||[Mar. 2nd, 2019|07:49 am]
It rained almost an inch yesterday, so i went out in the yard early this morning to see if there was a chance i could turn over the beds in which i plan to plant potatoes. As my shoes squelched with each step, i decided i could not make any reasonable progress in the yard today. Which is good -- i do have some inside work to do.
I did notice that the little slope above the rain garden has even more Houstonia pusilla, tiny bluet. I need to figure out some summer plant that could succeed it, and then melt away for the winter, so the Houstonia can shine again in the spring. I'd hate for the area to be a source of bittercress, chickweed, Mazus pumilus (blooming now), and stiltgrass just to protect the barely visible little flowers. The native ponyfoot, Dichondra carolinensis, might crowd the tiny wildflower out.
I think for this year i will just treat the area like i did last year. I had imagined trying to turn the area into more vegetable garden, but i'll leave as is for the time being. I may transplant plants that aren't in the well defined area to the orchard.
Violets are blooming. Christine's family peony has sprouted up and will need to be protected for the freeze on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning). I can't find any sign of the spearmint that the previous owners left growing near some crepe myrtles. It's a mint: how could it be gone? I have actually tried to weed competing plants away. I suspect it will be back later.
The daffodils in the back moss bed are blooming. The ones i transplanted from clumps left by the previous owners have all sprouted. The irises and day lilies also seem to be coming up, reassuring after i feared the explosion of stilt grass had smothered them.
The brassicas on the traffic island are just beginning to send up flower stalks. I picked a bunch that is brocolli rabe like at this point, leaving one tall thick stalk to mark for future seed collection. The thinning i did off and on during the winter may have made a difference as the front of the island has fewer and thicker stalks while the back has more and thinner. I'm assuming these are the tops of the purple top turnips. It's hard to know: i've sown field greens of rapeseed (Brassica napus) ans daikon radish (Raphanus sativus) as well as purple top turnip (Brassica rapa). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00288250709509702 suggests that the B napus x B rapa cross isn't particularly "fecund". Hmm, i've also determined that the Brassica napus vat 'Athena' i've scattered around is unlikely to bloom: it's a winter variety and needs a cold period to trigger flowering. It's sprouting everywhere i scattered it at least, so it should shade out stilt grass for a while without bolting.