- "Gardening makes me happy," says this grower who took a blank backyard and transformed it into this charming, pretty space. Perennials, a water feature, and vegetable beds bring joy each and every growing season. Want to have beautiful hybrid tea roses year after year? Marty DeHart shares her care and maintenance regimen to keep them healthy and gorgeous. Pumpkins weighing in at 500 pounds plus? A watermelon at 200 pounds? We'll visit a grower of these giant produce specimens. Join us. Across a span of 30 years, this garden has gained in size and beauty. Gardening is definitely a lifelong process and today we have a guest with us who says that gardening is adding life to her years. Carta Gaither, the most beautiful lady that I know, we are here at your garden, Carta, and let's take a stroll. - Okay, sounds good. - I love your little vignettes here in your garden. You've got so many wonderful little spots of interest. And you told me that when you started this garden, there was nothing back here. - There was nothing in this yard at all. I started with just a little bit, and then I ended up, you know, every year putting a little bit more into the garden. This garden is about 30 years old. I've been working on this garden for, you know, for at least 30 years. - And Carta, I have to say this and I know you don't mind. It's amazing that you are 91 years old. And gardening is what keeps you young, right? - Yes, it is a passion. And I love doing it. - I can tell. - It makes me happy. - I can tell. And it gives you a reason to get up and get out. - Absolutely. - And get moving. - Mm-hm. - So tell us about this wonderful little area that we've got over here because it just, everything looks so peaceful. - Oh, I don't really, I think this was one of the first things that I did. I put the bushes in the corner and then I decided on the three pots. - [Tammy] Right. - [Carta] And I wanted the pots to be different. I didn't want to be all the same thing. In the spring of the year, I bring out my house plants. - [Tammy] To add some some more interest. - [Carta] Yes, and it's healthy for them. - Absolutely. When you started this 30 plus years ago, did you have any idea that it would expand to all of this? - Not really. Not really. Except I had a dream and every year I thought, well, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. And then I think I put out that we put the water garden in, pretty soon after I moved in here, I wanted water. Somebody showed me a water garden. I thought I've got to have a water garden with goldfish. So we did the water garden. And at one time, I had two ponds. Oh, it was too much trouble. - [Tammy] Yeah. Yeah, one's enough to keep up. - [Carta] One's enough, mm-hm. - [Tammy] But don't you like the sound of water in a garden? - [Carta] Oh, yes, I certainly do. I do. - [Tammy] You've got this massive pin oak here, that's really a mainstay in your garden. - [Carta] Yes, I got that plant when it was about five years old. I dug the hole and put the plant in there and you can see what has happened. It has just really, really gone big. And of course, the blight has hit it now, so eventually it's going to have to be taken out, but it still gives an awful lot of shade. And most of my plants are shade plants. - Yes, they are. You've got some beautiful hostas over here. And like you said, these ferns seem to be just as happy as they can be right here. They're beautiful. Did you plant all of these? - Well, I just put in one or two and then they spread. - Oh. - They're not aggressive, but they do spread. I've given away a lot of ferns this year, because I wanted my monkey grass to show. I think it's so pretty to have monkey grass in front of the ferns. - [Tammy] Yes. - [Carta] And the ferns were taking over. See, I've got one over there that's coming up in the middle. - Yes, I see that. Well, and you know what, it's just such a different leaf structure. - [Carta] Right. - Than this. So it adds a little bit more visual interest to the garden. And your monster hosta. - [Carta] Oh, I'm telling you! - [Tammy] That's just-- - [Carta] I don't know where it came from. I just, one day it came up and I thought, "When did I put that out?" But I love it. I just think it's so pretty. 