i made it to belmont around noontime, my saddlebags nearly bursting with supplies, from cans of heysong sarsaparilla, to bags of gold nugget and clementine oranges. i wore a mask while riding, not for any pandemic reasons, but because it helps me from breathing in too much pollen.
first thing i did when i arrived was to go down to the basement and start moving out all the houseplants in the grow room. the weather has warmed up enough such that the jasmines and gardenia can start living outside; the cactuses we might wait for another week or two, though the forecast for next week certainly looks warm enough (60°+ nights) that we can move them out as well.
one of the gardenia buds have started to flower. i took a sniff, it was fragrant, but the smell was sort of nondescript, i wouldn't be able to recognize it if i smelled it again. it also smelled like something else that i couldn't quite remember. the pot itself felt a bit light (dry), so i watered it with a gallon of miracle-gro acid-loving fertilizer.
i went inside briefly to have some lunch, some rice noodles and radish cakes, before going back outside again.
so much of today was about spraying and fertilizing. i mixed a gallon of immunox (2btsp) and sprayed the grapes. 1 gallon is a bit much, i kept spraying the grapevines multiple times until i finally ran out of fungicide; next time i only need to make 1/2 gallon. next i made 1/2 gallon of neem oil solution and sprayed the jasmines and gardenia. once that was done, i applied miracle-gro water soluble plant food to the various plants: all purpose solution for the jasmines (making sure to dilute it for potted plants), chrysanthemums, and peonies; acid-loving plant food for the hydrangeas and the frontyard holly. i also wanted to spray some copper solution on the cherry and plum trees to act as a basic fungicide, but our backyard neighbor was working in his garden and i didn't want to spray while he was there, in case of drifting. i also divided some hyacinth seedlings, turned 3 sprouted pots into 6 seedlings.
while i was doing all that, my father mowed the lawn again, recycle setting, returning the glass clippings back onto the lawn. we've mowed every single weekend for 3-4 weekends, this is the most we've ever taken care of our lawn, which began back in the fall with fertilizing and reseeding. i also helped my father replace a rotten fence post in the front yard. it'd been down for 2 weeks, we finally fixed it today. he used an old pressure-treated post that he collected from the cafe parking lot when contractors came and redid the fence. he used a post hole digger and dug 16 inches down before we sunk in the post.
while inspecting the backyard, i noticed an aphid infestation on the large lupine in the southern perennial bed. i went inside and grabbed the insecticidal soap. these are fat lupine aphids (grape-seed size), the same ones we got last year. insecticidal soap will kill them on contact (they also lose their powdery coating), it's just an annoyance and we have to keep vigilante otherwise they come right back.
i finally went inside by 4pm. we ended up not planting any of my seedlings, hopefully we can do that tomorrow. we also finally turned off the basement furnace. the heat hasn't kicked in for weeks, but as long as the furnace is on, it uses up a bit of heating oil. but turning off the furnace marks the transition to summertime cooling. my father still needs to turn off the cafe furnace (which runs on gas).
for dinner we had fried pancakes rolled up with scallions and braised beef. i also had some yin-er soup (snow fungus with lotus seed soup).
back at home, i finished episode 4 of mare of easttown and went back to my legend of the seeker episodes. i left the gold nugget oranges for my mother, brought back the clementines, which were pretty sweet as well.