Although nearly 1 1/2 inches of rain had fallen overnight Saturday, the crowds came out to the Teaching Garden to attend the classes that had been moved to inside the Monastery as well as the spring plant sale. (You can enlarge any photo by clicking on it.)
Master Gardener Volunteer, Gisela Glodeck was first on deck to a packed house to share her ideas on container gardening her favorite pairing: hot peppers together with nasturtiums. The audience loved her idea of using collected pinecones to fill the bottom of 5-gallon containers … makes the container MUCH lighter so you can easily move it around to keep up with sunlight needs. Gisela’s recommended potting soil recipe is: 1/3 composted manure, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost (by volume).
Master Gardener Volunteer, Laurie Redfearn discussed the systems she’s created in her home garden for table top gardening, irrigation systems, and trellising. The photo on the right is a trellis she constructed that is just the right height for her reach. She attaches these to the 3-foot high table top gardens that she has constructed to be solid while not showing any nails or bolts on the outside. Ingenious! Laurie’s potting soil recipe is: 1/3 coarse vermiculite, 1/3 peat and 1/3 compost (by volume).
Nancy Berlin, VCE Natural Resource Specialist, presented her favorite ideas for container gardening for miniature native plant gardens. Nancy selects plants with similar needs for water and sun. A container with a thriller, a filler and a spiller will provide maximum impact. In the pot next to Nancy, she has planted native bleeding heart (thriller) with coral bells (filler) and heuchera (spiller). What to do with the plants after the season?? Add them to your garden for a similar display next spring! Container gardening is the perfect idea for folks who don’t have a plot of soil to plant in…you CAN have a garden on your balcony, deck or patio.
Paige Thacker, VCE Horticulture Agent, showed how to grow tomatoes in 5-gallon buckets (photo on right). Using her plan, you don’t need to have holes in the bottom of the container for tomatoes; line the bottom with large-ish rocks that will allow water to flow to the bottom while making it available to keep soil damp. In this instance, root-bound tomatoes are OK. When planting, tickle out the roots, remove leaves from the lower 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant and plant in soil to above where last leaf was removed. Water thoroughly, aiming water at roots only, not the plant. They will need daily watering as the season warms, checking for overwatering.
Friday evening many Master Gardener Volunteers gathered to put final touches on the plant nursery.
A final meeting of the organizers, and the plant sale was ready!
The constant overnight rain subsided a bit just in time for the plant sale activities. Yes, it was wet to walk around, but that didn’t dampen the festive atmosphere.
Hope you enjoyed today’s blog. Happy gardening!