The average last frost for this area is on April 20. This is not the frost free date but a date to 'take a chance" on planting garden plants. Because average means 10 days either side of the April 20t date you can plant tomatoes and peppers if you cover them at night.

One of the main reasons I love to get my hands dirty in the garden is because of the wealth of knowledge others share with those just starting their first flower and vegetable garden.

Here are a few that have been shared with me:

• Soak seeds 2 hours in 1 quart of water with a teaspoon of peroxide.

• Scatter rabbit food (alfalfa pellets) in your garden for nitrogen and phosphorus.

• Spray leaves with warm water and Epsom salts.

• Place a teaspoon of Epsom salts in a glass of water and pour around pepper and tomato plants.

• Plant bush beans far apart to let air movement around each plant.

• Plant bush beans close together for support.

• Place tea bags around onion plants to keep away root maggots.

• Plant dill around squash hill to keep away squash bugs.

Tomato tips

• Don't plant early.

• Do not smoke or handle tobacco before handling plants

• Do not buy leggy plants that have flowers because the plants may remain stunted.

• Tomatoes need wind movement for fruit production.

• Blossom end rot can be prevented by abundant soil calcium and an even supply of water.

• Abundant soil phosphorus for early and high yields.

• Tomatoes can use shade during the heat of the day

• Determinate Plants: bush plant does not need pruned, fruit ripens within a concentrated time.

• Indeterminate Plants: climbing, needs cage, pruned, fruit ripens over an extended time.


• Do not plant where you grew tomatoes or potatoes the year before.

• Heavy users of phosphorus and calcium

• Well drained soil

• Full sun

• Big bushy plants with few peppers means to much nitrogen.

• Do not buy tall plants that have flowers because the plants may remain stunted.

• For tomatoes and peppers, do not get the leaves or fruit wet.