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The Family Plot — March 13, 2014


Hi, I’m Chris Cooper. Welcome to “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South.” Thanks for joining us. Spring Fling, the Memphis Area
Master Gardener’s big event is just around the corner. So today we’re gonna give you a
sneak preview and show you how to make mini-hypertufa. And Walter Battle is here with
tips on getting our vegetable gardens in shape
for spring planting. All of that and more is coming
up next on “The Family Plot: Gardening in the
Mid-South” so stay with us. (female announcer)
This is a production
of WKNO – Memphis. Production funding for “The
Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South” is provided by
Good Winds Landscape and Garden Center in Germantown since 1943
and continuing to offer it’s plants for successful gardening
with seven greenhouses and three acres of plants plus
comprehensive landscape services.. [soft music]
♪♪♪ [theme music]
♪♪♪ Hi, welcome
to “The Family Plot.’ I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today are master
gardeners Callie Bolyard. Hi, Chris. Carol Watkins. Hi, Chris. Thank you ladies for joining me. Okay, we’re gonna
talk about Spring Fling. So Ms. Carol, what
do we need to know? Date, location times? Let’s tell the people. Spring Fling, that’s the Memphis
Area Master Gardeners’ 10th garden festival, and it’s
gonna be Friday and Staurday, March 21 and 22 at the
Agricenter red barn. Okay. It’ll be from 9:00
to 5:00 both days. What about admission? Is it free or do
they have to pay? It’s free for the whole family! So it’s a great event. And we hope everybody comes out. Good! We like free. Alright, so we definitely
hope that you come out. Now Ms. Callie, I understand
you’re gonna be making mini-hypertufa. That’s right! Okay, now is this something
you’re gonna do or are people going to do it themselves
or how does that work? Well we were going to
demonstrate it but the Spring Fling grew so much that I was
bumped off the demonstration table, which is fine with me. And I’m going to
demonstrate it right here. We’re going to have some of
these little mini-hypertufas. This little plant
is a Bromeliad. And we obtained a bunch of them
and they’re also in my little fairy garden here. And these are Bromeliads, too. So we decided to come up
with a little mini-hypertufa. And what you’re going to do
is you’re going to get one of these. If you’d like to buy one, it’s
a do-it-yourself mini-tufa bag. And inside the mini-tufa
bag, this is what you get. That’s what we need. It’s a do it yourself. Well we always like
to involve the public, teach them something new, get
them involved with what we’re doing in master gardening. The neat thing about hypertufa
is that it’s an artifical rock. It could be made in
many different sizes. All you need is a mold and you
can make whatever kind of pot you want to make. Okay. So we’ve got our medium. It’s vermiculite, portland
cement and some pete moss. And it’s all mixed up. So all you have to do is follow
the directions right here. They’re right here. You’ve got to follow them. Follow the directions! And what I’ve done was I’ve
mixed up this mix right here with the water. And I’ve mixed it with a stick. You don’t want to use a lot of
good pot or a good spoon because it will dry. Let me ask you this. How much water do we
need to put in there? Well I wrote on the directions
one to two but you’re not gonna use all of the water. You’re going to make sure that
the consistency is that of.. Let me get you some. One to two what? Cups of water. Cups! I’m sorry — cups of water. You want it to be wet enough
where it holds but not wet where it’s dripping. Okay. And you want it the consistency
of like cottage cheese. So what you’re gonna do
is once you mix it up, you just throw it in here. And I’m gonna use my hand
although it says to use gloves. Alright. You’re just gonna put
it in here like this. You forgot to
bring those gloves. I did, I know. I’m not a good
instruction person. And once you do that, you’re
going to with your finger, with whatever you
want — a spoon. You can dig out the
length, the distance, the size of what you
want to make the hole. Okay. You’re going to wrap it and
it’s going to be a little wet. So you don’t want it too wet. But you just put
your finger on there, make a hole, put
a spoon in there, make a hole. You’re gonna put it in a bag. Wrap it up like this and put
it on the shelf somewhere. Wait 24 hours. Twenty-four hours? Twenty-four hours. You’re gonna bring it back. Take a look. You’re gonna feel it. And then you’re gonna just.. It’s dry? It’s dry. Dry? Yes, it is! And you can just rip
off the container. I mean I put this one in here. But you can rip
