp: 57-74
Winter chill: 126.2
Humidity: 26%
Wind: 0-9

Started pruning the peach tree (Prunus persica 'Santa Barbara') in back. I did two of the six major limbs before filling the green trash bin (garden waste for the county's composting program).

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.41
Days since last: 8

1 Jan

Clear, sunny, and cool

Temp: 51-66
Winter chill: 136.7
Humidity: 27%
Wind: 0-14

Finished pruning all my rose bushes (26 Dec 19), both in front and back. The three climbing roses will take much longer, possibly even a day each.

Rain —
This rain-year: 6.41
The past week: 1.24

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.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

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-year is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable 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. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
November-December 2019
September-October 2019
July-August 2019
May-June 2019
March-April 2019
January-February 2019
November-December 2018
September-October 2018
July-August 2018
May-June 2018
March-April 2018
January-February 2018
November-December 2017
September-October 2017
July-August 2017
May-June 2017
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015

Diary entries for 2004 through 2014


Valid HTML 4.01