Several summers back, on my first visit to Seed Savers Exchange and early in my heirloom gardening days, I decided to ask for some gardening advice from one of the staff about an issue that was plaguing me. Adult squash bugs were attacking most of my squash plants. I didn’t know what to do.
After I asked for help, the staff person shared a couple of ways to valiantly deal with the adults. But he noted that really earlier detection was vital. However, the best advice was not about dealing specifically with squash bugs.
“You know, for all vegetables, it’s best to grow multiple varieties. Then, if you do get attacked by [insect] pests, they often focus their attention on one or two of the varieties. But the other kinds should survive.”
To this day, I grow multiple varieties of nearly every veggie I hope survives the season. For example, this season I am growing three varieties of lettuce beans and zucchini, four types of peppers, and five kinds of tomatoes, to name just a handful of my veggies.
The advice holds up.
That story offered, I should note that I also receive a ton of gardening advice from online communities. For example, earlier this week I asked gardeners to help me improve my garden this season based on a draft sketch I posted. Online friends swopped in to the rescue. I reduced the number of zucchinis by relegating them to the far end beds; put two rows of tomatoes in the bed that where one row currently is; moved the eggplants next to the pole beans; and took out some or most of the kale and replaced it with peppers (see the results by clicking link in this paragraph).
I’m sure you seek help with your gardening challenges. So dear readers, what’s the best gardening advice you’ve ever received?