Summer is fast approaching and if you have decided to grow a garden, there are a few things to consider before getting started. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Are trees or buildings shading the garden area? If you are a first timer, a small area that can be enlarged later might be good. Don’t plant vegetables you don’t like. Take a soil sample. It will cost a few dollars but it will save in the future. You’ll find out exactly what your soil needs before planting. Till or dig into the soil the amendments recommended from the soil test, as well as lots of compost. Read the labels on the vegetable plants or seeds to find out when to plant. Make sure the soil is already moist. If not, water a day or two before you plant seeds. Is there a water source nearby? Drip irrigation is becoming a very popular, economic and labor saving method. Inexpensive timers can be purchased that will give you carefree watering. Mulching is a great way to reduce watering, eliminate diseases and weeds. All these tidbits will, hopefully, get you off to a great start with your new hobby. Enjoy!
Donna Cole, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service