Victory Garden Contest garden tips – Group Three

Here are six more gardening tips sent into the Victory Garden contest for gardening tips. If you have tried any of these tips and have a comment or another way of using them please leave a comment.

1. Onion bulbs are ready to harvest when the tops have fallen over. Harvest when the soil is dry, remove any soil, and place in a warm, shady area with good air circulation until the tops have dried. Cut off dried foliage, leaving 1″ of stem, and store in a cool, dry place. (Carly Simmins, Ontario)

2. Bell peppers and other sweet peppers can be used at any size. For the best flavor let them stay on the plant until they reach their mature size and color. Store in the refrigerator. (Dale Enos, Fla.)

3. When you plant pepper transplants use matches around the plant. Plant the pepper plant then 2 inches away from the plant stick in 4 matches. They like and thrive on the sulfur. My plants are much bigger and healthier when I use matches. (Dale Enos, Fla)

4. Tomatoes grow better and have less bug problems if they are grown on stakes or in cages. They are also cleaner form not laying on the ground. I always had slug damage before I started growing them on stakes. (Missy Saintclaire, Mississippi)

5. Plant potatoes in straw. They will produce better and keep a nice shape and not be covered with dirt. At the end of the season if you grow them in containers they can just be tipped over to harvest. (Ed Zimmerman, Warren, Ohio)

If you grow them in a big container with more room at the top you can add more straw and the potato will develop more roots and produce more potatoes. This practice will keep you in small baby potatoes all season and in straw they are easy to harvest, just reach in and pull one out.

6. Handle your homegrown vegetables carefully, especially those that will be stored. Cuts, bruises, or other damage will lead to decay and a short shelf life. (Gail Evans, Creedmore, N.C.)

Grow a Victory garden or participate in a community garden. It’s fun, good for the environment and you have fresh vegetables and flowers to use.

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