'Course, I have several hellebores. - [Tammy] Yes. That were, I'm sure, spectacular. - [Carta] Oh, they were so pretty. They were so pretty. And also the trillium, that had been pretty. - What I like is that you've got borders everywhere to kind of keep your garden contained. And you've got varying borders. - Oh, I call this a country garden. - [Tammy] Is that what-- - [Carta] I've used, I was raised in the country, and we had lots of rock and I am very fond of rock, as you can tell. - [Tammy] And you, so you just place them how you think they need to be. - [Carta] Mm-hm. - And it, and it just adds order and structure to your garden, don't you think? - [Carta] I think so. And then when I have hosta that I don't have anybody to give it to and that nobody wants it or anything, I put it in a pot. And they grow well in the pot. The only thing, you have to water 'em more than you would if they were in the ground. - [Tammy] Right. Did you do this pathway? - I did. This pathway, every morning when I get up, the first thing I do, well, almost the first thing, I come through the garden. I have to have a pathway. I got to check my flowers to see what's blooming and what's new and so on. And especially in the spring of the year, when things start popping up. I like to see what I've got. - [Tammy] Well, of course. - [Carta] So I love my pathway. - [Tammy] What I love about it is, too, that you've got the pathways, but you've got fencing that you utilize a lot. - [Carta] This is Shasta daisies. - [Tammy] And they get kind of leggy. - [Carta] Yes. But they're pretty because I had to stake 'em, really, to make 'em stand up when they do start blooming, 'cause come a rainy day, you know, they wanna fall over. - [Tammy] Exactly. - [Carta] Mm-hm. And also my zebra grass, I like my zebra grass, but I've had to put a little fence around it so it won't fall over on my other plants. - Yeah, you know, I don't think people utilize fencing enough sometimes. - They may not. - They let it fall over and then they don't like it. - Right. - [Tammy] Tell me about this. Because it looks like something that was created. - [Carta] Well, I guess, I guess God created it because-- - [Tammy] Yes. - Because it came from my dad's old farm and I found it. It's just one piece of a tree. The tree stump and also, I guess, a branch, I'm not really sure. But I drug that out to the car and put it in the trunk of the car and that thing is heavy. But this has been here for several years now. - [Tammy] And then you drug it out here and it's the perfect place for it. - [Carta] Yes, absolutely. - [Tammy] Everybody loves fresh vegetables and you're going to have plenty. - [Carta] I think so. - [Tammy] Tell us what all you've got planted. - Well, I have a hot pepper here and a tomato plant. I think that is a celebrity. I've got radishes, lettuce. In the middle I've some zinnias. And out the out, on this side, then, I've got carrots. - [Tammy] I love carrots. - [Carta] These are the short, supposed to be the short carrots. - [Tammy] All right. - [Carta] I thought they'd be good in the raised beds. The tomatoes are celebrity, except for this one. And this one is a Early Girl. See, it's already got a little bud. - [Tammy] Yes, I see it. - [Carta] This is the one that I took in and out of the house for over a month. - [Tammy] You babied it. - [Carta] I babied it. - [Tammy] And it's going to return the favor. - [Carta] I hope so. I hope so. - [Tammy] And Carta, this is just enough. Looks like you've got plenty to share with your friends and neighbors. - [Carta] Probably, but I make chow chow in the fall. - Of course you do. Because that's just what you do, right, Carta? - I like chow chow, so I usually make my own. And it turns out pretty good. Enough to give away. - I'll be needing a jar. - Okay. It's wonderful with dry beans. But I have, you know, I use it on hamburgers, hot dogs, just anything. - And it tastes better coming from your own garden, doesn't it? - Oh, yes, I think so. I think so. - Carta, thank you for letting us tour your garden today. You are just beautiful and I'm so honored that we know each other through garden club. - Yes. - And now the viewers know you through the show. - Okay, thank you so much. - What a beautiful rose, no doubt. Nice, long stem. But if you're gonna have roses that look like this and this cutting garden, it's a rose cutting garden, of very fragrant long stemmed roses. It's kind of an intensive activity to grow these. These are all hybrid teas or Grandiflora roses. Long stems, great big flowers, the kind that you'd buy from the florist. And to grow these requires regular culture, maintenance and spraying. Pruning roses is one of the things that you really need to know how to do to get the best results and whether it's knockouts or beautiful hybrid teas like this, the first prune of the year, which we usually do in Nashville