Walking across the backyard puts a spring in my step, but not from happiness! 😉 Spongy, raised mounds extend from the middle of the rear cutting garden to an area 10′ beyond the bauhinia tree. I suspect an entire mole/armadillo subway system exists beneath my feet 🙂 Here’s the entrance to what I’ve been calling Aloe Station: 😉
Aloe Station functions as a point of transfer. If you reach into this very wide hole, you feel 3 separate tunnels, branching south, east and west. I fear I was complicit in their construction when I staked bamboo poles (above) to assist the Climbing Aloe–no good deed goes unpunished, as they say! Incidentally, the aloe that caused all the trouble 😉 has started to bloom…here, I’ll show you:
I’ve lost 2 growing season’s worth of flowers to this problem, and it’s time to plant again. After researching various eradication methods, I decided herding the vermin away was the most reasonable option. Bring on the Sweeney’s Mole and Gopher Repellent, a granular castor oil product that (allegedly) sends the little buggers packing, as this video explains:
The goal is to apply the product over a four day period, shaking the granules further from the origination point each day. I didn’t want to hurt or kill the critters, just relocate them faaarrrrrrr from Aloe Station. If you’re wondering, “Did it work?”
This not-so-great photo attests the repellent is working! The morning after the first application, the hole above (and two others like it) appeared a foot beyond where I sprinkled the granules. As you can see at the top of the shot, Aloe Station is plenty far away for day one!
Today marked day 3. A section of the rear cutting garden, where mole-runs abounded instead of flowers, looks REALLY good! Check it out:
I am best pleased! 🙂 Maybe I can plant annuals here again:?:
…..and now it’s time to show you literal “branching out” re: two phalaenopsis orchids.
Remember the Winn Dixie Dyed Blue orchid from last August? It was growing a second spike when I purchased it. During class last year, we learned if you cut a phalaenopsis spike along a middle node as its last flower fades, you might induce an additional spike to grow. Well….I finally tried it, and here’s the result:
Spiking x 2!
I nearly flipped-the-frig-out this morning when I noticed the teeny-tiny spike branching off the very top! (The bigger, side shoot I’d already flipped-the-frig-out over last week) Pretty cool, yeah? At the conclusion of the current flowering cycle, this phalaenopsis might need a little rest. I’ll definitely watch it closely for signs of stress.
I’ve been more successful with orchid growing since hanging my plants in the Bauhinia tree: some are loose in baskets; others, lashed directly to branches. I think they’re getting better air circulation and the right amount of water this way. Overall, they seem far healthier, which brings me to the final picture:
If you’d like to read more about orchids, check out the blog in the related links. I’ve been following it for awhile now and it’s got great information!
Until next time…
- Secondary Flower Spike on My Phalaenopsis (Part 3) (myorchidblooms.com)
- Progress On the Flower Spikes On My Phalaenopsis (Part 4) (myorchidblooms.com)
- Health Benefits of Aloe Vera: Grow Your Own Medicine (consciouslifenews.com)
- Arrrrgh – the moles are back…… (stbriavelsvillageopengardens.wordpress.com)
- Coral aloe brightens winter garden (sfgate.com)