Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shadyside on January 24, 2012

We're having one of those soft, gold-kissed mornings after days of rain; the fog burned off early and everything is damp and I can almost hear it growing. Golden sunbeams slant into my woodland and turn the salad burnet (Poterium sanguisorba) to glistening diamonds with a dewdrop on every point on every serrated leaflet of every compound leaf.

Phalanxes of individual green grass seedlings are sprouting up. It is a simple cover crop of annual rye grass (Lolium multiflorum) for now,   two inches high so far and brilliant green where I plan to have a small zoysia lawn in the future. This morning I tossed out more grass seed in the bare spots that I missed the first time. I mixed my seed with a mycorrhizal soil inoculant with an organic kelp and molasses base, plus I scattered two bags of lime to sweeten up the soil for good measure.

Last weekend we finished rooting out by hand the tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), briers (Rubus spp.) and cat briar (Smilax laurifolia) from a sunny triangle about 20 feet on a side. Then we mulched it heavily with 18 wheelbarrow loads of rotted wood chips and I have high hopes for a new vegetable garden this summer. I limed the future garden too, and now pulverized dolomitic lime is on my shopping list once more.

Tearing myself away and dragging myself indoors to work on my presentation for GGIA 2012 Wintergreen this Friday.