Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 2014 (Second Edition)

The ‘Great Wait’ has begun for the hosta to rise!
While at the same time we get the seasonal battle to stay above freezing.

General Comments

The garden is passing through its third attempt to rid itself of Ice.  I suppose that is part of living in Minnesota.  Temperatures for the next week are predicted to remain above freezing.  Plants may begin to awaken under the ground at last.  This first year of serious observation of snow melt is being vague about the melting pattern that might be considered normal for my garden - at least at this point.  I listened to snow falling with its annual hard firm plops as it slides from the roof over hang to the raised bed each time the heat loosens the snow.

I am becoming anxious about seeing the first of hosta come up.  The name of the game right now is being patient and waiting.  The Hosta will come when they are ready.  The biggest questions this year are the survival of Itsy Bitsy Spider, Popcorn, and of course Blue Mammoth.  I am being terribly optimistic about them right now; but then I’m always optimistic about what will come up.  Gardeners must be eternally optimistic.

4/8/14: The ice and snow have finally melted off.  The garden now goes though its first of the seasons drying from the winter melt, and in turn sets the stage for the great wait for the new growth.  There seems to be life left in the Blue Mammoth petiole tuffs from last year.  Hoping that is a good sign for things to come.

In the last 15 days I have spotted one of those plants that I looked at years ago but knew I was not ready for it at that time.  The Hosta is known as Nougat.  What makes Nougat special is that the leaves are nearly totally white with flecks of green in them.  This is as close to an albino Hosta as one is going to get. and it is considered to be ‘rare’. It is terribly hard to grow since it needs a lot of sunlight and I am guessing really good ground to grow in.  I am toying about getting it as I have 3 hours of full sunlight during mid-day and about -60% shade for the rest of the afternoon.

4/9/14:  i have begun the search for each of the tuff points for each of last years hosta, and slowly finding each.  Including signs of where Itsy Bitsy Spider, Blue Mammoth, and Popcorn were last year.  Dixie Chickadee, Little Devil, and Frosted Mouse Ears I see no sign of tuffs from last year.  I can only hope that they have only decomposed early.   I am not testing any of them to see if rhizomes are still present underground.  With a predicted high today of 71°F today it is still early to be finding new growth.  (also feels like 40°F with the windchill as well).  The heat will help them awaken from their winter sleep.

I am beginning to agree with another author online who suggested that hosta were amazing plants in that every year they grow, and then fade back for the winter, and then come back to grow all over again while exceeding their growth from the previous year.

Sheep shit has been ordered for all the plants this year as last years use of it demonstrated well with the eight (8) plants that it was used on.

I have taken the plunge, and have put my name on the waiting list for Hosta ‘Nougat’.  I do so with the premise that I will loose at least one hosta this year.

4/13/14: Another week of coolish weather with lows predicted in the at or below freezing.  Any delicate plant (hosta or otherwise) coming out of hibernation will be at risk of crown rot.  I had hoped that we were past this point in weather - but again this is Minnesota.

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Hosta Review

April 8, 2014:  My guess is that Xanadu Empress Wu will be first to emerge from the ground since that is being the first to be uncovered in this third Ice melt.  From last years recollection Sum and Substance, and Dixie Chickadee ware the first to be noticed.  Maybe they will follow this year.

April 8-9, 2014: There seems to be life left in the Blue Mammoth petiole tuffs from last year.  They feel living (moist) rather than dry.  Hoping that is a good sign for things to come.  Checked the tuffs more directly and found that two of the three seem to still have a rhizome system below (by feel alone).  This continues to reinforce my hopes for this plants survival for this year (see Saga of the Blue Mammoth; September 2013 [Second Edition]).  By 4/13/14 these have dried to look like the others.

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