Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekend Work...

Who's a big helper?

As always, there was a small list of things my wife wanted done: install two new can lights, change some light bulbs, clean up after the dogs, etc... then the fun began. My mom sent me some Oriental Lilies, Tulips and Daffodils. It is later than I would usually plant them, but I didn't want to sit in the garage all winter and possibly dry out, so I planted them anyways. Being as it doesn't get really cold, it shouldn't be a problem of freezing 6" underground. I added some bone meal and magic dust (made of worm droppings and other delicacies) to concoction and then recovered the area with leaf mulch.
We already have 4 or 5 clumps of thee lilies along the border of our kitchen garden, so these added to them. If they bloom like they should, it will be nice addition come next year.

Group of Lily bulbs

8" deep hole with bone meal and magic dust.


After that I went after a trouble area in our back yard. It seems like there are some areas that you can try to control and fail all spring and summer, but in the winter nothing grows as well so you can get it back in order. The idea is to keep it that way, but we'll see how next year goes. Along the fence line dividing our neighbors and our yard is an area that positively seethes with morning glories. Every year, they laugh at my attempts to keep them on the other side of the fence. By winter it looks more like a group of morning glory bushes than a line of rhododendrons. Black berries thrive there as well. As of now, I am the victor, but they probably are hatching nefarious plans as I write this.
Last of all it was time to check up on the winter garden. We have signs of life! The radishes are starting to sprout. Everything else is still making up their collective mind whether this will be a success, but I have hope for a brighter tomorrow.

It's a boy!

Here are some tips when planting Oriental Lilies:
Lily bulbs may be planted in spring or in the fall, usually from mid-September through mid-October. If you find hardy lilies growing in containers, you may add them to your garden throughout the growing season. When buying locally, select firm, plump bulbs with roots attached. Plant them as soon as possible. Bulbs never go completely dormant so they must not dry out before planting. Plant mail order bulbs as soon as possible, also.
Asiatic and Oriental lilies grow best in full sunlight. They'll grow taller, more spindly, and floppier in reduced light.
For best effect, plant lilies in groups of three or five identical bulbs. Space them eight to twelve inches apart, keeping groups three to five feet apart, depending on the vigor and size of the lilies. Plant small lily bulbs two to four inches deep and large bulbs four to six inches deep, measuring from the top of the bulb. Divide and replant large clusters of bulbs every three years or so – or when it seems they are not blooming as well as originally.
Never plant lilies where standing water collects after heavy rainfall. Well-drained soil is an absolute must. Add lots of organic matter to clay soil to create a raised area with improved drainage. Incorporate organic matter into light, sandy soil also, to help hold onto nutrients and prevent it from drying too rapidly.
Before winter, mulch over newly planted bulbs with four to six inches of loose, weed-free compost, leaves, or wood chips. This delays soil freezing and allows roots to continue growing longer. Mulch also insulates the soil against fluctuating temperatures, delaying the emergence of frost-tender shoots in spring.
Hardy established lily bulbs don't need winter protection where good snow cover is dependable. Wait until some time in November when the ground begins to freeze, before spreading it.

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