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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Washers, soakers and some time outside

Unable to take any more of the news, the newspaper and the Internet, I sought a bit of solace in the garden today. It seems that every washer on every hose and every hose-end sprayer has failed over the last 2-3 weeks. I have nearly worked through the small package I always keep on the pegboard above my workbench. I suppose there is a theoretical lifetime on washers and I am obviously reaching it.

I took a few moments to perform a semi-scientific experiment with the long (100') soaker hose that outlines the front garden. It is actually 2, 50' soakers connected together. I have noticed that the end of the soaker does not appear to be working very well. The flow is very low. I turned on the soaker and then placed pie plates at several places along its length. After a typical 2 hour run, I compared the water level in the pie plates. There was a dramatic difference between them.

I don't think the second half of the soaker has gotten clogged, but it is probably worth a check now. I think I can force water through the hose backwards and see if any mud or debris is dislodge.

I have thought about trying to find a remedy for months, but I think I am going to have my landscaper friend drop by and install a new standpipe on the other side of the yard. Then I can split the pressure between the two.

One dead rose the driveway bed was removed and I finally got some tables from the garden party, over a month ago, cleaned up and put back in storage. Granted, I don't have to worry about rain for a few more months, but it was a job that was nagging at my conscience. I fixed a few more items and it felt really good to knock some things off my to-do list, even if it had nothing to do with business.

Finally, I put a few peanuts out for the scrub jays and the squirrels and headed inside for dinner. A good day, overall.

Prevent a plant invasion

The Home section of the Los Angeles Times highlights "Don't Plant a Pest", a PDF guide with alternatives to some pernicious invasive plants that are threatening to take over the Southern California landscape.

I was surprised at how many plants I see every day are NOT recommended, as they can quickly take over both gardens and surrounding wild lands.

Don't Plant a Pest Brochure (PDF)

Don't Plant a Pest Web Site

Monday, August 29, 2005

A hard Summer...

Whether it is due to the continuous heat, lack of water or simple lack of care on my part, we have lost 2 roses in the last several weeks. All of them are looking a bit ragged, though.

It is disappointing when I don't have the time or energy to take care of things properly in the garden, but it seems to go in fits and starts. Once this heat breaks I hope to get out and do some basic maintenance that needs to be done.

The only bright spot in the loss of these plants is that they now provide me a few open spaces to transplant some roses from the back garden that are suffering from lack of sunlight.

Maybe if I make my plans now I will be able to squeeze a bit of gardening into my schedule. I know it does me well to get out into the garden, but life somehow intervenes at the worst possible moment.

On a related note, these week's tip from Garden Gate magazine gives pointers on moving plants even when the weather isn't the best for transplanting.

Moving a plant in the heat

With careful planning and planting, you can move a plant in the heat without injuring it. These 6 steps will help your plant travel easier.