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Gardener's Grapevine 2015.07.01

on . Posted in Gardener's Grapevine

By JO ERBSKORN

This crazy weather pattern we are in gave us another show on Saturday and all I can say is “wow!” No wonder Noah needed an ark—40 days and nights of that? 

Hopefully, if you have a vegetable/herb garden it did not suffer too much damage. Our corn patch took quite a hit and I really felt bad as it takes my husband six weeks to get it all planted. He plants a third at a time so we get sweet corn over a longer period of time. Our corn blew over, and the stuff that was shorter was floating, roots and all. The entire garden is under water.

About 10 feet from the corn patch is a small patch of hops. Our son Nick loves to make home-brewed beer and invent new recipes. He is really good at it, too. Nick has always been very science minded and brewing beer involves a lot of science. He wanted to try growing his own hops, but living in an apartment in East Lansing is not conducive to growing anything.

Needless to  say we now have a hops garden. It is small and Nick checks it every time he comes home. He did a good job planting it and it has grown amazingly fast. When he planted it he mulched the plants, but after our great flood Saturday the mulch was floating.

I’ve never actually seen a hops plant until these came to our house. These plants are very delicate vines with lots of leaves that climb and multiply very quickly. For as delicate as the vines are, it is amazing that they stayed put when the corn did not. I’m hoping when the water absorbs that we will be able to save the corn. I’m not holding my breath. We will certainly try to get the roots back in the ground and pray they aren’t shot.

Farmers make growing field corn look so easy, but in actuality it isn’t. It is a particular plant that is fussy about soil, water temperature, how closely it’s planted and when it’s planted. 

I think the price of food this year is guaranteed to be on the rise. One thing that saved the tomato plants is Art’s current gardening technique. He plants them on mounds and they grow onto V shaped trellises. The excess water flowed below the mounds and the trellises kept the plants anchored against the winds.

I’m sure many of our readers make it into Morenci at some point and if you do, Main Street is surely traveled to get to your destination. My home is on the west end on Main Street and I have what I like to think of as an English type taste in flower beds. I do, however, love basic Stella D’oro day lilies mixed in just about any bed. They are easily grown, require very little care, and can be split in any season except winter.

The reason I mentioned Main Street is because my neighbors to the east are Mary and Eric Johnson. If you drive by their home, go really slowly and check out the front garden and approach. The word “lovely” doesn’t do it justice. Mary does a wonderful job with Stella D’oro day lilies, impatiens and ground cover. She has mixed in a few other plants for pops of color here and there, but what you really notice are those gorgeous lilies.

In a short while this type of day lily will be in clearance sales everywhere and it’s a great time to pick them up. Consider this as an option to make your garden stand out. When they are on sale, that’s the best time to pick up perennials​. 

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