Viewable With ANY Browser

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


My Garden Diary

January and February 2006

Copyright © 2006 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.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. So here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?

April-May 2004
June-July 2004
August-October 2004
November-December 2004
January-February 2005
March-April 2005
May-June 2005
July-August 2005
September-October 2005
November-December 2005

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.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year (but perhaps a different page) as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
10 February

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 55-81
Humidity: 28%
Wind: 1-13

Rain —
Season: 4.70
Days since last: 27

Is this February or August? And the rainy season is a bust. Last year by this date, we had over 20 inches of rain, leading up to a near record of over 32 inches. So far this season, we have had less than half of normal.

Renovated a planting of Philodendron growing in water in a large blue glass bottle (sort of a flask with a handle, long neck, and pouring spout). It had grown lanky, with long leafless stems and foliage only at the ends. I replaced the plants with some cuttings I rooted in a juice glass of water. Then I added some unrooted cuttings from the plants I then discarded.

Made about six gallons of potting mix for use when I repot my dwarf lemon tree. I omitted all nutrients except bone meal and a small amount of soil sulfur. I will be pruning the roots and want the tree to recover before adding any nutrients. The bone meal supplies phosphorus, which does not dissolve and travel through the mix. The sulfur acidifies the mix, but only if it is within the mix and not at the surface. Thus, these two had to be added now. The nutrients that I will add later will all dissolve and leach through the mix.

Trimmed the star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), which was becoming quite shaggy, especially on the south side of the trellis.

29 January

High, thin clouds; hazy sun; and cool

Temp: 47-67
Humidity: 49%
Wind: 1-6

Rain —
Season: 4.70
Days since last: 15

Pruned the 'Color Magic' and 'Arizona' roses in back. They are towards the front of the rose bed and farthest from My Hill. Thus, they might survive the grading needed to repair My Hill. I also pruned the miniature 'Shy Girl' and 'Red Minimo' roses on the patio after moving their large pot about two feet away from the Agapanthus orientalis.

Sprayed the peach tree and the pruned roses with a dormant spray (an emulsion of oil and various copper salts). The peach will have to be sprayed again just before flowering.

27 January

Mostly clear with a few thin clouds, sunny (sometimes hazy), and cold

Temp: 44-59
Humidity: 55%
Wind: 1-15

Rain —
Season: 4.70
Days since last: 13

Finished pruning the roses in front. This included tying up the climbing '4th of July' with fresh twine.

Picked 19 lemons from my dwarf tree. They were all very puny, many smaller than golf balls. Although they all looked ripe, some were green inside. Several were getting soft, as if they were drying out from being on the tree too long. I got slightly less than 4 ounces of thick juice (almost like a syrup). The tree looks quite sad. I hope I can revive it this spring after I repot it.

22 January

Clear, sunny, and cool

Temp: 48-60
Humidity: 28%
Wind: 0-40 (gusts to 61)

Rain —
Season: 4.70
Days since last: 8

We finally had significant frost. I saw it on neighboring roofs early in the morning, and the basil finally died.

Pruned the Ficus benjamina on the front porch. It was so tall, I was concerned that its flower pot might tip over. Also, some side branches were blocking the front door.

Pruned five of the seven roses in front. The smaller bushes — those closest to the sidewalk — have lost their vigor. If they don't respond to feeding this year, I might have to replace them.

Received the papers for the government disaster loan to repair My Hill. I hope to start work as soon as the soil dries from this winter's rains.

15 January

Partially cloudy, mostly sunny, and cold

Temp: 41-55
Humidity: 56%
Wind: 1-17

Rain —
Season: 4.70
Week: 0.12

Finally finished pruning the peach tree. Before I was done, however, I accidentally tried to prune the tip off one of my fingers. It finally stopped bleeding.

Met with a civil engineer last week. I'm finally making some progress towards repairing My Hill, more than a year after it fell into my rose bed in back.

8 January

Clear, sunny, and warm to mild

Temp: 53-71
Humidity: 27%
Wind: 7-24

Rain —
Season: 4.58
Week: 2.23

By this time last year, we already had over 13 inches of rain.

Finished pruning the third limb of the peach tree. The garden waste bin has no room for the large branches from the fourth limb; so I expect to start pruning the roses, which take less room.

5 January

Partially cloudy, hazy sun, and mild

Temp: 60-69
Humidity: 35%
Wind: 9-29

Rain —
Week: 2.79

About two-thirds done with pruning the third main limb of the peach tree.

Although I've seen some frost on the roofs early in the morning, we have not had any real frost. I can tell by the fact that the basil is still alive.

Weather data are from the Cheesebro (CHE) weather station, a little less than 1.2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the night ending on that date.

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 then end of the day).

Rain is in inches. Rain amounts are omitted after 60 consecutive days elapse without any measurable amount.
Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall since the start of the current rainy season, which began on 20 Sep 2005 with the first measurable rain, until noon on the indicated date.
Week is the cumulative amount of 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.

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)
November-December 2005
September-October 2005
July-August 2005
May-June 2005
March-April 2005
January-February 2005
November-December 2004
August-October 2004
June-July 2004
April-May 2004

Valid HTML 4.01