Lets Get Growing with Quint Hodges

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Resident Press Contributor Quint Hodges shares his top 30 tips and tricks for gardening:

30. Rotate your
crops. Don’t plant the same vegetable in the same place every year.  

29. If you use
heirloom seeds and plants you can save the seeds from your vegetables to plant
next year.

28. Those kid toys
that spin when you blow into them can be used in your garden to keep out
gophers. The gophers don’t like the vibration in the ground.

27. People use to put up martin bird houses near their garden. The martins will eat insects that can harm your plants.

26. Work and weed
your garden after each rain. Its easer to remove the weeds and roots while the
ground is wet.

25. Stake your
tomatoes and pepper plants. It keeps them up off the ground and adds support
against strong winds.

24. Never water
your garden in the heat of the day.

23. Run your rows
north and south so your plants will get better sun light.

22. Wait until
after Easter Sunday to plant your tomatoes and pepper plants.

21. If there is a
danger of frost and you already have your tomatoes and peppers planted. Cut the
bottom off milk jugs to cover your plants. Five gallon buckets will work also.

20. Animal manure makes good fertilizer. Cow, horse, goat, sheep, rabbit and chicken. Be careful with chicken fertilizer, it will burn up the roots. Never use dog or cat.

19. Never hoe close to your tomato plants. You will damage the root system.

18. Corn takes
nitrogen out of your soil. Always plant peas after you harvest your corn
to replace the nitrogen.

17. Pea plants
tilled into the soil will add nitrogen to your garden. It’s like a fertilizer.

16. Plant peas in
the fall. You will have less weeds in the fall.

15. Add tree
leaves to your garden and tiller them into the soil.

14. Side dress your onions with chicken litter to make your onions hot. Be careful not to use very much.

13. Add chicken litter to the garden in the fall so it can sit all winter. Chicken litter has a lot of ammonia that will burn up plant roots.

12. Plant onions
in February about six inches apart. Pull every other one for green onions.
Leave the rest to make large heads.

11. Cover beet
seeds with cow manure, not soil.

10. Never cover tiny seeds just sprinkle them on top of ground (radishes, turnips, collard greens).

9. Seeds that look alike will cross pollinate. Hot peppers and sweet peppers (the sweet peppers will be hot). Cantaloupes and cucumbers will cross. Your cantaloupes will taste awful!

8. Let your
cucumbers grow up a trellis. It keeps them off the ground and takes up less
garden space.

7. Use one tablespoon of Epsom salt under your tomato plants.

6. Place a stick the size of a pencil against your tomatoes and pepper stocks to protect them from cut worms.

5. Plant
watermelon and cantaloupe seeds on the 100thday of the
year.

4. Plant potatoes
on St. Patrick’s Day.

3. Use wood ashes
under root crop. All except potatoes. Root crops are what grows under the
ground (turnips, radishes, beets, onions, carrots)

2. Take care of
your soil and the soil will take care of your plants.

1. A garden seems to do better the second year than it did the first year.

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