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.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

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