Time To Get that Garden Started

If the arrival of spring has your green thumb itching, here are a few tips from Henderson Park Com-munity Garden members that you may find helpful. Caroline Riggins said, “People plant and don’t think about fertilizer. It’s important and it’s so easy to create your own compost. “


According to Matty Garrett, water and air is the key to compost. “You need all your table scraps of vege-tables, old bread crackers, your coffee grounds. Then take your old newspapers and some brown leaves from your yard. It has to be moist to generate some good bacteria in there, and it needs air so you need to turn it. Let some air flow through it and before you know it, you’ll have more earthworms than you know what to do with. They’ll go through it and when it looks like dirt, it’s ready to use. It’s that simple.”


Garrett said if you want to really quickly grow some compost, find a microbrewer and get some left-over hops, ”the mash they throw in the trash, it will flat out energize a garden.” She emphasized, though, to use caution with the mash because “it stinks, it’s hot and it will burn your hands, so be care-ful. But it’s the best thing you will ever put in your garden.”


April is a good time to plant tomatoes, green beans, black-eyed peas, squash, okra, peppers and eggplant, and Riggins said not to worry just because you can’t grow one plant, it doesn’t mean you can’t grow another.
“Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow,” Deborah Ashley said. “Okra is very prolific here in Georgia, and bugs don’t bother it for the most part.”


Riggins uses natural pest control methods, saying, “I put on gloves and crunch away. I think of them [bugs] as potato chips so I can deal with the fact I’m crunching Mother Nature.” Insects such as lady bugs and praying mantis are also excellent controllers of pests. Go www.hendersonparkgarden.org and click on the “Learn” tab for more helpful tips.


– Dean Hesse

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