Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
  • Home

Penny Carnathan

Penny’s a Nurture And Hold (NAH): Nah, I won’t pull that out yet, it’s still got a green shoot. She likes dragonflies, lady bugs and new stuff only after weeding, pruning and fertilizing.

Kim Franke-Folstad

Kim’s a Want It Now (WIN): Everything pretty, everything now. She will resort to full-spectrum insecticides in desperate situations, and believes it’s her duty and right to buy new plants every weekend.

Both advocate Plant Choice (SOMEthing besides crotons. Please!), lots of color and low maintenance. We don’t agree on everything, but we’re smart enough to learn from each other - and from you.

Twitter icon 16x16 @TheDirtTBO
Facebook icon 16x16 The Dirt
Camera icon Post your garden photos
Link icon 16x16 Bay area nuseries
Link icon 16x16 Gardening calendar
Link icon 16x16 Planting guide

Most Recent Entries
Monthly Archives

The 1st Dirty Dirty (hot and sweaty but wonderful) Dirt Tour!

Posted Oct 31, 2009 by Loren Omoto

Updated Nov 1, 2009 at 09:57 AM

I’ll be right up front about this—I don’t smell so good right now. The nice autumn chill we forecast for our first Dirty Dirty Tour today didn’t quite materialize. But since so many people who read The Dirt in The Tribune promised to make the plunge on-line, I figured I’d better get some pictures up post-haste.

(It may be that “plunge” sounded really good about noon today, when I swear, it must have been 95 degrees!)

It was hot. Really hot. But Florida gardeners are made of pretty tough stuff. They smiled through it all, so happy to be surrounded by acres and acres of pansies, snapdragons, petunias—and lots of other plants that will be heading to North Florida, no doubt, until we get a cold snap here.

FOD Janice Vogt said, “I want to be buried here!” (Preferably on a cooler day.)

photo

We were at Riverview Flower Farms, where owner Rick Brown pulled out all the stops to show almost 200 gardeners a good time. (Big thank yous also to growers Kevin and Jeff, and Rick’s wife, Sydney Park Brown. What a great bunch of hosts. OK, we’re all pausing now and clapping. Can ya hear it?)

We divided into three groups. One group made paper pots (a good way to recycle your Tribune—no, it doesn’t work with the other paper.) We planted them with dwarf sunflowers and milkweeds, with lots of coaching from Sydney. (Raise your hand if you’re a Master Gardener she trained when she was the Hillsborough Extension agent.) 

“Make a hole twice the diameter of the seed and 1/4 inch deep,” (or something like that) Sydney, left, tells Linda.

photo

Dennis and Julie team up to make their paper pots. It’s really easy. Watch a step-by-step video on Farmer Rick’s blog.

photo

One of our younger garderners, Alex, fills up his seed pots with help from his mom. (This little guy, Alex, was such a trooper. I expect big flowers from him in the future!)

photo

We divided into three groups. While the first group planted seed pots, the other two groups took tours. Everyone labeled their trays and lined them up for carry-home later. (Jeri and Gladys, if you’re reading this, you forgot your trays! You can probably buy your plants at Home Depot in a month or so! I’m sure Rick appreciates getting a little work done gratis.)

photo

I don’t have pictures from the tours—Kim took the tours, and my notebook! so she’ll have more on that here and in the Nov. 8 Tribune. Since I’d already gotten to visit, I stayed in the Tribune-paper-pots area. I did manage to take a few morel random photos, so here they are.

JD Smoak and his grandson, Aedin Cram, 3. These two were part of a family who won the prize for most generations on a Dirty Dirty Tour. Great-grandma Beverly Raley, grandpa JD, mom (and her sis) Amanda Cram and Jazmin Stonebraker, and little Aedin. Four generations!

photo

There’s a little dispute about whether these were Halloween costumes or a way for Doris Prokopi to keep tabs on hubby Bill, but hey, the oufits were all about form, color and pattern. And that’s what we like, right?

photo

Crowd shot!!

photo

And one more

photo

Many, many thanks to our FODs - Janis, Janna and Chip for showing up and just being great people. I adore you all. (Susan, you too! We know you would’ve been there today if you could have!) I’m honored to know you.

