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Advice - Good or Bad? June 18th, 2019



We all want to be good gardeners.  We all have to start somewhere, sometime.  We all would like to find the shortest way possible to becoming a garden expert and having our garden be the talk of the neighborhood.  But, we all had to begin one time or the other.

Most of us had that relative or friend that had a great garden.  The garden that everyone envied and wanted to grow one like it.  Whether it was flowers, perennials, shrubbery or vegetables, they obviously knew what they were doing. They were the ones we went too when we needed help.  In most instances, they were more than glad to share their garden knowledge.

There is nothing wrong with asking advice.  We all need help and expert advice at times.  But be careful of what you are told.  There are many things that may cause the advice you are given to hurt you more than it helps you.

No two yards or garden sites are alike.  They may have more sun than you. They may have a site that is more or less subject to wind than you do.  They may have more organic matter in their soil than you do, thus they need less water than you do.  Also, with more organic matter in the soil they need to add less nutrients than you would.  They may be planting different crops than you or different varieties of a crop than you.  They may plant at a different depth than you.  The list could go on, but these are a few of the things than might make their advice less than helpful to you, especially if you are a beginner.

I know I have written about this, many times before but the only way you can learn to grow beautiful flowers or vegetables is by growing flowers and vegetables.  When I owned my garden center new employees would say they wished they knew as much about plants as I did.  I would tell them over and over that when you have twenty-five years of experience you will know as much and maybe a little more.  It did not seem to sink in. they wanted a shortcut.

The only way you can get twenty-five years of experience is to garden twenty-five years.  There is no shortcut or faster way.  You learn to garden by gardening.

There are things that help.  My garden library is over three hundred volumes, I have looked at many videos, I have been to countless seminars and classes.  All of these had helpful advice but what I got from them I had to adapt to my situation.  With all that I have over eighty years of experience and I am still learning.  I have many successes, but I also have many failures.  In fact, I dealt with a failure this morning.  Just another learning experience.  I tried to take some shortcuts in rooting some plants.  They died.

If you become a good gardener along the way you will plants that die, that grow but don’t produce fruit, that just don’t look and perform as you expected them too.  It is all a part of learning.  Stick with it

Dealing With Summer Heat May 30th, 2019


The heat of summer is here even though it is only late May.  In addition to dealing with what we already have in the ground, the question becomes is it ok to continue to plant with all the heat and with potential dry weather.  My answer is Mother Nature is fickle.  We can never count on hot or cold, wet or dry, so we adapt to the conditions and keep on with what we want to do.

One point I will make early is that just because we go out at mid afternoon and see our plants flopped that does not mean they need water.  Plants flop when they are to wet as well as when they are to dry.  The number one reason they flop in the heat is for protection.  Go back out at nine o’clock at night and those flopped plants may be standing tall. If that is the case, then they did not need water.

Regardless of weather you can continue to plant vegetables up until mid to late July and expect to receive a harvest.  You just have to adapt to the weather. If you are planting crops that are direct seeded, corn, beans, etc., then I would plant a little deeper.  Maybe, one to two inches deeper.

If I was planting plants, tomatoes, peppers, etc., I would use the old farmer method.  I would put a little water in the bottom of the hole, place my plant in that and push dirt to the roots.  I would then go to the nearest leafy tree, break off a twig 12 to 18 in long and stick it in the ground and leave it for about a week.  When you remove the twig, the plant will already have taken off and be growing.  You will need little if any additional water for the summer.  That old farmer didn’t add any and he got good results.

The weather is with us to stay and we are not going to change it.

Folks lawns and gardens are not rocket science, just plain common sense.


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Plant of the Week - Shamrock Inkberry Holly

Shamrock Inkberry Holly


Shamrock Inkberry Holly

A highly desirable and versatile evergreen landscape shrub, can be used in the garden or for hedging, massing and topiary, takes pruning very well; small glossy leaves and a naturally dense, compact oval form

Shamrock Inkberry Holly has dark green foliage which emerges light green in spring.

Shamrock Inkberry Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely oval form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

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