November 16, 2018

A productive day has ended with a cold and clear night, lit by a bright half moon and stars.  I pray that cooler weather will relieve the sheltering residents of Butte County and the fire fighters and recovery teams that continue the Camp Fire fight.

I scratched in my wildflower seed mix along the edge of the driveway this morning, unearthing several choice stones as I went.  The owner of the Rising Sun Nursery was specific in her instructions to cover the seeds with a layer of topsoil to prevent the wind from carrying them away before they can germinate.  I added the layer of topsoil and watered it in.  Spring will be a surprise.

The blooms on the asters have faded, and it is time for them to rest.  I cut the stalks back to within one of two inches of the ground, as I have the past two years.  I dug out the outliers, the stalks and root branches that crowded the house wall or the sidewalk and a few adventurous souls that wandered out from the central cluster.  I also thinned out that central cluster and ended the operation with a good soaking.  Days now are still in the sixties and seventies with much bright sunshine.

Sometime in the past black plastic was laid down the entire length of the border garden against the north half of the house wall.  I started to pull away the plastic today, when I realized that the asters grow on top of it.  Their growth is by roots that run along the surface of the soil.  If the asters are happy growing on black plastic, far be it from me to disturb their habitat.

I inaugurated the hose sprayer today with Dr. Earth Pure Gold plant food.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  The sprayer adjusts for three different applications from a spray jet to a garden sweep.  I started with the bottle brushes, one of which is blooming now.  On my sweep through the front garden I caught the white geraniums, both Marguerite daisies and the potato bush in the far border garden.  I also gave the columbine a spritz.

We will see how the plants respond to Dr. Earth.  The instructions suggest applying every two weeks for maximum results, which to my mind suggests maximum sales of Pure Gold plant food.

A chance of rain is forecast for this coming Wednesday.  If the rains come, I will shut down the drip irrigation when I return from Thanksgiving.

I did return to the Rising Sun Nursery for the Japanese euonymus, after a brief detour for a tamale plate with mild salsa at the Buena Vista convenience store.  The euonymus received the Miracle Start treatment, with a second round for the shrub roses, the red and gold lantana, the plumbago, the ceanothuses and all the fall plantings.  I plan to leave the euonmyous on a drip for the ten days that I am away next week.


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