Thursday, March 31, 2005

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Oh, my! There are puddles and pools in the fields everywhere here in Northern New Hampshire! It is MUD SEASON, and it's NOT pretty!
We spent an hour or so digging little trenches from the garage door to the little down-ward incline of our driveway. The driveway is packed staymat, so it is "diggable". Anyway, now the water is running the right way, AWAY from the garage.
Those little trenches are not easy to dig, because we've got our own brand of close to "permafrost". That's the reason for MUD SEASON. The surface on the dirt roads get wet, but the moisture in them can't go down into the ground since that ground is frozen solid, so it just stays on top and is SLOPPY, MUDDY, SLIPPERY AND FULL OF TIRE TRACKS AND RUTS! What a mess.
But at least, which you'll know if you check out the "permafrost link", ours does finally thaw out in a few weeks or so! In the meantime however, it's just awful!

If you have a gardening question, just Email me!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Amaryllis, indoor

My amaryllis has finished it's blooming. Those bright, vibrant red blooms were a delight on the window sill in our northern climate. The Easter Cactus blooming right next to it was the same color. What a joy!
All things must end, however, so it faded and I cut the stem off just above the neck of the bulb. Strangly enough the bulb never put forth any leaves. NOW that the bloom is gone, however, the leaves are making an appearance. There are 4 or 5 of them popping up from the bulb.
I will now put the plant downstairs in the cooler basement and cut back a bit on the watering. Fertilization will not happen again until the weather is a bit warmer, and it goes outside.
I do not have an outdoor cold frame, so I'll have to find a sheltered spot out in the garden when the frost is no longer a problem. In this northern climate, we joke that the "no frost dates" are from July 4th until Labor Day!
Anyway, it will be coddled until it goes outside and then I'll put it in my chicken wire box where it will be safe from critters, but able to enjoy the great outdoors. In the fall the reverse process will happen. I'll stop the water again, bring the pot back inside, checking for insects, etc. It will stay in the basement while the foliage dies back. At that point(January or February), I'll clean off the old foliage and dried scales, as well as take out about an inch of soil from around the bulb (gently) and add some rich soil and compost mixed with a bit of bonemeal (but just a little as it can smell!)
Amaryllis bulbs do best if pot-bound, so don't be too quick to use a larger pot. Give them 2-4 years before this kind of a change.
If you have any questions about either amaryllis or other garden issues, Email me!.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Let's Garden Together!

I have had a Master Gardening site for the past 12 years or so. I answered questions for perplexed gardeners at that site. It was a totally volunteer endeavor, but now I've retired from Master Gardening. My knowledge, however, has not retired, so I've decided to continue as the "Maturing" gardener, instead of the "Master" gardener!
I will continue to answer gardening questions right here. Email me!What I'll do is post the questions, with their answers, which should help other gardeners. In the past, I have found that because the seasons are the same, most people seem to have the same questions at the same time. Daffodils appear at the same time; weeds appear at the same time; insects make their appearance everywhere and droughts become a problem for everyone at the same time, etc., I'm sure you get the idea!
Since I'm no longer functioning as a "volunteer", I hope that on occasion folks might help me financially support my internet connection, reference materials, and time. But that will be a totally voluntary thing. If you feel my help was worth a little something to you, you might consider making a small donation.