Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I hate ditch lilies

Another lovely day here at Growbox Hill.. A bit cool for this time of year though. But I guess I shouldn't complain, because when it's hot like normal I don't want to be outside working my butt off.

Got a bit more work done down at bee corner by the raspberry bed. Man that's some rough going. Pulled a barrow of tall weeds and trimmed down yet another pile of weedy tree crap. And pulled a bunch of weeds grown too big along the fenceline. Took me forever, but on the bright side, I have now started our second compost pile- this one down in the veggie row. Still need to pull a bunch more weeds before covering it with a goodly layer of poo, and maybe a nice layer of autumn leaves- then I will black plastic the whole pile over after fall rains but before the ground freezes to really cook the hell out of it by the time I uncap it late next spring.

Still can't get the weed wacker to start. Not too surprising since I haven't used it since early last spring. Need to figure out what's wrong, fix it, and use it.

Started digging up the ditch lilies on the solarium corner too. Gack. Took a large armful out to the side 40 and dumped them, pulled another large armful that didn't get hauled yet, pulled up several pounds of just roots, tubers, and crowns. And I only cleared about a third of the area. It's nice because the dirt there is easy sandy loam- but it's also filled with gravel so that makes it a bit harder. I haven't been picking every rock out, but I did toss a whole bunch of them onto the other side of the door slab. Sooner or later I'm going to have to dig in around that slab area so I can pour a slab extension- make a better parking spot for when we use the generator. Anywho, I did feel fairly accomplished after a couple hours of digging and swearing to have cleared as much area as I have. Once I get the whole area done in it's preliminary clean out, then I get to go back through and double dig it before I can set my daffodil bulbs in. And I will have one less area of those loathsome ditch lillies in the yard, hooray! I do have to be a bit careful though- there is a milkweed in pod I need to avoid hurting till after the pods are ripe, and on one side there is one of grandma's poppies that I don't want to hurt.
Don't get me wrong, I love all sorts of other lilies. Eventually I will have a bunch of others on the property. It's just that we have ditch lillies along the side of the office drive, in the lower FOH garden in the front ditch, a huge patch around the maple on the north side of the house, more along the other side of the solarium... Just ugh. I spose I could dump them in the ditch where the last block went, but that would require me to do digging work in the ditch that I just don't feel like doing for ditch lilies. 

Anywho, here's a pick of two and a half hours of forking, and pulling, sifting, and pulling....
The dirt area is really about a 3x4' area. All that rooty mass on the right on the edge is a pile of lily bits of plantables, the mess on the left is all the scrappy greens I just tossed aside for the compost pile. And that whole left hand edge looks ganked up because I'm pulling any roots I find in the area up- and there was a something that just yanked up the grass for a couple feet before I finally tore it up. All that stuff in the back is more ditch lilies to tear up.
On a holy crap awesome note about the ditch lilies. My mum in law said she was interested in taking a ton of them! Yay for being able to pass them on instead of just tossing them aside :) I also put then up on Gardenweb.

Picked another pound or so of green beans today- Top Crop is really putting out the beans! Which is a good thing considering how much trouble I've had with all the other veggie plants this year. Sometimes it feels like I will never be able to grow a proper garden :( But the one Lemon Boy tomato I put in the ground is a monster- too bad it has very little blooms and fruit on it.

Yep, I for sure need to get more flowers in the yard. I got fruit blossoms in the spring, ditch lillies, irises, and various weeds and some herbs. Not nearly enough to make a year round enticing yard for pollinators. And none of the neighbors really have anything going on, so everyone is relying on the wild blossoms right now. I've been paying so much attention to our eating plants that I have been neglecting all the bugs needs.

Did a lot of work on wintersowing planning today too. Again with the flowers- I'm going to wintersow lots of flowers. I've been rather frustrated collecting information. Everyone tells ya how to do it, how easy it is- start sowing to celebrate Yule!.. And really rather little information about what needs to be wintersowed when, turns out lots of seed does way better wintersown in later months through to Ostra. So I'm starting to gather together a database of whatever I can find for zone 5. And of course will be keeping my own notes as well.

