Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mission Impossible: But it will be done.

Eradication of 3 of the worst invasives in my yard. Fortunately, none of them were started by me. Each year, I try pulling them out. Even one or two remaining leads to repopulation with these obnoxious weeds. When I pull them up, the rhizomes break, and new plants grow form the nodes. They re-seed like crazy. OK, I'm tired of this endless futile battle. This year, 2011, I'm declaring war. Lemon Balm. The yard was full of them 9 years ago when I bought this house. I made the mistake of leaving a few plants. Unfortunately, they grew and spread new plants all over the yard. This year, I am using Worry Free, an organic weed killer. Has a nice citrus scent. Every time I see a Lemon Balm plant, I spray again. They are dying off. I will continue to seek and destroy them. By summer, there will be no more. Canada thistle. Not as bad, but pulling them out doesn't kill the parent rhizome. One side border now has lawn, trailing around fruit trees. Repeated mowing will do the job. As it turns out, Worry Free quickly kills the new sprouts. I don't know yet if the plant carries the substance into the rhizome, but I have confidence that repeated killing will remove this pest from my yard for the first time in 9 years. Goutweed. This is the worst. Invasive as hell. The chickens love to eat it, but leaving any for them results in re-infestation. Areas that I have cleared are highly reinfested again. Repeated applications of Worry Free don't seem to kill the parent rhizome. Digging results in spreading of rhizomes. I hate to say it, but if no improvement with repeated applications of Worry Free, I may resort to Roundup. Not my favorite thought, but some organic authors don't have problems with roundup, which is biodegradable, and my use will be very limited. That's if I use it. This damn plant has got to go. In addition, I have ambitions to remove English Ivy, Himalayan Blackberry, and Garlic Mustard Weed. This last was a "gift" "nice groundcover" that I accepted and planted in ignorance. The infested area is relatively small, so I should be able to remove it. Again, digging doesnt work, so more Worry Free. The ivy and blackberry will have to be pulled out.

Intergeneric orchid Stefan Isler

Really lovely. There are 4 spikes. Im proud of myself, getting this to bloom. These are the first flowers to open - I expect many.

The season begins. Peaches and plums in bloom.

This is garden gold peach. There are traces of leaf curl on the new leaves. Leaf curl usually starts small then dominates. I'll be watching. If it's bad, that means no way to gtrow genetic dwarf peaches in my area without bagging them in plastic for the winter or heavy sprays. I did spray belated with micro-cop but might have been too little too late. Depends on how bad it is. I might cut these down and replace with "resistant" varieties next spring, if they don't produce.

Shiro plum. The most blooms so far. I did the "bee" thing and went back and forth between Shiro, Hollywood, and Trilite Peach-Plum.

The front border. Tri-lite peach-plum is in bloom with pink flowers. Quite lovely.

Hollywood plum. This tree is so lovely, it doesn't have to fruit to be worth having. But I hope it does. The plums are tasty and beautiful.

Bonanza miniature peach. Or is it Pondorosa - I get those mixed up. Tiny tree but lots of flowers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back on line. What's blooming?

Desktop computer died. Camera seemed to be taking fuzzy pics. Got new camera. For some reason, laptop started displaying all instructions in Chinese - not helpful at all. Rebuild laptop from scratch. Whew! Almost back in business. Need better program to crop and edit pics. Here are the 1st ones from new camera.

Charlei got a haircut. He's my #1 buddy, always.The earliest narcissus are blooming. I think these are "jetfire".

Hollywood plum is blooming. This is the first plum to bloom. Bonanza peach and Trilite peach-plum are almost open as well. We had frost yesterday am, but it looked like it didn't frost the buds.
As things start working again, I hope to have more posted. Front bed renovations are 80% completed.