off the container. And here’s your
little mini-tufa. And that’s what this
looks like right there. We’ll be selling these
mini-hypertufas or you can buy the bag and make it yourself. Now you will be supplying the
Bromeliads or somebody else will be doing that? We have that at our craft booth. We have made bird houses. We have a committee of craft
people that are really talented. And we’ve made fairy
gardens, which are very popular. Let’s take a look at
that fairy garden. Here ya go. And what this is is
another Bromeliad. Okay. And it’s a different kind. And we call them air plants. Air plants. So all you need to go to take
care of an air plant is just spritz it with
water one time a week. And you can buy little
benches at different places. You can buy the chickens, rocks
I picked up from the ground. And you’ve got your own little
hypertufa mini fairy garden also. We also have the bird feeder. And you can put a hook on that. Oh, that’s the birdfeeder! Okay. And I made it real pretty. And we’ve got some wreaths and
some sayings and I hope you’ll come out and join us in
the master craft booth. We’ve got a lot of
vendors, a lot of plant vendors. So even if you
want to buy the kit, we have a seed vendor I
know that will be there. And we have a pond guy coming
out to show us some waterless ponds. Okay. We have.. Well vendors.. Yeah, let’s talk about those. Let’s do. We have really well-known
regional nurseries and gardens. We have handmade
bird houses, right? I think he comes every year. And we have metal yard art. We have outdoor
furniture and accessories. We have stepping
stones, decorative pots. And you know we have
plants, plants and more plants. So we have lots of
plants for sale. And I like to tell everybody
these are good plants because they’re from master gardeners. So they’ve been taken care of. They really have. And you get them for
a really good price. You sure do. And will those plants be labeled
so people will know what they are? They are. In fact, I can’t remember all
the information that’s on the label. But it’ll be the latin name and
the common name and how to take care of it whether it
needs sun or shade. Good, good. And that should help
the people out a lot. Now what about kids? What are the kids going to
be doing at Spring Fling? We are real excited this
year about the kids area, the youth area. We’ve actually expanded
that area and we have over 17 activites for the kids. Seventeen?! Yes. Alright. I didn’t bring that list but
you can actually see it on our website, Memphis-area-
master-gardeners-dot-org. And you can see all the
information about Spring Fling. Alright. Yeah, we gotta get
the kids involved. They’re always involved. Yeah, the master gardeners of
tomorrow is what they call the little kids. We’ll have a balloon lady
who’s making little insects and creatures that the kids can
watch her and then take them home. Those are cool. I saw that last year. Yeah, I think I wanted one. [laughter] Alright, those are pretty cool. Now let me ask you about this. What about speakers? Let’s talk about some of the
speakers that we’re gonna have. We have almost 20 speakers
and demonstrations going on for Spring Fling. We have James Farmer. He’s a national garden designer
and author of A Time to Plant. We have Cindy Shapton and she
is an herb farm owner and the author of The
Cracked Pot Gardener. Okay. Ben Smith, the owner and
chef of Tsunami will be there. And he’ll be showing us
how to cook local produce. We’ve got Emily Lux from Whole
Foods and Bonnie Delashmit from L’Ecole Culinairy school. That’s right here in town! That’s right! And they’ll be showing us how
also to cook our fresh produce. So the theme of Spring
Fling is get out and grow. So we’re talking about
vegetable gardening. We’re talking about cooking. We’re talking about buying
produce and then learning how to cook it and serve
it to your family. And of course Dale Skaggs will
be here from the director of horticulture at the Dixon. He’ll be talking to us about
new plants and old stand-bys. And of course you, Dr. Cooper. You’ll be talking about
managing a smart yard. Good! Did you know that you
were talking about that? I do now! [laughter] I did and I’m
looking forward to it. And the demos! We have master gardeners that
will be doing demos in a special demo tent. We’ve got drift irrigation,
learning about different garden tools and how to
take care of them. We have perennials, how
to plant and divide them. I’m always needing
more information on that. Terrariums —
building terrariums. Herb garden designs. We’ve got inviting your
birds in to your backyard. Okay, well it sounds like a lot
of good events and activities. Website one more time! The website–memphis-area-
