Gardener's Grapevine 2012.08.15

Written by David Green.

This past week has been a rather challenging one in my life. I have been a nurse for 25 years this year. I consider myself an old dog when it comes to OB/GYN, as I’ve spent most of my career in that area.

Our office switched over to electronic medical records this week and what a headache. After eight hours I was brain dead and it took all I had to drive home.  Change is hard and scary. I, as well as most people, like what I know because a certain amount of peace and comfort comes with routine. Such is the same in gardening.

A lot of gardeners do the same things year after year as it works for them and it’s their comfort zone. With the weather the last few years, and especially this year, we are all forced out of our comfort zones in the gardening world. I realized this with my peas. I read an article that said get your peas in the ground as soon as possible in the spring, even while the earth is still thawing. As global warming gives us hotter, longer summers, our pea planting is required sooner than ever. Next year I will try to get them in the ground in February or March.

At church today Judy Heiney asked me if it is too late to prune roses. I had to stop and think about this. The answer is “no.” Basically, in our area it’s OK through August and possibly early September. As the nights get colder they need to be left alone to get ready to go dormant in winter. 

Roses love to be pruned and even if it’s not done correctly they will grow back. It’s hard to kill them with pruning. First, make sure all your tools are clean and sharp. Dirty tools can give a rose a disease and that may very well kill it. I wash all my tools with Dawn dish soap, rinse them well and lay them in the sun to dry.

Prune from the base of the plant opening up the center to encourage good air flow. This will help avoid fungus and disease. Make a 45 degree cut ¼-inch above a bud nodule. Clean, smooth cuts are best. Ragged cuts stress the plant. Remove any dry, diseased, damaged foliage and discard it in the trash. Do not throw it on ground as it will damage or reinfect the plant.

When you stop pruning for the season, stop feeding also. The plant doesn’t like to go dormant on a full stomach. Speaking of which, if your potted plants are looking less than awesome it may be due to a decrease in food. Most potted plants are in soil that automatically feeds the plants for three months. So if you planted your pot in May, the food in the soil has been all used up. A good fertilizer will perk it up. 

The reason for the roses going crazy right now is due to the weather. They love rain and cooler temps. So do I, but until I get a handle on this new form of charting, don’t look for me to be blooming. A smile is about it.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • 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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