Vegetable gardening focus of Grow Local (Google / mySAlife)

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http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/Vegetable_gardening_focus_of_Grow_Local.html

Vegetable gardening focus of Grow Local

Ariel Barkhurst – Express-News

Money may not grow on trees, but as supermarket prices rise, it just might grow in vegetable gardens. The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners know this, and it is one reason they are planning the Grow Local festival, set for Feb. 7. Here, gardeners can learn to plant, nurture and harvest their raised-bed produce in a seminar titled, “Backyard Vegetable Gardening.” The seminar will feature Patty Leander, Bob Grafe and Liz and Fred Romero. It will cover the how and why of raised-bed gardening, the best produce to plant and the best growing techniques.

Linda Bruno, president-elect of GCMG, has her own raised-bed vegetable garden. And, says Bruno, her produce patch is teeming with advantages.

“There are people now who are watching their pocketbooks, and there are things you can grow that will be cheaper than if you bought them,” she says. “And the taste of your own tomato is so much better than when it’s been transported so many miles in a truck.”

Yet starting a vegetable garden can be overwhelming. You must decide where to plant, what to plant and even how to plant. The daylong seminar seeks to answer some of these questions. For one thing, the focus on raised-bed gardening is designed to guide gardeners in the right direction, considering the difficulties of Texas soil.

“If you have clay soil, it holds water and it’s very difficult to work out of it,” Bruno said. “If you bring in raised beds, it makes it much easier. They get better drainage. Because your beds are higher, they hold water, but they aren’t sitting in water.”

Bruno added that South Texas is a good place to be a beginner because the climate makes it easy to grow many different vegetables and fruits.

“Our area has the advantage of having two growing seasons. It doesn’t get cold enough to wipe anything out,” she said.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.