Sunday, November 21, 2004

Finally planted sweet peas

I've been feeling pretty proud of myself lately for getting my bulbs and "Annie's plants" (4" perennials from Annie's Annuals)in the ground. I guess I'm proud because I did something for which the reward comes later. Now that the work is done, I can sit back and enjoy the show come springtime.

I planted more bulbs than ever before. A Berkeley landscape designer whose work I admire, Keeyla Meadows, relies heavily on bulbs for a really big color show. Many bulbs are spectacularly showy, but because they have a dormant period or might be lost to critters, rot, or might be a one-shot deal (most tulips), I haven't focused on them as much in the past. I'm hoping for a great show this year, especially since my soil is recently improved with lots of compost. Fingers crossed that squirrels don't eat everything I planted. I'm pretty convinced they gobbled up nearly the entire bag of 100 daffodil bulbs I planted last year in a raised planter. Now I've added lilies to the menu... heirloom lilies.

I also got my wildflowers planted (they're sprouting). The one task I kept neglecting... well, that and housework in general... was planting my flowering sweet peas. If I'd planted them when I planted my SugarSnap peas, they'd probably be 3-4 feet tall by now. Just got my 'Royal Family' seeds in the ground today. Better late than never, I guess. I hope.

It's supposed to be frosty tomorrow. Gotta protect my citrus tonight. I'm also going to move my containerized 'Caspian Pink' tomato plant into the greenhouse to see if I can get a few more ripe tomatoes out of it.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Cottony Cushion Scale...

... It's not just for breakfast anymore. ;-)

But a few of my newly planted citrus trees have it. According to the UC Pest Note on cottony cushion scale, a few natural enemies provide "excellent control." Cool, I don't have to spray! Not wanting to do nothing, however, I remembered an old house plant trick for scale where you swab the scale off with Q-tips dipped in rubbing alcohol. What does the alcohol do? I haven't the foggiest. Since I didn't see any predators, I went ahead and swabbed all the scale insects I could find.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bulb Closure... almost

Finally got all my bulbs planted except for one bag of paperwhites which I'll use for forcing. I'm sure I'll forget where I planted many of them and will have some nice surprises come springtime. Most bulbs went in the ground, but I also stuck some in pots.

I'm happy to see that my 'Mission Bells' and 'Apricot Chiffon' California poppies are sprouting. I also planted Calendula 'Pink Surprise', which came from Select Seeds as a free bonus. It's pretty!