GARDEN VIEW: Vegetable gardening class coming soon

BY BARBARA STORZ

Want to learn how to grow vegetables for your family or to sell at a farmer’s market? I often hear folks say, “I would love to grow vegetables, but everything I plant dies before I get to enjoy it!”

Has this happened to you? Or, perhaps you have some ideas about growing, but now you want to scale up your production and make that acre lot work for you. In either case, I may be able to help.

I will be offering an introductory class on organic vegetable gardening on Saturday mornings beginning on May 13 and continuing through May 20. The one-hour class will be given at 10:30 a.m. at the Growing Growers Farmers Market in Firemen’s Park in McAllen.

We will cover information on planting and the seasons in the Rio Grande Valley as well as how to schedule planting to assure a harvest over an extended period. We will also discuss the wide range of resources available for both small-scale home gardens and small farm production.

Soil amendments, cover crops and fertilizer options will be discussed during this series. We will also talk about insects and diseases and the various tools available to identify problems and developing a strategy to avoid or solve them.

Which crops are pollinated by insects and which crops are wind pollinated are an important distinction to make in planning your crops. Several strategies are available to protect crops, including completely covering those that are wind pollinated.

During the third and final class on May 20, we will discuss how to plan for a profit, from planting through harvest season. Tips on display and pricing will be discussed along with the various marketing options that are available. We will also talk about grants and scholarships as well as cost share programs and microloans that are available and how to find these resources.

This class is available free of charge, but reservations are a must. You can reserve a spot by calling or texting me at (956) 380-6410 or by e-mailing me atbstorz@rcommunications.com.To be sure that everyone has handouts and a space in the class, please register by May 10.

You can also go by the Growing Growers Farmers Market today to sign up. This market is located in Firemen’s Park in McAllen, at the northwest corner of 1st Street and Business 83 and opens at 9 a.m.

Barbara Storz is a local horticulturist. You can listen to her gardening radio at 7 a.m. Saturday mornings, or e-mail her at bstorz@rcommunications.com.