Sunday, August 26, 2012
A nice looking morning here on the mountain. Just in from a walk with Karl the Wonder Dog who exhibited extreme displeasure by the sound of coyotes along the treeline just out back. It was not one or two but a pack and some of the older ones have voices that make you ask how big they are. I really need to set up the game cameras and get some pictures to show folks what neighbors we have here. The State wildlife folks don't say much about the impact on our deer heard but if you take a closer look at what is going on, the absence of deer is more clear.
I have been busy digging and dividing daylilies every day. The lack of rain has made this a bigger chore than it usually is as our clay based soils are like concrete in places and I have to use all my weight on the shovel point to penetrate the ground and break clumps free. Here is a picture of a very nice purple daylily named Houdini. I dug out two rows of eight plants each.
Once I get the clumps out of the ground I begin cutting them up and pulling off all the spent leaves and scapes. I cut the clump in half with a cheap Wally World buck-a-piece knife and then continue to break up the pieces until I get down to planting size.
When I am finished I have pieces that will fit in a 6 quart plant pot and a bunch of odds and ends to line out in the garden for sales next summer. We like to have a big piece going into every pot so that at sale time there are 3-4-5 scapes on the plants. We always reserve one big plant to put in a 20 gallon pot to serve as display so customers can see what they will have in a three years time. When everything is plantd, in pots or in the ground, I spray with horticultural oil to suffocate any insect eggs or diseases that may be left. It only takes a minute and is very time and cost effective.
Daylilies can be divided at any time of year but this time works for us as sales begin to diminish and we have more uninterrupted time. Yesterday Alex and I went to Burlington until 3:30 and came back to quiet at the nursery. I told Gail to head home and said I'd take care of the planting but before I knew it I had 11 customers wanting daylilies, astilbes, cimicifugas and rudbeckias. I'm heading out in a few minutes to get back to what I was thinking I could do yesterday.
If you want to see how this is done and need your confidence built a bit, stop by and ask me to show you how. It's not difficult, doesn't hurt the plants at all and it makes for better plants on into the future.
Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where today marks my son Alex's 20th birthday. I am very proud of Alex and the way he and Gail and I have learned about autism over these past years. Twenty years ago autism was hardly mentioned and the incidence was one in 5000 births. Today the incidence differs by country but with boys in America we are at about one in 85 births. Something to think about as every family will someone be touched by this sometime soon.
Heh, I have to get going! Have a nice day and stop by if you're out and about.
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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