Sunday, November 25, 2007

Amaryllis Update - Day 7

Changes seem rather insignifigant except the bulbs have gotten a little color. More red than green, but I'm not too worried that they won't be green. The stems are beginning to straighten. Although I might have to shift them to the other side of the greenhouse if they become too tall and start to hit the ceiling of my very small greenhouse.

(grow! grow! grow! - only 27 days to go)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Taking any bets

So does it take 8 weeks for an amaryllis to bloom or 30 days? Yesterday, I spent the day potting up 22 amaryllis plants with the hopes that they will be ready for a wedding on December 22nd. I always thought 30 days to bloom. But the box said 8 weeks.

Escape from the package and a few are sprouting already.

Yikes. I'm already thinking of contingency plans. I was thinking how they'd make great arrangements for the tables at the reception, but now I'm not so sure. I also have too many, with the hopes that some will be 100% ready to go. Funny thing was I wanted white, but couldn't find anything other than apple blossom. And I didn't really have enough apple blossom to feel sure that there'd be enough for the 7 tables. When I finally found a store that had more apple blossom, they also had white. And they were less expensive than the first batch I purchased, so I went a bit overboard. Now I have whites and apple blossom. Maybe if they aren't in bloom, I can combine 2 bulbs with white pansies or some such at the base and dress them up that way. I don't know. You believe that you can do something less pricey than the florist, but I'm beginning to wonder.

Coconut coir that came with the packets, soaking in water.
Much easier to work with than dessicated potting soil.

Reconstituted coconut coir going into the pots.

All the "Dazzler" whites potted up
And to think the bride is nervous......

First picture in the greenhouse - Day 1

Monday, November 05, 2007

Weekend Chores

So here was my list of things to get done on the weekend:

transplant the vegetables I purchased
clear beds 1 and 2
put in chicken manure and regular compost
seed in fava beans and winter grain cover crops
dig up the dahlias and label them for storage
turn the soil in the dahlia beds ready to be amended
clear out any rose cuttings that obviously aren't cooperating with being propagated
try to keep up with the weeds.

Here's what I didn't plan on doing:

Bury the dead mole that I found floating in the cat's watering bowl.

I noticed that the water pan that we leave out for the feral cat was looking horribly murky. And when I started to dump out the water I noticed something lurking in the depths of the murk. I have no idea how he got in, perhaps he fell in as he tried to get a drink. I hate to think that's the case. Or maybe he'd been dropped in by the cat or other animal. Regardless, he was very bloated and smelly.

Ugh, I thought. Have to get rid of that. I wandered off to find my spade. And I find in my wandering that I'll make a couple of diversions here and there (like oh, I really meant to dig that up, and here I am spade in hand - you get the picture) After I did the little diversions, I found a spot to bury the mole and dug the hole so I'd spend the very least amount of time with dead stinky mole on the spade.

And I trudged back to the water bowl, only to find the mole was missing. I have no idea how he left, but I suppose that there's a neighbor nearby who's probably saying "Holey Toledo, what on earth did the dog roll in?" Let me tell you, he probably stinks of dead mole.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Doesn't feel like November

Apple from the Chadwick Garden at the Center for Agroecology (UCSC)

The weather is unseasonably warm. Of course this means that with the little bit of early October rains we had, every weed seed is now happily sprouting. I'm not complaining, at least I can do a little weeding in the warm weather and get a head start on the winter rains. Not to mention, I'm putting in my winter crops. I picked up some "Purple Sprouting" broccoli, Walla Walla onions, hollyhocks, and a green globe artichoke. Not to mention scads of chicken manure (which my husband complained all afternoon about the smell.)

Not to mention, I'm concentrating on lots of fava beans for cover crops. I've got to fortify the soil this winter. My summer growing season really stank this year, and I believe it was depleted soil that was the culprit.