Sunday, August 30, 2009

CobraHead Rocks Against Bermuda

Carol at May Dreams Gardens had a contest recently for which the prize was to be a CobraHead Weeder. Having seen these weeders and lusting after them at Spring Fling last May in Chicago I of course promptly entered the contest. I wanted to try one out against the bermuda that infests my yard. As one of my previous neighbors said, the only way to completely get rid of bermuda is to move. Which he did. As for me, I've been beating it back into submission for 29 years and I had to wonder whether the CobraHead could be my new best weapon in the ongoing war.
Imagine my surprise when Carol announced that the wonderful family who owns the company had decided to award all of the entrants a weeder! Not only was I to get one, it arrived within days of my sending in my actual address for shipment!
Today was the day of our trial run. It was easy to find a good spot in which to brick path seems to attract that annoying plant overnight. I went out with my lovely CobraHead, a bucket and gloves. Within no time at all (seriously...maybe 10 minutes!) I had cleaned out a bucketful of burmuda. I like the way the weeder feels in my hand and am amazed at how it sliced through the soil and roots so I could pull out the weeds. The CobraHead completely rocks against bermuda! I know I will never eliminate it in my yard and, truth be told, it helps fill in the bad spots during the summer in what little lawn I have. But for getting it out of the paths or other inappropriate places...I'll be using my CobraHead!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

True Confession

I have a confession to make. Something is wrong with my garden. Not the ornamentals. I'm talking about the summer vegetables that love the Central Valley weather and are made to grow here. The ones I used to be really good at growing. The last few years I've tried to ignore the signs. The zucchini plants that didn't set much fruit. The peppers and eggplant that just weren't happy. The tomatoes that just weren't as lush as they should have been. Actually, none of the plants were as lush as they should have been. So I tried some organic fertilizers, adding compost and mulching well. After all, I've been gardening in the same space for over 29 years and while I try to take care of the soil I thought maybe I'd been negligent in some way. I added a new vegetable area and that seemed to be better the first two years but this year...let's just say my neighbors are safe from finding zucchini on their porch. I'm sure many of you are saying..."well what does the soil test say?" I have to admit I have not done any such testing. But today that has changed. I've put my order in at Peaceful Valley Farm Supply and will soon...I hope...have a few answers.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

GBBD August 2009

There was plenty blooming here on Garden Blogger Bloom Day and I took photos and uploaded them...then did nothing. I just couldn't get too excited about most of the blooms. Why?
Ornamental oregano, O. laevigatum Herrenhausen. I'm really happy with this cute filler that flows over the rock edging. I'm happy that it's happy but...
Dragon wing begonia is bigger than I expected and quite lovely.
It's just what I wanted for this pot that sits near the patio table. But...
Mirabilis...white four o'clocks. They used to have more color but over the years I've ended up with only white. Is that why I'm bored with these blooms?
Fagoli Nano Marconi...Italian green beans. I love these! It won't be long before we are eating them! OK...these I'm happy about.

A little vignette near the front door...dwarf Indigo Spires salvia, pink gaura, Butterfly Blue scabiosa and variegated society garlic. Hymenocallis foliage although I've yet to see the bloom. I divided and moved a couple varieties last year so don't know which one this is and won't unless it decides to bloom. I'm glad I've changed this area over to more heat tolerant plants so it's no longer sunburned cranesbill all summer...but...

Society garlic is a summer-long dependable bloomer. Could it be that seeing those same blooms for months is a bit...boring?
Solanum rantonnetii, purple potato vine , is another constant bloomer for many months. I know why I'm tired of these blooms...this plant has exceeded its care requirement quota once too often. I've been cutting it back almost weekly all summer. Don't tell it but it's days are numbered...I'm in the market for something that will be a bit better behaved here. As in the right plant in the right space.
It's still summer here in Davis and not really time for planting much. Maybe I'm suffering from summer doldrums. Pelargoniums, salvias, abutilons, begonias, alyssum, even the wisteria have bloomed for so long and there is nothing really new to see. Summer has always been my favorite season but maybe I'll be happier when fall begins to sneak in.
There will be no itemized list this month...I just can't make myself do it. Probably be the same as July's anyway!
I hope you've checked out what's blooming elsewhere..probably with more grateful gardeners. To do so visit our esteemed leader Carol, at May Dreams Gardens!