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My Garden Diary

November and December 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
January-February 2020
March-April 2020
May-June 2020
July-August 2020
September-October 2020

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.

Unless a different year is given, dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear, including entries on prior pages for the same year.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
17 Nov

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 62-80
Winter chill: 22.5
Humidity: 10%
Wind: 1-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.05
Days since last: 10

Raked leaves in front. I raked enought that I almost filled the garden-waste bin for the county's composting program, but none of the trees seem to have lost any leaves yet.

The fruit on my dwarf orange tree is starting to color. I expect to start picking and eating my own oranges in two or three weeks. Every time I count them, I get a different number; but there are approximately a dozen oranges on a tree that is not even 4 feet tall.

Planned to spread more gypsum on the back lawn, but it was too breezy. I would have received a face full of gypsum dust if I tried.

14 Nov

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 48-77
Winter chill: 22.5
Humidity: 27%
Wind: 3-20

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.05
Days since last: 7

Spread gypsum over part of the back lawn, from the west edge almost to The Tree. That included the Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (A. arborescens × absinthium) growing within the edge of the lawn, the fortnight lilies (Dietes iridiodes) between the lawn and main patio, and some of the lilies of the Nile (Agapanthus orientalis) adjacemt to the fortnight lilies. I emptied a full bag of gypsum in the effort. So far, I have applied about 100 pounds of gypsum in back. I will have to buy more to complete the lawn and to apply in front. Generally, I use about 250 pounds of gypsum during this biennial effort.

Fed the artichoke (Cynara scoymus) with a commercial fertilizer that contains a systemtic insecticide. The insecticide has proven harmless to mammals (including humans) and birds. It will prevent spider mites and aphids, which can be serious pests on an artichoke. The artichoke went dormant in the heat of summer and recently resprouted. I was told that feeding in the fall is important for producing edible flower buds in the spring.

10 Nov

Clear, sunny, and cool

Temp: 46-67
Winter chill: 22.5
Humidity: 15%
Wind: 1-15

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.05
The past week: 0.05

This time, we got some real rain (28 Oct) but not very much. We also got some winter chill much earlier than in recent years.

The Dracaena cutting (20 Sep) is well rooted. I could tell by the roots starting to poke their way out of the drain holes in the bottom of the plastic pot where I put up the cutting. I moved it to a clay pot and placed it in the greenhouse window in the breakfast room. (I use plastic pots only for rooting cuttings since they tend to keep the rooting medium moist.) The stump left when I took the cutting has not yet sprouted, but it is still green. I will keep it for a while.

Spread gypsum in the rose bed.

3 Nov

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 61-87
Winter chill: 0.0
Humidity: 22%
Wind: 1-12

Rain —
This rain-year: 0.0
Days since last: 169

Divided the 'Gold Galore' bearded iris (I. germanica) in the east bed in back. Actually, the clump did not yet need to be divided. It merely looked crowded because the plants grew quite lush.

Finished applying gypsum to the east bed. First, I had to sift the gypsum because it had formed large lumps in the bag.

Had the back lawn mowed. This is done once each year in the autumn. When The Tree goes dormant, I cannot rake the leaves off the grass unless it has been mowed. If the leaves are not raked, they form a covering thick enough to kill the grass underneath.

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.
September-October 2020
July-August 2020
May-June 2020
March-April 2020
January-February 2020
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


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