Field of Science

Now is the time ....

It's spring here in Lincolnland and this is the time for action.
First, now is the time to begin a flowering log for your garden to keep track of what and when everything flowers. Such a log will show you when and where you have flowering "gaps" and the beginning of data that can be useful for showing changes in the flowering season. Such data kept for over a century (and this is why you should start as soon as possible) have shown significantly earlier flowering in the northeastern USA, a trend consistent with a warming climate. The Phactor has never done this himself formally, and it will be a challenge what with several hundred flowering plant species to keep track of (150+ trees and shrubs & who knows how many perennials).
Second, now is the time to begin ignoring your lawn. This can never begin too early. Avoid the temptation to buy all that high nitrogen lawn fertilizer all the stores have in stock. If you must spread something to keep the neighbors from staring, spread milky spore to provide a biological control of Japanese beetle and other lawn grubs. At most sow some seed on bare spots. If you start your lawn out early on a fertilizer diet it will expect water and nutrients all summer long, and rather than having your lawn go dormant in the heat of summer, as it should, you will be out there mowing, harvesting all that inedible biomass, a wretched excess caused by your own exuberance and misplaced energy. Think of the money you will save and buy yourself some new plants so the garden shops don't go under. Remember, a monoculture of grass just is not very interesting, not sophisticated aesthetically, and not ecologically stable.


Anonymous said...

I don't now if you can call it a real flowering log, as I only update it once a month, but since Octobre 2007 I published a monthly list of everything blooming in my garden on the first of each month (although there has been a timespan I did this on the 15th of each month).
I record every single flower in my garden, be it a ornamental or a so-called weed (I prefer to call them natives...)

And after some time, you notice there are plants that have flowers almost the whole year round (daisy, white deadnettle), and flowers that don't make it to the list because they have such a short blooming-period, that they are already withered on the first (or the 15th) of the month.
Keeping such a record makes you more alert on what is in flowers... (Although I only had very short lists this year when compared to the previous winters!)

Diane said...

I'm pretty compulsive but I think a flowering log is more than I can handle. I do take a lot of "big picture" photos during the year so that serves pretty well.

No problem on ignoring the yard; in fact I go to great lengths to avoid looking at it. Dogs and nice lawns do not mix well!