Urban Homesteading on a Small City Lot: The Front Yard Ups and Downs, Mostely Ups

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Front Yard Ups and Downs, Mostely Ups

All of the bulbs are growing like crazy. This picture is the miniature irises.  
The miniature irises on the other side of the walkway have some volunteers coming up with them.  I think at least one of them is an aster.  I don't know about the other stuff.

I also have some volunteer tulips breaking through.  I went through the whole bark mulched area and made sure all of the bulbs that were coming up had a hole cut for them.  Some of the ones i planted last fall had tried to come up next to their holes and had grown long and pale searching for it.

These volunteer tulips were causing a huge mound under the bark mulch.  I am letting them go for now, but will probably dig them out after they flower.  They are too close to the boxwood bush.

The tulips I planted all look something like this.  They are a bit later than other tulips I have around.

Here is a bunch of dutch irises.  You can see that some of these had been trailing under the mulch and weed block.  They will straiten out and green up, I hope.
Here is a bunch that all came up no problem. They are about six inches tall now.
This is what the grass looked like before yesterday.  There were a few sprouts, but nothing to write home about.

So, I decided to cover them lightly with the left over potting soil from my pots.  I poured each one into the wheel barrow and mixed it half and half with new potting soil, and took the left overs to the front lawn and spread them out lightly over the lawn seed.  I had just the right amount left over.  It was very fortuitous.

One of our poor boxwood shrubs got stepped on this winter.  I don't know exactly when or by whom, but it is the one next to the mail box so it could have been anyone from the mail man to my husband, or it could have been me, for all I know. I picked off all of the broken stems.  I fed all the shrubs with a good amount of fertilizer yesterday.  They are all starting to green up from all the sun we've been getting.  They are going to grow soon and we will have to figure out how to trim them.
The last think I want to tell you about in this post is my pear tree.  I knew when I bought it that I would either have to plant another pear tree or graft on a few branches so it can cross pollinate with another variety.  I have decided that I don't want another pear tree, so I am trying my hand at grafting.  My grandfather is very good at it.  He has a small orchard at his house, and not a single one of the trees has only one variety of fruit on it.  I asked him to show me how to do it and he did last week.  I came home and just did my best.  I hope at least one of them takes.  I cut the scion (small branches for grafting on) from trees at the research station where I work.  I don't know the variety, but it doesn't really matter.  I just need flowers from another variety. May grandpa took a look at them for me on Tuesday.  He said he might have put them in different places and told me to prune out a branch.  He said they will probably be fine, though.  My fingers are crossed.  I will know in a few weeks when the buds swell and open or not.  The two grafted pieces are coated with wax to keep them from drying out.



  1. Grafting! What a great skill to learn. What's it called when he just puts the little bud part on, instead of a whole branch? That's pretty impressive too.

    1. Um, its called budding. Lol. Anyways, grandpa said budding doesn't work very well with pears in his experience. It works better with cherries.