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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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