Prep Rally

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Designed by students from Horticultural program at University of Cincinnati

We prepped and planted the bed in June for the Field Day in August. As part of their classwork the students from the UC Horticulture program learned how to measure and layout a bed. We tilled amendments into the soil and then they designed a bed.

About eight students came to Diefenbacher this year and we explained that we like to use this particular bed for Field Day. Guests would be attending who would want to look around the bed—to see it and be close to it. We would need to be able to touch all the plants easily.

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Field Day participants observing students' garden design

One of the students came up with a design we liked so we went with it. We especially liked the way she handled the walk—we could be up close to anything we wanted. Luckily the students had time to plant part of the bed with us so we made that section a vegetable garden.

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A garden look with foliage colors, textures, and heights

Our aim was to achieve an aesthetic garden look with foliage colors, textures and heights, as seen in the photo of tropicals and grasses.  We took that concept to the vegetables that were planted.  We didn't put them in straight rows and straight lines. 

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Cleome ‘Clio’

Now, we call our Display Beds “learning gardens” for a reason. We planted Cleome ‘Clio’ this year and the foliage went from green to chartreuse.  What went wrong?

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Field Day discussion about nitrogen-rich fertilization

Looking for a cause, we remembered that back when the UC students prepared the beds, they were amended with about 2 inches of pine fines.  It turns out the pine fines were sucking all of the nitrogen out of the soil, leaving nothing for the Cleome.  Finally we started feeding it and got 'Clio' back to that pretty green.  So remember: if you add soil amendments, additional fertilizer will be needed in the bed.

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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