Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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November 9, 2012

DIRT ON GARDENING: A big thank-you to all my readers

While nearing four years since my first column was published, it has been an adventurous run. Compliments abound and I’m sincerely grateful for all of them. Hardly a day goes by that my wife, my family members, or I don’t get kudos for an article that was published by The Goshen News pertaining to my “The Dirt on Gardening” column.

I was somewhat hesitant when first approached by the publisher and editor (as I had never done anything like this before) but they gave me a chance to prove myself with my somewhat-better-than-average knowledge of many of gardening’s trials and tribulations.

The 16 years that I managed Everett’s Garden Center was a blessing to me because it gave me first-hand knowledge of all the various annuals, perennials, shrubs & trees, and the fertilizers and treatments to protect and enhance them.

I conveyed to them that I wasn’t a journalist or that I had no horticultural degree to tack on the wall — only a love of gardening with my spin and tongue-in-cheek approach at times. I like to make them an easy read with a little humor at times so that everyone can enjoy them with a little chuckle or smile but at the same time gain a little more knowledge than they first had.

I relish all the inquiries and am thankful that each and every one of you stops me at the store with a question or a compliment or the gardeners that call me with pertinent questions about their particular problem. It’s part of my job and always a new challenge that I relish so keep them coming.

One of my more recent calls was about putting grass clippings on gardens. While I don’t object to this practice, care should be taken for more than one reason.

What is the main reason for putting clippings on a garden? It may be for mulching or it may be to build and replenish the soil with humus.

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There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

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