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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.


Cinco De Mayo - Time to Water

It’s hard to believe that we are into May now. That was one pleasant April as far as the temperatures went. Unfortunately many of us had more than spring showers to deal with. The winds did wreak havoc on lots of trees, we have to prepared for that in April. I guess the mercury will be rising this month. I doubt it will too long before we begin to see the 90’s popping up on our news screens and thermometers. I have juiced up my irrigation pipes and have run the system a couple of times to make sure all is well. All of my 22 zones were in good shape except for one, of course one of the important ones. We are doing some major work in the back yard, adding walkways, beds and trees. I really thought we would have done way more damage to my irrigation pipes, my lighting and speaker wires than we have. This is coming together pretty quickly and making a gigantic difference in the flow in our back yard.

We are using core-ten steel edging that is 6 inches wide so it leaves a very distinct edge that looks really clean and defines our beds and walkways. Our ultimate goal is to have as little turf as possible and to have the plants in the beds get full grown so that the maintenance in those beds is as minimal as possible. We pre bought our plants while we were filling up the nursery with plants from Monrovia and any other odd ball stuff we’ve been wanting to try out. We love to test things out in our yard for a couple of years before we offer them at the nursery. We have had more winners than losers. During this project we have added lots of drains that lead to the pond, we are putting in catch basins every where that water seems to go. This should help things to dry out as they should between rains or irrigation sessions. I will begin to fertilize everything now that the temperatures have stabilized and the plants are ready to take up more nutrients after their spring explosion, that uses up a lot of the plants stored nutrients.

Those nutrients need to be replaced with a slow release fertilizer applied once a month until August when the plants should go into survival mode. At that point water will be their best friend, be prepared with your system wether it be hoses and sprinklers that be moved around the yard or full on irrigation system. The day that you will have to really focus on water is coming really quickly, like it might already be here. The type hose you use matters, the type sprinkler you use matters so give yourself enough time to do some homework and do some shopping around since their are all types of gadgetry out there that can make your job a little easier and way more efficient. I like the tri pod sprinklers with the changeable tik tik heads. It allows you to send water right where you want it with lots of force. The legs are telescoping so you can take it to the height you need, at the tallest setting it really lobs it out there.

The talk of the town are the roses this year, I don’t remember a better rose year. The red knockout roses are really turning people on and the drift roses are singing mighty loud this year. We are selling roses like they are going out of style and trying to keep stocked fast enough so every one can get some. After this initial burst of blooms is finished it will be time for a pruning and feeding. They performed so well for us, we should treat them to some nutrients while coaxing them to give us another show in 45 days. You can time your rose flushes with your pruning. I have a wedding in my backyard in late October so I will time my pruning to that date so they will be perfect.

I’m checking in with the pick your own farms all over our state. They are reporting that somewhere around Memorial Day will come-n-get- it time. I go early in the mornings for the giant thornless blackberry places. I’ll go for some blueberries around the same time. Mimi and I grow enough blueberries to keep our teeth blue and to freeze enough to get us through our smoothies until next year. We are growing the thornless black berries but I can’t get enough so I go to the berry picking place in Raymond. Such a nice place , run by a family and staff that really care that you have a great experience. I like to get there when the gates open, otherwise the jelly and jam ladies will get there first and do a good number on them. There is enough for everyone but I love the excitement of people who like to get up with the birds and pick berries, different folks. There are families all over Mississippi that have made wonderful lives out of these pick your own farms. These are the day trips that your kids will never forget and they are fruitful and fun for us old folks, you’ll meet all kinds of people roving around the bushes.

Cinco De Mayo is Sunday this year, I don’t know how that will effect the festivities, Im sure the Margarita places have that all figured out. It’s not a Holliday so having it on a Sunday might not be so bad, time to gather with family and friends to celebrate not Mexicos independence which happened fifty years before the reason for the celebration. Apparently the French thought they would take a stab at growing their territories by taking Mexico. The Mexicans didn’t like that idea and fending them off. So while you are donning your sombrero on Sunday you can amaze your friends with that bit of trivia. I think we will water the greenhouses and our yard that morning then have a little celebration in our back yard.

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