April 10, 2019

Early this morning I cleared the patch of thistle on the slope below the retaining wall, close to fifty square feet.  The thistle and other invasive species were huge but shallow rooted.  So I return to where I started a year ago.  The battle against thistle is tenacious, and I am thankful for small victories.  Hopefully the majilita poppy will take hold and join the fight on that slope.  I applied Roundup to the cleared area for a bonus.

The front irrigation system is now operating once every two days for 20 minutes.  The triangle garden seems to receive water more abundantly than anywhere else.  The verbena is  coming back into bloom, all three colors.  The rhaphiolepis has lots of new growth and promises to bloom soon.  I cultivated the soil around the oleander and camellia in the western end of the upper front garden, watered and applied mulch.

I laid a 24 hour drip on the new dwarf lime tree.  I watered the California fuchsia, aenoium, ice plant and crape myrtle at the east end of the back yard.  No irrigation as yet.  The sprinklers on the lawn overperform, which helps with all the planter boxes but they do not reach to that far end.

Del kindly gave me a master gardener class at the Lone Wolf Dinner this evening.  He told me that the most common problem for gardeners is overwatering.  He suggested laying a pipe down the center of the trough to confirm proper drainage.  The holes that I drilled in the bottom of the trough were small enough to discourage gophers but may inhibit drainage.  Much of the soil in this area is heavy clay.  Containers may collect water if not properly drained.  Plants need air as much as they need water, and drooping plants may signal less water rather than more.  When I plant, I usually add a commercial organic soil amendment to break up the clay.  We also discussed alternatives for staking the cherry tomatoes that I will eventually plant in the trough.  At the end of his lecture Del asked if I could answer a legal question for him.

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