Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chores

I enjoyed the few hours of sunshine we had yesterday afternoon by going outside and cleaning up the garden. I hadn't done any weeding or deadheading in a very long time so I really focused my attention on those two tasks. I grow a lot of self sowing annuals so when I deadhead those, I always drop the seed heads back into the garden; but if I don't cut them off, then flower production stops - especially on my cosmos. I ended up pulling out a bunch of 'Thumbellina' zinnias due to the severe powdery mildew they developed. It's a shame because I usually have good luck with them, but I bought them as nursery plants this year instead of starting from seed as I usually do. I think they were really stressed out from spending too much time in those tiny six packs when I planted them. There's no doubt in my mind that that makes them more susceptible to disease. I always have better luck direct seeding them vs. buying started plants (the same goes for my nicotiana and my nasturtums).

The weeds have done a fine job invading my beds this year, but with the nice rain we had yesterday morning, they pulled out very easily - even the spotted spurge came out without a problem. It's always 'nicer' to weed after a good rain!

I debated whether or not to cut down my coneflowers and black eyed Susans. I know the birds are quite fond of the seeds, but if I don't do it, I often end up with a million of them. Plus, Doug will tell you, I really don't like seeing dead stems and flowerheads in the garden, so I'm pretty quick to deadhead and cut things back when they start to look ratty to me. I think it comes from 10 years of trying to please customers who wanted a totally clean and green garden.

I have yet to plant my mock orange behind the waterfall. They are doing quite nicely in their pots on the patio. I promised myself I would do it this weekend, but it just didn't happen. So maybe next weekend it will happen. I also have two roses to find homes for.

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