Got out early this morning. The temps are predicted to be in the upper 80’s with heat index closer to upper 90’s, so any outside work had to get done before the heat set in. Here are the morning glories with the sun rising in the background.
Lots of veggies to harvest and lots of weeds too, but it’s coming down to planting cool weather crops and getting the flower beds ready for winter.
The photo shows the bed I used this year for lettuce and beans, now sprouting red clover.
This year, I decided to try a cover crop in my raised beds–at least in some of them–instead of using black plastic bags as a weed preventer. Or discourager, since nothing prevents weeds.
The purpose of the cover crop–besides crowding out weeds–is to add nitrogen to the soil. And of course, nitrogen is one of the fertilizers that help plants grow.
I chose red clover, available at Amazon here, but probably available at your local nursery or farm supply store. If this is something for you to try, make sure you buy inoculated seed. Innoculation adds a bacterial rhizome, important when adding nitrogen to the soil. It’s the bacteria that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into nitrogen the plants can use.
I’ve planted red clover before and the flowers are gorgeous. I’m leaving this bed alone for a full year–meaning I’m skipping a season of planting anything else here–to see how well the clover enriches the soil.
Meanwhile, while I’d like to say the daylily separation project proceeds apace, it’s really at a slow pace. The rainy weather has turned the yard and all the flower beds into mini-swamps. Not good for transplanting. I do have some yellow, orange, and pink divided and available to good homes.
Here’s to some dry, cooler weather. While September can be sizzling hot, all the signs point to an early fall. We’ll see.
The rainy weather continues and the yard is swampy. The photo shows morning glories growing in the burn pile together with a pretty grass gone to seed. That grass will give us fits next spring when it starts coming up where we don’t want it.
The tomatoes are about done–the larger ones never ripened thanks to the cool, wet weather. On the plus side, I’ve got tons of eggplant and peppers, and we’re watching a couple of huge watermelons. We always pick melons a day early or a day late. Maybe this year…
The big project this week is to move plants from the north side of the house to the front–now shady–bed. And then to move the sun-loving plants to the back garden. But it’s so muddy, moving anything is chancy.
On the writing front, in three thousand more words I’ll be halfway into the first draft of my work in progress. Fluttering is out and I have another short story due for publication in December. Plus five more at market. So it’s all good.
Every three years, I divide daylilies. Since I have one-hundred-plus on the property, I’ve staggered the schedule so that in any one year, I’m working on about thirty.
And, since I don’t have one-hundred different varieties, I always have the option of tossing the duplicates. That might happen this year.
When the bloom season is over, a daylily resembles the above photo EXCEPT it also has woody stems from the year’s flowers. You can pull these off the plant easily unless they’re still green. Green stems need to be cut.
I trim the leaves with a sharp pruner.
I could let the lilies pictured here go another year. But I’ll have fewer flowers. Dividing is worth the trouble as it promotes more blooms.
When you buy a bare-root daylily, you’ll get a “fan.” Wish I knew how to create those neat, little fans and retain the roots. I think it requires a special tool that I don’t own. I use a sharpened shovel edge and end up with perfectly viable clumps.
These are clumps I replanted in an empty veg-bed about three weeks ago. Thanks to the rain and cooler temps, they’ve done well and have already begun to grow.
Sadly, I haven’t mapped which daylilies grow where. That’s a job for next year. This year, I’ve got orange and yellow in one bed; pinks, reds, and maroons in another. Maybe…
If you live in the area and want some daylilies (no guarantees), send me a DM through Face Book Messenger. We’ll set a date after Labor Day. Bring a shovel–needn’t be large–and a bucket or box. Otherwise, half of these divisions will end up on the burn pile.
Fall continues to advance apace–and it’s raining again. I can’t remember a year when we had so much rain in July and August. Usually by this time, the turf is brown and long past mowing. Today, it’s green and growing, and in all the wet, threatening to damage our mowers.
The flowers are loving it.
I’m okay with an early fall. I wouldn’t mind an early freeze to zap the bugs, either.
I have three more “stick” trees coming to plant in September, and I’m thinking about buying a few more. Hoping for oxygen.
Meanwhile, my pin oaks have grown so large that I have to move my “sun” plants out from under them and replace with shade plants. If it would just stop raining for a day or two…
Early Sunday morning. Found this leaf in the yard and asked, “Is it fall?”
Well no, technically not. Fall is arriving in approximately thirty-four days. It’s still summer, still August, and supposed to be still hot. But it’s not. We’ve had storms every night of the past three, and mornings have been cloudy and cool.
Once the sun burns through the clouds, though, it’s summer again, hot and steamy. So while fall garden clean-up has started, I work only early and retreat to air-conditioned comfort in the afternoon.
Those readers who follow my Monday gardening posts will be saddened to know that I do indeed have both bag worms and cottonwood borers. I’ll be posting the “fix” on Monday, weather permitting. And if the weather is bad, the blog will be delayed.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this foretaste of my favorite season and sitting on my hands to avoid pulling out the Halloween decorations. Hope it doesn’t turn unseasonably warm in September.