I’m also looking forward to meeting some new folks here. Janet, Mona, Beverly, Allan—looking for you! I also really hope we hear from Eric who’s 14, really cool, and probably knows a heck of a lot more than I do about gardening. 

And once more, pause, one-two-three—clap-clap, hoot-holler for Farmer Rick! Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments

Por (Iluvpumpkins) on October 31, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Penny and Farmer Rick, Thank you!  This exceeded all my expectations. I took two friends and we had a blast learned so much. We stopped at two Home Depots on the way home to buy Ricks plants and plotted two more Home Depots to stop at tomorrow. A specials thanks to Sydney for teaching us how to make paper pots this will be great for Girl Scouts and Sunday Schools kids. God Bless you both.  Janice

Suggest removal

Por (mangoman) on October 31, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Thank you so much for all the wonderful tour! I learned so much about the commercial side of plant production. The heat was bad but the flowers were beutiful! I’d love to do something like this again.

Eric Young

Suggest removal

Por (Chip) on October 31, 2009 (Suggest removal)

We had a lot of fun today! It is so nice to be able to have a face to go with a name. Can’t say thank you enough to you Penny and Kim for putting this together to Rick and Sydney for there incredible hospitality. We got to meet some new friends and put a face to familiar names. Learned a few things too. A truly wonderful day ( hot as it was)with wonderful people. Thank-you all!

Suggest removal

Por (Janna) on November 01, 2009 (Suggest removal)

It was a hot but WONDERFUL day! Thank you so much Penny and Kim, for organizing this “field trip.” Rick and Sydney, it was nice to finally meet you and I SO appreciate you allowing us a “behind the scenes” look at your beautiful plant farm. I learned about some new plants and got some tips on ones that I already have. Loved the pot-in-pot/irrigation demonstration.

My fellow FOD’s, it was great to see you in person! Thanks Janice and Chip for the cuttings and seeds. (Janice, I’ll figure out a way to get you some “devil’s backbone” cuttings if you want them!)

Suggest removal

Por (Janna) on November 01, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Eric, I believe I met you and your mom at the end of the day at the seed swap table. I’d love to hear more about what you’re growing at home! Dare I guess—-mangos?

Suggest removal

Por (mangoman) on November 01, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I’m going to have to post two comments due to the word count restriction. Sorry about any confusion.

Flower-wise we don’t have too much :(  but here’s what we have: orange and yellow lantanas, mexican petunias, chinese skullcap (the skullcap are particularly pretty when they don’t get eaten by the slugs), azaeles, plumbago and the occasional “on clearance” flower here and there.

Currently my skullcap’s are seeding, if anybody would like seeds please let me know. I’d love to save some for you! No garuntees how well they’ll do but I do occaisonally find sprouts around the yard (they’re not runners) so I would imagine fine.

Eric Young

Suggest removal

Por (mangoman) on November 01, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Hi Janna, yes, I do have a mango tree. I always loved mangos even though I just started growing them this year. I’ve used the name ‘mangoman’ for other sites and it kinda stuck.

Personally, I’m more of a fruit/vegetable person so mostly spend my time on that while my mom does more of the flowers. Usually, after they’re planted, I end up doing most of the trimming though. My Mom really does not like the heat and humidity (I don’t mind)

Anybody know when to trim back asparagus?

Thanks,

Eric Young

Suggest removal

Por (Janna) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Eric, I like the name ‘mangoman’ and it seems to suit you perfectly! How long does it take for a mango tree to start producing fruit? What other kinds of fruits/veggies do you have? Wish I could help with the asparagus, but I have mostly flowers. (Chip is probably the best one to respond to veggie questions!) I’d love to have some skullcap seeds if you can save some. I will soon have hollyhock seeds and I can save some of those for you.

