Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February Garden Update

Today I planted in their permanent homes: the longan tree, a Fuyu persimon, a calamodin orange, an Eureka lemon, a Meyer lemon, a Geraldi dwarf mulberry tree, a huge Brown Turkey fig, a Surinam Cherry and tons of flowers and shrubs.

Tomorrow I need to dig out four large shrubs (Lion's Ear, Chinese Hat, large leaved Tibouchina, & the infamous Bolivian Sunflower) to make room to plant the Navajo, Dirkson, and Apache blackberries & the Shangri-La mulberry tree...also have to plant Issai self-fruitful kiwi, a couple of chayote vines, a beautiful Persian lime, a pomegranate, a large plumbago, and a bunch of other flowering shrubs.

Call 911 if you don't hear from me in a day or two...I'd probably be face down on the dirt in a remote corner of the garden with a bunch of squirrels celebrating my demise around a makeshift fire pit. Darn squirrels.

Couple of random things I learned this week:

¤¤ Possums are not rodents! They are marsupials, thus, related to kangaroos and not rats. Good to know. They are also incredibly clean...was I the only person in the planet that did not know this?

¤¤ Cassia Candlebush- If you are going to plant this shrubby pretty fast growing thing read on! Make sure, and I mean 100% sure that where you plant it is where it will stay. As in for ever. I spent almost two full hours yesterday digging one out. The roots go on for ever, they go deep in the soil, they go sideways, they go everywhere! Also, they are just as wide, or wider than the plant's trunk(s)...mine was a two year old specimen and its main trunk was about 2 1/2 inches wide. A monster. I almost left the shrub where it was mostly out of laziness...but then I thought about the fruiting trees nearby and changed my mind. I am so glad I did. I am sure those greedy roots would take valuable nutrients from the soil, nutrients better spent on producing tasty fruit.
I did save a piece of it and stuck it under the mulch of the patch of soil between the street and the sidewalk and it is already growing!
Two reasons I kept one small plant: it is one of the host plants for cassia butterflies & the flowers are just beyond beautiful.

¤¤ During a freeze it is more important to cover trees' trunks than their canopy. Who'd have thunk it, right? Turns out twig & branches damage is almost inevitable and most times reversible, whereas trunk or graft union damage is most times irreversible.

That's all the random learning for now. Will post reviews and cliff notes about those great books I have been reading lately sometime this decade as well....most likely next week...someone hold me accountable pleeeeeeeeeeease! :-)

Below are some pics of the critters visiting in the last couple of days and some other stuff.

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Darla said...

Thank you for the info on the cassia, I was given a lot of those seeds and thankfully scattered them where it won't really matter except to the caterpillars of the butterflies...WHEW!

Gardening Fool said...

You are welcome Darla. Be sure to prune them a bit as they grow so that their branches don't rub against each other as branch damage, however minor, invites unwanted pests.

Aside from that, this summer you'll get to enjoy tons of butterflies because of this plant! Enjoy!