master-gardeners- dot-org. Alright, we look forward
to seeing you guys there. Thank you! Okay, thank you! There are a number of gardening
events going on in the next couple of weeks. Here are just a few
that might interest you. [theme music]
♪♪♪ Alright, Walter Battle is here. Walter is the county
director in Haywood county. And he’s our
resident vegetable guy. Ha, ha, ha. How about that? That sounds pretty good. Alright. Well look, let’s educate our
people on vegetable gardens. We have some questions
here that I’m gonna ask. So what are some of the things
we need to be doing this time of the year in our
vegetable gardens? Right now for those
who use herbicides, we need to be spraying our
non-selective type herbicides, something that contains
glyphosate to kill off all those old, you know, weeds that winter
that’s been kind of hanging around. And then after you do that,
you’ll also want to put down something — some
type of pre-emergent, probably contains
trifluralin in it. And by the way, for organic
gardeners there is a product made by Preen, a
pre-emergent, that’s organic. It contains corn gluten meal. That’s right, that’s right. So then they can use
that and that’ll work. Okay and that’ll work for them? Mhm. Get rid of all of those
chickweed that’s out there right now. All that stuff. Yeah. And you know you can eat
some of those as well. Yes, you can eat
them as a salad! We’ve actually tried
some of that here! That’s right, that’s right. Okay. Now let’s talk
about wildlife damage. We get a lot of those
questions at the office. I’m sure you are too. So how do we deal with the
rabbits and the deer and everything else? Well let me focus on deer
because we get a lot of that. And this is what I’ve been
told of — that you can use. And we tried this at the
Milan Experiment Station. You can use fragrant soaps. Now that’ll be something
probably like Irish Spring or Coast, something that
really gives off a fragrance. Now the thing with that is I’m
pretty sure that it kind of, you know, wears off over time. So you might have to go out
there and put another bar or two out there in the process. Now another thing that we
also get a lot of calls on is raccoons. We get a lot of that. And one thing that I tell people
later on this summer is to plant pumpkins around your garden. Because pumpkins
have those spiny vines. And the raccoons, which
have very tender feet, they kind of hate to
walk across those vines. So that’s kind of one way
you can kind of minimize their damage. Okay. I’ve actually heard
that before, too. Yeah, because they
have the tender paws. Mhm, real tender paws. Okay, so that’ll be
your wildlife damage. Okay. Now what about the major early
season pests that we need to look out for? And I’m sure
thats pests, plural. There’s gonna be a
lot of those out there. Basically it’s
two for right now. Aphids would be one because they
can survive cold temperatures pretty decent. So.. And all you have to do as
far as they’re concerned, you can just wash
them off or whatever. But the other one
is the cut worm. And you know we will be planting
our sweet corn pretty soon. And when you go out there and
you find a lot of sweet corn stalks that’s just laid
over from the night before, if you dig around the base,
you’re gonna find this little probably about one and a half
inch worm that’s gonna be laying there. And basically, they do this
activity at night by the way. And if and when you dig it up,
just squish him and he won’t be a problem anymore. So that’s what I
tell people to do. You just have to
sacrifice a few plants. Dig up the ones that’s doing
it and that’ll take care of the problem. And here’s the
thing about them, too. They make clean cuts. Yes! I mean this.. You couldn’t do it
better with some pruners. I mean it’s leaves also. And it will do that
to your tomato plant. Yes, and peppers! And peppers, that’s right. They sure will. Okay, what practice are you
going to urge gardeners to do this year? This year I’m really gonna
focus on teaching about I-P-M practices. Basically, something that
started in the field crops but I’m gonna bring it down
more to the home garden level. Okay. Since we’re going to break it
down to the home garden level, what’s I-P-M? Okay, it stands for
integrated pest management. Okay. And what it really involves
is scouting your garden. Make sure that you’re out there
every day or so looking for bugs, looking for egg masses. And the benefits of it is
that you’ll get ahead of your diseases, your insects. And that’ll kind of, you know,
make you make more time with, I guess, appropriate
sprays so to speak. And that can kind of limit a
lot of the chemicals that we use because we won’t be
