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.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.

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