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May 25, 2002

Planting Annuals Correctly

Walter describes the basics of planting annual
flowers. A two-inch thick layer of soil conditioner is always a good
addition to most new plant beds. He demonstrates how plastic pots can
be torn open rather than pulling plants from them and risking damaging
their delicate root systems. He also shows how to gently separate the
roots to encourage them to explore the surrounding soil. Don't forget
the initial feeding with a high-phosphorus, water-soluble fertilizer
and an application of mulch to conserve soil moisture. And, for those
of you who have heard you can use newspaper for mulch, Walter
demonstrates the technique of planting annuals through a layer of
newspaper. He cautions never to use the comic pages because, as he
says, "Your plants will grow funny if you do!"

Planting Summer Vegetables

Tomatoes, squash, beans and peppers are easy
to grow in most gardens. Walter shows how to plant tomatoes deeply in
order to encourage good rooting. If you did not start your own
seedlings, you can purchase many vegetables as seedlings from your
local garden center. After planting, Walter uses a layer of wheat straw
mulch in his garden, both to combat weeds and save water, but also to
encourage a population of beneficial insects to take up residence.


Want to plant some melons? Dr. Wayne McLaurin,
Horticulturist with UGA's College of Agricultural & Environmental
Sciences, describes the selection and culture of cantaloupes for your
summer garden and your enjoyment.