Mix herbs, vegetables with ornamental plantings
|Melinda Myers, LLC|
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist
Nothing beats the flavor of a fresh-from-the-garden tomato; warmed by the sun, plucked right from the plant and eaten in the garden. And the good news, you don’t need much space. Many gardeners have and more will continue to grow food in containers or mixed in with their flowers, shrubs, and other ornamental plantings.
Save the sunniest spots in your landscape for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers and other vegetables where you eat the flowers or fruit. They produce their best and have the fewest disease problems when grown in eight to twelve hours of sunlight. Root crops such as beets, radishes, and carrots can get by with about a half of a day of direct sun and leafy crops like lettuce and spinach can still produce in a shady location with only 4 hour of sunlight.
Get your garden off to a good start. Use a quality potting mix when growing in containers. It should have good drainage and retain moisture. In the garden, prepare the soil before planting. Add several inches of compost, peat moss or other organic matter to the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. This improves drainage in heavy soils and increases water holding capacity for sandy or rocky soils.
Add a slow release fertilizer to the soil or potting mix. This will help encourage growth without interfering with flowering and fruiting.
Jump start the season with the help of floating row covers. These polypropylene fabrics let air, light, and water through, while trapping the heat near the plants. The best part, you won’t need a hammer, nail, or other tools. Simply lay the fabric over your planting, leaving enough slack for the plants to grow and anchor the edges to the ground with stones, boards or other items.
Increase your harvest with intensive planting techniques. Succession planting, several plantings of short season crops in the same space, can double or triple your harvest. Interplant quick-to-mature crops like radishes and lettuce, in between longer maturing plantings of cabbage, tomatoes or eggplant. The short season vegetables will be ready to harvest just about the time the bigger plants are crowding them out.
Consider planting vegetables closer together in wider rows. You’ll waste less space for pathways, putting more room in plantings. Make sure each plant has enough space to grow and that you can reach all planted areas to weed and harvest
Provide proper care and get ready to harvest and enjoy a bountiful harvest from your own garden.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Luling shift firefighter Joseph Riebow, 39, who’s fight against leukemia was...
St. Charles Parish residents might see a familiar face while tuning in to...
Three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of thousands of...
It’s been an up and down season for the Hahnville Lady Tigers.
The falling price of oil has resulted in low prices at the pump—in some cases, less...
The Destrehan Wildcats are now 3-2 in district play after victories over Thibodaux...
Acadian Flooring America is a family owned and operated floor covering store that has been proudly serving our customers since 1980. Our experienced staff at our Marrero, LA location is eager to serve you and help you transform your room and bring your dé
Tigers off to perfect district start after brutal non-district schedule - 1734 views
After going 8-8 against a tough non-district schedule to open the season, the Hahnville Tigers are 3-0 in league play after victories over Thibodaux, Destrehan and Terrebonne.