Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Transfer to a new blog hosting website.

After long consideration, I decided to transfer this blog to the Wordpress blog host. The name will be different:

I don't know how that will work out.  Changing to a new host will mean a different look and feel to the website, and some time for me to get used to how it works.  

the URL will be:  nwgarden.wordpress.com

The title of the blog will be:  Growing A Pacific NorthWest Garden

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Bearded Iris Summer Care and Planting Some New Ones. 7.21.19

New Bearded Iris Rhizomes.  7.21.19
Bearded Iris Garden.  7.21.19

Bearded Iris Garden.  7.21.19
 Mid summer is a good time for some bearded iris garden maintenance and updating.  I don't think they are completely dormant, because I have kept them watered, as well as gave them a dose of low nitrogen fertilizer after they finished blooming.  Most of the clumps are much more robust than they were this time last year.  The leaves are larger and thicker, and the rhizomes look thick and sturdy.

I certainly don't need more varieties, but it's fun to  test new ones.  Those came in the mail two days ago.  My mistake, two are duplicates of ones I thought were lost, but then found.  So there are only four new ones.  I planted the duplicates next to clumps of the same cultivars.

I discarded several big clumps of varieties I consider underwhelming, or have too many duplicates.  I also moved some clumps to new raised beds in the old Vancouver yard.  I also divided several clumps, and refreshed some overgrown clumps by removing the old dead rhizomes and too-small offshoots, keeping the vigorous young ones. In particular, I divided "Immortality" and wound up with 4 clumps, one of which went to Vancouver and one to an "overstock"bed, to give away if someone wants it.  That bed also ot a big established clump of "Accent" as well as a smaller clump of "Sunny Disposition".

Some clumps were too close together.  I had underestimated their vigor.  I moved them further apart, so now the space that had 12  clumps, only has six, evenly spaced.

In the main iris bed, there are two very big clumps that did not bloom  this Spring.  I left them in place for one final chance next Spring.  For all I know, they may be more uglies, or duplicates of others.  Or they my be something nice.

From the "recovery" beds I discarded clumps of two ugly and one that was too many of that cultivar, and moved 3 clumps that I liked into the main iris garden.
Bearded Iris Garden.  7.21.19

As for cutting back the leaves, for the most part I did not.  I was careful to avoid too much root trauma,  so I didn't think that I needed to remove leaves to balance for root loss.  Leaves mean photosynthesis, which sends sugars for storage to the rhizomes for strong growth and bloom next year.  I am progressively cutting off all old leaves that look dry or very droopy.

Other than minor weeding, cultivating with stirrup hoe (shallow), and removing dead leaves, there isn't much more to do.  I might water the new ones, and the reblooming varieties, once a week until fall.  I'll cut back the leaves in late fall too.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Columnar Apple Tree Progress Report. 7.14.19

Columnar Apple NorthPole, Transplanted Fall 2017.  7.14.19

New Columnar Apple Golden Treat.  7.14.19
 Here are some of the columnar apple trees.  As I age and become less able, I think they will be a great way to have home grown apples, easy to care for, prune, and harvest fruit.  They are also easy to grow in a fenced in bed, for protection from deer.

Some day I'll summarize my findings and experiences with columnar apple trees.  I've grown NorthPole for nearly 20 years.  Northpole is descended from excellent parents, one being MacIntosh, and has great flavor for fresh eating, pies, and apple sauce.  It's no novelty.  The main problem is it seems to bear in alternate years, if apples are not properly thinned each year.

The 2 NorthPole apple trees in my fenced bed are my own grafts, from unknown ("dwarf" or "semidwarf") rootstock that I obtained from suckers off a tree that had been removed.  That's not a good way to know what is happening.  Those trees are growing well.  I transplanted one at a large size - more than 6 feet tall - in fall, 2017, and one at about the same size in fall 2018.  Both have a few apples.  I don't expect much one to two years after transplanting.  I also transplanted the Golden Sentinel, much larger tree and much smaller rootstock, last fall.  It has no apples but is growing very nicely.  This year I added to sapling size trees, Tasty Red and Golden Treat, which have settled in and are growing nicely.  They probably wont bear for a few years.

To make up for my random rootstock experimentation, this year I grafted NorthPole onto Bud-9 rootstocks.  I also grafted Golden Sentinel and Scarlet Sentinel, which as far as I can tell from a long time searching patent literature, have never been patented in the USA.  Ditto for NorthPole, which as far as I can tell is past its patent or was not patented in the USA.    I'm growing four of those in containers - one did not take, and died.  I also have three in the soil, near two other apple trees, protected by fencing.  Those are also growing nicely.
Columnar Apple "Golden Sentinel" Transplanted 10/2018.  7.14.19

The goal with trying Bud-9 is to see if I can make a reliably compact, early bearing, either container size or garden bed size columnar apple tree from these varieties.  Since the grafts took for 7 of these trees, I have enough to play with during the coming years.

I need to add photos of the other trees, including the 19 year old NorthPole on unknown rootstock - maybe not dwarfing? - which is a handsome tree, and which I now have ideas about keeping relatively compact and suitable for a suburban yard. 