just using them at random. Right. So that’s kind of what I’m
gonna really teach about. And that’s good. That’s good. Because there are a lot of
people out there that don’t want to use a lot of chemicals. That’s right, that’s right. I don’t like using
a lot of chemicals. But before I lose
a crop, you know, I will do it. Some years I can get
the crops through, my garden through
without using chemicals. Some years I can’t. So it kind of depends on
the year-to-year basis. Okay. Alright so what are some easy,
sustainable practices that we need to implement? Well again, one, of
course, would be the I-P-M and, you know, scouting. Another one would, I
think, would also be, you know, cleaning your
garden out real good, you know, tilling at a proper
time when the soil temperatures are warm. All those are good practices. Not planting things
too early or too late. And just, you
know, using, you know, things that prevent things
from happening such as mulch, which will control your
weeds, keep the temperature appropriate. Those are some good,
sustainable practices. Limit your water use. You know I like to see
people use soaker hoses. And also, if you’re gonna
use overhead irrigation, a good old pie pan, you know
is a great technique here. Just take you a bunch
of one inch pie pans. Place them
throughout your garden. Turn on your irrigation system. And when those pans
fill up, guess what? You’ve put down
the amount of water. So that’s just an easy,
cheap way to do that. How about that? That’s a good,
sustainable practice. Old pie pans! See that out in the country! That’s right. You know, eat the
pie and then use it. There you go! Okay, we’ve got about a
minute for this last one, which is a good one. Frost protection for plants. It has been a
cold winter for us. Yes, it has. So frost protection? And those who know me know
that I’m very frugal with money. You know I use pie pans, right? What I use a lot of times.. I’ll take a gallon milk jug once
I’ve set my tomato plants out, whatever. And on nights that we
suspect frost and all that, I just simply cut those jugs
in half and place them over my plants. As the plants get
a little bigger, I might go to a
five-gallon bucket. So it just kind of
depends on the situation. I have also used in things
that are planted and grew, I have a big tar podium
that I carry out there. And you know my neighbors fuss
about my yard looking a little bad sometimes. But once the
vegetables start growing, I start giving them vegetables. They’re happy. They’re pretty happy with it? Yeah, they’re
pretty happy with it. Okay, well thanks
for the information, Walter. That’s real good. Frugal — that’s the word. Okay. Now here’s our Q and A session. And ladies, feel
free to join us. Okay? Alright, here’s
the first question. Why do the flowers on my
daffodils become smaller each year? And that’s the question we get
this time of year because the daffodils are actually up. That’s right. That’s why I saw mine peeping. Mine are coming out. Well basically it
really can be.. Excessive
nitrogen can cause this. Also it would be interesting
because I know daffodils do not like a lot of water. And I know last
year we did have, you know, a lot
of rain last year. So I don’t know if that could
have played a role in it as well. And also, it could be a
calcium defenciency there. Because when you think about it,
daffodils tend to grow around limestone rock. You found them a lot up in
Middle Tennessee around those areas. So I would imagine
it could be that. Okay. I’m gonna throw
this one out there, too. It could be overcrowding. Okay, yes. You know if they’ve been in
the ground five or six years, you hadn’t divided them, then
that’s going to be the problem. Mhm. Of course those flowers,
each year they’re going to get smaller and smaller becasue
they’re growing more and more bulbs. So could be over crowding and
you might want to go ahead and divide those. Do you ladies have
daffodils at home? Our whole neighborhood
is full of daffodils. And I’ve thought about
that because I have them. And I just moved in to this
neighborhood and I have no idea if my bulbs have been
divided anytime soon. So that’s something I
need to think about. Yeah, you’ll find out here
pretty soon when they come up. Is there a test you can take for
the soil to see if it’s too much calcium? Oh yes, your basic soil test. How would you know? And then, of course, the
soils labw ill send you back the results. And they will let you know if
you need to lime it or if it doesn’t need lime as
well as the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels. Yeah, so you can do that, which
is something that we definitely do recommend. I say it a lot on this show. Soil test! Why guess? Soil test! Okay, here’s our next question. The tops of my house plant
