Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Transplanting, Trimming and Clean up

   I transplanted a few of my flower seedlings, which is always a risk.  I thought I had planted "Envy" zinnias in both of my front entrance planters. One of them was doing fine, and the other one was being eaten by a bug (I'm not sure what kind of bug yet, though). When I realized that the successful flowers were the "Giant Lavender Gem" zinnias that had failed in my spring sprouting cubicles, instead of just plant a seed or two in the other planter and have a nice bouquet, I decided to go ahead and transplant one of the two from the successful planter.  Big mistake - now they both look kind of stressed, especially the one I transplanted.  It has been in the "100's" temperature-wise here, so that's a factor, and I should have left well-enough alone.  Also, it looks like I have several of the Giant Lavender Gem plants growing in my front flower beds. All this time, I thought I was going to get some green Envy zinnias but I think they were devoured, too.  Also, one zinnia bloomed, and instead of being "dahlia-like", it seems more like a single daisy. It might be because I planted them in containers. I'll see what the ground-grown blooms look like pretty soon. Note:  When I realized some of the flowers were susceptible to a parasite, and some not as much, I sprinkled some diatomaceous earth around them.  It does seem to have helped, but I think I'll have to treat with something a little stronger - not sure what, though.)
Zinnia-not transplanted yet

My Zinnia

Package - not exactly a match

Transplanted Zinnia

    I had better luck with this daisy transplant. I've always had good luck with daisies, so we'll see.  

Pansies and Daisies

   My only vegetable that's made it so far is the zucchini. It is growing so well, I'm afraid to thin it or transplant it.  It has lots of buds, too. I've never tried growing a bush-style zucchini before, so I'll wait to see what kind of support I'll need. It needs to be watered twice a day, though, so I'll see if I'm going to break it up. The drainage holes are working great, I'm happy to say.

Zucchini plants
Zucchini Buds (at the base).

Here Are the Zucchini Seeds I Used
I Bought them Off the Shelf at Walmart

   All of my shrubs are overgrown already, so this morning, I went ahead and trimmed the front-most one, since it had become the biggest eyesore to me because the roses at the base were all faded, and everything looked out-of-shape.  I used an old Black and Decker trimmer that I had found at Walmart about 12 years ago. Even though the temperature on my patio reached 111 degrees, I just made sure I spritzed myself with water and took frequent fluid breaks.  All I had on hand was Wild Cherry Pepsi - no, sorry, water wasn't gonna' cut it- and believe me, it hit the spot. It took me about two hours. 
Trusty Old Trimmer

More Untrimmed

Trimmed (Big Improvement)
Trimmed, plus New Daisies
Trimmed - South View

   I guess my excuse for not planting more veggies yet is because I really haven't had the time, due to trying to dig up half of my lawn that turned out to be crabgrass, so I can re-seed by fall. (Hopefully sooner if it ever cools down outside.)  I also need to wait to re-seed the grass, because I read that it is best to wait 60 days after applying the crabgrass deterrent.  Even though I applied it last February, it didn't really get "watered in" until May-June, since we had so little snow, and it didn't warm up enough to risk turning on the sprinklers until late.  My neighbors seem to be having similar issues.  

 More Dead Crabgrass
Crabgrass and Spur Patch
Pulled crabgrass and Weeds
There were so many ants, I treated the area with diatomaceous earth, and it helped a lot, but I have to keep an eye on it. I also sprinkled it on my shrubs, because I was finding little spider webs on them.  It helped, but today I finally decided to spray them with a little "MiteX, after I finished trimming.  I've used it in the past, and it works pretty well.  We'll see.

____________________________________________ USA, LLC

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

OK, I Guess it Was Crabgrass (and not Winter-Kill)  
   As mentioned previously, I applied some Scott's Fertilizer with Crabgrass Deterrent,
to my dormant lawn in February. The weather reports predicted snow and rain, and I didn't want the crabgrass in my lawn to "wake up," because the deterrent isn't effective if that happens, according to the instructions on the package. We got very little moisture, and we didn't turn the sprinkler system on until after all danger of frost was past.  When the grass finally did start to "green up," it was very "patchy."  I thought I had killed the lawn due to not watering it.  However, it is greening up nicely after all, in spots.  I finally realized that the dead patches were dead patches of crabgrass!

The patches are dead crabgrass.

   The best thing to do is to remove all of the dead crabgrass patches, and then to re-seed the bare patches. It's a big job, but not really that difficult - just time-consuming.  I've considered re-sodding, but that's not really practical right now, on several levels.
Here's a section that was just de-thatched of the dead crabgrass.

Crabgrass pulled and ready for re-seeding

Zucchini Seedlings

   The zucchini seedlings are almost ready to thin. I think I'll transplant one of them in the other planter, since the yellow squash hasn't germinated. I checked, and the seeds are still not sprouted.  I'll try a different package of yellow squash seeds, in a different planter, in the next few days.

   My new pink zinnias seedlings have been eaten by bugs, unfortunately. So, I went ahead and treated the flower bed with diatomaceous earth, and then re-seeded with some of the green Envy zinnia seeds, since they seem to be more bug-resistant. I left the pink zinnias, in case they survive. None of the outdated blue Forget-Me-Not seeds have germinated, so I went ahead and bought some pink and purple petunia flats at Walmart, to fill in along the borders.

Bug-eaten pink Zinnias

"Envy" Zinnias   

   These zinnia seeds are packed for 2018 by Parks Seeds. It looks like the plant in the back is deflecting the bug(s) from eating the front plant.  I'll wait to thin it out. I went ahead and planted two Envy zinnia seeds in the matching planter. I also treated the planters with diatomaceous earth. 
     👀  What happened to my carrot seedlings?  it looks like I'm going to need a garden cage.  I do have a couple of neighborhood cats that visit my yard once in awhile (even though there is a leash law for cats here). Or, I did see a bunny rabbit the other day that looked like it could easily scale my six-foot fence, before I chased it away.

.  Where have the carrot seedlings gone?

________________________________________ USA, LLC