Here are more garden tips sent into this winter’s Victory Garden Contest. Thanks for your entries!
1. To propagate strawberries, space the runners out around the plant, and peg them down into the ground. When they are rooted and showing signs of growth sever the runners and replant. You can double you strawberry plants easily this way. (Jennifer Way, Virginia)
2. Frequent, shallow watering will lead to plants that develop shallow roots in the top 1 or 2″ of the soil. The roots are encouraged to stay close to the surface where they get more water. This cases plant to dry out faster. Practice deep watering.*
One way to water deeply is to use a plastic pop bottle. Cut the bottom off and stick it about 5 inches in the soil in a planter or near a group of plants in the garden. Put the water in the pop bottle and the water goes right to the roots. (Jerry Snow, Rochester, NY)
3. Plant a “pesto pot” in a sunny location: include several types of basil, which are available in many different colors and leaf shapes. (Cindy Carlson, Medina, NY)
4. Herbs grow well in containers and having an herb container near the kitchen door will help you when its dinnertime and you want a few fresh herbs to add to your meal. Thyme, basil, chives, mint, oregano are a few favorite kitchen herbs. Cindy Carlson Medina, NY)
5. As freezing temperatures end in your area, try sowing seeds of cool-weather vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, and turnips. At the same time, you can set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, collards, and cauliflower. (Chris Smith, Westfield NY.)
6. For the freshest cut flowers from your garden, cut early in the morning while it’s still cool. Cut each stem at an angle with sharp clippers, and plunge immediately into a container of warm water. (Cindy Wood, York Pa)
7. When you dig a hole for flower or vegetable transplants, throw in a handful of compost before positioning the plant. The compost provides nutritional support throughout the season, and it improves the soil structure around the plant. (Virginia Campbell, Bentley Va)
* Deep watering is watering plants thoroughly. Either soak the soil very well for a long time or use a bottle or hose to get the water deep into the soil by the roots where it does the most help. Deep watering will not dry up as fast. Take one more step and cover the soaked soil with mulch so the sun cannot dry out the top of the soil.