Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peach Tree Project Complete

 A project that began three years ago is 99 percent complete.  I decided to replace an aging Peach tree with some Crape Myrtles so three years ago, I planted the Crape Myrtles while keeping the Peach tree in place.  After a year, the Crape Myrtles were doing very well so I cut back part of the Peach tree.  Last year the Crape Myrtles were ready to take over so I cut the Peach tree back to a three foot tall stump. This week I dug around the stump and cut the large roots and finally pulled it out.  I replaced the dirt and in a few weeks after it settles, I'll finish the repair to the location. You can see the beautiful shade the Crape Myrtles are providing after only three years.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Black Snake Miscalculation

 Two blacksnakes made a huge miscalculation when they ventured into the shed and got tangled in some netting we used in the past to protect our strawberries.  I stopped using it when a blacksnake got caught and I had to rescue him.  Alas I was too late for these as they were already dead.  They were pointed out to me by our dog who was fixated on a corner of the shed where they were tangled.  I'm glad Knox told me they were there as the stench would have started pretty soon.  It is a shame since the blacksnakes belong to the "good snake" group. The other picture is an interesting shot of the fence by the deck with a healthy dose of back-lighting. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baby Deer Encounter

Yesterday afternoon and early evening we had some pretty severe thunderstorms.  After the storms passed, I walked the fence to ensure we didn't have any damage.  As I reached the fence near the pond I saw a baby deer inside the fence trying to get out by running through the chain link.  That didn't work too well.  All the sudden I noticed our dog (Knox) chasing the deer who takes off toward the other side of the yard.  I gave chase though that is kind of funny - me chasing a deer and Knox - so it was more like I was lost the race before it started and was just trying to catch up with them.  Luckily Knox chased the deer into a box canyon like area in our yard.  There Knox almost caught the deer who broke for the open end along the shed.  I was close and grabbed the baby deer - holding it tightly in my arms as it was screamed.  The screams were like "cauw" "cauw" (my best baby deer impression).  At that moment, my wife heard the commotion, came outside and dragged Knox into the house.  She opened the gate and I let the baby deer run off into the woods.  I hope it found mom deer or others in the herd who knew where to go.  I don't know if the baby deer was scared by the storm and jumped the 5 foot fence or if it maybe followed mom jumping the fence but then couldn't get back out.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Clam Shell Air Propagator

 Here is an interesting new product for propagating plants I saw on  Mike sends out regular emails about all things plants and trees.  The idea here is to strip some bark from the stem still on the plant.  Add some root-tone, cover with the black vessel filled with starting soil and keep it moist.  If all goes well in 4 to 6 weeks your have a bunch of roots so you can cut below the vessel and plant your new plant.  Here we are trying it on our white Azalea and Oak Leaf Hydrangea.  The site to purchase is

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wet and Forget

 A few months ago, I heard about a cleaning product called Wet and Forget on the radio.  It was time to clean the front of my garage; a chore I don't look forward to.  I usually used a bleach water mixture and a scrub brush on a pole.  It is messy and takes almost 2 hours.  I decided to try Wet and Forget and sprayed it on in only 15 minutes.  After that, I just left it alone  The second picture is 12 days after the initial application.  The green is gone and the hope is the remaining dirt will disappear in the near future.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Pond Plants

 The pond plants are back in full growth.  As you can see they are growing like crazy.  The Sweet Flag dominates with the tall pointed leaves and it is easy to grow.  And the Black Magic elephant ears recovered quite well from 6 months in the greenhouse where they died back to nothing. The first picture is the large pond and the second is what we call the frog pond.  But both are great environments for frogs and there frogs are all over both ponds.  The frog pond doesn't have Goldfish but the large pond has over 50. 

Friday, June 08, 2012

Veggie Green Thumb

 My wife has a prodigious  green thumb this year.  She planted a bunch of red seed potatoes in four 20 gallon pots.  This year she used the compost we created in the past year mixed with some store bought garden soil to fill the pots.  She left two other 20 gallon pots with the compost soil mixture for later planting.  Surprise - a couple of volunteer tomato plants started to grow in those pots.  As you can see in the second pictures, they are growing like gang busters.  Apparently some tomato seeds in the compost decided to sprout.  We are anxious to see is they produce a bunch of good tomatoes.