Another Guest Bog!

So I visited a friend and a fellow Niagara Falls Sarracenia grower the other day to see his bog garden… As you can see in the photos, its quite large and uses the same contruction method I used pretty much.  You can see the drains that are installed to remove excess water after heavy rains.

Although he had some plants in there, he needed many more to fill it up, so after visiting my plants sale this summer, he has offically a full bog garden… This is going to look amazing in the years to come.  He has also muched it, as did this year.  I’m hoping this significantly reduce the weeding.

b1

Here is another view

b3

His back yard is very nicely landscaped and boasts a beautiful water feature, a natural place to add a bog garden.  He plans to build another bog in a different location in his yard.

b2

CJM

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Guest Bog Blog

A friend in Montreal sent me some photos of his outdoor setup.  According to Pascal, he lives in Zone 5b and he endured temperatures around -30C all winter.  Intead of mulching this year, he decided to pile snow on his bogs.  He lost a few plants but not many.  He also noted that it was a slow start this year, cold and a lot of rain.

As you can see, his plants look to be doing well!

bog1 bog2

CJM

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Bog Number 2 – DONE!

Another couple days of hard work… but I cleand out the my second bog garden.  Again, big shout out to Dad who again, offered tremendous moral support, bagging skills, tag making and cataloging skills!

So here is the before photos of Bogs 2 & 3.  Densely overgrown… well actually a downright mess.  Many of the plants were not getting adequate light burried beneath masses of flava and other tall species.

bogs

Below is bog2 finished… and you can see bog3 in the background being strip mined of all vegetation. Oh, that red flava looking thing you see in bog3 is a flava ornata x flava atropurea cross.  Amazing plant gets all red, with even redder (if that’s a word) veining! Really cool!

bog3redo

Here is a better photo of the plant removal process. Some of the clumps of oreophila were 40 – 50 cms across!  Hence the shovel!

bog3half

As you can see there is lot of weeds that need to be removed.  As with bog2, I removed about 15cm of media.  Again, I dug to the bottom, and the media smelled fresh all the way down… so I’m thinking I can easily wait 5 years or maybe even 6 before I do this again!

I imagine the reason the media is so fresh is that I don’t keep these bogs sopping wet.  You can see the drainage spouts that are about 10cms down, this drains any excess water from heavy rains… however, I don’t water these bogs very often if at all.  The soil remains moist but not waterlogged! I really think one of the biggest issues with new growers is they like to keep the plants too wet! The roots need air people! Too wet and they drown! Anyway, I get side tracked.

The plants removed!

plants

So once the top media was removed… three bags of silica sand and 2 bales of peat moss were added and mixed into the old media, raked out and is now ready for replanting.

ready

Now at this point, I learned a bit of lesson. It would have been better to wet the peat/sand at this point… granted it was somewhat damp as I mixed it into the wet stuff… but because it was mostly dry, I had to water it, and water it, over and over to get the media moist after I planted it

So here is the finished product.

bog3

and the same photo as the opening photo in this post, but of the bogs cleaned up

b2b3

I know… it looks like crap… leaves mangled and laying all over!  However, I think it important to leave the leaves (leave the leaves! – english is weird) on as they provide photosynthesis and food for the plant as it establishes.  Once new leaves are produced, I will go through and clean these up!

The last step is to mulch!  One to help keep in moisture in the heat of summer, but two, to help keep weeds at bay.  So I’m going to pickup some UNTREATED cedar mulch… no colors, not composted, nothing… just plain old cedar mulch.  I will spread this over the surface of the bogs.

Oh and just for fun, I took a photo of my flytrap bog in flower!

vftflowers

CJM

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It’s Time for a Change

THIS IS NOT A NEW POST! I just reposted it as a blog entry! Somehow I posted it as a new a page that showed up on my site! Not sure how to move it, so I just copied and reposted! – Sorry

Ok…Well I’m officially a “BAD BLOGGER”. I can’t remember how longs its been since I posted anything… I’m pretty sure its been over a month. My spring flowering show was beautiful as always and there were no losses of Sarracenia… considering the super cold winter… that’s great news. Some plants were set back, especially purpurea var burkii (S. rosea) and my leuco’s, but they are all coming back. As you can see things are growing strong!

bogs

As I mentioned, this is the year that I’m going to change the soil. It is going to be a huge undertaking, but it needs to be done. Since I will have all the plants removed, it will be good time to divide, thin out and clean the plants before they replanted.

