Get out & grow

Published on Thu, Apr 3, 2003
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Get out & grow

Now is the time for transplanting herbs

By Michelle Ensinger

Spring is the best time for repotting herbs. When I transplant, I usually add one teaspoon of lime per 4-inch pot, as most herbs prefer a more alkaline soil. Borage, dill and parsley have a taproot and will grow better in a deep pot. Lovage and fennel may attempt to set seed after the first growing season in a pot and may not produce succulent leaves. I find it best to use the leaves when the plant is young. If you wish to start from seed, three seedlings per 12-inch pot should be usable for about two years. To keep your herbs bushy, continuously pick the leaves.

If you are introducing indoor grown herbs - or seedlings - to the outdoors in spring, I find it best to introduce them to full sun gradually. A lot of herbs would rather have part sun/part shade, than direct sun all day.

When planting herbs together in a large container, it is best to ensure that their growing requirements are similar. Also, I usually put in a long 3/4 of the way into the pot (especially clay) to ensure the roots receive water and food. Sun loving herbs, include sweet marjoram, lemon basil, sweet basil, and oregano.

Parsley, coriander and chervil enjoy bright light, but not necessarily direct sun, and cooler/wetter growing conditions. A unique way of growing and displaying herbs is in a hanging basket. Please note that the basket should not be placed in a windy location.

Here are some herbs for the sunny side of the container: the creeping thymes, catmint, ivies, lady�s mantle, prostrate sage, prostrate winter savory, chives (a center focal point). For the shady side of the basket: periwinkle, variegated mints and penny royal. Herbs can become spiky in appearance and lose their lower leaves if watered irregularly or are too confined.

I find it best to place the wire basket on a bucket or overturned plant pot. Line the wire basket with moss, then place a black plastic bag inside that you have punctured with drain holes.

Fill the basket half full with a good compost/hanging basket mix with about six teaspoons of lime. The trailing herbs should be planted in the sides through the plastic lining and the taller herbs in the middle.

If you have extra compost, top the container with it and water. The plants may look sparse, but before you know it, the container will become full and useable.

Finding the perfect rose depends on color and size

By Michelle Ensinger

There are thousands of named roses out there, most of which fall into three broad groups.

Wild roses include both the truly wild species and those garden forms that are associated with them. Old garden roses are those groups of horticultural origin that were already established prior to the year 1867. Modern garden roses are the predominant roses of today and still, unlike the garden roses, in active development by hybridists.

From these three categories comes all the roses as we know them today. Choosing the right rose depends on the space you have and what you want the rose to do, climb the fence, cover a trellis or fill a pot on the patio.

When you have the right rose picked out for the job, next is picking the color! There are so many roses in so many colors it becomes mind boggling. So think again of the use of your roses. Will it blend with your landscape or is it for indoor fresh flower arrangements?

Miniatures: Small plants that are great for pots or hanging baskets with all the beauty of big roses.
Floribundas: Full sized roses with multiple blooms on a single stem. Makes a very showy garden.
Hybrid Teas: The most popular rose bush with usually a single stem for great cutting of long stemmed roses for arrangements.
Tree Roses: Great for patio pots to bring color to those areas where you can�t plant anything - around the pool or on your deck.
Shrub Roses: Free blooming bushes that are great for hedges, borders or for those hard to maintain wilder areas.
Antiques: Old fashioned roses with a delicate fragrance and tremendous vigor.

Arbor Foundation: Ten free oaks

Ten free oak trees will be given to each person who joins the National Arbor Day Foundation during the month of April 2003.

The free oaks are part of the nonprofit Foundation�s Trees for America campaign and are being given in recognition of the oak�s selection as the People�s Choice for America�s National Tree.

The ten three include two red oaks, two pink oaks, two bur oaks, two scarlet oaks, and two willow oaks.

�The people chose well in selecting the oak as America�s National Tree,� said John Rosenow, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. �Oaks have long been prized for their shade, beauty, and strong wood. The oak�s strength, longevity, and grace make it a fitting national symbol.�

The free oak trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting in April or May with encloseed planting instructions. The six or 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to 10 Free Oak Trees, National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by April 30, or join online at