May 13, 2015

Gardening season has finally arrived

By Jarann Johnson
Several local greenhouses hosted an event called “Ladies Night” recently to signal the start of the gardening season. But aside from knowing that it’s planting season, there is a lot to know about making a garden work.
High Plains Concepts providing advice
According to High Plains Concepts Owner Gaylen Sailer, the most important thing that local gardeners should do is check the PH of their water and neutralize it.
“The PH is your alkalinity. All the soils in North Dakota are highly alkaline and, when you add the acid fertilizer, it breaks all that alkaline down to a useable form. It brings your PH down to a manageable number, 6.5 to 7 is where you want to keep it. But our soils around here are always pretty high in alkaline,” Sailer said.
Once the PH of the water is neutralized, Sailer said that it’s important to water the right amount for plants. Sailer explained how to figure out when is the perfect time to water plants.
“The next big thing I’d say, especial for potted plants, is don’t overwater. A lot of people have a tendency to overwater or underwater. But you have to keep on checking it all the time in your potted plants because, when they start to droop, that means that they need water,” Sailer said. “But, up until that point, you just have to watch them because you don’t want too much water because they will rot off.”
Sailer added that one important and often overlooked part of gardening is leaching the water out of the pot. Sailer said that failure to leach the water can lead to layer of salt that causes disease.
“A lot of time they will get chlorosis, which means too much water – which is usually a chlorine water. If you don’t leach the water out through the pot every once in a while you are going to build up that salt layer in the middle of the pot and then you get chlorotic plants and they just don’t grow, they will just die out on you,” Sailer said.
One other thing that Sailer advised was to give the plants a little pruning, not much -- just enough to make a strong plant, though.

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