Monday, July 27, 2009

Feeding and Weeding...working in the sun

I bought some Black Cow today.....because roses have needs. Actually I wonder sometimes if part of our fascination with roses has to do with their needs. Some of the older roses, some of the newer landscape roses, and the odd species can forge along without a lot of inputs from the gardener, but for the most part, if you stop attending to your roses they pay you back by looking horrible. They don't necessarily suffer long term damage, though they may, but they sure will look bad quickly. Fungus on the leaves, leaves skeletonized or eaten outright resulting in defoliated plants, flowers decreasing in number and size......But start applying the chemicals, enrich the soil, water, deadhead, do some pruning and you're right back on track.

We only have two roses down here, Knockouts. They were originally planted with a bag of topsoil each (sludge based) but it's been a year and a half and I expect the organic component has disappeared. Black Cow is just a trademarked brand of dried cow manure. I'm not certain how rich it is but I guess time will tell.

The bulk of the weeding is done. The newest beds, islands in full sun, are always the worst and the abundant rainfall of the past few months resulted in some lush weed growth. The worst culprit seems to be a sedge I have not identified that basically carpets the beds. Then there's a short Fabaceous carpeter that better not be Mimosa strigillosa, but could be; I might have bought it from Wilcox Nurseries in Largo, Florida. It looks like such a pretty little plant, but when somethings called a groundcover it's usually for a reason. I have no record, but that's no guarantee. Anyway I'm done weeding for now and planted a 3 gallon Lime, extending one of the sunny beds along the SE side.

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