Friday, August 3, 2012

Billy's Gardening Lessons

Our plant department gets together for an 'after the big season' party every year at Billy's house. Billy owns Valley View Farms with his son Andy.
One of the highlights of the party is Billy's garden tour.

Billy is serious about tomatoes. He takes a well- deserved vacation in late June, but always returns for a garden visit halfway through to check on his plants. Believe me, no one else is allowed to water, feed or otherwise take care of them. Billy shares his harvest beginning in July, bringing bucket after bucket of beautiful, ripe, Celebrity tomatoes for many of us at the store.

But I digress; let's get back to the tour. Our plant department is made up of novice and experienced gardeners. Like most people in the garden center business, we are able to share our challenges and successes with customers and each other. No one shares his expertise more than Billy. He shows us how his tomatoes need extra support because of his plants heavy fruit production.

 He shows us how the different varieties grow in the garden. This year, he planted Mortgage Lifters, Plum Crimsons and his favorite, Celebrity. Billy patiently explains how he sanitizes all of his tomato cages every year to keep his plants free from overwintering diseases.

 Best of all, he tackles question after question of the hows and whys of vegetable gardening from his staff.  It's wholesome stuff taught from the best classroom imaginable--- his vegetable garden.

Thank you, Billy, for inspiring all of us to be better gardeners.

By the way, Billy grows a pretty good crop of peppers too!


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