Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Getting Back to the Garden

 It has been a while since I have been able to spend any time in the garden, let alone write about the garden, but today was a beautiful day with the temperature of about 80 degrees and I finished my "must do" list and headed over to the nursery to see what was going on there. I had just written a post for the UCCE Master Gardener blog about fertilizing citrus this month along the coast and I decided that I had better follow up on the dose I gave last summer that resulted in a bumper crop of grapefruit and lemons. I have a feeling my garden helper is a bit frugal with the organic fertilizer I buy (it is pricey) and spreads it a bit thin, resulting in weak trees with not much fruit. Citrus trees are heavy feeders and need to be fertilized at least three if not four times a year.  You might as well save your money if you are going to skimp on the dose.

Of course just to prove that we really don't know more than mother nature, my key lime tree in the front yard that was here when we moved in, never gets fertilized and produces a ton of fruit every year! I always look at the poor scrawny thing growing in a rather shady spot and think it certainly can't hang in there another year thriving on neglect, but it continues to prove me wrong! I suspect that because it is tucked away behind the grape tunnel it gets lots of natural fertilizer from all the grape leaves and fruit that fall and go unnoticed.

 The camellias are blooming all over the yard. I am going to make sure to feed them soon because I am afraid I am asking them to keep going without much care and they do seem to be giving me fewer and fewer blooms each year. I did go to buy some fertilizer today, but came home with five new camellia bushes instead, they were just too beautiful for my weak constitution to resist on this beautiful day! Now is the time to plant camellias and azaleas because they are dormant while they are in bloom. Once they stop blooming they go into a growth cycle and will need the nutrients the fertilizer will provide, so I am going back for fertilizer tomorrow! I have already cut a few but I need to get out my shallow bowls that I use to float the blooms in all over the house!

 Of course the azaleas are blooming too! I'm not a big azalea fan, but there were tons of them here when we moved in and after moving them around a bit I've grown to appreciate the sparkle of color they add to the winter garden and the low maintenance requirements. I'm sure they are in need of some food and they will use the same acidic kind as the camellias, so I will see that they get some this month too.


Jean Campbell said...

I am envious of your citrus. We are just a tad too cold here to successfully grow those.

Camellias are starting to bloom and will get a nip of excessive cold this week, only to start over when it warms.

RobinL said...

I enjoyed reading about your gardening duties when the rest of us are in the deep freeze. It gives me faith to believer that winter will eventually leave!