Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Restricted Drainage Container Gardening"

I am still making and using new versions of an early progenitor to my Water Wise Container Gardens.......Restricted Drainage Container Gardens. They are easy and a tightwad's dream.....scavenge large used commercial black plastic tree pots, draw a rolled up used plastic grocery bag, half way, through each and every drainage hole so that half of each extends outside the pot. Set it in place, pile mulch around the base to hide the bags, then fill the pot with the soil/compost mix of your choosing. Soak it DEEPLY by hand, repeat an hour later, apply 2 inches of free chipped tree trimming mulch, then plant, then hand water again. This approach DOES allow the soil to drain, but SLOWLY. The large soil surface allows for good oxygen flow to the roots, especially if you bury a few handfuls of dry dog or cat food then add some red wriggler earthworms. This approach has allowed me to grow Old Roses, broccoli, hot peppers, okra and more despite south Tampa's perennial lack of sufficient rain. I also like to pee in them plus give them kitchen graywater as sources of both water AND nutrients. John

Peek and You Shall Find

A few years back I found this charming metal birdhouse that just needed a minor roof leak repair and some spray paint, plus that large mechanized bird feeder that was pristine while dumpster diving/curbside scavenging. For years I've kept a Universe Wish List on my fridge door of things I want to see happen or for me to acquire....and more often than not, The Alley God, via dumpsters, curbsides and a fortunate life, blesses me with those wishes come true.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Roses From Seeds

I've been breeding roses since 1994 and am pleased to have a few, like 'Sarasota Spice' and 'Four Inch Heels' and 'Gold Blush' in limited commerce. I have a fun form of ADDHD and so am surprised at my patience with the process.....months for the hips to form after the hand-pollination, many months or even years of refrigeration before they sprout (I had to wait seven years to see the first bloom on my Hybrid Alba 'Brenda Mowery'), then waiting for the first bloom. It is a THRILL to see that first teensy bud forming on an often TEENSY rose seedlings just 1-2 months old (if it is a repeat-bloomer). Here are some pics of some of my "kids" when they were very young indeed. John

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rebar for Training Climbing and Rambling Roses

'Aviateur Bleriot'

'Aviateur Bleriot'

Video coming soon of rebar being used to train a young plant of 'Francois Juranville'. I buy 10 foot lengths of rebar, stand on a ladder and use a sledgehammer to pound them down three feet into the ground, then use strips of panty hose and speaker wire to train the new growth to the rebar. In a year's time, the rebar can no longer be seen. John