Saturday, July 31, 2010

Well Goodbye to Mr. July and Hello Mr. August!

Hello Daylily Friends,

Preparation for the Spring of 2011 continues notwithstanding the hot July temperatures. I understood from the news this evening that we had 20 straight days of 90 degree temperatures in June. Then, this July, we have had 13 straight days of 90 degree temperatures. I am told by some friends that they like this heat, but then they do not have daylily gardens that they must prepare for next year. In working the garden on Friday morning my good friend David Arthur came over to help. We potted a number of plants in the Greenhouse, then we planted several rows outside. Neither David nor I particularly liked the soil we were using. David suggested that we take a ride to Ralph Carson's home in Eatonton, Georgia, and purchase more of the same soil that we used last year. So, this is what we did. I'm showing a picture of myself standing beside Ralph just in front of his house.

The trip to Ralph's home in Eatonton took about 2 1/2 hours including the time we used when we stopped by Chick-Fil-A for a Chicken sandwich. You may recall that Eatonton is the home of Joel Chandler Harris, who is the author of the "Uncle Remus" stories. When David and I arrived in Eatonton I talked to Ralph for a while trying to negotiate a better price, but in the end, I purchased four loads of soil that Ralph put into the back of my GMC Truck. After the truck was loaded I put some water on the soil to try to limit any loss during the drive back to Marietta. Right away it was obvious that the water really added to the weight on the Truck, and I had to stop the watering. It took quite a while to drive back because I drove slower, and because we hit the rush hour traffic from about 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. I left the Truck to sit overnight, and then this morning, I unloaded the soil. I'm showing a picture of the soil.

Worked most of the day, and finished with cleaning the Greenhouse. However, there are still some plants in the Greenhouse that have not been cleaned and split. Many of these plants have not been split because I still have about 15 pods to gather before my seed collection work is finished. I expect to get all of my seeds planted this coming week. I might add that this coming winter I will not allow my Greenhouse to freeze. Allowing a freeze really sets the plants back, and delays the time when seeds can be made. Preventing any freezing will not disrupt the growth of new dormants; they will still grow just fine. I will keep the Greenhouse temperature at a minimum of between 33 degrees and 40 degrees. Of course, I will turn up the heat in gradual increments beginning in late January or early February.

Diana had one of her seedlings to bloom. One of the parents is a $200.00 seedling that I bought from Jack Carpenter when the AHS National Convention was in Houston, Texas, several years ago. The other parent is ITSY BITSY SPIDER. As to the Carpenter Seedling, I thought that I had it converted, but alas, I still have more work to do. So, Diana's seedling is a diploid. You can see that it is a "reverse bi-tone." That is, the sepals are a lighter yellow color, but the petals are a maroon color. I would also point out that there is a maroon edge on the sepals. On the petals there is a yellow edge that runs the length of the petal, and then there is a "silver, dusk-blue" eye. Quite a little flower. We will have to see it grow for another year.

I know that August will also be hot. Well, its here and can't be stopped.



  1. Bill,

    Just curious as to what makes up the mix? Always, a very chatty blog and an enjoyable read.

  2. Bill,

    I want to know if Ted Petit's jungle growth soil from Lowe's worked with his seedlings. I forgot to ask him when I visited. I tried to get some, but it was only available in Florida and they wouldn't ship it to my local Lowe's. Along with Lee, I am interested to find out what is in your soil. I would add without Bill's blog, my life is dull and meaningless.

  3. Now Paul that is indeed quite a statement that without the blog your life would be "dull and meaningless." Fortunately, I can sometimes identify humor, and I must say that I like your words. I am encouraged to think that the blog is helpful. So, I have an answer about the soil composition for both you and Lee. It is my undedrstanding from Ralph Carson that the composition of his soil is as follows:
    1. 20 - 25% aged pine bark.
    2. 12 - 15% sand.
    3. 7% - cow manure.
    4. 40% - mushroom compost.
    I believe that there is more sand in the material, and I know that there is also some horse manure and a small amount of chicken manure. I realize that the percentage numbers are not exact, but Ralph is perhaps not as exact as he might be in preparing his soil mixture. I hope that this is helpful. Thanks again for your faithful reading of the blog!