These brilliant yellow and scarlet 'Sweet Banana' peppers are traffic stoppers. With color like this who needs flowers?
Keys to Success
People often think that vegetable gardens are too much work, but Mike says that everything is so much easier once you take care of the basics. First, and most important, build good soil using lots of organic matter. Second, water regularly. "If you want a successful vegetable garden, you've got to have lots of water," he states flatly. Mike uses sprinklers on his raised beds for an hour almost daily. The rest of the garden gets an inch of water a week. Third, plant disease-resistant selections when possible. (This is easy for tomatoes--just look for the letters V, F, T, and N after the name. These indicate resistance to common maladies.) Finally, harvest regularly. If you let crops mature and set seed, they'll stop producing.
Mike claims his garden is so productive he can easily feed his family, neighbors, and friends. That sounds great, but one question lingers in my mind. Who's feeding the vultures?
Please note: Scientific studies have shown that pressure-treated lumber preserved with CCA (chromated copper arsenate) poses no significant or unreasonable risk to humans or the environment when used properly. However, due to changing market perceptions, manufacturers are making a voluntary transition to newer types of wood preservatives for consumer use. Although you can find lumber treated with new-generation preservatives now, retailers will not officially phase out their current inventories until the end of 2003. In the meantime, if you are still concerned about using pressure-treated lumber, consider coating your treated wood project with paint, stain, or a water sealer. Or use other rot- and insect-resistant lumber, such as heartwood cedar, redwood, and cypress.