Weekend Gardening

Every weekend is a busy weekend in the garden. At least until the July heat comes sometime in June. No I didn't misspeak, it gets very hot in Tennessee around the mid to late parts June, but that's getting way ahead since spring has barely gotten here. For now though the temperatures on a sunny day are fantastic! Warm but not hot with nice breezes blowing by. Here is the list of things I managed to accomplish this weekend.

Salvia Cuttings

I took about 15 cuttings from my 'Carradonna' Salvia and 'East Friesland' Salvias. I'm looking forward to seeing how quickly they root. Now is a great time to start doing cuttings of your favorite perennials and shrubs!

Euonymous Fortunei Cutting Progress

I checked some of my cuttings from last summer to see how they were doing and they made it through the winter fine. Here's a close-up of one of the little plants. They are extremely easy to root. Please ignore the weed sprout in the background, they will do anything to get in a picture!

Pulled more weeds

I pulled more and more weeds from the garden beds including wild strawberries. They grow so fast and multiply so easily that you have to aggressively fight them off. I still have many many more to conquer.

Transplanted Daylilies

I moved three 'Stelle de Oro' daylilies into our front porch bed. One of which I split into two which brings the total to 4 in that bed. They should have a nice color mix with the salvias. I might move a couple more over.

Transplanted a Spirea Cutting

A spirea cutting I took last year needed moved. It is still very small but I'm happy it made it through the winter in great shape.

Planted a Red-Twig Dogwood

I put one of our red-twig dogwoods (Cornus stolonifera) in the front garden bed. I still need two more to flank it but I'll wait until the safe frost date to put those in the bed.

Tree Removal
I helped my brother-in-law remove two dead tulip poplar trees. The trees died after the hard freeze we had last season. They gave up all hope of them coming back since the back around the base of both trees was cracked and coming off. I didn't think they were planted in a good location to begin with since tulip poplars can get quite large and these two were in the front yard. In time they would have completely obscured the house and could possibly have been a wind hazard for their home. They won't replace the trees in those spots but they have plans to plant quite a few other trees in their yard.

Mowing the Yard

This will be the third time I've mowed the yard this spring. This time I took some larger chunks of the weeds off the hillside. You can see in the picture below the Tulip Poplar tree and the area around it is cut down. It needs more work but I'm gradually getting it cleared.
After several mowings the yard is coming together pretty well. There are still a bunch of weeds that need dealt with in the yard but I'm happy with the progress. Now the following two pictures show a before and after of our back yard. The first one was taken in early March of 2007 . The grass is mostly brown. It might not have even been grass but annual weeds all dead from the winter cold.

This picture was taken this past weekend (Sunday April 6th, 2008). What made the difference? Three things: overseeding, mowing height, and hand pulling weeds.

I have to say I am huge overseeding fan. In the fall I overseeded most of a 50 pound bag of fescue on the lawn. I went both directions with the spreader on the lawn. I plan to overseed every fall and not use fertilizers or herbicides. I really think if you treat your lawn the way it wants to be treated it will be a happy lawn. Although I haven't done this yet a spreader with sifted compost in it doesn't hurt!

I also try to never mow the lawn short. Mowing your grass short will allow weeds to gain height above the grass. The longer your grass is the fewer the weeds since the grass blocks the sunlight from reaching the emerging weeds. I removed what seemed to be an endless amount of ragweed from the lawn. Hand pulling weeds is a pain but it really is the safest and best way to remove those pesky plants. The pictures are about 13 months apart and aren't completely accurate for comparison but they were the closest pictures I had. You can trust me though, the lawn was in bad shape last year! I wonder why I didn't take any pictures?

I think I may have repeated myself on the lawn care tips but sometimes good things are worth repeating!

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