Accomplished a lot yesterday, more work today; Replacement palm selected.
Yesterday immediately after writing my blog I went out back and got right back to attacking my outdoor spring project list. I worked all day long with just a 20 minute break for lunch. I accomplished even more than I’d hoped to!
I started off my day by pressure washing the backyard-facing side of the fence (I’d already done the street-facing side). Just look at all that algae growth!
I thoroughly clean the fence every spring–and it’s always dirty by the time spring rolls around–but this year the fence looked especially bad. The humidity has been off the charts over the past year, and I suspect that is why there’s so much algae growth this year. Anyway, it’s gone now.
Next I pressure washed the back patio, which was also covered in algae and grime. It looks great now! I also pressure washed all the patio furniture and thoroughly cleaned the backyard grill (yet another task for which the pressure washer is perfect).
I decided to pressure wash some of the feature rocks in the pond–mainly those I used to construct the water fall and surrounding areas. There was black algae on many of those rocks, and now that they are clean again the natural color and beauty of the Tennessee fieldstone looks fantastic!
My pressure washer sure got a good workout this spring. I put a good 30+ hours on it. Time to change the oil. A pressure washer is one of those investments that every homeowner should make. They are pretty indispensable, and are a bargain compared to renting one year after year (or paying someone to do the work for you).
Next I went around the entire property, cleaning and adjusting the security cameras. I carried my laptop around with me so that I could instantly see the effects of the adjustments without having to run back and forth to the main monitors.
My wheelbarrow was full of soil, and I needed the wheelbarrow for another project. So I decided to fill all the pots used for herbs and peppers with the soil, install the automatic irrigation system and run a system check. Now we’re all set to drop in the plants, which we’ll be selecting and planting this weekend or the next.
I put the automatic irrigation system in last spring, and it was a super easy and inexpensive project. Best of all, the peppers, herbs and tomatoes all produced record yields because they received the perfect amount of water without fail. If you’re interested, here’s my how-to article for installing your own patio herb and pepper automatic irrigation system. We added even more pots for this year, so I’ll post some pictures once we get everything planted.
Next I decided to trim all the front yard plants, trees and palms. Big job, glad it’s done!
With the wheelbarrow empty, it was time for my final (and least-fun) project of the day: granular fertilization of all the plants, palms, trees and shrubs in the front yard. This project take a long time because I like to work the fertilizers in to the soil by hand, and then I go around and thoroughly water everything in.
My go-to general fertilizer is Milorganite, and I use that on everything. The palms also get palm-specific fertilizer, Epsom salts, Manganese Sulfate and chelated iron. The roses get a rose fertilizer, Epsom salts and bone meal. I use Azalea fertilizer on the Azaleas (of course), but I also use it on all the acid-loving plants (of which I have many).
That was certainly a full day of work!
These items have been completed:
- Pressure wash the paver driveway and walkway
- Pressure wash the sidewalks and street-side gutters and back patio
- Pressure wash the backyard fence (front facing)
- Pressure wash the house and the rain gutters
- Pressure wash the backyard fence (back facing)
- Pressure wash back patio
- Thoroughly clean grill
- Pressure wash and clean all patio furniture
- Fertilize all plants, trees, fruit trees, palms and flowers (front yard)
- Check function of automatic irrigation system for peppers, herbs and tomatoes
- Weed all flower beds (front yard)
- Trim all plants, trees, fruit trees and palms (front yard)
- Clean and adjust all outdoor security cameras
Remaining to do:
- Trim all plants, trees, fruit trees and palms (back yard/pond)
- Fertilize all plants, trees, fruit trees, palms and flowers (back yard/pond)
- Clean all exterior windows/screens
- General pond maintenance (replace/clean filters, check auto-fill/timer function, adjust rocks, adjust pond and path lighting etc.)
- Weed all flower beds (back yard/pond)
- Caulk and touch up paint exterior of the home
- Clean all outdoor lighting fixtures, check motion sensors, replace bulbs as needed
- Check entire sprinkler system for coverage and leaks, adjust/repair as required (10 zones)
- Spread approximately 10 yards of mulch
- Select and plant this year’s crop of peppers, herbs and tomatoes
- Plant hundreds of annuals and assorted other plants
- Re-design and add plants to flower bed to right of walkway (where the Queen palm was removed)
- Clean and organize entire garage/bike shop
- Wash automobiles and do full Zaino treatment
I’ve decided to take another personal day today (I rarely take personal days, and so I’ve got about 15 saved up) and keep attacking the list. One thing about my personality is that when I set my mind to do something, it’s all I can think about. I have not been on my bike in a week because I’ve spent every spare moment working on these projects.
So today I think I’m going to trim and fertilize all the backyard/pond plants and do the pond maintenance tasks mentioned above. Also, and this is something I’m pretty excited about, I’ve selected the featured specimen that will replace the Queen palm that I had to remove. I decided to not risk putting another Queen palm in that same spot, as the chances it would contract the same disease are quite high. So, what did I pick? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see it, but I’ll practically give it away: it’s a beautiful palm that comes from the land down under.