around say, late February, early March, is the hardest prune of the year. And you can see these big things are called canes on roses and I cut it back really hard. Slanting cut so the water, any raindrops don't sit on it, they slide off. And you can see, I cut it back to about 18, 12-18 inches and I only leave a few canes. You want a big strong structure. And I'm gonna show you what I feed with. This is my favorite. There are two good rose fertilizers that I know. This is one called Mills Magic. And it doesn't smell like most fertilizers, it smells kind of sweet because it's got alfalfa meal in it and it smells kind of like sweet alfalfa hay when you put it down. And I feed very heavily in a circle around each plant. Oh, one thing I wanted to mention about pruning and this is disease control. There's a terrible disease that's affecting roses and if you've got knockouts, you've probably heard about it. You need to sterilize your tools. These are my pruners. And when I, whether I'm using loppers on great big canes or these, I usually use this kind of pruner when I'm doing this cut in the early spring. In between every plant, I wipe down the blades to sterilize them with either a Lysol wipe or a Clorox wipe, a bleach wipe, either one works fine. But what that does is it prevents this terrible disease called rose rosette from being transferred from one plant, which may have it, to another. Rose rosette is a virus-like. It's not really an animal. It's a plasma living organism that infects the sap. So when you cut and you get sap on it, and then you cut another plant, you're transferring it from one plant to another. The two ways this disease, rose rosette, is spread are by little, teeny, tiny mites that blow in the wind and by people doing bad culture, cutting with dirty implements. But you can see that they've grown bodaciously. They love that fertilizer that I put on. And this is the end of the first big blooming flush of these roses. And roses, whether they're knockouts or this kind, tend to bloom in six week cycles. In other words, there'll be a big flush and then they sort of go back. They may throw an odd bud here or there, but six weeks later, you'll get another big boom if you feed 'em again. Here's one that blooms a little earlier than its compatriots in this garden and it's already gone by. And I want to show you how to cut back to the right place to stimulate more bloom. You'll notice as a stalk comes up, it has, this has seven leaflets. This has five leaflets. This has three, plus a baby kind of afterthought. Cut back to five or seven. Okay and what'll, at least five, never just cut back like that. That's a mistake. This won't put out a blossom. This bud right here might get activated, but it'll just put out more leaves. Never cut back to just three leaflets. Cut below that. And how to decide where to cut? One is, if it's a big, long branch, you might want to trim it back to keep it better in size. But another way is where, below where you cut the first place where the leaf hits the stem, which is called an the node, that's where the bud will be activated and that's what will grow. So the way the leaf faces is the way that bud will grow. So you can decide how you're shaping your plant every time you prune. I want this plant... I want, see this down here? I want this one to grow out. I don't want do this one because that'll make it kind of out of proportion with the rest of the plant. I'm thinking all the time. Slanted cut, quarter inch above that node. Bam. This will now grow out this way, rather than into the middle of the plant, which will crowd it and then help with disease and that kind of thing. And now is when I... I give that boost. I will cut all of these off, but for purposes of showing you, I'm just gonna show you how I just sprinkle around the drip line, which is out beyond the plant. But these are where the feeder roots are. And that's fine. That'll be good to go. Obviously, we spray a lot in this garden, because these kinds of roses require it. As a matter of fact, it happens every two to three weeks throughout the season. And we rotate, it's a combination spray of an insecticide, miticide, plus a fungicide because these kinds of roses get practically any disease a rose can get, these will get, these very refined kind of roses. Knockouts, for example, are much more disease resistant. They won't get black spot, for example. I'm not seeing any black spot on these because they've been sprayed, but black spot is very obvious. I'm sure you've seen it. It gets these very dark