Garden expert gives Richmond
crowd green-thumb advice
By Brooke Barker
February 24, 2006 | RICHMOND -- Around 40 people crowded
into the basement of the city library Thursday night
to hear Mark Anderson, from Anderson's Seed and Garden
in Logan, talk about the five main things plants need
"I came to learn a few new secrets," said Charlie
Crew, who attended the seminar.
The five things Anderson covered were sun, water,
good soil, food and love. Within each of these topics
he included advice about fertilizers, plant spacing,
watering systems and how to make gardening a leisure
activity rather than a chore.
"It's a family event at our house. It's fun, we love
doing it. We only chop weeds for 10 or 15 minutes, than
we go do something fun. Then when Saturday rolls around,
all the work's done, because we've worked on it a little
bit every day," said Anderson.
Some other advice Anderson offered:
-- Don't over-water your lawn. You should measure
how much water your sprinklers release and adjust the
watering schedule so only 1 to 1.5 inches of water per
week is emitted.
-- Using a watering system such as a soaker hose in
a garden will use 70 percent less water than a sprinkler.
-- Spacing plants such as vegetables and flowers is
important. If plants are given more space, they'll often
grow better than before. Plants growing too close to
one another often end up competing for nutrients and
-- Soil needs to be replaced every year. Some dirt
is always lost through erosion and when vegetables are
picked. Soils should contain a high level of nitrogen.
-- Composts from the landfill lack nitrogen because
of the high wood content, so adding a green manure --
Anderson recommends buckwheat, clover and annual rye
-- will replace lost nutrients to the soil.
"I never knew all of the things you needed to do in
the fall in order to prepare the ground for the spring,"
Coye Thatcher, a Richmond resident for 25 years, said
after the meeting.