• Let’s check on Fall and Winter projects!

    by  • March 19, 2011 • Garden, How to, Meadow project, Projects, Spring • 7 Comments

    This snowy, drippy day…what else to do but check on past projects.

    Front beds, without Mexican primrose. Whew!

    Front beds, without Mexican primrose. Whew!

    Getting rid of Mexican Primrose
    10-15-2010 Invasive plants and impatience in the garden

    March Update:  There are a few sprouts coming up of the Mexican primrose which confirms that it’s the right decision not to have replanted the plants I removed from the front beds. These sprouts I will try to kill by ‘painting’ them with a systemic herbicide.

    I’ll wait until I’m sure it’s all gone and the beds will seem empty, but with a top dressing of pine bark, they’ll at least look neat.

    Milkweed seeds puff out in a pattern

    Milkweed seeds puff out in a pattern

    Milkweed seeds
    Oct 2010 Marvelous Milkweed, part of a butterfly garden

    Last October, I released all these milkweed seeds in several areas without preparing any ground, just letting it fly in the wind.  I wonder if any will take root?

    Note: If I do say so, this milkweed photo got 2nd in the Seedpod, Mushroom and something category on Dave’s Garden photo contest. Also won first in another contest, Cool Springs Press, where I won a book!

    California Native Meadow Project

    Meadow, March 14, 2011, showing a bit of green.

    Meadow, March 14, 2011, showing a bit of green.

    Plants
    Nov 2010   Do you dream of a natural and beautiful wildflower meadow?
    Dec 2010   Let’s check for progress on the meadow!

    March Update: The seedlings are now between 3” and 4” inches high and seem unfazed by a bit of snow.  By photographing the seedlings, it’s easier to tell which are weeds. I’m learning a lot about how to tell the difference.

    Here's a five spot!

    Here’s a five spot!

    The first blooming five spot was pointed out by Maggie, who has been helping me weed.  The seedlings don’t mind being sat upon if it’s not for long.

    Maggie, sitting on seedlings

    Maggie, sitting on seedlings

    Weeding the meadow

    March Update: I weeded for the second time which took longer, two sessions of an hour each. The filaree is persistent and I’ve since learned that there are two varieties of it, Erodium cicutarium and Erodium botrys here. Wonderful!  The steak knife method of weeding has worked well and it gets between the small seedlings well and the serrations help pull the weed away. I’ve been collecting the weeds and tossing them on the paths, my form of sheet composting.  My biggest fear is that by chopping them at the ground they will grow back thicker and stronger, but as these are annuals, I believe it’s the end of them.

    ***

    The Meadow project, month by month
    What am I really doing in the garden in October?  Planning and removing weeds
    Do you dream of a natural and beautiful wildflower meadow?  Finding and sowing seeding
    Let’s check for progress on the meadow!  Weeding and watching the weather
    How to weed a meadow in the Sierra Foothills  More weeding…letting the sprouts thrive
    Let’s check on Fall and Winter projects!  Identifying seedlings
    The wildflower meadow in May   Small triumphs
    My California native meadow in June  Starting to bloom
    The midsummer meadow  The peak bloom
    Stomping down the Autumn meadow  Neatening up
    Native California meadow in the second year

    ***

    Wintersowing Project
    Jan 2011 Wintersowing, a great January seed starting project

    Wintersown delphiniums

    Wintersown delphiniums

    March Update: After three months, the wintersown seeds (planted Jan 1st) that have sprouted the best are Red poppies, Delphiniums, Breadseed poppies and ‘Violet Dusk’ penstemon, as well as the uncovered trays of CA native wildflowers and grasses from the S&S Seed mix used on the meadow. These seedlings can go in thin spots in the meadow or in patio pots…oh, I’m getting excited now!

    Wintersown 'Violet Dusk' penstemon

    Wintersown ‘Violet Dusk’ penstemon are tiny

    A few sprouts are seen of the Columbine and Mexican Hats and nothing can be seen of the Drumstick allium seeds or the Chocolate scented daisies. Thrilled with the Violet Dusk pentemons (they are tiny!) because I bought the original plants (two) at a $1 sale!

    Now, back to my snow, drippy day…get a cup of tea and settle in with a book, probably on gardening!  I changed the header for the blog to reflect what it looks like now.

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    7 Responses to Let’s check on Fall and Winter projects!

    1. March 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Sue, congratulations on all your seeds sprouting, I don’t think your annual weeds will come back stronger when you chop the top off, though they may come back a bit but I’ve heard organic gardeners say the best way to remove unwanted weeds, apart from digging them out, is to keep taking the green top off so they can’t photosynthesize which will kill them, even perennials but it may take longer with perennials, thanks for your e mail I’m honoured, Frances

    2. March 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      Great progress all around! I really like your idea of photographing the seedlings for a reference. There are some plants I’ve cursed as never having germinated, though I’m not certain that I didn’t confuse them for a similar weed.

      Anyway, good luck with the primrose eradication. I’m sure you know what that looks like and will deal with it every time it rears it aggressive little head…

    3. March 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Such a great idea, recycling plastic containers from the market to grow seeds in! The one you have pictured looks like the kind that lettuce blends or strawberries would be packaged in. I’ll be saving those from now on. Weeding is a never ending chore, and we’ve got our share of filaree and that dastardly mustard which will spread like there’s no tomorrow if not eradicated before they go to seed. Btw, Maggie is a doll and looks to be a great helper, unlike my 70-lb. pooch that wants to barrel through the garden like a bull in a china closet. Sigh.

    4. March 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Your photo of the the milkweed seeds, etc. deserved the prizes it won. It’s quite nice.

    5. March 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Your photo of the the milkweed seeds, etc. deserved the prizes it won. It’s quite nice.

    6. March 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks, Frances, I hope I can stay ahead of the weeds. A lot of native plant gardening is weeding! hahaha

      Thanks, James, the photos really help as I learn what’s what. I don’t know how many Hooker’s evening primrose seedlings I’ve weeded out not realizing what they were. They are good primroses and CA natives.

      Arleen, these are the lettuce and grape boxes you get at Costco. They’re easy to save because they nest. This is my first try in a long time for seeds, so I’m jazzed! Maggie says Thanks! Notice she’s on a leash….because she’s a runner; follows her nose and won’t ‘come’.

      Thanks, Brent! I thought the way the pod opened with the seeds in a pattern was unusual.

    7. Pingback: Native California meadow in the second year | Sierra Foothill Garden

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