Son, grandson build self-watering planter for Brownstown women

Lucille Fisher always loved to make a garden and she seemed to have a green thumb, as her vegetable gardens have produced enough to feed her family, put up some for the winter and share with others.

Likewise with flowers – she often provided pretty, colorful bouquets for the Golden Years Club’s tables.
The years have not dimmed her enjoyment of gardening, but they have taken their toll on being physically able to comfortably handle all the hard work involved in planting, weeding and harvesting the produce.
Now, at 101 years old, Lucille and her daughter, Helen Klitzing, share a home. Although both are active and very capable of keeping an inviting and immaculate house, and are excellent cooks, Helen also has physical limitations on a task as demanding as making and maintaining a garden.
Grandson Mike Provides Solution
Helen’s son and Lucille’s grandson, Mike Klitzing, realized their challenges and, very thoughtfully and skillfully, solved the gardening problem by building them a waist-high, self-watering planter.
That 3-foot-by-6-foot planter is giving a real boost to the women’s enjoyment of the summer and is already proving fresh vegetables for their table … all with a minimum of the hard physical labor usually associated with a garden that produces vegetables the size and quality which Lucille and Helen are harvesting.
Mike built the planter with the help of his son, Kyle, which has proven to be the perfect solution to his mother’s and grandmother’s problem, as one can see by the huge cabbages and green tomatoes already appearing on the large, healthy tomato plants and zucchini blooms.
The planter includes a system that requires watering only twice a year.
It has a tube in which to place the garden hose at one end and is designed at the opposite end to indicate when watering or rainfall is sufficient.
The planter is chocked-full of healthy-looking plants and Lucille pointed out  bell peppers, tomatoes, red and green cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, sugar pod peas. Even little blooms of marigold flowers peek through the foliage.
“Marigolds were Spud’s favorite flowers,” Helen said, speaking of her late husband.  
Successfully Sharing with Individual Choices
They have already enjoyed some early treats from their garden, such as lettuce, radishes, and spinach. “They have already been used – they were first,” Lucille said.
They share the planter and the produce, but they each planted their own seeds, as Lucille pointed out.  “Helen had her radishes out pretty early and they were really good”.
“We started planting in March,” Lucille said.
Helen added, “I planted my potatoes on Good Friday. I planted three layers of potatoes in three layers,” she said, explaining the layering process.
While viewing the planter, Lucille said, “I finally got little tomatoes.”
“Yes, I got one on mine, too,” Helen said.
They did not seem competitive, just enjoying their garden together.
Lucille also has a healthy-looking herbal garden planted in waist-high double tubs.
Helen commented that weeding is so easy at the waist-high level.
I can just reach in and pull the little weeds,” she said about the work that prevents the growth of larger weeds.
The visit to Lucille’s and Helen’s home was a pleasure from start to finish – the front entrance of their pretty house is picturesque, the flowers blooming from the window box and the hanging basket on the front porch, and the various other flowers.
Grandson Mike and his son, Kyle, have contributed many enjoyable and fulfilling hours and minutes to Lucille and Helen’s summer with their caring and thoughtfulness, as Lucille and Helen have done for others over the years.

Lucille Fisher’s garden has thrived due to the self-watering planter installed by her son and grandson.

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