SIDNEY — The conference room at the library filled with people to listen to the final installment of the Master Gardeners Spring Series Tuesday evening. The topic was “Planting in Small Spaces.”
One may automatically think of planting in your home, and that is one topic that was discussed. Much of the presentation; however, had to do with planting in raised beds and utilizing the principles explained in Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
The program, presented by Master Gardeners President Mark Hipple, began with learning how to conduct a focused search.
“If you just type a topic in your favorite search engine, you’ll get a lot of dot coms. Dot coms want to sell you something eventually. You want to look for org, gov, or edu. They will give you good information,” said Hipple.
After a few examples, Hipple introduced the use of the colon in your search. In a focused search, one types in their term in their chosen search engine and follow it by a colon and a destination such as .edu.
“We want good, non-biased information. Don’t get me wrong, there is good information on commercial sites. The search I’m going to show you gives you greater probability of bringing up sites that are educationally based or government based,” said Hipple.
When discussing container gardening, several assorted styles were discussed: wood, corrugated metal, porcelain, and concrete. The main take-away is that drainage matters.
“You cannot have soggy wet roots. The roots don’t want to sit in water,” said Hipple.
Bartholomew’s theory got the bulk of the presentation. Bartholomew believes that you can grow 100 percent of the produce in 80 percent of the space. He advocates constructing beds that are 4-foot by 4 foot and whatever length you please. The idea is that you should never have to walk in the beds. From whichever side, you should be able to reach into the garden to tend it.
Hipple has had a lot of success with this platform.
Discussing planting medium, Hipple disclosed that he uses nearly 100 percent leaf mulch in his beds.
“I have a lot of trees, and most of the leavesend up as mulch. I add table scraps, too but it is primarily the leaves. There are mixed opinions about it but it has worked for me for all the years I’ve had my garden. Use what you have,” said Hipple.
At the end of the presentation, participants were taken on a virtual tour of Hipple’s back yard.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.