Time to catch up

I've done a lot of little, interesting things the last couple of days, but none deserve a detailed account. So I'm going to just jump from topic to topic briefly.

First, I cleaned up the new wildflower bed. It's not strictly wildflowers, but there were mostly annual wildflowers there last year, with some garden favorites, grasses, and a couple of perennials mixed in.


Not much difference before and after, is there? There are a lot of seedlings growing right now, but they look mainly like violets. It's going to be "fun" finding the desirable wildflower seedlings in there, that's for sure. Super-whitey thinks she's helping, but she's not (as usual).

I cleaned up this area in the back a little bit too:

Still more to do back here, and I'm hoping that at least some of the Mexican feather grass comes back, or this area is going to be boring. There may be big changes in this area anyway, since this is most likely where I'll be putting a "shed" at some time. Even without a "shed", this area needs some special attention this year, as it's gotten sort of rundown.

I also mowed the backyard lawn, which includes the Buffalo grass. I mow my lawn with the mower set quite high, but the Buffalo grass needs a good close cropping in the Spring, so I set the mower as low as it goes and give it a once-over.

Hey, everything here is starting to green up pretty nicely!

Here on the edge you can see how long it was before:

I'll need to hit those edge areas with some clippers soon. After mowing I felt like I needed to water the Buffalo grass a bit because the ground is so dry. We haven't had much rain during the warm spell of the last couple of weeks, but it's supposed to rain tomorrow so fingers crossed!

I also pulled some plants out from under the lights in the basement to repot and move outside. First some grasses:

Next, an Oleander cutting that I got from my neighbor last year.

It's got a bad case of mealy bugs because I haven't been able to get at it with the insecticidal soap for the past couple of weeks. It's getting a good dosing now, and a bigger pot (it's much too large for the quart pot it's in right now).

Finally, some black-stemmed Taro (not sure of the exact name of this right now -- I'll have to investigate). I'm glad these are still alive, but you can see how long the stems are -- if they were getting enough light the stems would be much shorter.

So after potting I cut all but the newest leaves off and I expect them to rebound quickly. Can't wait to see them full-size later this summer.

Finally, I bought some veggie starts. A few tomato plants, some broccoli, and some cauliflower. I'll talk about the veggie garden in more detail once it warms up more, but my philosophy this year is "less is more". I always plant too much in the veggie bed and my yields suffer, but this year I'm giving everything the space it needs.

First I need to get rid of these weeds, tomato, and fennel seedlings. They're crowding my little pea seedlings (next to the wire trellis):

The weeds I know what to do with, but I have a hard time yanking out desirable plants, no matter how many of them there are. So I potted up some of the tomato seedlings:

Same with some of the bronze fennel:

Bronze fennel is one of the coolest plants in my veggie garden. Smells fanastic, and it's butterfly caterpillar food. Both the tomato and fennel seedlings are really easy to transplant right now because their root systems are so small. They were really wilted when I took these photos, but an hour later they were all upright again.

I'll probably pot some more up in the next couple of days, because I haven't pulled it all out yet. As you can see, my beets are pretty crowded still:

Can you even tell which are the beets? I'll give you a hint: what color are beet roots? Yep, they're the red-stemmed plants in the center of the frame. That was not a good hint though, because I've also planted some golden beets that don't have the red roots -- they're a nice golden yellow color. Beets are one of our favorite plants in the veggie garden -- especially the greens. Delicious!

So that gets me caught up on a lot of smaller gardening tasks. There was some cleanup involved, so I'll update the totals.

How long did cleanup take?  0:30
Total time spent on clean-up so far this year: 22:30 (22 hours 30 minutes)

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