January Garden To Do List

Here are a few items you need to do to prepare your garden in January if you want to get an early start on your plantings:

Plan your garden – What do you want to grow?  Are there any new varieties you want to try?  Where are you going to get your plants?

Order your seeds if you plan on growing your vegetables from seed.

Have your soil tested and add any recommend amendments to the soil as you prepare it (plow in the additives like lime etc.).  Your local county extension office can do the soil test for you.

If you use compost, now is the time to work it into your soil.

For those of you with limited space, now is the time to build any raised beds or square foot gardens if you plan on utilizing either this spring.  For more on square foot gardening check out this book and this book review.


Top Veggies For Beginning Gardeners

gardenWe here at the Charley’s Veggies blog have partnered up with the editors at AOL Home website Gardening page to provide information for gardening articles and pictures to help those who want to learn about gardening.

Helping people learn and be successful in the garden is the main goal of our Charley’s Veggies blog and this partnership will help us bring more information to you.

Click here to check out our first article on AOL Home Gardening.

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The Kids’ Garden – Hoeing and Tying Tomatoes

I’d like to introduce Aaron and Alison.  They have a small garden they are growing this summer and selling the produce here at our greenhouses. 

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The tomatoes suffered through about 6 weeks of rain.  They survived but don’t look so good now.  A few weeks of sunshine and some TLC and they should perk up.

Here are some more pictures of Darrel, Matt and Colby’s garden:

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Here is my pathetic little garden:


Charley’s Garden – Finally Drying Out

We’ve been real busy here on the farm shipping out Charley’s Veggies Plants so we haven’t had much time to get the garden ready.  Didn’t matter much anyway.  It has been so wet that the ground is just now starting to dry out.  Charley and Paul (Charley’s brother) are finally getting to plow up the garden again today.  Hopefully we can get the ground tilled up good and get some veggies planted here in the next week or so.

Veggie sales this year are through the roof.  It seems like everyone is planting a garden this year which is a good thing, I think.  Hopefully, we can use this blog to help all you gardening greenhorns to have a productive and tasty garden. 

Check back as often as you can.  We will be adding more how-to’s as we start planting.


Tips For Container Gardens

Here are Five Tips for Growing Container Vegetables

  1. Use potting soil (peat based) in your containers.  You can use dirt from your yard but be sure to mix in potting soil or peat moss as at least 50% of the soil volume.  The potting soil will add drainage to the dirt and prevent the soil from staying constantly wet.  It will also keep the dirt from becoming compacted (i.e. hard packed) which can smother root development.
  2. Be sure to place your container where it can get a lot of sunlight, at least 6-8 hours.  All vegetables need lots of sunlight.
  3. Use varieties recommended for containers when possible.  These would be patio and bush type tomatoes and any other ‘compact’ labeled vegetables.  If you can’t find these types or want to grow a specific variety, you can grow just about any kind of vegetable in containers.  The exceptions are below.
  4. Cucumbers will need a trellis or other support to climb and tomatoes will need to be staked or use a wire tomato cage for support. 
  5. Watermelons and cantaloupes are not recommended for containers.

New Feature On The Plant Pages

tomato-beefmaster We have recently added graphics of the plant tags to each variety page of Charley’s Vegetables.  This will allow you to get a visual on what each variety of vegetable looks like and also become familiar with the Charley’s Vegetables tags.  Now you will know what to look for when you go to buy your vegetables. 

We are currently shipping Charley’s Veggies to southern Louisiana, Dallas/Fort Worth and have also shipped a few shipments in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

If you are in any of these areas and are interested in purchasing Charley’s Veggies, you can contact you local garden center and request that they carry them; or you can leave a comment here on the blog, and we can let you know where the nearest garden center is to you that carries Charley’s Veggies.

Charley's Veggies – Cucumber and Squash

These are some pictures of our first crop of Charley’s Veggies.  We loaded most of these up along with a lot of tomatoes and peppers and shipped them out to the Stine Lumber stores in Louisiana last week.  I just took an order from Naylor’s Hardware and Garden Center in Baton Rouge, LA, and they told me that it was sunny and nice and that everyone was out planting their garden.  Check out their web site.  They have some good information on their Planting Guide page for planting a garden in Southern Louisiana.


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Charley's Vegetables blog

I wasn’t really ready to go live, but Lacey had started sending me all this good information (see her posts below) so I decided to get it out there so that everyone can start getting ready for their spring garden.

The one goal we have for this web site is to tell and show anyone who wants to learn how to prepare, plant, maintain and harvest a successful garden.  Lacey will be sending us posts and pictures on how she does things and here we will be working with Charley himself on our garden complete with video demonstrations.

We hope you come back often and learn a lot.