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There is much interest in container gardening.  Anything that will hold soil can be used as a container garden.  I have seen gardens in old cars, wagons, shoes, sinks, etc. even in a toilet bowl.  They all work when filled with well drained mix, put in proper light, given the right plant nutrients and watered properly.  Yep, the same requirements as in the ground.  Just different planting mix and a different feeding and watering schedule.

With that said, for most home gardeners, especially novices the square foot gardening program as promoted by Mel Bartholomew is hard to beat.  The boxes are easy to assemble.  You can use one or many put together, you can adjust heights, etc.  They can be used to grow any vegetable that you can grow in the ground.

Weeds are rarely a problem, particularly if you clean the beds yearly and put in new mix as recommended.  Insects also give very little problem.  By the way, insects are not nearly as bad on healthy plants.  An insect population may well be a sign of an unhealthy plant.

In containers people tend to want to plant to many plants, too close together.  This causes two problems.  One, as the plants grow they get too thick and don't dry well after rain thus creating disease problems.  Two, when they are too thick the plants shade themselves and don't bloom as heavy thus reducing yield.  Plants need to be open and have good air flow and plenty of sunlight in order to produce as they should.

Lastly, in containers be careful not to over water or over fertilize.  Plants that are over watered or over fertilized tend to grow heavily but produce little.  Big tomato plants may look great but have few if any tomatoes.  Plants that are growing big vines or leaves put all their energy into growing and simply don't have time to bloom and set fruit.

As a whole square foot gardening is a great way to have fresh produce most of the year, particularly in home gardens.  If you have any questions, come by and take a look at the available materials.

Maintenance Tips for Spring

Gary's Lawn and Garden Maintenance Tips for Spring

Lawn and garden work will start in full swing with the warmer weather  and hopefully a few showers. Following is some helpful advice to use as the spring progresses.

1.  Lawn cleanup should now be complete.  Beds should be clean of leaves and other debris.  Beds should be freshly mulched and edged.  Dead and broken twigs and limbs should be cut out of shrubs and trees.  Now you are ready for spring.

2.   Pre-emergent crabgrass control should be completed by early April.

3.  If lime is needed it can be applied anytime.

4.  Now is an excellent time to replace dead or damaged shrubbery.  New inventories are in stock and you have excellent choices.

5.   If you have thin or bare spots in the lawn now is the time to reseed.

6.  If the lawn needs to be completely over seeded then do so as soon as possible.  We recommend applying seed, fertilizer and lime and then core aerating over the top.

7.  Weeds are beginning to show in the lawn.  The sooner you start applying a broadleaf weed control the easier the job will be.  Remember a couple of things.  If you are seeding the yard, seed should not put down 30 days before or after the broadleaf weed control is applied.  The other thing to remember about broad leaf weed chemicals is they are contact killers and only control weeds that are there the day they are applied.  They do not prevent regrowth.  You need to apply weed control several times each season in order to have a weed free yard.

8.  Best of all it is mowing season.  Try never to mow lower than 2 ½ inches and 3 inches is better.  Also, try to cut off no more than 1 inch of top growth.


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Plant of the Week-Azalea


  • Azaleas are called "the royalty of the garden."   
  • Azaleas are easy to grow. 
  • Azaleas come in a wide range of colors.
  • Azaleas will not tolerate alkaline soil and prefer a rich acidic soil with a PH level from 5-6.
  • The roots of azaleas need to be kept cool and moist, but not wet.
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