It’s hard to believe that this is my first real deadheading run on the window boxes, but I don’t think the boxes themselves really took off until the cold and rainy June weather stopped. So once hot and sunny July started, we got a couple of weeks of gorgeous growth on the whole set, but after getting home after being gone for business travel all week, one of the first thing I noticed was that they were starting to look really ratty. In particular, while the white double petunias are really healthy and happy and cascading madly down the sides quite long, they also really look bad once they are done, and it just had to get cut back hard.
Once I did that, I noticed that all of the other plants in the boxes really stood out, of course, without the smothering effects of the double petunias. All of a sudden we can see the blues and reds that I had originally planned. Hopefully these remaining plants will have a chance to thrive and shine for a bit while the double petunias take a bit to get their second growth spurt.
We have a big outdoor summer party planned for the second week in August, and I want the boxes looking their best. My plan was to cut them back now but they should have plenty time to recharge and look happy and pretty again in a month. I only got the first floor done, and the top floor needs it as badly, but we had other things planned for the day as well. I hope to get up there, maybe tomorrow morning, and I also definitely want to fertilize all of the boxes as well. I haven’t done that yet either, and while they seem fine with the osmocote that I put in them to start this spring when I first made them all up, under lights in the basement, I want the lushness to continue.
While I did the boxes, Frank put together the third portion of the new compost bin out in the veggie patch. We cut a few trees, mostly pine, from the undergrowth area out there, and chipped it all, adding it to the middle bin out there, mixing it with coffee and all of the stuff I’d cut from the window boxes. I think that bin also got some shredded paper as well, and it’s still barely half full. Frank wants us to fill it up as quickly as we can, because it’ll be our second bin for the spring, which we demonstrated this spring that we clearly need.
After lunch, we went back out there and cut down a huge maple tree, so that we would have fresh maple wood chips to start our third mushroom bed. This one is the Elm Oyster, Hypsizygus ulmarius. It’s apparently not a real oyster mushroom (different genus) but supposedly quite similar. We did our usual procedure, lining the bed with cardboard, filling it with chips, etc., because the other two beds we’ve done seem to be doing well. Frank bought this spawn from Fungi Perfecti again, who said that we should be putting this in straw mulch not woodchips, but woodchips we have.
Princess Kitty kept us company all day long today, being the mighty huntress stalking us deep into the woods, even. When we were leaving to go inside, she really didn’t want to come in, and Frank had to pick her up, completely without dignity, and she wasn’t happy at all. I swear, every time I took her picture, which was often, she rolled her eyes at me. She’s good company out there, though, never quite walking with us or really following us directly, but she ambles along at her own pace, just coincidentally showing up right where we happen to be.