Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – Transplanting, Women’s Garden
Another beautiful work day in Central Illinois. The temperature was in the mid 30’s all morning. We started our day in the propagation room transplanting seedlings again. We got five trays transplanted. Tomorrow we will probably do more. This time it was “Salvia Strata” or “Mealy Cup Sage.” It’s an annual flower that will look spectacular in the gardens next summer.
Next we were off to the Women’s Garden again. We didn’t quite finish the job yesterday so we finished our work day cleaning up the perimeter and blowing out more fall leaves. There are several flowerbeds with lilies that have finally frozen back and are ready to be cut down and cleaned up.
Richard tried something different on the lily beds. In the past I’ve used the hedge trimmer to cut down frozen, dead plants but the lilies are limp and flat on the ground. The hedge trimmer doesn’t work very well because the limp blades are so thin they slip between the cutter blades of the trimmer and don’t get cut in two. Richard brought one of the hand pushed lawn mowers from FM to see if it would cut down the dead lilies easier. The results were marginal so one of these days we may end up on our hands and knees snipping them off with hand pruners. Yuk.
Yesterday and today we blew a lot of fall leaves out of the Women’s garden onto the lawn around the perimeter of the garden area. Richard wanted to use the hurricane force wind of the new “Toro Pro Force Turbine” leaf blower. Wow, this is a serious leaf blower. It works very well.
Since Richard was on the “Toro Pro Force Turbine” leaf blower he wanted me to use the big John Deere 997 mower. Now we’re talking brute power in a zero-turn mower with a 31-hp diesel engine. "UUUEEGGHH, UUUEEGGHH , UUUEEGGHH." I’ve never driven one of these before so I got hands-on, personalized training from Richard Hancock and Elder Gross. Elder Gross has driven one of the John Deere 997 mowers every day since he got here in April last year. All fall the fleet of FM mowers have had their grass catcher attachments so they can pick up the fall leaves.
I had fun driving the powerful John Deere 997 mower to pick up the leaves around the women’s garden. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the job because the ground is still too wet from last Sunday’s rain. The Mower is so big and heavy it chews up the soil where there is no grass growing. Maybe we can continue in a few days when it’s