Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June already?

I haven't really touched the (10' x 40' ?) wildflower slope recently.  It currently has lots of maple seedlings in it thanks to our neighbor's very prolific tree.  The plan is to solarize this and/or cover with newspaper and cardboard, and then restart with some bulbs and perennials, with a couple annuals for color.  The reason being that the wildflower bed looks good in June, but pretty much ONLY June.  It was a fun experiment, but only one season of interest is not what I want.

It's a somewhat steep slope, so hard to work on, but I have to pull all of the maple and shrub seedlings out so that I can smother the weeds/wildflowers.  ESPECIALLY the Chinese forget-me-not which, while a favorite of the bees, took over the bed.  In fall it produces some nasty little seed pods that stick to hair (shirts, shorts, socks...) worse than Velcro.

What do I intend to plant in that bed once I've gotten the wildflowers under control?  Probably divisions of a bunch of stuff I already have.  Currently in the fridge are some daylily seeds we collected last year, I'm attempting stratification & germination.  I've also got many old marigold seeds hanging out in the shed, even if I get a small germination rate I'll still have quite a few plants.  I can certainly divide daylilies, irises, echinacea, yarrow, bee balm, and liriope.  I've got a lot of grape hyacinth bulbs that I can dig up and move over, and maybe I'll also move some of the daffodils & hyacinths over there as well.  The wildflower bed arguably has some of the best soil on our property since we put about 4" of composted leaf mulch on top of newspaper and cardboard back when I was killing off the grass that was previously growing on that slope.

Perhaps I'll also root some more boxwood cuttings and put them up along the top edge along the neighbor's retaining wall, edge, and then just keep them trimmed about even with the top so that his landscaping company doesn't hack at the backside of them like they did my beautyberry shrubs.  Another advantage here is that it'll keep the top of the slope shaded so I don't get as much stubborn grass trying to grow up along the edge of the wall.

The other beds are doing well, just need to do some weeding, which will be a regular chore through the rest of the summer and fall.  The tomato plants (that didn't get eaten - GRRrrrr!) are doing well, as is the pepper plant.


  1. I'll tell you, pulling weeds and seedlings on a slope is a great back-of-the-thighs workout...

  2. finally getting around to cardboard/mulch this year (2015). plastic didn't work well last year.