May 13, 2010

Spring Fling full of fun and information

Spring Fling full of fun and information
Experts take sides on hanging baskets
By ALLAN TINKER
The experts couldn’t agree on the value or desirability of using the new “hanging baskets.” The tally was Holly Mawby for; Tom Kalb against.
Mawby stated it was her first try and she thought it would give her the first tomatoes of the season. She told of the sponge insert that helps keep the soil in place and the plant from falling through. Kalb thought that gravity would make this a messy alternative and not as a pleasant a choice as advertised. He joked that when you hear “If you call within 10 minutes, we will double the offer,” it is a clue as to the real worth of what is being advertised.
Next year, there will be more experts to advise; several of these hanging baskets were given away among the large selections of door prizes at the event.
Gardening in small spaces, which included and prompted the hanging basket debate, was the subject of Gardendwellers Farm co-founder and owner Holly Mawby. She was there with her partner and husband Barry, who offered quiet assistance from the side.
“Overgrown is the point,” Mawby said of container gardening. The plants are supposed to occupy the entire pot, shading the soil and protecting each other from outside pests. Care for such plantings becomes minimal when they fill the container.
The primary concerns are to water thoroughly, deeply and only as needed. The other need is to fertilize the heavy eaters among plants. Mawby quoted Roger Emerson, “Grow an elephant; feed an elephant.”
Square foot gardens are just that; portions of foot-square, or pots, or other similarly sized areas and containers, preferably with soil-less or low-soil mixtures. Peat moss keeps the soil moist and plants in containers dry out more quickly than plants in the ground, added Mawby. Black or unglazed clay pots get hot, and get dry faster than others.
 


The Weather Network