Sunday, March 15, 2015

2015 March (Only Edition)

The 2015 growing season is almost on us, and its early this year.
Come find out what I hope will change!
This is my shortest edition!

 Season Introduction …

This blog is entering its second full year.  Over that time I have had visitor counts ranging in the mid-humdreds to just barely 50 persons per month.  Personally I think I've done well keeping your interest here.  Keep passing the word about HostasByKelley.

This year there will be some changes coming.  I am vigorously working towards establishing a 'media website' which will present both the static information about my hosta (past and present), and provide the pictures of my plants.  This is the reason why your not seeing updated pages for the:
  • About the Gardener
  • About the Plants
  • The Gardener's Wishlists
for the 2015 season at this time.  I assure you these are coming, but these pages are some of the most static pages of information I produce, while at the same time some of these are the most complicated to create.  This will include nearly 70 hosta that I have had over the years.   I ask that you be patient as these pages are assembled and posted.

The growing season here has abruptly entered spring with the temperature being 50ºF to 60ºF / 10ºC to 15.56ºC range.  Plants will be up early this year but the question, like other years, is how many will survive.  My past records are scant but they show that the survival rate has been:

2013    10 out of 18   56% success   11 plants added
2014    19 : 21        90% success   14 plants added 
2015    ?? : 34          % success

To match LAST years record the garden must have 30 out of 34 to survive … or better!  While developing the website for HostasByKelley I have found documentation that goes back to 2007 but my record keeping in hindsight was questionable so survival rates could not be extrapolated before this time.

Winter Care Issues

Last fall I began using a plastic tarp to protect my plants from crown rot. While it did its job in the fall; the Minnesota Winter that followed was for most part mild.  St. Paul never received 60 days of continuous freezing.  This may have its effects in two ways.
  • Scapes and flowers will be fewer.
  • Chance for crown rot might have been increased.
Some of you might rremember that I had used bricks to hold the tarp in place.  Subsequently the tarp acted like a boat sail which caused the bricks to be dragged across the garden.  Some of the micro-stakes that were used to mark the plant locations became disrupted as the bricks were pulled through the garden.  Rather than fighting a loosing battle with the wind; the tarp was fully removed on March 8.  I have sacrificed a warner ground temperature for less annoyance.  The plants are still there; its their location that is just in question. That's also why garden diagrams, no matter how simple, can help.  Of course much of this will be sorted out when the plants grow back.

... and yes .... I already have a new plan for the micro-stakes next winter!

So What Happened to The Blue Mayhem Project

To put it politely … it was going really well up and to when the Blue Mammoth seed were planted.  I ordered the LED lights, and they arrived … in questionable condition.  I was able to send them back mid-January.  From that time I have waited very patiently for the manufacturer to indicate how they which to handle the situation.  At their end they claimed that the lights were in good working order (by phone call). If things do not move forward by the end of the month my inquiries will be sharp and firm.  In short the Blue Mayhem project went bust due to lack of light.  I will try again when I have some form of lighting that I can work with. 

Some Key Things I am Looking for This Spring

Every spring there are things that each gardener looks for in their garden.  This spring is no different for me.  These things will not make or brake the growing season, butt they will make the spring interesting in this small garden.  In each case I am looking at some type of plant success.
  • Will Blue Mammoth succeed this year (5th season to try)?
  • I divided the order of Dixie Chickadee as I planted it last year; thus having 6 divisions. Wondering how many will survive.
  • Last year I had problems with Itsy Bitsy Spider, Little Devil, Popcorn, and T-Rex beyond the Blue Mammoth.  I am wondering which of these might make it.
  • Hosta Imp and Lemon Lime had plastic over them most of the winter - did this help or hinder them?
  • Sum and Substance has a damnable weed that comes up each spring.  I need to spot it and eradicate it this spring.

That's all for now.  Maybe by the next issue I will have hosta up; as might be the annex website for HostasByKelley‽  Anyone have a question about hosta for me?

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