After our meeting last week, our gardeners went home with many plants to put in their garden in hopes for a bountiful harvest later to come. One mistake that a lot of people make when planting the garden is that they space their plants wrong. Improper spacing leads to more instances of disease and in turn, lower harvest figures. We here at the Breathitt County Extension Office and the Robinson Center teach proper plant spacing as a key to gardening success. The University of Kentucky guidelines for plant spacings are found in publication ID-128 or Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky.
As a part of Grow Breathitt County, we wanted to extend that knowledge to the field. We believe that it’s difficult to take a book out to the field, look up the correct page number, find that page, find what you’re planting on a chart and the info needed, then lay the book down, find your measuring device, try to remember the numbers you just looked up and translate all of that into plant spacing…sounds like a lot right? So to overcome all of that, we “invented” the Garden Stick. The Garden stick is a 1″x1″ wooden stick that is engraved on all four sides. One side is a handy measuring device, and the other three sides have all of that info that is in ID-128 right at your finger tips. So now, looking up plant spacing is a matter of turning the stick over to find the vegetable you’re planting and then using that stick to find proper spacing. Simple and easy.
However, we wanted this tool to be used throughout the gardening season. Once planting is complete, it can also be used for tying tomatoes or other things in the garden with it’s strategically placed holes that will allow one to place the strings around the plants and then around the support poles quickly and easily.
We here at the Breathitt County Extension Office and Robinson Center (RCARS) are very proud of our Garden Stick. So much that we are now manufacturing them and marketing them directly to other gardening groups and individuals. If you know of anyone who would like one, please have them contact the Breathitt County Extension Office at 606-666-8812 or the Robinson Center at 606-666-2438 ext 285.