Thursday, March 05, 2009

Early March Garden Log

What's growing and blooming?

Daffodils are about 4 inches tall. Many closed flower buds are present. Hyacinths, similar size.
Rhubarb is the first food plant to start growing. I love the crinkled red leaves and knobby buds.

Helleborus is blooming. Since the plant is short and the flowers droop, they are difficult to appreciate.

Garlic is alive and about 5 inches tall. We'll have garlic this year! I was concerned that the extreme cold this winter might have done it in.

Pussy willow is blooming, but not much. It may be too young, or not in enough sun.
Forsythia has green buds. I don't know if it will bloom - no yellow shows - again, it's on the North side of the house, so possibly not enough sun. Last year the flowers were sparse.

I planted cuttings from my Dad's forsythia from Illinois. That shrub is at least 50 years old and maybe 80 years old. Not really special, but if the cuttings grow, I'll have a bit of a keepsake from my past.

Pear blossoms are swelling. Lilac blossoms are swelling. Aprium blossoms starting to show a little pink.

The plum trees that I recently planted are starting to show life, with swelling buds. Can I hope for, maybe, one plum each, so that I know what they taste like? I did spray both with the last bit of lime-sulfur.

Finches are fighting in the feeder now.

Today was a day off. Overcast, not too cold. I did the following in the back yard:

Pruned roses. Most have about 1 inch of growth. Local authorities precaution against pruning too early, since pruning supposedly stinulates growth which can be killed by frost. Since they are growing now anyway, I don't see the difference. I have pruned as early as January, and many neighborhood roses were pruned then as well, but this year I thought I would try to follow the 'experts' advice.

Most were cut back to about 2 feet tall. Tallest was about 7 feet tall before pruning. Removed dead wood. Sprayed these roses with the left-over lime sulfur from the peaches, but to prevent leaf spot.

Still a lot of roses to prune in the front yard. Maybe this weekend.

Uncovered peaches. These are miniature peach trees. Big problem last year was leaf curl, which destroyed the crop and almost killed the trees. Last fall, I sprayed with Micro-cop and covered the trees with plastic (see links). I meant to uncover them last week but was not able. They are actually starting to grow. The tiniest is blooming. Uh-oh. So, I uncovered. I read that micro-cop doesnt work, so I sprayed with Lily Miller PolySul Summer and dormant spray at dilution C, which is for growing season. I used the more dilute spray due to concern for toxicity to new buds. This may not be strong enough for leaf curl (4 teaspoons per gallon instead of 1 cup per gallon) but compromise is necessary. Maybe the unscientific combination will be better than no spray? This is considered organic since it is just lime and sulfur, not petrochemicals. Depends on who you talk to.

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