How to conduct a drench test
Soapy water probably isn't very good for beneficial soil microbes, so this isn't something you want to do all over, but it is an excellent test for measuring the presence of soil pests. Follow these steps to see what might be nibbling your plants' roots:
1.Gently mix 2 - 4 tablespoons of liquid dish soap into a gallon of water. [If your soil is especially dry, you may need to double the recipe.]
2.Mark off one square yard (3' x 3') of an area containing both healthy and unhealthy growth, with a rope, some string, or a garden hose.
3.Thoroughly saturate the area with the soapy water, using a watering can.
4.Monitor the area for the next 10 to 15 minutes, counting any insects that emerge.
from here: https://www.thedailygarden.us/...
I've always been told 'be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.' Well I wished and I got.
A year ago, I had to euthanize my old gardening buddy Pod. My heart was so sad. I still had Stretch but like me, he is showing the years. He was an adult when he joined us 9 years ago. He could be from 11 to 13 as a good guess.
Well about 6 months ago, I started to wish for an older female Lab as a companion to us. Preferably one whose master couldn't keep them any longer. About a month ago my wish was granted. Annie came to live with us. At 9 years, she is a tad older than I was looking for and a bit larger but her nature is pure Lab. She is a sweetheart through and through. Her master had health issues and was needing to cut back on livestock. She is ours!
Well last week another acquaintance who is nursing home bound had a female Lab that he couldn't keep. Again, she is older at 13 but in need of a home, some loving and attention to health issues. Today Bella was delivered to me. Like the others, her nature is pure Lab. She fits right in. We are trundling off to the vet next week to have a mammary tumor assessed as well as maintenance issues addressed. I accepted her with the stipulation that if/when the owner escapes the nursing home, he can have her back. I don't forsee that happening but yes, I wouldn't deprive him of that wish. In fact, if I can get her tumor removed successfully, I will carry her to the nursing home to visit him. This is Bella...
So why do I take on all these vintage pets??? Simply put, it is because I am also feeling the years. I don't want a young dog because if something should happen to me, who would accept the lifetime responsibility of my pet. On the other hand, if I can take the worry off these pet owners perhaps someone will return the favor for me.
And even in death they will all have a place in my heart and in my pet cemetery.
Gosh, I hadn't been here for a while. It is spring and my extra time is spent outdoors whenever possible. I am delighted to see small tomatoes on the sturdy Dixie Red tomato plants. The potatoes are blooming and the lower foliage is beginning to yellow.
In a few more weeks, the onions will be ready to harvest.
The lettuce and Cilantro are bolting as we have had some hot temps. When that bed is done, I plan to reposition it as well (I have moved the other two) and plan to plant sweet taters and okra in it.
I was given this Sedum by a young couple and am delighted to see how durable it is. I cross my fingers and hope not to get wrapped up in the Sedum craze but it could happen. Thanks Ben & Laura.
To my delight, I finally found green 60% UV rated shade cloth. It is in premeasured sizes and hemmed with grommets to make attaching easier. All this and at an affordable price
as well! This will cover my "shade house" to protect the bromeliads, Hoyas and other tender plants.
I lost the necessary shade when I had some trees removed in 2016. This "shade house" works well but needed improving. While waiting for delivery of the shade cloth, I decided I would like more than a dirt floor in it so today I moved all the plants out of it (again) and will move sand tomorrow for a base and to level the ground more. Then I will lay bricks for a floor. I hope to wrap it up in a short time by working evenings till dark.
And that is my inspiration...
and this is what inspires me.
Hip, hip hooray! Springtime is here... I was needing to water the greenhouse this weekend. The forecast said an 80% chance of rain. So I took a gamble and moved most of the plants outdoors. You guessed it! No rain, still need to water plants. Maybe I should go wash the truck...
The Carolina jessamine has been amazing this year. Last year it hardly bloomed and it has made up for it. Photos don't do it justice. You can look deep into the woods and see it twining yellow through the undergrowth and up into the tree tops. And the jasmine fragrance permeates the outdoors. Tis wonderful!
This Sansevieria has blooms developing on two different plantlets. I left it in the greenhouse for now to watch the blooms develop.
On the way out of the greenhouse, I saw two of the broms are in bloom.
And the first blooms on Aechmea recurvate var. Ortgiesii
So all the broms are installed in the "shade house" which I still need to find a better shade cloth to cover it. They endured the winter in the greenhouse well. Actually not all are out yet. I have quite a few that have overwintered in damp moss. The containers don't drain so I didn't move them out due to pending rainfall. I shall have to get busy and pot them up before evicting them.
After copious amounts of rain last week, this daffodil was face down in the mud. Rather dramatic but I understood how she felt. We had 8 1/4 inches in less than one week.
The potatoes have sprouted and are doing well. This weekend, I moved the walking onions to the potato bed in hopes of repositioning that fallow bed.
Still needing to dig up the garlic chives.
In the springtime wildflower department, Pearlie everlasting is budding.
The tiger lilies have really spread. Look forward to blooms.
Carolina jessamine and red bud trees. Both have outdone themselves this spring.
All in all, it is a good start to springtime and looking forward to "spring ahead" next Sunday!