A great tomato crop has Lothair couple ready to share their gardening tips
By PAUL OVERLIE
Liberty County Times
For Al Larson the move from back east to Montana had one down side, could he grow the garden he was used to having in the shorter Montana growing season? The answer, he found, is yes he can!
All and Carlee Larson grow a wide variety of vegetables, peppers and spices, but the jewel of this years work has been the tomatoes. Certainly he is having a lot of success with his other endeavors, and an excellent year with his peppers; but the tomatoes have been, well, almost unbelievable.
Al and Carlee have several types of tomatoes growing and all are coming up big this year, but the Burpee’s Steakhouse Hybrids are really growing like crazy. These giants are coming in at over a pound each and the numbers are just as incredible. He is also seeing high number yields with his other tomato crops and his pepper crop.
“It is possible to get good yields from a vegetable garden in this area,” Al said. “But there are some things that make it work.”
One of Al and Carlee’s secrets is the use of tillage, instead of chemicals, to control weeks growth. He also uses organic fertilizer, but in a different mixture for each type of plant. Of course it all begins with what all gardeners use, a good manure mixture on everything to start.
However, Al added a little extra to the mix that most people don’t have.
“I use the water from my minnow tanks to water my garden,” Al said. “When I need to clean out the tanks I just empty the water through a water device I have rigged into my garden.”
He thinks that just might be the extra something that made this year’s crop really take off.
Oh yeah, Al and Carlee have a bait shop. They sell minnows, leaches and night crawlers. It is self serve, open 24/7 and works on the honor system. The bait shop is located in his garage.
“I have a price list on the wall and you can just put the money in the can.”
Al says it has worked pretty well and he believes he is providing a service to the local fishermen.
But gardening is his passion. He has a lot of tips for local gardeners, like using a little aspirin and Epsom salts with water in a sprayer and spraying the leaves on his plants to keep the bugs away.
Anyone who would like to get a few tips from Al and Carlee can call them at 432-0148. Al said he is happy to talk about gardening with anyone and to share the things he has learned with others.Posted: by OverlieP