circular spots. The leaves turn yellow and tend to drop off. Bad case of black spot can defoliate an entire plant. Very much weakens it. Won't kill it, but it's bad for it. Second would be powdery mildew. These roses don't have either of those because I spray for it. But another, the insects also hit roses. You can get spider mites, you can get Japanese beetles in that season, but the most common one around here is, I want you to see on this, these leaves, see those little kind of spots? They're beige. And they look like they're not holes in the leaf. They look sort of like the leaf's surface has been eaten away. And that's because it has from the underside. These little animals that did this, did it one night and they were taken care of the next day. They show up, it's called a rose sawfly. They live on the underside of the leaf and eat the leaf tissue, leaving only the very top surface, which leaves almost like a little window. When they get really bad, they'll eat all the way through. And I've seen it where they can totally defoliate, I mean, they'll just skeletonize a leaf. It's crazy. They won't eat the veins, they eat the stuff in between. There's an easy remedy for this and it's organic. It's a spray called, the active ingredient of which is spinosad. That's S-P-I-N-O-S-A-D. You can buy it anywhere. There are a number of brands. And it's, like I say, it's organic. You don't have to try to hit the animal with it. All you have to do is spray it on leaves it's eating and it ingests it and that kills it. It's a lot like bacillus thuringiensis in that way. Which by the way, will not work for rose sawflies, so don't waste your time. Rose sawfly looks like a little bitty green caterpillar, but it's not a true caterpillar, which is why BT doesn't work. But that's easily controlled. The other big insect that gets on roses is aphids. And I use insecticidal soap for aphids, which is a contact. You basically just have to hit 'em. But one hit and they're gone. Aphids can appear overnight. They blow in, some adults fly and they can just show up one day. One day, you have a clean garden, the next day you've got aphids on everything. That weird little roundish bloated looking thing is a dead aphid that was parasitized by a tiny wasp. These are good things. There are a lot of good animals. One of the reasons for using organics is that you're not killing the good guys in your garden. They're helping you out with control. I'm putting in a new rose today. And one of the things I really want to emphasize, and I'm sure you'll hear this from everybody who grows roses is that soil is king. A plant, any plant is only as good as the soil it's in. And you can see that this soil has been improved over the years. There's fairly good soil on this site to begin with, but we have really improved it. We let mulch rot in. We use organics. It really helps. So I'm gonna be planting a new Grandiflora rose and this is the fertilizer that I put in and I work into the bottom. Now, most plant roots grow out, not down, so I'm not worried about digging way down deep and making all kinds of loose soil down there. What I wanna do now is take this out of the pot. It's got a good root system. Tease these out a little bit. These are all the feeder roots, all these little white guys. White roots are good, you want to see that. Stick it in the hole. Make sure it's set. I like to think of a front and back to these things. How the person coming in is going to view it. So I'm gonna turn it just a little bit so it, so it fits better with its neighbors. And then I just backfill with this good soil. There's a little rock. Don't need that in there. And you want to punch down all the way around. You want great contact. You do not want air holes anywhere near those little bitty roots. One little air pocket and the root that it's near will die. It'll dry out and die. So this is, this is good. Punch, punch, punch, punch, punch. Now I want to make sure that all the roots are buried and that I'm not higher than it was in the pot. I'm gonna take a little bit more. The feeder roots, I'm gonna put closer to the trunk here because unlike these established roses, because there aren't any roots out there yet. Work a little of that in. And bam, all it needs is water. And mulching roses, I will put a little pine straw. I like pine straw because it doesn't wash away. This is a slightly sloping site and I don't put it up... I want to show you that it's best if you don't put it right up against the rose. Leave a couple of inches of bare next to the trunk of the rose. And there you've got it. This rose garden proves that in a relatively small space, you can get boatloads of roses. I mean, literally, the owner of this garden takes armloads out of here every summer. And it looks pretty much like this from early May until hard frost. It lets down a little bit, but there's always something in bloom. It's a delight. And the aroma, because every one of these is intensely fragrant, is just amazing. And I'd seriously encourage people to think about putting the time in. 