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My Garden Diary

September and October 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

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
20 Sep

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 61-91
Humidity: 18%
Wind: 1-11

Rain —
This rain-year: 15.21
Days since last: 125

While wild fires continue to rage, prevailing winds changed to remove smoke from my area. Most of the fires resulted from lightening strikes; but one was arson, starting when pyrotechnics were used in a couple's "gender reveal" party.

Moved the rooted dwarf Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') cutting (18 Aug 19 & 21 Feb) from its initial 2-inch pot to a quart pot with a mix containing some nutrients. I placed the pot on the shelf outside the kitchen window with a miniature greenhouse over it. In about 3 weeks, I will remove the greenhouse. (The greenhouse is the clear bottom half of a 1-liter soft drink bottle.)

The Dracaena in the greenhouse window grew too tall. I cut it, leaving about 2-3 inches of stump. I trimmed the top and potted in an attempt to root it as a cutting. In the past, not only did such a cutting root quickly; but also the stump developed new shoots. If both happen, I might pot the rooted cutting elsewhere in the house.

Fed the roses with a commercial 6-9-6 fertilizer that also contains a systemic insecticide. I also gave very small amounts of this fertilizer to a potted Hippeastrum on the patio and to a potted spoon-flowered chrysanthemum (C. morifolium), both on my main patio. The Hippeastrum appears to be bothered by some kind of insect, and the chrysanthemum is often attacked by aphids and small grubs at this time of year.

13 Sep

Overcast (smoke from multiple wild fires), hazy sun, and hot

Temp: 71-94
Humidity: 15%
Wind: 0-12

Rain —
This rain-year: 15.21
Days since last: 118

Replaced two of the sprinkler heads at the bottom of My Hill. After adjusting them at my desk per instructions on my PC that I downloaded from the manufacturer's Web site, I only had to make a minor tweak on one when I tested them.

The potted weaping Chinese banyan (Ficus benjamina) on my front porch was badly damaged in the recent heat wave. I severely pruned it to remove dead and dying branches.

Leaf miners have attacked my dwarf kumquat. Since it has finished blooming, I gave it a drench of a systemic insecticide.

4 Sep

Clear, sunny, and very hot

Temp: 69-102
Humidity: 24%
Wind: 2-13

Rain —
This rain-year: 15.21
Days since last: 109

Fed the dwarf citrus and the gardenia (G. jasminoides 'Veitchii') with commercial citrus food (10-4-10). I also gave each citrus two pinches of zinc sulfate. The gardenia received two small handfuls.

While feeding the citrus, I noticed the start of leaf miner infestations on the tangelo and orange. I gave each of those two a systemic insecticide drench. The kumquat is not yet affected, so I did not treat it. This is fortunate since the kumquat is in bloom and being visited by many bees. The systemic insecticide would make the kumquat nectar fatally toxic to bees, but it is harmless to mammals and birds.

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.
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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