Healing Whip and Tongue Graft, NorthPole apple on Bud-9 Dwarfing Rootstock.  7.14.19
Columnar Apple Trees Grafted to Bud-9 Dwarfing Rootstock.  7.14.19

Kitchen Garden Progress Report. 7.14.19

Standing Amid the First Sweetcorn Crop.  7.14.19

Seedlings of Chinese Radish and Japanese Turnips, about 10 days after planting. 7.14.19
 Here I am amid the sweet corn.  This is the first crop, planted mid may.  They are growing nicely.  I've planted 5 blocks of sweetcorn, roughly 4 rows of 6 plants each with some variation, about every 2 or 3 weeks after this first batch. 
Seedlings of Purple Top Turnips, about 4 days after planting.  7.14.19

The purple top turnips and Chinese Radishes and Japanese Turnips all germinated very quickly.  The main challenge with planting mid summer, is keeping them watered.  So I water every day or every other day.

 Here I am next to the summer squash, zucchini, and sauce tomato crops.  For what it's worth, when out in the summer, I wear a white long sleeved shirt, that has been treated with a Rit  UV blocker for UV protection, and a straw hat.  It's not fashionable, but this helps with healthy skin.

Dayliies. 11 Jul 19

Seedling Daylily.  About 3 years old.  7.14.19

Daylily 7.14.19
I have not been watering or doing anything good for most of these daylilies.  I like them, but have not had the time.  Some are doing well regardless.\

Some more of the seedling daylilies have been blooming.  I'm very happy about the top one pictured.  This is a hybrid of the "Vigaro" NOID daylily, with Chicago Apache.  I like the deep color and ruffles.  I will keep it.  I want to name it something like "Tyranosaurus Rex Blood".  Maybe.  I'm not fond of the one labeled "Soon to be compost" and not sure about the lavender one.

I have lost the labels from some of the others.  If I find them, I hope to addend this blog entry with the accurate names.
Ugly Daylily Seedling, 3 years old.  About to become "compost".

Lavender Daylily Seedling, 3 years old.  7.14.19

Daylily "Ice Carnival". 7.14.19

NOID Daylily (labeled "Vigoro"). 7.14.19

Historic Daylily.  7.14.19

Daylily.  7.14.19

Some Early Fruits and Vegetables. 7.14.19

Here are some zucchinis and supper squashes that I harvested today.  They are doing the usual highly vigorous zucchini thing.  Also some salad cucumbers, and a couple of banana peppers.

Today I also harvested my first fig, a Carni fig, and harvested a few more Methley plums.  Those are the first plums of the year.  There are a few Illinois Everbearing mulberries waiting to pick.

Nepenthes (Tropical carnivorous pitcher plants) Growing Outdoors. 7.14.19

Nepenthes Deroose Alata.  7.14.19
 Here are some of the Nepenthes so far this summer.  I had moved them out of the sunroom because, on hot days, I couldn't get the heat under 120 to 130F.  As a result, a few of the pitchers were scorched.  I moved them to the front deck,, which gets mostly Western sun, and some are under the overhang and get no direct sun but lots of bright light.

I water them daily with rain water, adding 1/8 tsp general purpose Miracle Grow  per quart watering can.  I let the water drain through the bottom.   The benefit of that treatment can be seen in the Deroose Alata, which has had that treatment since late winter in the sunroom. All of the visible pitchers and leaves visible in this photo grew under this regimen.

A few are not pictured.  If the light is good tomorrow, I may add them here.

Except for Nepenthes Deroose Alata,  all were added in early June (I think).  They are all starting to grow and most are starting to produce pitchers under my growing conditions.   It will take a while to see the mature appearance.

All were from growcarnivorousplants.com

Nepenthes X Falcon.  7.14.19

Nepenthes Dyeriana.  7.14.19

L to Right, N. X Whisper, N. campanuplata X lowii, N. Ruby Alice.

L to R, N. maxima X aristochoides, N. Peter Damato, N. albomarginata Black.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Those Overwintered Geraniums. 11 Jul 19

 These are a few of the geraniums  overwinter  each year.  I think they are around 5 to 7 years old.  There is not much to it.  In October, I move the containers out of the rains, under the eaves so they dry out as much as possible in a sunny location.  Then I move them to garage or basement, leave them  dry for the winter.  I Spring,Icleanthe, up, remove dead leaves, do some pruning, water, and in a month they are up growing and blooming again.  Bigger, more lush, more flowers, than any plant you can buy, and the cost is zero.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Planting Summer Seeds. Radishes and Turnips. Jul 8, 2019

Japanese Turnip and Chinese Radish Seeds.  Jul 8, 2019
Today I planted experimental rows of radishes and turnips, in the location where I dug two rows of potatoes.  Not a lot, about 3 foot rows for each.  It might be too early - late summer might have them growing mostly in cooler fall weather.  I can plant more later.

I love turnips, and these East Asian types of radishes can be very good for fresh eating or roasting.

I plant potatoes in trenches, starting at about a foot derp and filling in soil as they grow.  Digging them, I insert the shovel under where I expect to find spuds.  By the time the taters are dug up, the soil has been mixed and softened more than a foot deep.  I think that's ideal for these root crops.

Given summer dryness, the soil dryness extended the depth of the trenches.  Watering is needed.

There are as many potatoes still growing, as I dug already.  There are plans for those rows too Western - type turnips and radishes, maybe sone cabbages, and I want to move a row of daylilies there for easier care.

Edit:  by 7/14, all of the seeds are germinated and growing vigorously.  They germinated in about one week.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Home Made Daylily Hybrid. Jul 7, 2019

Home Made Daylily Hybrid.  Jul 7, 2019
This is the first bloom on this new hybrid.  I did not keep track.  I think it was an unnamed ochre colored daylily, crossed with Chicago-something, a red flower.  Some of my home made hybrids are ugly.  I like this one very much.