pots are coated with a crust. What is that? What do you think that is? Well it could be some
type of calcified materials. And also it could be some type
of salts that have built up. I would just recommend just
changing the soil so that it seems like it’s a
house plant type scenario. That might be the answer. Yeah. I have house plants at home and
what happens is if you fertilize them, fertilizers are just salt. Mhm. So you know once it dries out,
it’s gonna leave that little ring of crust
right around that pot. And what you can do is.. I, you know, I go up
to the next pot size. I just drop it in some warm
water and just kind of clean it up. Do you do anything
different, ladies? Leach all. Really leach everything out of
it because that’s what it is. It’s a build up of salts. So you need to leach it out. Right. And I give mine a real
good flush is what I do, right over the sink. Just kind of let the
water run right through it. That’s what I usually do. I use a sponge and just
even clean off the leaves and everything every
once in a while. Yeah because you don’t want
your leaves to touch that salt because, you know, it’ll
cause that leaf to die. Mhm. Because it is salt and
salt actually draws water, you know, from a tissue. It has water in it. So alright. Here’s the next question. I have these green looking
bugs all over my collards. What is it and how
do I get rid of them? Because we don’t want
them on our collards. We don’t want to cook them. They have the
green bugs on them, Walt. It could be extra protein. [laughter] I’m pretty sure it’s aphids. Yeah. And you can just take your
garden hose and just spray them off. But for those who want
to go the chemical route, malathion will knock them out. But let me tell you this. It’s gonna be a seven
day harvest description. So just read the label. As always, read your label. But just kind of
remember and you’ll be fine. Read the label on that. I can get you something
else too that can work. Insecticidal soap, you know,
will work fairly well for your aphids. Again, just a
heavy stream of water, just knock them off. That way you don’t have to worry
about chemicals or anything like that. And while we have a
little time left, let’s go back to
that I-P-M practice, which is why it’s good to
look underneath the leaves. That’s right. Because that’s where a
lot of your bugs hang out. Exactly! I mean they’re smart. That’s right. You know, so you go
to spray over the top. And guess what. It’s gonna go right under the
bottom and kind of hide out. And then they’ll come
back once you finish. So can you expand just a
little bit more on that? Well yes, it’s also like
that even with the shrubbery. Always, you know, always
spray from the bottom up. I take my sprayer and you know
when everybody needs to spray my azaleas or whatever. Because like I
said, they’re smart. They’re gonna hang out
where they can’t be seen. They’re gonna hide out where
the ladybugs can’t find them. So, yes. Also looking at sustainability,
I would like to expand on it just a little bit
more in that, you know, they give us these great
statistics all the time that by the year 2050, food
production must double. And they say that 70% of
that will be taken care of with technological advances. So we have to be
sustainable, you know, and that starts even with the
home garden stuff as well as the big major crop
production systems. So we need to look at ways to
be sustainable and kind of knock down some of this resistance
and all that that we’ve seen. Building up with
fungicides and insecticides. Yeah, we’re gonna have to
learn to be sustainable. Over in California, they’re
having problems with droughts. And of course that raises
the prices on our fruits and vegetables. So alright, well
thanks everybody. We’re out of time. Remember we love
to hear from you. Send us a letter or an email
with your gardening questions. Send your e-mail to
family-plot-at-wkno-dot-org. The mailing
address is Family Plot, 7151 Cherry Farms
road, Cordova, Tennessee, 38016. You can also follow us
on Facebook and Twitter. That’s all we
have time for today. Thanks for watching. I’m Chris Cooper. Be sure to join us next time for
“The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South.” Be safe! [theme music]
♪♪♪ (female announcer)
Production funding for “The Family Plot: Gardening in the
Mid-South” is provided by Good Winds Landscape and Garden
Center in Germantown since 1943 and continuing to offer it’s
plants for successful gardening with seven greenhouses and
three acres of plants plus comprehensive
landscape services.. CLOSED CAPTIONING
PROVIDED BY WKNO-MEMPHIS.

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