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Fort Smith
Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lets Get Growing-with Experience!

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The one thing that has helped me the most is talking to other people that raise gardens. 

I use to always stake my tomato plants, I did this for years and it worked well. Then I was talking to a man that raised a large garden and he used cattle panels to support his tomato plants. He used the panels like a trellis. The next year I tried the cattle panels, and liked it way better than the stakes I had always used. So I changed to cattle panels. He had a better way to support the tomato plants.

One person told me to remove all the suckers off my tomato plants. He said the suckers were just using water and nutrients that could be going to help the main plant. Another person told me to leave them alone. That year I had planted thirty tomato plants and removed the suckers from half of the plants to see if it made any difference. I could not see any difference between the plants with suckers and the ones without the suckers.

Several years ago, I had a problem with the sun blistering my tomatoes. To try and solve this, I planted two plants in the same hole. I thought this would give me more leaves to provide extra shade. This worked very well and I do this all the time now.

I like to plant my vegetables from seeds when I can. I have always bought tomato and pepper plants. This year I am trying to raise my own tomato and pepper plants from seeds in the house. Starting your plants from seeds is cheaper than buying the plants and you have a larger variety to choose from.

When you buy plants they have to be transplanted into the garden. Transplanting a plant will disturb the root system. This can also slow down the growth of the plant, or put it into shock for a while. When you plant the seeds directly in your garden you never have to bother the roots and, I believe, your plants will do much better. 

Talking to other gardeners will give you some new ideas to try. You will find some ideas that work really well. Other ideas may not seem to help very much. Use the ones that work best for you. Keep an open mind to new ideas.

There are a lot of vegetables that I have not tried to grow. All I can do is tell you about what I have worked with, and share my experiences with you. Even what I do in the garden may not be the best way to do it, but it works best for me.

My advice may not work best for you, but at least it should give you some idea of how to get started. I still talk to other gardeners when I get the opportunity. I am always looking for new and better ways to have a successful crop, or a different way of making gardening easier. 

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