MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 24-12-2012

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This is such a wonderful time of year, especially here in coastal South Carolina.  Our mild temperatures insure that there is ample opportunity to work outside throughout the winter.  Today (December 24) is a perfect example of being able to dig in the garden in one’s shirt sleeves.   After spending much of December planting vegetable seeds, today I chose to plant an Empress Tree (Paulownia) I ordered it several weeks ago.  It arrived last week and has been sitting under the house calling my name.  This plant is a fast growing, flowering tree.  Just what I needed along the edge of the pond.  I plant a lot of trees and shrubs and invariably take shortcuts as I seldom have the time to go through all the recommended planting steps.  This time, however, I decided to do it correctly as I had the time and only one plant to put in the ground.  I have grand expectations that this tree will grow at record speed.

siting the tree

LOCATING THE PERFECT SPOT

 

Empress trees grow well in full sun and require space to expand into.  This is a tree that is being grown on some plantations for use in the paper industry as it satisfies the hardwood requirements for some papers.  Additionally, once matured, it can be harvested and will re-sprout from the stump and rapidly grow to produce a second crop.  I am growing it for its flower clusters and large shade producing leaves as a landscape specimen.

REMOVE COMPETING BROOM STRAW AND WEEDS FROM IMMEDIATE AREA

 

DIG PLANTING HOLE AND ADD POTTING SOIL AND CHICKEN MANURE

 

WATER IN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADD MULCH FOR WEED CONTROL AND MOISTURE RETENTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADD WIRE DEER FENCE

 

STAND BACK AND WATCH IT GROW

 

MY EXPECTATION

 

I hope to work on the fig hedge inside the garden next month.  We rooted 50 plus cuttings and last spring I set them out along the hedge line but did not provide them with extra water.  They were stunted by the drought and they look as though I planted them yesterday.  The ten cuttings (smaller and therefore left in the garden rooting bed) were watered each day by the over head sprinklers.  They are 5 feet tall and actually produce figs.  I will move the tall rootings into the hedge row and replace the smallest of the plants.  I will then provide each plant with drip irrigation.  My  goal is to have four hedges – 30 feet long that are pruned to a 5′ x 5′ x 30′ area where I can cover the plants with netting to discourage the birds and raccoons from harvesting the figs the night before I do.

We have a nightly visitor to our fall garden.  I believe it is an opossum as I have ruled out the rabbits as there is no evidence of their leavings on the ground around the plants.   I don’t think it is a raccoon as I have never heard of them devouring a head of cabbage or broccoli.  Our mystery visitor likes them both and eats more than a squirrel would eat.  I have placed a baited (peanut butter) ” have-a-heart” trap in the garden to try to discover what it is.

 

I was just thinking about going out and putting the chickens up for the night and it has clouded up and is starting to rain so I need to go now before it gets even worse.

 

Santa comes tonight.  Merry Christmas everyone.

 

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