Aug. 27 Column: Kids in the Garden

Shasta daisy

Kids in the GardenI have to tell you that writing today’s column was such a pleasure for me! In it, I recalled my early exposure to gardening through my Grandmother (shown at left), my Mom, and my oldest sister. Here is a link to it, in today’s edition of The Spokesman-Review: A love of gardening is a legacy worth passing from one generation to the next.

The take-home message is the importance of involving kids in the garden because it’s a skill and a passion that will stay with them throughout their lives. I hope you will enjoy it.

Kids in the gardenHere is photo of my Grandmother and 3 sisters. (L-R: Kathy, Lucy, and Anne on the far right; I’m the toddler in my Grandmother’s lap). The cool thing is that all of my sisters and I are VERY into gardening! Three of us are Master Gardeners, and we’re waiting for Anne to become one… in her “spare time,” ha ha!) I remember our Mom once saying, “I don’t know how I managed to raise a bunch of farmers!” But she did think it was pretty terrific.

And since it’s Sunday, it’s time for the next installment of my “Everyone Can Grow A Garden” video series. Today’s topic is on pruning tomatoes, and is the second of my three videos on how to maximize your tomato harvest before the end of the season.

In retrospect, one thing I didn’t emphasize very well in this video (although I did it in the previous one on pruning tomatoes) is how to apply this information to growing in other USDA hardiness zones.

Here in Spokane, Wash., we are in zone 6 (in theory) although my garden is in its own microclimate of about zone 5. We have the potential to get our first frost around mid-September. My pruning techniques begin about 6 weeks before then.

So if you live in an area that gets an earlier or later first frost, just count 6 weeks prior to your potential frost date, and that will give you the correct timing for these 3 pruning sessions.

To use my example, that means I do my first pruning session in early August, the second pruning in about the 3rd week of August and the final pruning in early September.