Monday, August 13, 2012

Chicago Fire

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quiet, clear, 56°, with a heavy dew on everything. Almost 6 AM and Gail just took her turn taking Karl the Wonder Dog for a second walk while I check correspondence and plant orders. It looks like a nice day is shaping up and that's good as this is a busy time for me. As soon as the daylilies finish blooming, one by one I cut them to 4" above the ground, pull out all the dead stems, cut off the scapes as low as I can get them and remove any weeds that may have started. Dandelions within the plants is the biggest problem and it's easier to get them out now than to wait until next year.

Yesterday was a busy day with customers, not so much because of sales but becuse many of the daylilies that gardeners wanted were no longer available in pots and I had to dig them from the fields. It's not difficult work but it does take longer. This meant that I spent more time in the fields yesterday and I really noticed how strange the bloom has been this year. Late bloomers are done, earlier bloomers are starting over, and some didn't bloom well at all. The floods of last summer and almost 18 months in a row of above average temperatures have certainly impacted on the bloom. The roots are extra large and that's excellent but I am already kind of tired telling customers why the lates aren't late and why the bloom is getting sparse in the fields. Fortunately Gail buys some new late bloomers every year and these new additions continue on in pots so there's the appearance that we know what we are doing.

Friday I dug up a row of Chicago Fire and even though they were in bloom, I lined some back out after cleaning them up and cutting them back. Gail potted the rest. The Great Chicago Fire was October 10, 1871 and the daylily Chicago Fire was registered in 1973 by James Marsh. Over the years we have collected and sold many Marsh daylilies and have found them all to be excellent growers here in Vermont. If you haven't added this one to your collection, it's pictured up top.

People see us lining out daylilies we have just dug and divided and they often ask if it isn't too late to even plant now. We have a little speech that we rattle off that includes the fact that we plant well into fall until the soil temperature drops to about 50°. In previous years this has been around Columbus Day, October 12th, but with increasing temperatures, it is a little later now. Consider the date and spend a little time in your gardens replanning what needs to be moved and what plants you want to add. There's plenty of time to improve upon what you have and get ready for more special color next growing season. Need ideas? Stop by or email Gail and I'm sure she'll be a big help!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where loons are talking loon speak and Mrs Turkey and only two young kids are eating hay seeds in the lower field. It's a nice morning!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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And always at the nursery where we are happy to help you grow your green thumb!


Stephen Payne said...

George - when you get a chance could you do a list of the "best" late daylillies? I'm looking to extend the bloom period in my gardens...and right now my latest one is "Frans Hals," which I've seen described as "late-midseason."


Stephen in Addison County

A1 Chandigarh said...

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