Monthly Archives: April 2011

Putting Up Trellises

It is amazing how much things have grown in the garden just over the weekend! I think there will be some lettuce and maybe some radishes ready to harvest a little bit next week. This week in the Demo Garden we did one of the most fun tasks of the year – cleaning out our storage shed. I won’t bore you with pictures of that process! We also put up some of our trellises for the vertical garden.

We have 6 trellises for the garden, but as we started putting up the trellises, we realized that there is really only space for 5 in the garden. I guess we will have to pick and choose what we’re going to plant. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure.

We put up the trellises today, partly to get them out of the way, but we won’t actually be planting anything for a couple more weeks.

Friday PhotoEssay

This week has been crazy busy – and it has also just flown by! Signs of spring are showing up all over the place in the Demo Garden.

The grapevines are finally starting to leaf out. I was actually a little concerned about them. I had to look for awhile to find a live, green shoot and bud a couple weeks ago.

The strawberries are beginning to bloom. You can see the “king flower” or primary flower (which will become the largest strawberry) blooming here, with all the smaller flower buds waiting to open. In about a month, we will harvest our first strawberries, weather permitting.

The seeds we planted about 10 days ago are popping up all over the place in my office! This one just happens to be a Chocolate Habanero. Sounds hot to me!

A pile of harvested Micro Rainbow Beet Greens I was growing for an experiment. Aren’t they cute?

This pile of micros all Bull’s Blood Beets, hence the uniform pink color.

Have a great weekend! Get out and do some gardening!

Tomato Grafting – Attempt 2

This morning a bunch of the Master Gardeners joined me in getting some tomatoes grafted for our Demonstration Garden this summer. (For the low down on why we’re grafting and more details, check out this post, this post, and this post.)

Last time, the tomatoes were definitely on the large side of being ready to graft. This time, we’re definitely on the small side. So small, in fact, that some of them are going to wait until next week for grafting. ]

We have 3 varieties we’re grafting – Black Krim, Marmande, and Amish Paste. All 3 are being grafted onto Maxifort Rootstock.



Step 1:

Cutting the top off the rootstock.

Step 2:

The rootstock with a clip and the label for what the scion (top) will be.

Step 3:

Next you cut the scion (it looks a lot like cutting the rootstock!), and clip it onto the rootstock, maximizing the areas of the stems that are touching as much as possible.

Step 4:

Into the “healing chamber,” also known as putting a couple very cheap black trash bags over the trays, propped up by wooden plant labels.

Check back next week to see how many survived!

Video Wednesday

Are you still confused by trying to figure out the right time to plant different vegetables? Check out this video, where Evelyn Neier explains the difference between cool season and warm season vegetables and what that means for gardeners in Kansas.

You can catch more videos from K-State Research & Extension here: KSRE YouTube Videos

Late Berry Pruning

We are late getting our berries pruned this year, because I wanted to use them for the workshop last Saturday. I pruned most of the raspberries on Saturday, but we still had to do some cleanup and then prune up the currants and gooseberries.

Pruning and some good old fashioned TLC has done wonders for this black raspberry. 2 years ago, I was determined that it would get one last chance before getting torn out. It had about 6 berries in 2008. With some fertilizer and pruning, it was fairly productive in 2009, and then last year…

Yeah, I can’t wait for summer either! It was definitely vigorous last year, and we had to prune out lots of canes that were trying to root themselves all over the place.

We pruned out all of the old, diseased red raspberry canes, leaving just these new shoots to become this year’s primocanes. Because of the problems last year, if we see any signs of disease this year on these berries, I think we will remove the plants.

We also pruned out some dead canes in the currant and gooseberry bushes. They are already blooming, which is a bit late to be pruning, really. I checked last year, and I took pictures of the currant and gooseberry blooms on April 4th, so we’re apparently running about the same as last year. (I think we might be a hair behind right now, the flowers aren’t open quite as much.)

Fun Fact: Studying the timing of when certain plants bloom, etc from year to year is called phenology.