17 July 2017

Butterfly Papilion at Honor Heights Park

This is an ideal time to visit the Butterfly Papilion at Honor Heights Park. The days are finally hot enough to get the butterflies going. The Papilion is an open-air butterfly house with 26 native butterfly species, a teaching garden with lots of host and nectar plants, and a new children's garden.

There's plenty of free parking at Honor Heights Park and the Papilion is next to a splash pad, a new playground and a 1/3 mile trail around the pond.

If you enjoy walking there are other trails both surfaced and primitive. Don't miss the stroll through the Arboretum across the park street from the Papilion.

Restrooms available. Accessible for handicapped individuals. Something fun for adults and children.


Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Hours of Operation
Mon-Sat 10 am-5:00pm, Sun 1:00pm-5:00pm 

Admission
$3.00 Adult , $2.00 Child/Student , $2.00 Senior/Military


10 July 2017

Sustainable Worm Healthy Soil = No Till or Low Till

Jo Craven McGinty wrote a worm-affirming article for the Wall Street Journal that was published in the July1-2 2017 weekend edition. Here's a link to the entire article.

Natural Farming
Worms turn 8,000 pounds of earth on an acre of land in two weeks, according to McGinty. The worm tunnels aerate the soil and the castings (poop) fertilize the ground it squirms in. Darwin called worms nature's plows.

A recent study has been completed that concludes plowing kills worms, damages soil fertility, reduces soil's ability to absorb water and diminishes worms' food supply.

It can take up to ten years to repair the damage done to soil by conventional plowing.

Now 34% of US cropland uses no-till farming according to the USDA. Additional benefits include using less fuel and fewer soil improvements.

Did you know that when summer heats up worms move 18-inches down into the soil to protect themselves from the heat? Here's an interesting Purdue U. article about worms.

The University College Dublin conducted similar research and reported similar findings in May, 2017. “What we see is a systematic decline in the earthworm population in the soil after continued ploughing and a significant increase in the abundance of earthworms in less disturbed soil,although some soils would need more than 10 years to show good signs of recovery” says Associate Professor Olaf Schmidt, from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin.





02 July 2017

Lilies and Day Lilies

  Both true Lilies and Day Lilies are blooming in abundance right now. What's the difference? It's more than just their names since they are planted, grown, divided and propagated differently.

 The top photo of a Lily in our yard
lily bulb
.
is a true Lily or Lilium that is grown from a bulb that looks like a garlic bulb.
True flowers are trumpet-shaped, bowl-shaped, funnel-shaped and recurved. They have six petals.

True Lily Propagation
 You can separate lily scales and grow more lilies from them as illustrated in the photo. Or you can dig the mother bulb and separate her bulbils (tiny bulbs surrounding the main, large bulb) to be planted into pots while they grow or plant directly in a prepared bed.


While most true Lilies have their bulbils underground right around the top of the mother bulb,
Tiger Lilies have their bulbils along their stems.
Harvest them and plant them in moist compost until green emerges and then put them into individual pots.
I use clamshell berry containers for the first planting.
Day Lily, Daylily, Hemerocalis


Day Lilies are Hemerocalis and there are over 30,000 of them that are registered and another 10,000 that remain unregistered by hobbyists. Their name comes from the fact that unlike true Lilies with flowers that last a week, Day Lily flowers last a single day. 

 They appear to have 6 petals but they have 3 petals on the top layer and 3 sepals on the bottom layer.  

Day Lily roots are dug and divided in order to keep them from becoming overcrowded, maintain flowering and to increase them in your (and in your friends') garden.
Day Lily Propagation

After digging around the entire clump, lift it, hose it off and begin to separate the many plants within. Each separate division is planted into prepared garden beds.
  The crown of each individual division of the mother plant plant is planted at the same soil level. It's usually recommended that you put a mound of soil in the middle and let the roots dangle lower in the hole so they are spread out for rapid growth.