Happy Friday, cheers to the weekend!
Had to run to Hardings today to get a few things in the house for the boys. Wasn't till I got home that I realized we were almost out of bread for sandwiches, oh no! So what's a girl to do? Make a couple loaves of bread of course. I busted out and made a pair of English Muffin Loaf breads, super yum!
I also made up a batch of tomato sauce- not sure if we are going to have burgers on the grill or Italian meatloaf for dinner tomorrow, but I figure if we go with burgers I can toss the sauce in the freezer :)

Yay Saturday!!

Beautiful and lovely day, time to tear up the rest of those ditch lilies. It took another three hours, but at last the preliminary forking is done!

The reused bag was once holding a bunch of dirt, and now is for sitting on while I hand pick out stones and weeds- way nicer to use than a little kneeler pad because it's big enough to really sit around on. And the pot on the bag- I decided it was easier to toss stones in a container than pitching them to the other side, lol. One lone milkweed is left standing off to the left, the one that has seed pods on it. Kind of broke my heart to tear the other ones out, but it needed to be done. Once those pods are ripe and picked, that plant will go as well. Now I get to go back through a second time with the fork and pull up more roots, any lily bits I missed the first time around, more stones too though I know I won't get them all, lol. This will happen over the course of a couple weeks- it won't be daffodil planting time till next month. The edge still needs to be seriously cleaned up, and I need to set in a line to mark off where the new cement pad will go. Of course our awesome neighbor offered to help me when it came time to actually pour the slab- I went to ask his advice on how to do it, and sure enough he offered help.
There is one spot in the middle of the area that will end up getting some sort of stone or other decorative feature- I noticed while digging around there is a drip spot right where the corner of the roof is, and nothing really grows there, so I will make sure I put something else nice there, perhaps a birdbath would look lovely. 
The edge to the right lines up with the corner of the solarium- and it goes right up to where the smaller of grandmas poppies resides. Mature poppies very very much do not do well with being transplanted, so yea, it will be left right where it is, and I will be extra careful when working around it.
When I go to put in all those daffodil bulbs, I will be using a bunch of recycled cans too. Why? Because they make awesome markers for future plantings. If I have stray daffs next spring transplanting I want to put into the bed, I can just lift off the can and drop in the bulb without hurting anything else. Or if I want to mix in other bulbs for year round blooming, I can get them and plant them in at will without disturbing the existing bed. I can put in other plants too, just by using fatter cans to denote digging space. Great recycling, those cans will at least get a second life before going to the trash bin.

Just how many lilies did I dig up today? This is a 18"w x 21"l x 15"d box, the top flaps folded down to the outside, all lined with a large black contractor garbage bag.
The bottom third of the box is filled with just tubers that have no leaves, the top filled with plants with leaves. There is probably enough lily material here to start in a 20 foot border at least. I'm so happy that the mum in law wanted them- I kind of felt bad just tossing them off to the side 40, but ugh, I am so not planting them in anywhere if I can possibly help it. In the background you can see the patches of moss I snagged while out on my walk the other day that will eventually go into the upper FOH garden.

So, why have I been forking these out instead of shoveling them out? Forking is way easier because the soil is light but full of gravel and roots. The fork helps separate everything out. It's the way to keep as much soil in place as you can too. That box is heavy and full of just lilies, and very little dirt.

Happy Sunday!
It was a day to finish getting the area around the solarium cleaned up. Went through and pulled everything out of the south side. I hadn't touched the area since this spring when I planted in some bulbs. Pulled 2 barrows of weeds, yipes!

Then I decided heck, why not start working on the east side of the solarium? I've been putting that off forever.
This is what it looked like when I started today..
This is what it looked like after I got done with the preliminary digup..
That whole pile off to the right is another big box worth of ditch lilies. Along the way I took out several other plants that were among the lilies..

There's two large pots of many irises, and five rose bushes that were being smothered by the lilies. I made sure to pot them up so that they don't die off while I finish prepping the bed. They will get planted back in the bed when I'm ready.

So whew, it was a weekend!

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