Lets Get Growing with Quint Hodges

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There
is always something new to learn about gardening. Find someone else that raises
a garden and ask them questions. Listen to what they tell you.

Try different kinds of tomatoes and different types of peppers. Ask your family what they would like to grow. Don’t plant the same variety of vegetables every year. Every time you try something new it is a learning experience.

Did you know
that you can grow peanuts and popcorn here in Arkansas?

You can order free seed catalogues online. They are good to look at in the winter, before it’s time to plant. I like to use the winter time to plan out what I am going to plant, and where I am going to plant each vegetable in the garden.

Go to
a seed swap. Seed swaps are so much fun. You can get some free seeds
and talk gardening with everyone there. Take some of your left over seeds with
you to trade. Your seeds need to be heirloom open pollinated. Don’t take hybrid
seeds or seeds from a hybrid plant. Seeds from hybrid plants won’t come back as
the parent plants they came from. 

If you planted heirloom open pollinated seeds, you can save the seeds from your produce to plant next year. This will save you money by not having to buy new seeds every year. We are going to have a seed swap at Witcherville August 10 of this year. Check out our Facebook page at “Arkansas River Valley Seed Swap”.

This year I am
trying to grow seeds in a greenhouse. It is cheaper to grow your plants from
seeds than to buy your plants. The difference in a greenhouse and a hot house
is the hot house uses a heat source. A greenhouse only uses the sun.

At least once a
year, try to have one meal with what has only been grown in your garden.

Have a friendly
competition with other gardeners. See who can raise the biggest tomato or the
hottest pepper. See who can harvest the first squash or the first cucumber.

If you have
children, plant a tomato plant for each child. Let them help plant their own
plant. Let them water it and keep the weeds pulled from around their
plant. Tell them to watch for blooms on their plant (don’t let them pick
the bloom). Right behind the bloom is where the tomato will start. Tell
them to watch how the tomato changes color. Watch how excited they get
when they get to pick their very first tomato from their plant. Let
your kids enter some vegetables in the fair under their name.

Years ago
gardening was a way of life. If you didn’t grow it, you didn’t have it to
eat. People had to raise a garden to provide food for their family. Today it is
more of a pastime or a hobby for most of us. If our garden dies we just run to
the store and buy our vegetables.

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