I was talking to my sister today and she telling her how poorly my vegetable garden did this year. She was bragging about how well her husband Pat's garden always does. She said his peppers are always huge and very productive. Out of 4 plants this year, I got a grand total of .......are you ready?.........wait for it.......
4 small peppers. So I called her house later today and since he wasnt home, I left a message. Farmer Pat, as I have teasingly started calling him, called me back later. I am going to note the tips he gave me here for future use. I write notes everywhere and can never find them again. I seriously doubt i can lose them from here. I hope!
His very first recommendation was to get a Soil Sample. So I plan on checking with my county extension agency next week about this. His further recommendations are based on what he has learned from gardening that have helped him in his soil in our area.
1. Lime the garden area this fall
2. Since last years garden did so well with the addition of a large amount of mostly composted Horse
Manure, I am going to do the same for next yr.
3.Plant Garlic in October.
4. Lime again in March or April
5. Plant Onions and cabbage in March or April. Cover cabbage with a milk jug if there is to be a heavy
6. Pull garlic in July, then plant beans there.
7. For the green beans, sprinkle on bone meal over planting area, then plow under, or just sprinkle on top
after planting. Also prepare the area now in the Fall by applying bone meal.
8. For Bell Peppers, he recommended applying Epsom Salts and Potash at planting about 6" out from
plant, around it in a circle during planting, then once a month. Or use a 5-10-10 fertilizer instead. First
number being nitrogen, then sodium, and then potash.
9. For the corn, he said to use a 10-10-10 fertilizer 2 times during growing season. Also he said to dig a
small hole about 1/2" to 1" deep, and plant 3-4 seeds. Then later thin to 2 strong plants. Also he has
waited till corn was up about a couple of feet, then plant half runner beans around them.
10. He said for any underground bulbing type veggies use Bone Meal. Such as for Beets.
11. For the strawberries, he recommends covering them with straw for the winter, and then in spring,
pulling it back some from each plant and applying nitrogen. Also to mow over the June bearing plants as
soon as they are done producing.
12. For blight on tomatoes, he said I could use Sevin Dust, or mix a 1 capfull of bleach, and a gallon of
water to spray the tomatoes.
He also generously offered to help me out next year if I needed. Farmer Pat, be prepared for a call or two...or three.