Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring has Sprung

Time to just shut up, sit back, and enjoy some of the fruits of all this labor...

This year's best cymbidium.

It's a cross between cymbidium devonianum 'stewart' crossed with stargold 'lucky strike'. Six pendant spikes just filled with beautiful flowers.

Mr. Lincoln shows what a classic red rose should look like.

Double Delight


Angel Face

Bletilla orchid

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Preparing for Christmas in March

It's way overdue but I'm finally tackling the Christmas cactus this weekend. By my reckoning, it's been in it's basket for at least 6 years now.

In that time, another plant...a kalanchoe 'mother of thousands' (bryophyllum diagremontianum)...volunteered into the basket (that's the leaves with all the little leaflets in the picture above...the pink flowers are the Christmas cactus).

Removing the plant from the basket, I see the only soil left is whatever the roots could hang onto for themselves.

It's a bit of a delicate operation to remove it from the basket without too much damage. 

The kelanchoe is in bloom. It has pretty flowers, I'm going to save a piece and put it in it's own pot.

Here's a few pieces of the kelanchoe that I'm putting aside for later.

A coconut husk mat goes in to line the basket. This will provide a good rooting medium and also help keep the soil intact.  It's very well draining and should help prevent rot, which is never good in a succulent like this.

I put in some fine orchid bark in the bottom to assist in draining. It will also break down slowly and extend the life of the potting soil I'm putting on top of it and, to be honest, I don't really have enough potting mix to go around today so this helps me to fill the basket properly.

Once I get the plant in place where I want it, it's just a matter of filling in and tamping with potting soil then watering in.

There, all done. Just hanging it back up on its original shepherd's hook to recuperate. I'll be moving it under the eave later and giving it a dripper to irrigate.

The kelanchoe gets similar treatment but will now be growing in its own pot on the orchid bench.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Battle Aftermath...Mopping up Pockets of Resistance

After the carpet bombing of the dandelion invasion a couple of weeks ago, I think I can go back to a more organic, manual battle of the weeds.

See those pretty yellow flowers at the top? They're evil. Evil, I tell you. 

Left alone, by the afternoon they will be a cloud of weed seed on a stalk. A slightest breeze will set hundreds of seeds loose across your lawn and it seems like they have a germination rate of 99.9%

So, now that I've hit 'em hard with poison, here's the two-prong approach to dandelion control...

Every time I cross the lawn, if I see those flowers, they're plucked and thrown away immediately.

Secondly, each time I head out to garden, I've set a goal of uprooting a minimum of 12 plants.

I stick the blade of the hoe in at the edge of the plant...

...push it in with my foot, lever it up and pull it out by the roots.

Since I'm about to mow the lawn, I just toss it on the ground to suck it up with the mower.

Today, I got 17 uprooted. We'll see how this new strategy goes.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Repelling a Chinese Invasion

I don't grow them but my neighbors on each side of me do. That would be the Chinese elm.

They're pretty trees but their seeds go everywhere and make stubborn seedlings.

Those weeds can be tough to pull out with their deep roots.  I've got this one next to the driveway, so I need to get it out right away.

The hoe just isn't getting it done. There's something hard underground that bends the blade.

I dig in deeper and find it's not a seedling but a sprout coming up from a thick root.   I get the loppers and cut each end.

After fighting for several minutes, I get it out. Just look at the size of that root.

Copyright 216 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 3, 2016

...and Away We Go!

Time to plant the seeds for this year's vegetable garden. My son helped me pick out this year's crop and we're going start them in this biodegradable seed tray.

We'll make a thumb print and a hole in each one and put in two seeds.

Two types of corn, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, squash, and Tuscan melon...just because I've never been successful with sweet melons before.

Water them in...

...and wait for them to sprout.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


I've been avoiding cutting back the cara cara orange tree while it was producing fruit but it's been blocking access to our back yard.

Now that we've harvested the fruit, it's no problem.  Just use the  walkway as a guide. 

Just in the nick of time as the next crop is starting...the flowers will soon be open and looking for bees.

All done and now the walkway is clear.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved