May 11, 2011

Written by David Green.

By JO ERBSKORN

It is Mother’s Day, and  what a beautiful day it turned out to be. The forecasters were calling for rain all week and instead it was sunny and perfect.

Have you noticed how full of blooms the magnolia trees are? Sharon and Larry Bruce have the most beautiful magnolia I have ever seen and it is really in spectacular bloom this year. Sharon said that when magnolias are loaded with blooms it means we will have lots of rain. Guess she got that right.

I’d like to talk about container gardening which can be used to plant vegetables or flowers. If you live in an apartment with a terrace and it gets even partial sun, fresh veggies are yours with a little work. If you live in a home that takes all the property space, container gardening may be for you. If you have a large garden and have certain vegetables that you use frequently, having a few containers of them on the patio may make your life easier.

To begin, choose what you want to grow. If you’re planting vegetables, usually plant one type per container. The exception is carrots and radishes, which may be planted together. Pick your container and potting soil to fill it. Your container should be as wide as the plant will get and at least half as deep as the plant will be at full height. These dimensions can be obtained on the plastic insert in the plant seedling or on the package of seeds.

When I buy potting soil I try to buy it with the fertilizer included. One company makes a moisture retaining soil that is wonderful if you are short on the time needed for watering. It is about the same price as buying them separately and less work all season. You will also need something to put in the bottom of the pot to increase drainage, such as rocks. About one inch is sufficient, and some people experiment with other things like styrofoam peanuts or anything small that is not biodegradable. Place the rocks in the bottom of the pot and fill the pot two thirds full of soil.

If you are planting tomatoes or peppers, place one seedling in the center of the pot and fill in and around it with soil, stopping within an inch of the top of the pot. Prior to putting your seedling in the pot use your fingers to break up the bottom of the root system; it helps the plant to spread it’s roots out. Water your plant thoroughly and place it in a sunny spot.

Other than watering occasionally and feeding if you opted for soil without fertilizer, you’re good to go. If you are planting a climbing flower or vegetable, think of something to use for a brace to climb on. I often use a tomato cage, and if using seeds like peas, plant them around the perimeter of the container letting them climb the tomato cage. I like to turn the cage upside down and bury the first ring in the soil for stability and twist the legs together at the top or bend them down for safety.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016