Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2015 April - First Edition

Winter still wants to hold on.
So that leaves me with a little more blog house clearing time.
If you have a garden a blog - let's compare some notes!

Comparing Blogs
Some of you might have your own garden blog, and wonder if your success is the same as mine.  Last month I hinted that the rate of visitors here at HostasByKelley has not always been constant.  For those who are interested in this kind of thing here are numbers from the last 20 months for you to consider.
Google stats transferred to Microsoft Excel by hand, and transferred over to a .TIF file for presentation.

I have three different  2015 Projections for the coming year as to what the visitor rate might become.
  1. The first makes the assumption that difference between the first three months of last year and this year might suggest what the rest of the year will be like.  The calculation has stopped adjusting as this is after March of this year (and the equation is marked in grey).
  2. The second takes the Total Average for the entire lifetime of the blog and applies that percent to the previous year's total to suggest what the growth might be in the coming year.  As more data is collected this number will continue to adjust.  This process also presumes that blogs, or any website, have an eventual leveling off of interest.  This is technically known as the 'saturation point'; like water in your garden you can only hold so much of it.
  3. The third finds the average of the current year and then projects that average across the remaining year to find a suggested growth rate.  In this case the number will keep adjusting until the end of the year when the number will become very close to the actual number of visitors; it probably will not match exactly.
If there are statistics students our there it might be interesting to hear your views on these numbers, approaches of projecting numbers for this purpose, and how you might define a good statistic versus a bad one!

My quiet, very long term goal is to reach an average of 1000 visitors per month on a consistent basis.  That's a pretty big goal for a small, 31 square foot garden (recently remeasured the space).   I assure you that won't happen any time soon.  At first glance it seems like a lot but if you consider that the USA has 50 states, and if you take 1000 / 50 that comes to 20 persons per state visiting EACH month.  With that thought in mind it begins to make the goal look a little more attainable at some point.  Other ways of looking at this might be:
  • 32 persons per square foot ... or ... 
  • 29 persons per hosta variety in the garden.
Since I am talking blog visitors it is probably better to equate to people rather than area or the numbers of plants.  This assumption also goes on to suggest that each of those visitors stop long enough to read, consider, and learn something from these pages here at HostaByKelley.

Please, keep passing the word!

the 2015 Hosta Count

Last year I put the bed in for fall with 34 varieties of hosta;  The alphabetical list of these plants is below.  As plants emerge they will be marked in Green.   This list is not in garden order for any diagram posted here.
Hosta Survival Table for 2015

Count notations include examples such as:
  • 6d = Six divisions
  • 3c = Three clumps
  • 2r = Two rounds
The count notes reflect what the plant was at the time of 2014's cut back.  These will be updated as spikes come up.

As the weeks go on this list will become a regular for this blog as names will go from White to Green as each appears in my garden and then be followed by a date of it being spotted.  The last of Princess Wu Wu I am trying to find a home for - presuming it survived the winter.

While we're on the subject I have written a lot about the importance of garden diagrams over the months without really showing my readers what my own diagram(s) really look like.  Yes, you've gotten hints and near glimpses of it but never the actual thing itself.  My diagram(s) are produced with Apple Keynote, and I have one slide for each report I make.  At the end of the year I can run it like an animation of the years events.  AT this time it has become quite crowded with information.  Here is what one slide looks like:
The real diagram that the gardener uses to record his garden changes.  One page per grouped reports by date.

March Hosta Notes 

Week of March 15: The 6 day forecast suggests that temperatures will again swing back into the below freezing zone at night but no rain is forecast.  I would call that safe weather; at least for now.  If I look at the 28 day forecast the temperatures from last week were a huge tease for the summer to come.  Temperatures for the 28 day range of time suggest more cool weather with many days still touching freezing at night.  The frost might be out but freezing can still occur.

Week of March 22:  Temperatures definitely forecast in the freezing range this week.  There are hints of snow for this week as well.  Wondering when the spring like temperatures will be back. April showers will definitely bring the May flowers this year if the temperatures are high enough.  The long range forecasts into April suggests a coolish month with the warmth building in May - like it did last year.  The predictions out to October suggest a warm summer with lower amounts of rain.

This summer I will again watch to see if there are three waves of hosta spikes.  The first near 60ºF/15.55ºC; the second near 70ºF/21.11ºC; and the third near 80ºF/26.67ºC.  I am still quietly think this phenomenon does occur for the very late spiking hostas.

I finally received word from the LED company (nearly 2 months after I returned them), and they say that they have corrected the problem with the power flow.  They said they probably will ship again this week. We'll see where this leads.

Week of March 29:  Short range forecast suggests that temperatures will try to re-bound to the mid-60ºF / 15.55ºC range this week.  Have not looked at the long range forecast.  Snow has once more left the raised bed.  Tne wait begins to see the green spikes (April 27; thirty days after like last year?)

According to FedEx LED lights will be here sometime on Wednesday.

That's all for now folks.  Remember to take a look at the '4/1/15 Hosta and ? Cartoon" and vote.  Hope you'll be back later this month for more of my thoughts about the Hosta Garden.

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