Garden Tips from Madi

Madi has been one of our most successful Katie’s Krops Growers. Her accomplishments in and out of the garden have been numerous. We asked Madi to share her tips for being a successful grower and we are thrilled to share those tips with you.

My name is Madi and I was the 2015 Katie’s Krops Grower of the Year and the 2016 Katie’s Krops Top Grower. This is my fifth year growing with Katie’s Krops and it has been an amazing experience. I donate my crops to family friends going through rough times, MANNA Foodbank at my Grandma’s church, and I sell some crops for donations. All of the donations I receive go to Broyhill Baptist Children’s Home in Clyde, North Carolina. Since I started Katie’s Krops in 2013, I have grown a total of 12,344.15 pounds of produce. Here are my four main tips for growing a successful Katie’s Krops Garden

  1. Prayer — Especially if you’re a Christian, pray about your garden. God can help you through anything if it is in His will. He has definitely blessed my garden beyond what I had ever imagined. Even my first year of growing: I grew 510 pounds! I was astounded and that number just kept on going up and up. My faith has been my main asset through the good and the rough times in my garden. I am so happy to be able to help so many people through my garden.
  2. Experimenting — Try new things! See what works for you in your climate and what doesn’t. For example, I don’t have much luck with watermelon and pumpkins. The humid summers we get here in Western North Carolina rot the bottoms before they are ready to harvest. Cabbage and beans grow really well here though! The new things you try don’t just have to be the crops you are growing, it can also be techniques. I like to have raised beds in my garden for some small things like carrots, radishes, and romaine lettuce. The ones my Grandpa built for me lasted about three years before rotting, so this year we tried the hay bale raised beds we saw online. There was a lot of rain and the hay held that in almost too well. It got kind of soggy and flopped over. Who knows, it could work for one of you though!
  3. Crop Rotation — Don’t plant things like tomatoes in the same place consecutive years in a row. The plants will use up all the nutrients in the soil. You can use cover crops like soybeans in the winter to replenish the nutrients or you can trade out what plants go where every year. Or you can do a little bit of both like me! It doesn’t mean you can’t plant the same thing there ever again, just change it up every once in a while. It will be good for the soil and your plants.
  4. Gain Understanding — Research the plants you have. See how to grow them best, if they typically work well in your area etc. Know about what you are planting. Know the benefits and the risks. You will probably have problems with weeds, bugs, and maybe even some animals like groundhogs and deer. Understanding how to deal with those in a healthy and harmless way is one of the best things you can do for your garden. Lastly, look in the almanac if you have access to one. My Grandparents share part of my garden and they help me in mine. They use an almanac and it is very helpful. We know the best times to plant everything each season. Knowing about what you’re growing can really help.