LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - During the pandemic many people have picked up a hobby or two.
Over the last few months, Joshua Keith with the Green Gate Garden Center has seen a rise in interest for vegetable gardening. And he has some tips for anyone who’s looking to get started with their own garden.
He says, “We have ran into so many people this year that have never gardened before, but after finally taking the time to decide, you know what let’s go ahead and do this, have really enjoyed it! A lot of different vegetables you could plant for the summertime. Of course, you have tomatoes, okra, and cucumbers. But the most important thing is to plant the types of things that you like to eat.”
Keith says there are a few things to consider as you start to look into making your garden, “The first thing is to determine where you’re going to plant the garden. All your vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight, and then from there determine what approach you want to take. Do you want to do a traditional garden where you till up rows and make little hills to plant on? Do you want to do a container garden? All of these work equally well but they all have their pros and cons.”
Of course, one of the biggest factors is the soil, “It can be a little tricky because the signs of overwatering look very similar to under watering, at least to start with. Feel the soil that you’re planting it. If it’s dry try to water it and most plants will perk back in an hour or two If it needed water.”
Another thing to consider is the ecosystem your garden will create, “There are a number of pests that you can have. Aphids, caterpillars and worms, snails, slugs, and beetles. Sometimes it’s just the plant that is stressed. Sometimes it just happens And there’s no rhyme or reason. You could use some traditional pesticides. If you wanted to be a little more safer and go with organic gardening, we could also steer you that way.”
But at the end of the day if you put in the time and effort you’ll see results, “It’s what you make of it. The biggest thing is to not get so invested in the end results. It’s a process and realize that everybody that’s ever gardened has made mistakes or had issues, but they’ve learned along the way.”
Keith says for pesticide-free gardens you will just need to rinse your vegetables before eating. On the other hand, you should always read the labels for cleaning instructions for pesticide-treated gardens since cleaning treatments can vary from product to product.