Row by Row Episode 179: Gardening Questions & Answers
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Row by Row Episode 179: Gardening Questions & Answers

Row by Row Episode 179: Gardening Questions & Answers

Gardening Questions & Answers

Part 1

Can you plant potatoes without sprouting first?

Yes, you can. If you don't pre-sprout them, they can take a little bit longer in the ground to come up but yes, it can be done.

How do you calculate how much (or how concentrated) fertilizer to run through your drip? And with the variability of rates (like 1:100 needs x amount of fertilizer per x gallons of water concentrate) currently working towards getting good fertigation set up going with a dosatron I salvaged from our chicken houses, have a five-gallon bucket to mix my fertilizer in.

Try not to make it too complicated. The water that you are using is only a carrier for the fertilizer, don't focus on how much water. You want to focus on how much fertilizer you're putting out into the area of your garden you are focusing on. It's very hard to give rates when we don't know your soil type, temperature, what you're planting and how big your garden is.

Do you have a printed catalog?

We don't. We stopped printing a catalog about 4 years ago. We are strictly online.

What's the best pea variety to grow for having dried split peas to make soup with?

I'll be honest, we haven't made split pea soup. Greg isn't a big fan of split pea soup but you can make it with any of our English pea varieties. Some people have been known to make it out of a yellow-type pea.

How to keep the stink bugs off zucchini? How to kee green worms off cauliflower, kale, and cabbage?

Great question, we keep our garden clean, start our plants early, and we don't wait to have a pest control plan. If you plant these in the springtime, it is often better than in the fall. They're easier to control when they are young. Try Neem Oil and Spinosad.

Part 2

Do you have any brilliant ways to store all of the attachments for my single-wheel hoe? Right now, they are in various stages of organization. Some have hooks on the barn wall, and some are in a pile on the workbench or floor?

Greg uses a lot of hooks in his barn. They are great to hang wheel hoes and attachments. We would love to see your photos of how you organize your garden tools. Send them to

I'm planning to build a new strawberry-raised bed and want your advice on what soil type and amendments I should add. I have a compost pile I've been working for about 4 months and just added 14 bags of leaves and wondered if I should add some of this to the bottom or top of the bed when we fill it. These strawberry plants are coming from an existing area, in case that matters.

Yes, you should add it. Add it to the top, the key to it is to incorporate it all in. Compost on the bottom and then add your leaves.

What kind of watermelons do you plant and how do you plant them?

Greg plants a lot of different varieties just to try them out. His all-time favorite is the Crimson Sweet Watermelon. He normally plants on drip irrigation with 3 to 4-foot row spacing.

Would you recommend incorporating brassica leaves into raised beds after harvest, or throwing them away?

Yes, incorporate them. Sheila would do a "chop and drop", you don't want them to rot on top. It will add a good source of nitrogen to your compost.

I have sugar sand soil but has been improved. Which wheel hoe would be best suited for the loose sandy soil, single or double?

Any of our wheel hoes will work great in sandy soils. Greg recommends basing it on the size of your garden. If you have a smaller garden, he recommends the single-wheel hoe. If you figure out later on that you made a mistake and needed a different one, we have conversion kits.

Part 3

What type of nightshades are you growing there?

Greg and Sheila grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. That would be Irish potatoes, not sweet potatoes.

I've not had much luck with Roselle here in South Central Tennessee but just bought seeds to try again. What is the optimal pH, season, and type of soil for best results?

The optimal pH is about 6.0 -6.5. The key to Roselle is planting them early, you need to have the optimal pH, which is very important. They love the heat.

Any plans to sell humidity domes for your seed trays?

We do have humidity domes for the Deluxe Seed Starting Kit but we do not have a dome for the 162 seed starting trays. We have not been able to find a US company to make them that will fit.

How do I kill termites in my compost garden beds? After a few weeks of heavy rain, I was aerating the soil and noticed I had termites. I'm looking for a non-toxic solution to get rid of them.

Remove any cellulose material. Any wood, you want to make sure they are termites and not ants. They tend to look very similar. If you have termites, take their food source away.

Zone 7b in Oklahoma. We do great with broccoli, any tips you guys can give on cauliflower and recommended variety?

Graffiti and Flame Star cauliflower are great varieties that tend to do great for us!

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