Did you plant your vegetable garden too soon?
Do you know the watering trick that helps your garden grow extra fast?
I do, now.
But only because of my Friday interview with Richard Barhoum for this post.
Here he is at his nursery, called George’s Garden Center. It’s a family business in Happy Valley, Oregon.
#1 I planted my vegetable garden as soon as I thought we were done having frost. That’s a good move, right?
A lot of people think that. But no, that’s not enough. Vegetables like to start growing and keep going. And to do this, they need overnight lows that are consistently in the upper 40s or warmer. If you plant your garden when lows drop to around 40 degrees, the plants will essentially shut down their growth for a few days. So planting too early could have your vegetables growing later than if you’d waited!
#2 You say there’s an important watering trick most of us don’t know about. What is it?
The most important thing is to water vegetables no more than every other day when they’re small. And then when they’re big and tomatoes or cucumbers are visible, cut back the watering to just once a week. Vegetables love water, true. But they want to dry out in-between each big watering. That will help them thrive. And also, water in the morning so the sun can dry the leaves. That lowers your chance of a virus or mildew ruining your garden.
#3 What’s the biggest mistake those of us in the northwest make when it comes to our plants and trees?
I think it’s when people decide to buy plants and trees simply based on price instead of quality. You might see plants that appear equally healthy on top while you’re at the store or the local nursery. But what matters long term is the root system. If it’s second grade quality it will stunt a tree’s growth or it may not last. That’s why I personally select all the trees we sell myself and make sure they’re just right. Another problem with buying cheap at a super store is I find lots of people end up planting the wrong plant in the wrong place and then things don’t really grow. If you go to a local nursery you avoid both of these things by asking lots of questions.
#4 Any other advice?
I highly recommend organic fertilizers made by Dr. Earth. The reason is that these have ‘pro-biotics’ that naturally break up fertilizer so that plants can take it up. And if you find information in the internet about what to do in your yard, please check with your local nursery to see if it’s legitimate. I’ve hear some absolutely crazy ‘facts’ that people have found online!
Have more questions? Give Richard a call. I haven’t been able to stump him, yet! George’s Garden Center: 16920 Southeast Sunnyside Road, Happy Valley – (503) 658-5088.