Garden Thyme: Grow Your Own Food

There is nothing tastier than homegrown fruits, veggies and herbs. Most people think that they are unable to grow their own food but it is easier than you think. As a matter of fact, home food production is now the fastest growing segment of the gardening industry with young people leading this trend.

Plant By The Moon

Planting by the moon is an idea as old as agriculture, based both in folklore and superstition, but there are scientific ideas to back it up. The Earth is in a large gravitational field, influenced by both the sun and moon. The tides are highest at the time of the new and the full moon, when sun and moon are lined up with earth. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls upon the subtle bodies of water, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages growth. The highest amount of moisture is in the soil at this time, and tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon. If you are interested in this here is a link I found:

Home

Don’t Plant Too Late

Tomatoes are the biggest seller of all the vegetable plants we sell. The days to maturity on average are 75 to 90 days, so tomatoes planted the first week of March will reach maturity from the middle of May to the first of June. Tomatoes planted later will be maturing when the high temperatures start reaching the mid to upper 90’s. These very high temps can start playing havoc with your tomatoes. Well this year because of the rain and cool weather, Mother Nature has not cooperated so we will have to take what we can get. Plant when you can and hope for the best.

Herbs For The Chef In You

If your favorite seasoning is something other than salt and pepper you probably use fresh herbs when cooking your meals. With the high cost of “fresh” herbs in the grocery stores this should be enough motivation to start growing your own. There is nothing easier to grow than most herbs. Several of our herbs grow well from year to year without much care while a few like basil and cilantro are seasonal. One easy growing perennial favorite that comes to mind is rosemary. Rosemary is also a great plant for dry areas and is a great deer repellent plant.

Site Selection

Most herbs are sun lovers requiring at least 6 hours of full sun per day. As with other food crops it is best to grow your herbs in a well-draining organically enriched soil. Many people will actually interplant their herbs with their flowers. For people with deer problems this can be beneficial because deer don’t like pungent smelling plants, like rosemary. If garden space is not suitable, pots are another great alternative. Most herbs will grow very well in pots on your porch, patio or balcony as long as the right amount of sun is available.

Plant By Seed or Transplants

Herbs can be purchased either by seed or in 4” or larger pots. Because of their ease of growing there is not much advantage to buying bigger starts unless you want to get a jump start.

Herbs For Nature Lovers

Many of the herbs are food or nectar plants for many species of butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. The herbs that are food for caterpillars can be decimated sometimes, like the way the swallowtail butterfly larvae do to the bronze fennel. Don’t worry if they chew them down, nature has a way of catching up after the caterpillars are finished feeding.

Best Selection Of Herbs In The Spring

The Growers Outlet carries more varieties of herb transplants and seeds than anyone in the area, from March until about June, so don’t wait too long to get what you need.

A Garden To-Do List for the month of April for our area will include the following:

  • After your azaleas and camellias are finished blooming, fertilize them with the organic Microlife Azalea Food or Nitro Phos Azalea Camellia Food
  • Once your azaleas finish blooming prune them back not more than one third.
  • If you haven’t already done so, fertilize your roses with Microlife organic plant food, Nelson’s Color Star or Nitro Phos Rose Food.
  • Get all of your seasonal color planted soon so they can get a good root system before it gets too hot.
  • Any of your roses that are prone to black spot should be treated on a bi-weekly basis with a product like Bonide Infuse. Don’t wait until the black spot occurs before treating!
  • If you haven’t already done so, now would be the time to re-mulch your trees and shrubs with good quality mulch like Landscapers Pride Black Velvet mulch or pine bark mulch.
  • You should be finishing up planting your veggies and herbs before the end of April.
  • For weeds that are growing use Bonide Weed Beater for Southern Lawns in April.
  • If you haven’t already done so you should fertilize your lawn with Microlife 6-2-4 organic fertilizer, Nitro Phos Imperial lawn fertilizer or Nitro Phos Sweet Green before the end of April.
  • If you have dead spots in your lawn and you don’t want to plant new sod, top dress those areas with our Leaf Mold Compost. It works miracles for fixing bad areas of grass.

For great gardening products and information, come by the Growers Outlet and visit with any member of our team to get the help you need or go to our website at WWW.growersoutletinwillis.com. We have the products and knowledge to help you have the prettiest yard on the block.