Monthly Archives: February 2010

Wichita Garden Show – Setup, Day 1

We had our first day of setup today, being a Mid-Garden. Of course, the Great Gardens have been setting up for a few days already. Here’s some pics as a sneak preview:

The hardscape part of our garden is partially done. From the stacks of block, you can see there is still more work to do!

All of this organized chaos will magically turn into a display garden and our information booth by Tuesday evening!

This switchgrass and some other ornamental grasses cut from our Arboretum are going to make a nice backdrop in our booth.

A sneak preview at the Great Gardens from the end of the hall. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have time to wander around and get a few closer shots.

Seminars at the Wichita Garden Show

It’s that time of year again…the Wichita Garden Show is just around the corner. Therefore, regular posting about the Demo Garden is hereby suspended until after the garden show is over. Be sure to check back throughout next week to see some “behind the scenes” previews of the show, including all of us covered in mulch while building the garden. The theme of the show this year is “Gardens of the World.”

I’ll be doing my best, starting Sunday, to post some pictures of the building process, in case you’re interested in that. I’ll also post little “glimpses” of what you might be likely to see in the Great Gardens.

We also hold 30+ seminars throughout the garden show. They are held in Room 101 at Century II, which is off the hallway between Expo Hall and Convention Hall. If you can’t find it, just follow your nose to the stand that has the caramelized nuts…the door is usually right next to them. (It drives us all nuts! Hah!)

To see the complete listing of all the seminars throughout the whole show, you can download this file: Seminars (pdf)

A few seminars that may be of interest to those of you that grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs:

Wednesday, March 3

3 pm – Garden Kansas! with Kids

5 pm – Backyard Adventures for Your Family

Thursday, March 4

1 pm – Growing Small Fruits

3 pm – Rethinking Organic Gardening

Friday, March 5

12 pm – Using Dill from the Garden

4 pm – Soil Preparation & Composting

Saturday, March 6

9:30 am – Herbs from Around the World

10:30 am – Unusual Vegetables & Edibles (yeah, that’s one of mine!)

11:30 am – Building a Rain Barrel

Sunday, March 7

1 pm – Basic Vegetable Gardening

Spring in My Office!

The seeds I planted last Wednesday are up and growing…at least partially. The cabbage looks good. The lettuce…well…we’ll give it a few more days.

I was so desperate for spring that I had to check them constantly and take pictures.

If you look close, you can see the radicle on the cabbage seed just poking out. This is 1 day after planting!

Day 2…You can see the root hairs!

The Napa Cabbage, ‘Blues’ Hybrid, is looking great. Behind it…the lettuce…not so much. There are only 4 or 5 measly seedlings. I hope more start growing! Otherwise, the moral of the story will be that Jiffy pellets work okay for cabbage but not for lettuce!

Getting Started with Seeds

A portion of the seeds we will be planting this year have arrived, and luckily for us, the ones that need to get planted ASAP were in this bunch.

Look at all those seeds! We have a huge variety of things planned for the garden this year, hence the huge number of seeds. I know we will have a lot left over, but this allows us to demonstrate some new and exciting things.

Most of the seeds we are starting inside this year won’t need to be planted until at least mid-March, but the cabbage and lettuce that will be going outside in mid-March needed to be planted!

I don’t think I’ve used the Jiffy Peat Pellets since I was 5 years old and planting in my own “mini” greenhouse (I think it was 1 sq. ft.) I’m really not a fan of them…I prefer planting in potting soil in cell trays. But, I have some of these peat pellets that were free to me, so I thought I’d try them for these early crops. I planted 3 rows of ‘Blues Hybrid’ Napa Cabbage for the Asian Garden, and the rest is red and green butterhead lettuce for the Family of 4 Garden.

Smart Pots for the Garden

Yesterday, Jeremy Johnson from Johnson’s Garden Centers brought us some new toys to play with in the Demo Garden this year!

These are 3 “Smart Pots,” pots for container gardening or hydroponic gardening that are made out of a thick landscape/weed barrier type fabric rather than plastic or clay. The website touts the many benefits of these containers, including the ability to use heavier soils (cheaper potting mixes), cooler temperatures in the heat of summer (seems counter-intuitive, since they are black…), and better aeration & drainage for the roots. The fabric pots are also supposed to improve root pruning, preventing plants from becoming root bound.

The three pots you see above are 15 gallons, 30 gallons, and 100 gallons. Yeah, that’s big! The 100 gallon pot is probably about the equivalent of a 4×4 raised bed. The only thing to decide now (other than where in the garden they will be tucked in), is what to plant in them! Tomatoes…cucumbers…peppers…oh my!