Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Get the Dirt on Dirt by Jim Rohling

Jim Rohling Demonstrates Soil Gathering for Soil Test to Lakewood resident, Ted Struzeski
January is not too early to start thinking about your 2012 vegetable garden. A lot of thought, planning, and work goes into a successful productive garden.  Did you know that in Colorado, 80 percent of plant problems are due to soil problems?

CSU Extension recommends a  soil test as the best way to check the growing potential of your garden. You can bring home the best looking and attractive plants from the garden center or order the best seeds, but they won’t give the best results if your soil lacks the proper nutrition or qualities the soil should have.   A soil test gives you a baseline to work from to improve your soil nutrition, soil texture, and soil tilth. Over-fertilizing is a common problem. It is expensive and may harm your garden’s production and our environment.

The soil test is just one part of the soils class being taught as one of the six classes at the Jefferson County Master Gardeners 2012 Spring Gardening Symposium. We will also cover a good soil profile, soil compaction/tilth, soil amendments, soil and plant nutrition, and compost and mulching.

Join us at the Spring Gardening Symposium on January 28, 2012, Vegetable Gardening A –Z: Hitting the Basics.  It is a full day of six classes and covers Soil Preparation & Amendments, Vegetable Basics, Starting your Garden from Seed or Transplants, Tomatoes, Container Vegetable Gardening and Mountain Vegetable Gardening.  All this plus handouts, seeds and lunch for $70.  There is an optional lunch and learn class on Basic Flower Gardening for an additional $10.  Spend the day Colorado Master Gardeners who have access to the best research based gardening information, and in addition learn how the Jefferson County Master Gardeners can assist you with your gardening adventures all year long.  Call the Master Gardener line (303-271-6632) for more information.