January Tasks: Digging Up, Planting, Cutting Back

 

 Garden activities the past week have been digging up, planting, and  pruning.  Aloe marlothii x vyrheidensis and the second Aloe sabea planted on the front slope.

Another crown gall victim removed:  'Lady Emma Hamilton'.  Empty space!
More crown gall victims dug up and trashed:  two of 'The Ambridge Rose', a 'Prospero', and 'William Shakespeare 2000'.

'The Ambridge Rose' in better health:

I loathe digging out roses.  'Ambridge' and 'WS2K' were 20 years old.  There is no way to save them.  Because of the crown gall issue, the empty spaces will host, at least temporarily, Salvias and Cupheas.  If nothing else, hummingbirds and bees will benefit.

Planted:  the easiest winter veggie:  short-day onion seedlings.  'Candy':  

'Texas Supersweet'. 
Ridiculously easy.  Plant, make sure they have irrigation, and four months later, harvest.  If properly cured, several months of organically grown onions for just about nothing.  The instructions said they grow best in soil on the acidic side, so I dug in some peat a garden buddy gave me a few months ago.  

The weather has been mild up to now, sometimes brilliantly sunny, sometimes a bit overcast, but excepting our one good rain storm, dry, dry, dry.  The rain is all going north.

Winter morning, as it should be, misty and chilly.

Weather in the high 80s F (30 C+) is forecast for the next few days.  Oh, well! 

Comments

  1. I'm sorry about loss of the roses, HB. I've decided to make more of a conscious effort to care for the few I have in the hope of improving my success with them. The lack of rain isn't helping in that endeavor but I'm going to give them extra water by hand as their low water diet is probably part of my problem. January heatwaves are depressing...

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    1. It's gardening. Bugs and diseases happen. January heatwaves are indeed depressing, but heatwaves in the other 11 months are not any better!

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  2. Misty and chilly is kinder for your plants - even if it's not actually rain.

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    1. Absolutely! The plants and the gardener are all happier.

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  3. Oh no, not Lady Emma! I've never dealt with that issue. Does it spread to other roses? I am assuming so since you have lost several. That sucks.

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    1. Yeah, Lady Emma, and many others the past few years. It can spread underground if the roots of an infected plant are near the roots of a healthy one, and can spread by shovels, and by pruners, and it can be brought in by an infected plant with no apparent symptoms. The disease prefers warm climates and light soil on the alkaline side, exactly what is here. At least Aloes are not affected!

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  4. Oh goodness, I'm so jealous...digging, planting, and cutting back! My garden is covered in snow and will be for some time now. 80s F--perfect temps! Enjoy!

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    1. Winters are frantically busy gardening time here. Summers I spend sulking in the house complaining about the heat.

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  5. I'm probably sitting 300-400 miles north and we have not had much rain either... was digging a hole for a new plant few days ago and was disappointed to see the soil turned bone dry about 6" down. On the "bright side" it's sunny :) Also beautiful in January to bees visiting the Aloe blooms

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    1. The weather has been beautiful, but rain is beautiful also. After our solitary rain storm I was digging and it was bone dry 1/4" down!

      Yes, the Aloes are mobbed with bees. There are several hives in the neighborhood, some feral, some human-cared-for.

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  6. So sorry you lost Lady Emma ! I have never experienced crown gall here. I did have a mysterious affliction on Buff Beauty last year that looked alarmingly like rose-rosette. I dug it up hastily. It had been here for at least 15 years so the digging involved picks, loppers, saws and the trusty Root Slayer shovel. Napa County rain totals are not impressive so far. We can have very wet springs though so I hold out some hope.

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    1. I will be very honest: Lady Emma H. was a disappointment. The gorgeous gorgeous new foliage turned fugly after a few weeks, the beautiful color of the freshly opened flower faded and blotched within hours. Not every rose is meant for every climate.

      Buff Beauty I had, too big for the space I gave it. When I pulled it, it had roots 6' long and big around as my forearm. Most impressive rose roots ever! No surprise you needed a root slayer!

      We keep on hoping. Got us through the last four years, didn't it? Did it?

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  7. Where did you find Aloe marlothii x vyrheidensis? Tht sounds like a super cool hybrid.

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    1. You gave it to me last year!

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    2. Lol, I just realized that! I can't wait to see which parent it will take after.

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    3. So many plants, so little time!

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