With the recent glimpses of soon-to-come warmer weather, it's a good time to remind you about some things that can make anyone
a success in the vegetable garden. Spring and summer may be hard to imagine right now, but tip #1 reminds us that getting started early is good for the soil.
New Book Available at Discount for GardenLine E-mail Subscribers
- 'Tis better to put a 25¢ plant in a $5 hole than a $5 plant in a 25¢ hole - I'm emphasizing the importance of building proper beds. Remember the simple rule: Two parts rose soil to one part compost, at least 10 inches deep. And if you can build those beds now, it will allow them to rest or mellow a bit before planting next month.
- Compost, Humus or Organic Matter - You say toh-may-toh, I say toh-mah-toh. However you say it, it's a wonderful thing, so use it! Besides the 2-to-1 rose soil-compost blend, remember compost can also be your mulch in a veggie garden.
- Ensure Good Drainage - With our feast or famine rainfall, you'll eventually see why it's so important. Or your first attempt will drown after a gully-washer.
- Let the Sunshine In - Pick a spot that will receive up to six hours of sunshine. Filtered light won't cut it.
- Pick Proven Varieties - Make sure it's approved for our region. In fact, check with your county extension agent, Master Garden program or places like Urban Harvest for proven varieties.
- Cheat Mother Nature - Because of our heat, start them early if possible! But be prepared to protect them during late-season freezes.
- Control Your Appetite - In other words, don't over plant.
- Feed Me Seymour!!! - Veggies are heavy feeders. (Just ask Audrey II.) The compost is a good start and a nice addition throughout, but amend that with some kind of fertilizer ... granular, liquid organic or water-soluble.
- Keep Your Shadow in the Garden - That means you need to be out there on a consistent basis, looking for insects, weeds and diseases. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Consistency, Consistency, Consistency - Consistent watering and consistent feeding are critical. Don't ever allow things to dry up before you water. And don't over feed to make up for a missed feeding.
For the next couple of weeks, my new book, "1001 GardenLine Questions," is only available online
. But the good news is that it's discounted to just $12.95.
We will have some at the regular $14.99 price at our first official spring appearance Feb. 5 at the Waterside Estates Ace Hardware. After that, it will be available at nearly every Ace Hardware store in the area plus at select independent nurseries and garden centers.
I'll also be doing several book signings this spring and summer, so keep an eye on the GardenLine Facebook page
and listen to GardenLine on 740 KTRH for updates.
To be fair, the book may be discounted even further at some upcoming home and garden shows. And I am aware that many Ace Hardware stores want to do special discounts on the book from time to time. But, if you just can't wait (and I love you for that), grab the online
discount while it lasts.