1 Ryan found these great urns in storage. I bought them many years ago when I lived on Turkey Hill. They're painted cement and quite heavy, a good choice for repotting top-heavy plants, like the stephanotis.
2 After a light sanding, Wilmer painted them with semi-gloss paint, Bedford gray, of course.
3 The stephanotis plants have their winter home in the passageway between the greenhouse and the headhouse.
4 The stephanotis are not blooming at this time, but here's a shot of what their highly fragrant, waxy flowers look like.
5 Stephanotis vines also produce an inedible fruit, which looks much like a mango.
6 When ripe, that fruit splits apart and releases masses of seeds attached to silky filament-like hairs that are broadcast by the wind, just like its relative, milkweed.
7 Because the newly painted urns are so heavy, the repotting was done right in the passageway. It was a bit cramped, but practical.
8 A shard of broken pottery covers the drain hole, allowing water out, but not the potting mix.
9 The bottom of the urn was filled with a good-quality potting mix.
10 Because these woody-stemmed plants are climbers, they have a bamboo teepee frame to coil around. The goal was to remove the old bamboo and replace the poles with longer ones, giving the plant more structure to grow upon.
11 To remove this tall plant from its pot, Wilmer laid it on its side.
12 Wilmer used a knife to cut through the surface of the roots, which stimulates new root growth.
13 To fit the new urn properly, a few inches were removed from the bottom.
14 The plant, with its bamboo support, was set in the new container.
15 After filling in around the roots with more potting mix, Ryan began the process of untangling the vines and removing the old bamboo.
16 He also pruned out dead wood and errant shoots.
17 He slipped in the longer poles placing one at each corner of the urn.
18 Ryan and Wilmer then hefted the pots into position. Did I mention that they are heavy?
19 Using a stepladder, Wilmer tied the bamboo together at the top.
20 Ryan then brought the vines up and coiled them around their new supports.
21 When repotting, it's always a good idea to feed the plant. I happen to like Osmocote, a slow release, general purpose plant food, suitable for both indoor and outdoor plants.
22 Repotting on a tarp like this makes cleanup a whole lot easier.
23 Very nicely done!
24 In last August's blog, I showed this photo of a birthday gift of stephanotis from my friend, Susan Warburg.
25 Well, look how much it's grown!
26 It will even soon be flowering again!
27 After seeing what a great job Ryan and Wilmer did extending the height of the bamboo stakes for the stephanotis, I thought they should do the same for the potted tomatoes thriving in the vegetable greenhouse.
28 These tomato plants are growing so well and they have lots of flowers.
29 And many plants are producing fruit.
30 I wanted the plants to have even more room to grow taller, so Ryan and Wilmer came up with a plan. Rather than disturb the tender tomato vines, Wilmer extended the height of the existing poles.
31 He tied the longer pole to the shorter one at the top.
32 He also tied them securely at the bottom.
33 He then tied the taller tripods together at the very top.
34 Also growing in pots and supported by bamboo are cucumbers.
35 And squash blossoms
36 Those squash blossoms, of course, grow into squash - in this case, zucchini.