Garden Report: March 20

Now begins the good part of the year.

Freesia blossom full of water

OK, so it's been pretty much raining here for the last two weeks. Makes working on the retaining wall out front a little difficult, I must say. And it's been hell on the emerging spring flowers.

Lady Jane tulips all higgledy-piggledy

I've been making spring planting plans, but with the front yard all torn up and everything soaking wet (not exactly the best weather for sifting compost), it all feels futile. We should be able to buy materials for the top formwork and get to work on the front wall this week, assuming it ever stops raining. It'd be good to get that done and move on to our other projects for this year.

Quince tree with blight

I'm also a little depressed because we need to cut the quince tree down. It has fireblight girdling the main trunk, and there's no pruning your way out of that. I'm going to get another one, and plant it out front where it will be further from possible sources of infection, but I was very fond of that tree. I think I'll replant that spot with a 4-way grafted Japanese plum.

Extended chicken yard

Today I went out in the warm air -- it felt positively springlike out there -- and set up a little yard extender of chicken wire and fence posts, so the chickens can work on weeding out the oxalis from the pathway along the East fence. They seem to like it, though it remains to be seen whether they will just fly over the short chicken wire fence (which they are more than capable of doing) whenever they want to snack on plants in other parts of the garden. I wonder how long it will take them to denude that fenced-in area of greenery as they have done in their yard.

posted by ayse on 03/20/11

5 Comments

IIRC my Midwestern chicken expert (TM) said that Chickens are great for getting rid of oxalis bulbs, but if the stems and leaves are present it turns them off. I hope you have good luck; I now hate oxalis with a passion.

They seem to like the leaves just fine, though they do leave behind the stems. The big thing is letting them have enough time to do some digging, because they will dig down and eat the bulbs, too. I always try to let them dig through turned over soil to pick out some of the bulbs.

And yeah, I'm not too fond of it, though it is not nearly as obnoxious as Bermuda grass.

I wish I could have chickens. I like oxalis too :-) It has pretty flowers, it doesn't need to be mowed.

Let me know if the chicken wire works and actually prevents or should I say deter them from flying into the other plants. If it does work, that one heck of a great natural weeder.

So far the chicken wire is very effective at keeping the chickens enclosed, but the stupid dog has busted in about fifteen times, requiring reinforcements. :P

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