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Thursday, April 29, 2010

April Showers

"April Showers bring May Flowers".

We have not had the normal amount of rain so far this year since it seems storms are just blowing past including today. I am not sure of May flowers but I suppose the Day lilies might start blooming. Right now the Irises are in bloom. I was looking at pictures of Irises and may start collecting other types. Right now I mostly have the regular old fashion purple variety. They do very well in Kansas and look great in groups.

I still have to complete the set up the the irrigation in the vegetable garden. I have rows that hand water each day and I want to be able to weed while watering.
So far the poatoes are doing well. I wans hoping to get the Benje potatoes so I could palnt them but they still have not arrived. The lettuce and other vegetables have sprouted and are growing. I a week or so they should be large enough to take a picture of.

Jim Kennard just worte an article on growing your garden vertical. I gardened vertical a lot of my vegetables. I would like to try to grow cucumbers vertical later.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spectacular Tulips

The tulips the classic spring bulb planting are blooming now in the Flint Hills. Tulips are not a real popular bulb to many gardeners do to the fact they must be planted in the fall, prefer sandy soil and thrive best in cold-winter climates. If your soil is heavy add plenty of organic material, sand or plant in a raised bed making sure you plant them the correct depth and space apart. Because tulips are a spring flowering bulb you can plant other flowers on top or next to them to fill in the area after the tulips or done flowering. In cool climate areas you can snip off spent flowers and then fertilize with nitrogen. Go ahead and allow the leaves to manufacture nutrients and then cut off when they turn yellow. If you want to keep producing larder tulips you will need to dig them up in two to three years to separate them. In warm areas like Florida and Southern California it is best to dig up and replant new bulbs every year..

The above pictures are my first tulips for the season. Check out bulb catalogs and your local nursery to find all the different types of tulips for color shape and scents. Then plant and enjoy your spectacular tulips blooming in the spring.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fruit Trees Blooming & Prairie Fires

It was a very warm day today but really windy. The Flint Hills has a fire advisory so controlled burning is at a halt in this area. I really dislike controls burns because smoke gets in my eyes and lungs but controlled burns are an absolute necessity. A few times I have been in areas where the fire has made driving hazardous and almost the burning gave Wichita EPA compliance issues last year. Hopefully the EPA can exempt the Flint Hills from the EPA standard at least for this time of the year.

Read more: Kansas prairie burns could violate new EPA pollution limits

It is interested to see the cattle so unconcerned with the fire burning around them. I will try to take a picture this year.

Some of the fruit trees are blooming and I am hoping that the storm in the west does not come this way and create another snow storm.

I did manage to get some of the potatoes planted. There are close to 4000 different varieties of potatoes and the Washington State University has a website with a Comprehensive Alphabetical List of 575 Varieties. Today I planted Red Norland, Yukon Gold and Goldrush Russet. What I am really excited about and I am still waiting for is my order of Benjie potatoes.