As I was driving around I noticed two rain gardens which are at the maintenance extremes .
In the first case at Nipher Middle School, there is no maintenance and the garden is mainly filled with ten foot tall weeds. While there is a bit of Goldenrod and New England Aster, most of it is ragweed and some smart weed.
In the second rain garden, the management of this pizza joint apparently only saw a bunch of weeds and ordered everything cut down.
This goes to prove the importance of planning for regular skilled maintenance on any garden. Especially in schools and businesses, the leaders need to make an effort to sign-up or hire a skilled gardener to take care of the garden.
It’s a shame that so much money and effort is spent in the setup of new gardens, but eventually the garden dissolves and either Mother Nature takes over or the maintenance crew nukes everything.
The plant sales are starting up again and people are encouraged to plant now with the thought that plants will establish roots and be prepared for great spring growth.
The problem I observe with this philosophy is that many people don’t realize how dry the soil is and forget about their plants. It starts to cool off in September and people equate cool temperatures with great growing conditions. Unfortunately if the plants don’t have sufficient water, they will do poorly and possibly die.
I just looked at weather records for St. Louis during August and during the last 20 days we have only had .11 inches of rain. While I want my established plants to go deep for water, any new plants or transplants will need water on a regular basis.
I even tested moving plants during the 95 degree temperatures we had during July and with daily watering, they have come through like champs.
Below is a nice video by Charles Dowding on hand watering. The only thing I would do differently is that I use a hose with sprayer or sprinkler attachment and a water timer.
Collecting seeds is the easy way to have hundreds of plants in the spring for no cost. If you figure that many plants can cost $10.00, you could save hundreds and thousands of dollars by collecting and planting your own seeds.
Almost every plant will produce seeds. You just need to be eagle-eyed to spot the seeds and gather them as they ripen up.
I have already collected seed from maltese cross, milkweed, poppy, rue, columbine, echinacea, golden alexander and lots more.
The trick is to allow the seed to ripen and dry on the plant and then grab it just before it might drop to the ground or be blown by the wind. I place all my seeds in a lunch paper bag and mark the bag with a black permanent marker.
Each plant will usually give you hundreds/thousands of seeds, so this is a great way to share with friends.
I also allow some of the seed to fall to the ground as I collect it. This will ensure that you have some seedlings coming in the spring at that exact spot.
The final tip is to only select seed from the best plants. Any plants that do particularly well, I mark with gold paracord so I remember to collect these seeds.
I admit that the word “bulbils” is new to me. I discovered a growth of tiny bulbs on top of my allium and I wondered if they could be planted.
I decided to cut off some of these bulbils and put them in a planter to see how they would grow over the next year. I could have separated them, but decided to keep them together. Charles Dowding uses this method, so we’ll see how it works. The trick is to leave about one inch of the stem. Make sure your soil is loose and moist (I usually add an inch of potting soil.) You can then just stick the stem in the soil and don’t have to do any digging.
I am planting these about an inch or so apart as I plan to dig them in the spring and move them to other locations.
Here is what the root system looks like after a month or so.
Since I usually spend two to three hours a day working in a garden, I like to be entertained while I work.
The phone is a natural resource these days since you now have access to the world. The problem is that if I keep it in a shirt pocket, it likely will fall out and possibly break and while I can keep it in a pants pocket, it will get sweaty and possibly banged around.
I found a solution recently which works out well. It’s a “Hiearcool Universal Waterproof Case,Waterproof Phone Pouch” found on Amazon. For $10.00 you get two cases. It fits my Pixel 3a which is around 6.5″ diagonally and seems to fit perfectly. Larger phones will be tight or not fit at all. It hangs around my neck and I can manipulate the phone from the outside and even take pictures through the clear plastic. The phone sound is good through the case.
While this device is really meant for water protection, it seems ideal to keep my phone protected while I garden and listen to my favorite podcasts.