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My Garden Diary

July and August 2019

Copyright © 2019 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 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
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

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

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
2 Aug

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 67-97
Humidity: 18%
Wind: 2-15

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 38

Finished pruning the second lavender (26 Aug) and stsrted a third.

The drip irrigation for the roses in front has not been shutting off when it should. I did not notice until it actually ran for two solid days. I then received a warning from my water service that a failure to "repair a leak" could result in a fine. Also, sprinkler lines in front and back have leaks, but only when the sprinklers are running. My favorite landscape contractor did the repairs today.

26 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 71-101
Humidity: 21%
Wind: 3-14

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 31

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia with a commercial 10-4-10 citrus fertilizer plus a small amount of zinc sulfate.

Started pruning the 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) in the circular bed in back. Not only are the four lavenders crowding adjacent plants, but they are also blocking the path that circles the bed. I finished pruning one lavender and did about half of another.

Lightly trimmed two of the dwarf Burford holly in the rose bed that were blocking a sprinkler. Earlier in the day, I trimmed some of the eugenia (Syzygium paniculatum) along the east edge of the front lawn that were also blocking a sprinkler there.

24 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 75-103
Humidity: 21%
Wind: 0-17

Fed the roses with ammonium sulfate (21-0-0). Two of the roses in back — 'Color Magic' and climbing 'Don Juan' — look quite sad. I hope that when I prune the adjacent dwarf Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') the roses will revive.

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 29

19 Jul

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 56-86
Humidity: 35%
Wind: 0-10

Finally finished pruning all the dwarf myrtle (12 & 14 Jul).

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 24

14 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 62-100
Humidity: 24%
Wind: 0-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 19

Yesterday, I had someone remove the weeds and cut down the seedling trees on My Hill. This was quite expensive. However, it had to be done; and I am getting too old to do it. (I am well past my "best if used by" date.)

Last year, I cut out the stalk of faded flowers from the 'Illumination Flame' foxglove (Digitalis purpurea × canariensis), leaving the base stalk with its leaves. Multiple stalks grew. This year when the flowers faded, I cut one of the stalks quite low, below any of its leaves. Now new shoots are starting from the stub. Thus, I cut low several of the other shoots.

Since the foxglove had signs of whitefly, I gave it a small dose of fertilizer that contains a systemic insecticide. I also gave very tiny dose of that fertilizer to the rooted cutting of 'Simply Marvelous' rose that is in a gallon nursery can on my patio.

Pruned the remaining myrtle some more (12 Jul). I could have finished, but the green trash bin (for garden waste) is now full.

In each of July, August, and September, the averages of daily high temperatures are greater than 90°F. The past few days reflect such heat, so I changed the timer for the sprinkler system to increase output by 25%, from 6 minutes per valve twice on every third day to 5 minutes three times on every third day. Yes, my garden is irrigated only once in three days. I water deeply and infrequently to promote deep rooting. For plants that are naturally shallow rooted, my beds have a generous mulch of leaves.

12 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 63-98
Humidity: 27%
Wind: 1-13

Finished pruning the rosemary.

Started pruning the last dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Compacta'; 16 Jun and earlier) in back.


Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 17

8 Jul

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 56-80
Humidity: 53%
Wind: 0-11

Finished trimming the edges of the paths in the back yard. I still have to trim the lawn at the edge of the main patio.

Pruned another major limb of the rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) in front.


Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 13

5 Jul

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 56-87
Humidity: 44%
Wind: 0-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 10

All leaves on the sapling valley white oak (Quercus lobata, 24 Jun 2016) in the 5 gallon nursery can on the patio suddenly all died. I feared the tree was doomed. Now, however, it is getting new leaves. I do not know what happened.

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia (G. jasminoides) with ammonium, iron, and zinc sulfates. As usual, I very lightly trim these trees when I feed them, primarily removing dead, puny, or misplaced growth.

Trimmed most of the edges of the path between the back lawn and the teardrop bed.

3 Jul

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 66-93
Humidity: 18%
Wind: 2-13

Trimmed the edges of the front lawn — again (1 May).

Rain —
This rain-year: 19.51
Days since last: 8

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.
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
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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