I’m planning on tackling one bog at a time and will document each step of the way. I’m hoping to start tomorrow, but they are calling for storms, so I’m not sure if the weather is planning on cooperating… in the meantime, I’ve got my supplies. I also picked up a pile of plastic bags and pot tags.

peatsand

I’ve got 6-100 pound bags of silica sand and 6 bales of peat moss. Not sure how much I need to do this job, but I should have enough to do hopefully two bogs with what I’ve purchased already. I’m not planning on replacing all the soil, but rather removing the top 15 or so cms (6 inches) and mixing in new peat to refill the bog garden…but more on that as the project progresses.

first

Hopefully tomorrow I will get started.

CJM

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Cheap Plants

Well I finished bog 1 yesterday. I’ve posted on the Ontario Carnivorous Plant Society page that I have extra plants for sale… however if there is anyone who reads this blog who lives in CANADA and hasn’t seen my post on the OCPS and is interested in some Sarracenia drop me an email at carl.joseph.mazur@gmail.com  or if you are in the area and want to drop by that’s fine too, love to meet new growers!

So the plan is to finish all four bog gardens in the next three weeks! Whatever doesn’t get done by the end of July will have to wait.  As a rule, I don’t like replanting, dividing or otherwise disturbing Sarracenia after the end of July.  They need time to recover before winter sets in. Any later and I feel there is not enough time and it could result in losses!

CJM

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Day One – Media change and replant of bog 1

Well day number of my bog “repotting” project happened today. Didn’t get as much done as hoped… but it is going smoothly.  I want to give a big shout out to my dad who graciously donated the day to come and be my moral support, helper and chief cataloger!  Thanks DAD!

Step one was to remove all the plants… Here is about 1/2 of them!  Each back was labeled with the identity code of the specimen (again thanks Dad, my hands were filthy).  Once all the plants were removed it was time to amend the media.

removed

I then removed the top few inches of media, to remove weeds and other unwanted items that have taken root over the years.  I dug down to the bottom of the bog to check the media, and surprisingly after 4 years, it still smelled quite fresh. Now to add new peat.  I ended up adding two bales.

peat

addsand

Once the peat was added, I carefully used a shovel to mix the new peat in with the old peat/sand.  Dad then found that a “garden claw ” in my shed which made the job a lot easier.  If you’re not sure what that is just google it… its a stick with tines on the bottom used to mix soil.  Worked like charm.

I then added two 100 pound bags of silica sand, and again, using the garden claw and shovel, as well as my bare hands mixed up the top 15cm (6 inches) of soil.

Finally, it was time to replant.  I took each specimen bag, divided off what I wanted to keep, cleaned it up by pulling off all the dead leaves, and gave it a good wash in a garden hose to clean off the old media and remove any weeds or debris. Lastly I removed any dead rhizome.  Then, the plant was checked off on my catalog sheets and replanted.  As you can see, its looking really sparce.  I still have about 1/3 of my plant material to go through and replant… but it’s coming along!

replant

Sadly, this garden is going to look like crap for the remainder of the summer, but hopefully things will improve in the fall… Still have two large beds to do and a third small one!  Once this done… it’ll be good for another 4 or 5 years.

CJM

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Up Down All Around

iris

I know… that’s not a Sarracenia… it is a North Carolina bog iris… very cool plant, stands only 10-15 cms off the ground. It is a great companion plant for the bogs, it adds a nice splash or color.

As the title implies, the temperature have been up down and all around.  Some days have been nice and warm 27-32C, others have not got warmer than 14C. Some mornings have been a low as 5C, other mornings I drove to work it was 22C… absolutely crazy!  Regardless, things have been moving forward. The spring Sarracenia bloom is well underway…

flava

CJM

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