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Recently, I was able to sit down with Denis from Bookcliff Gardens and ask him some of the questions that I have had on my mind recently. As most of you know, I am from Missouri and it didn’t take long for me to realize that planting a garden here is much different then planting there. Thanks to Denis, I was able to have all of my gardening questions answered, from produce to the best privacy screens!
What is the best soil to use in raised beds?
Denis said that he recommends his outdoor planting mix. This was formulated by Bookcliff Gardens over 30 years ago, and it has been a top selling product ever since! So if you are looking to put in a raised garden bed, then you can’t go wrong with their outdoor planting mix!
When should I plant my cold season crops?
Denis recommends that you get them in NOW if you have not done so yet. In fact, it is almost getting to be too late. He recommends starting your broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beets, carrots, radishes, etc… in mid March. He also let me know that you can plant your leaf crops such as lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard on February 1st! Those crops like the cold and it will be much harder to keep them thriving once the temperatures start to heat up. Basically when it comes to cold season crops, you don’t need to worry about it being too early, you need to worry about it being too late!
When should I plant my warm season crops?
When it comes to warm season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn, beans, etc… Denis says that it’s a little too early, so you got some time for those. He recommends late April or early May. Our average last killing frost is around April 15th, so he recommends waiting ’till after that. He says that he sees an increase of customers waiting for Mother’s Day weekend to plant their warm season crops, and that is just fine! The key to warm weather crops is not to rush it. Just be patient, and let the ground warm up before you start planting those crops.
How Do I Water?
Denis let me know that this is one of his most asked questions every year. He also told me that “if you can get your watering down, then you are 90% of the way to being a great gardener”. His mantra is “deep and frequent”. He goes on to say that “if you want to water them thoroughly and frequently just “go for it”. However, you want to also give your ground time to sit. Water is great, but roots need to breathe. The roots don’t breathe well underwater and it is easy to drown the plants. Plants will hold water better then you might realize. What you need to do is dig down, feel your soils and see just how deep the water is soaking into the ground.