Garden Diary - September 2020

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Today I Transplanted Some Colchicums
Saturday, 26 September 2020

Next time I'll try a pickaxe rather than a spading fork. The ground has a tangled mat of fine roots from the spice bush, Lindera benzoin. The colchicums, needless to say, are below that.

Here's how I went about it. Yesterday I weeded the area to which the transplanted Colchicum autumnale will be moved. Pickaxed today - necessary tool to remove New Jersey rocks, lovely large flat red stones. Pickaxed to loosen the very dry soil. Since the several potted elephant ears (originally sourced from supermarket, plain green) are yellowing off I dumped them out, hauled the tubers into the garage to be trimmed up for winter storage. And mixed the soil from 3 large pots with the native soil.

Then, bucket and spading fork in hand, I went trudging down the path to "rescue" the poor shaded colchicums. Hah! The few I dug multiplied into 20 when what looked like husky individuals turned out to be multiple corms in a cluster, eager to separate once freed from the soil. Not much in the way of roots on the colchicums, just a little tuft like walrus-mustache bristles. A few were somewhat mangled in the digging but were planted anyhow. As suggested, I cut off all the flowers. Mulched the site with old leaves that fell last year. What I dug barely made a dent in that colony. And there's two more. Colonies on the shady path, that is.

Of course, as I finished and started for the tool shed to put my tools away today's full overcast began to clear. Why not, just because I'd welcome the much needed rain. Perhaps I should wash my car . . .

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