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Early this spring BCMG released a vegetable based "Garden in a Box" as the first in a planned series of gardens grown from seed under the REAP program. REAP stands for Realizing Economical Agricultural Potential and was originally developed through the efforts of the Cumberland County Master Gardeners and the Plateau Discovery Gardens.
The kit contains 21 different varieties of vegetable seeds and planting instructions with diagrams for three seasons of harvest. The box garden plans can be used by any gardener wishing to easily add a planned home grown garden but is especially helpful to novice gardeners.
In early spring, Blount County erupts in clouds of white puffballs. Driveways and roads are lined with drifts of white blossoms and many people feel spring is finally here when they see them. In recent years, the more negative aspects of these ubiquitous trees of springtime snow have become obvious.
Spring is in the air and our gardens are awake and growing. We've had lots of rain to erase all thoughts of last year's drought. We've spent the winter months anticipating warm days and sunny skies, and we can't wait to get out and see all the colorful flowers once again! Garden sales and swaps are now enticing us to add to our collection of green things. So now is a good time to think about what we need and what we should be planting and have a plan before we hit those sales.
Every year crimes against nature are committed in gardens all across the South. Some are done by well meaning gardeners and homeowners who copy what they see others do. Often this green crime is carried out by ignorant "landscape" companies in possession of freshly sharpened chainsaws, and with the need to get the job done quickly. Or maybe you noticed a neighbor with spring fever and a shiny new chainsaw out there hacking away? The results are hideous and deformed trees whose lives are being shortened.
I've had my fair share of garden diseases, insects and pests that arrive from outside my garden, and I don't want them to spread; but hate resorting to toxic compounds to have a healthy garden. I love the idea of prevention rather that treating the problem, too. Unfortunately, more often than not, old time remedies or the latest hyped cure-all don't prove to do what is promised. Like many gardeners, I prefer to try the safest and greenest way to deal with garden issues first before escalating to stronger methods. But how do we know what that is?
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