Gardener's Grapevine 2013.04.10

Written by David Green.

I’ve had spring fever very bad for the last week, and today is such a teaser. It’s such a beautiful Sunday afternoon, even the dog doesn’t want to be inside.

As I look the garden situation over I am once again amazed at how well everything survived this past winter. I didn’t lose a single rosebush, which is amazing as at least one usually says it’s had enough.

As I sit writing this, I am contemplating planting the peas this afternoon and wonder what else would be able to get going. I Googled cool weather planting and came up with quite a lot that can be planted right now. We would have to have a very long cold snap for any harm to come to items planted now. Peas were at the top of the list of cool weather veggies to start. Radishes love cooler temps and if planted now will allow for more than one harvest this summer. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage should be planted when the temps stay above 50.

Lettuce, spinach, collards and kale are all cool weather plants and tend to lose quality in overly hot weather. Plant onion sets as soon as the soil is thawed in the spring. Carrots can be sown early in the spring along with potatoes, if the ground can be worked up. The potatoes will grow and yield a larger crop if given the advantage of going in early. Beets and swiss chard are both hearty enough to start at early spring thaw. Reading all this just makes me want to go  play in the dirt.

Last fall I wrote about assessing your gardens and jotting down in your garden journal what needs split or moved. If hostas are on that list, see if the nubs are starting to stick out of the ground. I bet they are, as mine are. Once they start poking through, it is an ideal time to split them. Remember that the nubs sticking up are always going to show in the center first so start spading quite a ways away from your showing nubs. The outer leaves form last and you will have quite an odd looking plant if you only take up the center.

Once the entire plant is out of the ground, lay it aside and spade down the center to split it. If it’s a large plant, cut the halves in as many sections as you want. Remember that a hosta will round itself out no matter what it looks like when you plant it.

Once split, put the sections in the ground wherever you want them and water well. If there is more than what you want or need, plop it in a pot with soil, water it well, and give it away.

One advantage we have of living on Main Street is that I can put plants out by the road with a little identification stick and they will disappear quicker than pancakes when the kids come home. I love to share with others and it makes an easy way to share my love of gardening.

  • 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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.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.

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