Gardener's Grapevine 2012.05.30

Written by David Green.

It’s interesting how people spend Memorial Day weekend. Some go to campgrounds, lakes or take a trip. Other people work in their yards or at their homes. Most everyone I know visits a cemetery and takes a moment to think about our soldiers past and present. Flags come out all over the place and I have to say our town does an over-the-top job of displaying old glory. Most gardeners have a flag flying somewhere on their property and many have more than one flying.

The weather lately has been extremely dry and it is important to remember your plants especially if they are in the hot sun. 

There are so many different ways to water. I’m a huge fan of timers. They work really well with drip irrigation systems. Art and I put in a system called Rainbird and it was very easy to install, especially for me, as I watched Art do it. But he said it was very simple to understand.

It consists of long hoses with holes every so many inches and you plant your plant by the holes. The type of hose you buy depends on what you are using it for. If your plants are six inches apart there is hose available for that, and it goes all the way down to two inches apart.

You can also buy solid hose with junctions that allow for smaller drip hoses to go to individual pots. No more standing around at night watering all the flowerpots with a hose and nozzle. Turn on the water and everything is watered at once. The timer makes it so you can have everything watered prior to coming home from work and it is easy to weed in the evenings, everything pulls right out.

At present, the ground is hard as a brick so watering is an absolute necessity. Some people still like the old fashioned oscillating sprinklers or the arching back and forth type. Both are fine if you are doing a large area and need everything to get wet. Anything in its path will get soaked and there will be more weeds, where as drip irrigation only waters the individual plant which cuts down on weeds.

This type of watering system also works great for hanging baskets. You just use the solid hosing run along the top of your porch roof and stick the end nozzle in the basket and set your timer. That is the same type of system being used in the hanging baskets uptown.

There are some nice hose nozzles on the market also. I like a long armed wand for baskets if I’m not using drip irrigation. Whatever type of system you use make sure to water often and have good drainage for your plants. They do not like constant wet feet, nor do they like dried out roots, so knowing how much water is needed and keeping a well irrigated pot will make for a happier and fuller plant specimens. 

A couple Art and I are friends with live on Sims Highway and while visiting with them they showed me a rarely seen type of bird called an indigo bunting. It is the size of a goldfinch with dark blue feathers all over except for its black head and wing tips. It was an amazingly beautiful bird. They also saw a red headed woodpecker at their feeder and they are another rare and not often seen type of bird.

Hopefully, with people becoming more and more conscious of our carbon footprint we will see more unusual species of all types of animals. The hawks are making a fabulous comeback. Some folks see them as a nuisance, but there was a time not long ago when you hardly ever saw one. We all have a place in this big old world and we all need a drink of water. Give your potted friends one frequently.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
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    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
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    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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