Saturday, April 21, 2012

April showers

There was a light drizzle this morning.  It looks like the day will be cloudy but no more rain in the sky.  A good day to get out and pull some weeds.

At the garden club last Thursday, I picked up a couple of interesting tips from James Graham who came to speak about frugal gardening:  
  • To get an early jump on slug-eating-hostas, mix one part ammonia to nine parts water into watering can and water your hostas.  The slug larvae will disappear and the ammonia ends up acting as a fertilizer.
  • When potting, skip the expensive potting mix.  Rip up newspapers and put them into the bottom of the pot.  Use topsoil, but mix it with either dried leaf debris or un-composted compost (banana peel, coffee or tea grounds etc).  This will nourish the plants and reduce requirements for watering.
  • Strips cut from nylons/pantyhose make great plant ties and are fairly invisible.
  • To block weeds and as an undercover for mulch, cardboard works great (just be sure it overlaps and there are no gaps); cover with mulch.  The liquor store is a good source of free boxes and they are a good weight for the purpose. 
I've lost lots of tulips over the winter to the squirrels but they seem to leave the daffodils alone.  Some of the prettiest daffs in the garden, big-headed like peonies, are just too big-headed for their own good and are toppling over. There's a metaphor in there somewhere, I'm sure...

Budding: tree peony, late tulips 
Blooming:  tulips, daffodils, muscari, hellobore, primrose, foamflower, bleeding heart, violets, pulminaria 
Done blooming:  bloodroot, purple star flowers

Thanks to Alex for the photos; my point and shoot just isn't doing it for me these days.

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