'Cause you can have this as a result. - With the Tennessee State Fair coming about and other county fairs, have you ever wondered how these giant watermelons and pumpkins form? Well, we're here today with Freddie Burcham. Thank you very much. Top fair winner, giant watermelons and giant pumpkins. Looking forward to learning more about this. You can see we already have a large amount of space reserved just for this watermelon. What are the dimensions? - This, I'm raising my watermelons on 16 by 16 foot beds. - Mm-hm. - And we let the vines grow out. And once they get to the border, we start clipping 'em off then. We don't let 'em get no further than that. You can estimate 250, 300 leaves is about what it estimate out to. - [Bryan] Okay. - [Freddie] These are male blooms. We don't take them off. But if there's a female bloom on there, it'll have a little melon on it. - [Bryan] Yeah. - [Freddie] Now, we take them off. - [Bryan] That way all the nutrients are really rushing to that one single-- - [Freddie] Yeah, you try to get it to start doing that. - We have a silk screen that surrounds the entire growing area. - [Freddie] That's to keep out little varmints. It'll help keep out groundhogs. - [Bryan] Yeah. - [Freddie] And it helps block down some of the wind. - [Bryan] Mm-hm. - The wind damage that you'll have. - The less stress we have on the plant the better. - And another thing I do, I put down this little netting, it's a bird netting. - [Bryan] Yeah. - You see that vine runs out, it takes on these little ties. - [Bryan] Mm-hmm. - [Freddie] And they tie their self to that and that protects it from the wind, too. To where the wind won't-- - [Bryan] Anchors it down. - [Freddie] Yeah, anchors it down, yeah. This time of year you can put a high nitrogen on 'em, but later on you don't wanna put that on there. - Yeah. - You wanna pull that off from it. - So you might be looking right now at about a 20-20-20? - Yeah. Yeah, that'd be nice. A 20-20-20'd be nice, to just keep it sprayed on there. - Uh-huh. - And go by what they recommend. Whatever the recommendations is, that's what you want to go by. - Yeah, absolutely. - Cause you can burn 'em, especially in this humid weather. - So the startup plant really is, the most significant part is getting the seed right? Where do you obtain your seed source? - It's, the seeds was a lot of our own seeds. We keep 'em ourselves. But we are in a club. It's the World Watermelon Association Club. And we're a member of that. And then each year, each member will send in so many seeds and then they distribute 'em out to all the members. And we swap out seeds that way. This one here came out of a 233 that a lady raised up in East Tennessee. - Mm-hm. - And we used it this year. And it takes about three to five days for these seeds to germinate. And it's a trick to doing that. - Yeah. - I mean, you just can't put 'em in the ground. They're not gonna do that. We have to start start 'em in our hothouse and you have to have a soil temperature around 90 degrees. The soil temperature, not air temperature, the soil temperature. And then once it germinates, you can see the ground popping open where the, where we plant 'em at. You wanna take it out-- - And do you file it down at all or? - No, I don't, I haven't have any problem filing mine down. Some people say they do, but I've never had to file any of mine down. And then you take it out and put it under a growing light for about three weeks. Once it makes about three leaves, then we put 'em out in the garden. - Then it's finally ready to go out. - Yeah, then we put it out in the garden. We started these seeds around the 15th of April. - [Bryan] Okay, fantastic. - And then they'll cut, then the time they germinate then about the 10th of May is when we put 'em out here. - Mm-hm. - And they gotta have at least 120 days. - 120. - These melons, yeah. - Yeah. - So you have, you count 60 days for it to germinate, plus start putting on the melon. Then 60 days of the melon being on the vine. - [Bryan] The seed that we have from here, what was the weight of the parent? - This one right here came out of a 256. - So we're looking for something we need to support a watermelon that might reach the peak of 256 pounds. - [Freddie] Yeah. - How do we end up, I see we've got multiple layers here for really holding up weight as this watermelon grows? - Okay. This one here was just, that's been put on there just to kinda level it off. Just to kinda get it level. - [Bryan] Yep. - And then I put this on here just because when, 10 days ago the wind was blowing real hard and I just didn't want it to blow it off. 