Row by Row Episode 35: How to Prepare a Garden Plot for Planting

Preparing Your Garden Plot for Planting

On this week’s episode, the guys talk about the different ways to prepare a garden plot for planting. They first discuss how to determine the appropriate size of the garden. They explain how they prefer small subplots versus one large garden plot. The subplots make the garden easier to manage and are more friendly to proper crop rotation. They’ve found that planting in long rows is not the best solution for crop rotation because you are limited to where you can plant year after year. They talk about different ways to prepare the soil on a new garden plot. These would include using a bottom plow, harrow, tiller or tarping. They suggest starting a couple of months before you intend to plant, as this will allow enough time to break up the grass clumps and get the tilth to a working state. Also, Greg says when you go to prepare a garden plot do not forget to do a soil sample test so you know what level of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen you need to add to the soil before planting.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Travis has a jar of pickled okra that his father-in-law made. The guys try it on the show and talk about their favorite ways to make pickled okra. Travis brought a head of white cauliflower that he harvested from the demonstration garden at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. Although it can take a while to produce, cauliflower is one of the best-tasting treats from the cool-weather vegetable garden. He also has a head of purple cauliflower called Graffiti. With the purple cauliflower, you don’t have to worry about much discoloration because of the darker color. This is a great variety that is rich in antioxidants and holds its color when cooked. We also carry a yellow to orangish, Flame Star Cauliflower that is a hybrid and has great heat tolerance. Greg talks a little bit about when you want to use calcium nitrate and ammonium sulfate. In the southern climates, you should use some ammonium sulfate on onions because it is a nitrogen source that contains a lot of sulfur which onions love. In the northern climates, you should use calcium nitrate to help supplement your nitrogen source to onions.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about planting the Premium Greens Mix and how to manage squash borers. Travis explains that the Asian greens mixes are pretty cold-hardy and can be planted anytime throughout the fall and winter growing seasons. Succession planting these beds of greens is a great strategy to ensure continuous harvests throughout the cooler months. Greg says if we have a really bad cold spell they will take a little longer to germinate and pop up, but if you have warmer days it won’t take long at all to pop up. They mention that squash vine borers are more easily controlled in the larval stage, but can be difficult to manage once adult populations begin to thrive. They suggest using rotations of B.t. and Spinosad to eliminate larval individuals and prevent adult populations from flourishing and doing maximal damage. Greg says instead of using B.t. he would use Neem Oil and switch it out with Spinosad. As well as, good crop rotation because it is not good to plant the same crops in the same spot year after year. Also, removing crop debris like eggs that can overwinter in the soil will decrease your chances of squash borers in the vegetable garden.

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