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.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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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