Thursday, March 29, 2012

Damn Pollen!

Oak Pollen
Oh... I have really done it now.... I spent the last few days outside working on my mulch problem, (more on that below) not noticing that the lovely warm breezes were forcing waves of pollen into my airways. On Tuesday I had a sinus headache so bad that no medication would touch it and I had to go to bed. Yesterday I wore a mask when I was outside (the one I use when sanding metals), but in the evening I noticed that my throat was a little sore and when I woke up this morning, my voice was completely gone. I'm drugged up as much as I can be today and I'm trying to stay indoors with the windows closed. It really puts a damper on these gorgeous Spring days and until we get some rain I can't even go for a walk. This is NOT what they mean when they talk about Spring Fever! I've heard that this allergy season is going to be worse than ever because everything is blooming at once. And, that it will be shorter because everything is blooming at once. This sucks. I never had problems with pollen allergies until I reached my 40s. I'm just hoping we get some rain to wash it away temporarily.

Burned up Columbine

Now for the mulch update: You may have seen that I asked my Facebook friends to tell me if they knew of any remedies to my too-fresh mulch problem. I was inundated with ideas, some of them conflicting, which confused me even more. Most agreed that I needed to push the mulch away from the base of the plants, so that's what I've been doing. Other people said I needed to put down a high nitrogen fertilizer to replace what the mulch was pulling out of the soil. I took pictures of the damaged plants and showed them to an agent at our local Agriculture Extension Service. She said it definitely looked like "burn" from new mulch and said NOT to put down fertilizer because that would stress the plants even more.

Here's where it gets really confusing. A few more days have gone by and my intention is to remove mulch around plants that I see coming up through it. I see that there are several plants that don't seem to be affected at all. They're not burned! The hostas and lilies and coneflowers are looking just fine. And, I called the guy who delivered the mulch and he contacted the place where he got it and everyone swears that this mulch is aged. So, now I don't know what the hell is going on. I'm uncovering things as I see them, but I'm not putting down any fertilizer. Luckily, I don't think this will be a permanent disaster. I may have some things that are weak this season, but they should come back fine next year.

So, thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon (Yay!) and I have plenty to do indoors today. In the morning I'll start working on my vegetable bed. I have seeds that need to get in the ground!


SummersStudio said...

All that pollen has got me a bit stuffed as well. It's a pretty photo though, isn't it. I hope you feel better soon and get that danged mulch problem fixed up. I agree though that this is probably a temporary problem.

Zoe Nelson said...

Oh, I really feel like crap today. I just woke up from a nap and now it's time to take more drugs.