'Cause this melon ain't but 10 days old. I mean it was no bigger than a, hardly a pencil head here just about 10 days ago. - [Bryan] Yeah. - And I put this under here because it was wanting to take on an odd shape and I wanted to straighten it up a little bit so it'd come out straight, because the vine was so big the vine was pulling it down. We'll keep the vines pulled away from it and we'll just keep this cover on it to keep the sun from bleaching it out. And we'll let it do its own thing now. - [Bryan] Yeah, yeah. Was this fruit particularly hand pollinated or did you-- - [Freddie] It was hand pollinated. - [Bryan] Okay. - [Freddie] I pollinated this one from the 274. - [Bryan] Oh, okay. - [Freddie] So 274 to the 256. - [Bryan] Mm-hm. You did have a pumpkin last year that did quite well. What was the weight? - [Freddie] It was 583 pounds. And this is on about a 30-30 plot here. - [Bryan] Got a little bit more area than the watermelon. - Yeah, and what we'll do is, is we'll just keep, once it gets up on this fence, once it gets there, we start clipping 'em all off. - Mm-hm. And you don't need to, once the vines take over, weeding isn't a concern? - Now once the vines, they shade the ground and it doesn't hurt anything then. - Yeah. - And then where these vines are laying on the ground, they'll, they'll take on a root. They'll put a root system in the ground. If you can see. See right, well, here's a small one. See right there? - [Bryan] Yeah. - [Freddie] That'll go down into the ground and it'll start feeding. This thing here, it'll feed from everywhere. - [Bryan] Mm-hm. - [Freddie] And it'll just start feeding from it. - [Bryan] Now, with the pumpkins, do they have male and female flowers as well? - [Freddie] Yep. Yep, yep. Now, this one here, this one, this is the male bloom. - [Bryan] But a female will start getting a small fruit. - [Freddie] Yeah, it'll have a little fruit on the end of it. - Mm-hm. - But that's the male bloom there. - Do you do a full year feed? - Yeah, we fully feed these out here too. Yes, we sure do. - Mm-hm. Mm-kay. - They're about the same, just kind of up the rate on it, but it's about the same stuff you put on the watermelons. It takes about 145 days on these pumpkins. Now, I'll start these around the 1st of April. Probably around about the 1st of September is when we'll pull it, when we'll take this off. - Mm-hm. Well, I'm excited to see this. - Yeah. - This at the fair. - Yeah, okay. - [Announcer] All right, ladies and gentlemen, once again we'd like to welcome you to the 2013 Tennessee State Fair and our giant pumpkin, giant watermelon weigh-off. It's got the length. Got the width. Looking for 185 to beat. - [Man] Nate. - [Announcer] What have we got, James? - [James] 188. - [Announcer] 188! - And now watermelons. Uh, just too cool of a year for me, where I live at, on my watermelons. I think we ended up getting fourth and fifth place. I was tickled to death with 'em. They measured bigger than what they actually weighed. We thought they was gonna go somewhere around 220, but it only weighed 188, our biggest melon did. But we have some more in the field. But they're a little bigger than this, but they're still growing and we didn't wanna pull them. - [Announcer] 390 is the weight to beat. James, tell us what the weight is for this final entry. - [James] 524 pounds. - [Announcer] 524 for Freddie Burcham. - Well, we won for our pumpkin, but it was just a bad year on pumpkins, because of the weather and a lot of people lost their pumpkins in the field. But I'm tickled to death with it. Happy to have what we have.
September 08, 2022
Season 31 | Episode 05
We meet a gardener who took a blank backyard and turned it into a lovely garden space that she can't wait to stroll through each morning. Marty DeHart shares her care and maintenance regimen to keep hybrid tea roses healthy and gorgeous. Pumpkins weighing in at 500 pounds? A watermelon at 200 pounds? We'll visit with a grower of giant produce.