Have you or your mom ever planted Nasturtiums? (Now is a good time.) The grow quickly from seed and produce beautiful flowers which are also edible! You and your mom both should like those!

Suggest removal

Por (mangoman) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I’m not really sure how long it would take for a mango tree to produce fruit from seed…. I bought mine as a grafted tree and it should produce this next season. I’m not to sure on how long it takes before you can graft a tree though… They’re fast growers so I would imagine a year.

Currently I’m growing: basil, oregano, marjoram, tomatoes, lettuce (super easy I would suggest that everyone try it), sugar-snap peas, asparagus, papaya, white sapote, guava, pomelo, tangelo, lime and I think that’s it.

Thanks,

Eric Young

Suggest removal

Por (mangoman) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Penny, I don’t have any problems with the peas yet (let’s hope it stay at “yet”) and they seemed to do fine last year. We hauled in probably a few pounds last year and they were fabulous! Are you growing lettuce already?? I can’t imagine mine surviving the heat we’ve been having! Mine would be on a south-facing wall though so yours would probably be better off.

Janna, I saved you a bunch of seeds. I’m not sure when we will meet again… I’ll hang on to them until then though.

Eric Young

Suggest removal

Por (Janna) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Wow, Eric - that’s quite an impressive mix of herbs, fruits and veggies! If the lettuce is easy, maybe I’ll try that - Penny is having good luck with hers, too. Thanks for saving some seeds for me - I’ll have some hollyhock seeds for you and your mom. Somehow, we Dirt readers always find a way to share cuttings and seeds - whether it’s a plant sale or most recently, the field trip! I believe you got some datura seeds at the swap. I hope they work for you. I started mine in pots, then transplanted them into a sunny spot.

Suggest removal

Por (Janna) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Penny, what is UP with your nasturtiums? I planted a bunch of them and know the squirrels got a few (I caught a critter in the act) but the others are already 6-7 inches tall. Maybe you could start some in pots where squirrels can’t get them until they are actual plants. The ones I have in pots seem to have gotten a quicker and healthier start than a couple that I put directly into the ground. Some I filed with a nail file before planting and some I soaked (per Chip’s tip). Maybe EVERYTHING will do a little better when it starts feeling like fall!

Suggest removal

Por (Chip) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Lost my cable I am at a library right now! The darn thing runs right under my garden so a root must have got it the cable guy is scheduled to be at house soon so I must go “Chip”

Suggest removal

Por (Janna) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

That’s a bummer, Chip! Hopefully, the cable guy will hurry to get you back up and runnin’!

Suggest removal

Por (Iluvpumpkins) on November 02, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Eric, We are sitting on pins and needles just to see pictures of your garden. Please send soon.

Chip, Hope you get that cable fixed soon. Janice

Suggest removal

Por (mangoman) on November 03, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Hi, Sorry about keeping everyone waiting. I did send some pictures to Kim I think of the asparagus. I just cleaned up my garden last night and will take some pictures this morning. Who should I send them to? Penny or Kim?

Thank you for the asparagus information,

Eric Young

Suggest removal

Por (Chip) on November 03, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Oh boy did I miss a lot! My Brussels sprouts got muscles and the roots broke the cable! I made him reroute it. Diane and I have not grown asparagus because it needs a permanent bed as Penny said and we have limited space and change our garden lay out with each season.My hat is off to you Eric for taking on a hard crop like that keep us posted on how you do! we have planted enough nasturtiums to start a farm so far only a dozen have popped up ironically none of the one I started in trays have come up only the one’s in the ground. I think they are waiting like us for it to cool down. mean while keep them wet and hopefully we all will have nasturtium salad for thanksgiving! “Chip”

Suggest removal
Page 1 of 1 pages

Post a comment

Members:

(Requires free registration.)




Auto-login on future visits

Show my name in the online users list

Forgot your password?


Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.