Thursday, August 16, 2012

Progress Report: The New 2 Acres

With 100 degree F days, and no rain for a few weeks, it's not a great time for planting and digging. Still, there were a few things to do. I've hauled 3 truckloads of compost. I dug some into the borders and used some as a mulch on the borders and the fruit trees. Two columnar apples are planted. They were on sale, in containers. Red Sentinel and Golden Sentinel. I have Northstar at home and like it. If they don't survive, that's OK, but I've mixed compost into the soil for water retention, mulched with compost, and have given water each day. So far no wilting. Also planted 2 small fig starts and 2 larger containerized fig trees, again with addition of compost, mulching, and watering. No wilting so far, but one had some leaf sunburn. It's sunnier than the yard at home. Ning contracted a fence builder. The fence will provide a structure for layout and planning. In addition, while it can't keep all of the varmints out, it at least makes them go to more effort. Noting significant deer damage on the few anemic fruit trees currently there - 2 near-dead small apple trees, one may be apricot, and one European plum. I've sprayed deer repellent, placed special contributions from the dogs as supposedly fearsome "predator spoor", and of course there's that new fence. I've also given then a bit of water. The ?apricot? seems to be putting out some new growth, and so far, no new denuding of branches by Bambi. I've also rejuvenated a front border, removing weeds, digging in compost, and plated iris rhizomes from there, and from home, and a few new ones. Iris are reported as deer-resistant, and will be a good water conserving choice when established. Ditto for the lavender, rosemary, oregano, and thyme that I planted. Rosemary smells so good. Once established these will need little or no water. Rounding it out, I've also planted some Monarda/Bee balm, which is deer resistant and attracts bees and hummingbirds, and Yarrow, ditto. Off to a start. If the heat wave goes on for more than a month, it will be hard to keep going with the new starts, but most of the chosen plants are quite tough. The figs and apples were in containers, so needed watering whether I planted them or not. The perennials and herbs were also very cheap, 60% off, being on closeout because of the late season and who in their right mind is gardening now?

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