• 64°

Blackwelder column: Seed catalogs tempting

With the weather we’ve had lately, perusing new seed and plant catalogs provides a welcome escape for those longing for warmer days of spring.
This escape can be more relevant if we take a few minutes while perusing and make a garden plan.
Sketching out ideas or diagrams of a vegetable garden plot or planting can save much heartache later when the rush to plant arrives. Gaining input from the entire family, especially the little ones, can make vegetable gardening a fun family event. Including the kids in the planning process often sparks a lifelong interest.
Gardeners need to be realistic about the variety and amount of vegetables to be planted in the garden. Prolific vegetable crops such as squash, tomatoes, peppers or green beans are excellent choices for small garden spaces or large containers. However, vegetable crops such as sweet corn, Irish potatoes or cantaloupes demand large areas for a feasible planting.
Over-planting vegetable crops is a common problem for novice gardeners. For example, summer squash tends to be the most overplanted vegetable. A planting of four to five vines provides an ample supply for a family of four.
It’s fun to try new vegetable varieties each season. All-American Selections are usually excellent choices for those who enjoy experimentation. Be sure to carefully label new varieties, making sure to record data for later reference.
Be cautious and don’t depend on fantastic results often claimed by colorful seed catalogs. Many will feature varieties that are often exaggerated with dubious results. Some seed companies have crop data from test gardens in climates unlike ours that will not produce the same quality or quantity. The majority of vegetable varieties selected and planted should be reliable, proven, family favorites.
Seed catalogs often have a limited supply, so it is advisable to place seed orders now. Don’t forget to include flower seed along with the vegetable seed. Cut flowers are a welcome addition to the home during the growing season, providing beautiful borders around unattractive vegetables. Some species such as marigolds claim to ward off several insect species.
Stick to a viable garden plan and make notes or develop a garden diary; the older we get, the harder it is to remember the “what, how, when and where.” It’s important to keep reference notes to have a successful garden the next season.
Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Learn more about Cooperative Extension events and activities on Facebook or website at www.rowanextension.com

Comments

Comments closed.

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?

Coronavirus

Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3

Nation/World

New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

Crime

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes

News

Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting

News

Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Coronavirus

County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%

Local

Rowan County United Way sets $1.5 million goal at drive-in kickoff event

Crime

Blotter: Adult daughters accused of beating up mother