June 10, 2012
Hi Everyone: Just a reminder…. about our Tuesday (6/12) evening event. We will be having a party on Tuesday evening from 6pm to 8pm. Our youngest, Lindsay, will be having a “trunk show” of her bead and chain maille jewelry (that she designs and crafts). With each purchase of her handiwork, we will give you a free plant (that you choose from a select group of plants valued as high as $10!) Also, we will have some awesome specials on plants that you won’t want to miss! (You won’t be able to use your wooden nickels on the specials, but they will be better than wooden nickels- which you can always save for another day!) And then there will be refreshments! Andy’s frozen custard to the first 100 adults, 25 cent Sodas, and lots more…. Party!
Some exciting news I need to share before getting to the “business” end of this letter. I am going to Brazil in September on a mission trip! This is my first one and I am soooo excited. The thrust of the trip is healing. You can go to www.globalawakening.com then to the “ministry trips” tab, then to the “about our trips” to see what it is all about. I am going to minister to people, but I am also going so I can receive more of the Lord, to bring back to Missouri and Hilltop Farm.
Now to business:
Questions about watering are a big part of our customers’ anxiety about growing plants. We here at Hilltop Farm water everything by hand (other than the Hosta gardens, which are watered by sprinklers.) This allows us to keep an eye on our crop, container gardens, veggie garden, and flower beds. Watering everyday (or at least checking) keeps you ahead of problems: You will notice the bugs (like Japanese beetles) so you can deal with them before they become a big problem. You will notice any changes in the plant – as in a problem – so you can correct the problem before it becomes a major issue. You will notice those beautiful flowers, their fragrance, their nuances, the butterflies, etc. You will notice that zucchini before it becomes a baseball bat! Watering is a good time to pull that random weed, dead-head, or harvest. Watering gives you time to enjoy your garden, and maybe even be a little reflective. Watering can be a tiring (and sometime thankless task, as in watering those ungrateful plants for the third time in a day, as we often have to in the greenhouse), but you can turn it into a time of peace and relaxation. Since watering is almost “mindless”, I like to pray, praise, meditate, contemplate, and plan as I water.
Many plants don’t need to be watered every day, but it is advantageous to at least check every day. Some plants (especially big ones in small pots) need to be watered 2 times per day. Newly planted areas should be watered every day for the first two weeks to get them established. Then you can back off gradually. Many customers say that their plants aren’t doing well and want blame anything but lack (or shortage) of water as the problem. Hint: if your plants are wilted and unhappy, the first thing to do is water it. Chances it will perk up quickly. Often we think we have watered a plant enough and then dismiss watering the plant as a possible solution to the problem. In reality, just a little more water is usually all it needs. If you have your plant in a pot without holes, the wilted plant may be because it is too wet and roots have rotted. Sometimes a plant will wilt if it had been in the shade and now is newly in the sun, a plant that hasn’t been hardened off. But usually a wilted plant is just because it is dry. Pretty simple.
The following is a list of plant types and our summer watering suggestions. This is for mature (or approaching mature) plants in our typical SW Missouri summers.
1. Hanging baskets- All are watered every morning, watered well enough that water runs out the bottom. Some bigger plants are watered in the evening, too.
2. Containers (with holes in the bottom) usually need to be watered every day once they get big.
3. Newly planted plants need to be watered every day for the first two weeks. (It is very important that the plant be watered well BEFORE it is planted! A dry root ball is hard to get we once it is planted in the ground.)
4. Established beds should get a good soak (1”of water) every week that you don’t get an inch of rain.
1. Watering in the morning is the best, but evening watering is better than not watering!
2. Water the soil, not the foliage. Try to keep the leaves dry, unless you are trying to wash dust off of the leaves or you are trying to suppress spider mites.
3. Water gently so as not to break stems, knock them over, or pack the soil.
4. Fertilize with Osmocote to feed all summer without (much) MiracleGro, or use Miracle-Gro at least once per week (we try to feed 2x per week in the greenhouse.)
5. In the heat of the summer, keep watering! Some plants, like Hostas, my not show stress (wilting), but still NEED water. Hostas have a nasty retaliation to your not watering them; they just don’t come up the next spring!
More watering tips can be found on our web-site: www.hilltop-gardens.com on our Wisdom tab. (Though it is written about houseplants, most applies to outside plants, too. I’m sorry that I never got around to writing “Watering 102”)
We hope that this info helps with your watering and plant success. You can always call us if you have questions (417.672.2259). We are also open to suggestions for our newsletter. We love feed back!
Have a blessed week. Hope to see you Tuesday evening! Amy
Hilltop Farm is located 4½ miles south of Ash Grove on Highway F. We are approximately 20 miles (a very scenic 45 minute drive) out of Springfield. We highly recommend that you come visit our farm; it is well worth the drive. Be sure that you are familiar with our hours (below), so you will not be disappointed to find us closed.
Our hours for the 2012 Spring season will be:
Saturday, March 31st through Saturday, June 30th
Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Friday and Saturday, 8:30 am to 7:00 pm.
Please understand that we are closed on Sundays.