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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – For those starting a new garden, tilling is important.
Depending on the size of the garden, most individuals like to use a rototiller to make it an easier process, said Lott True Value Home Center owner John Lott. Once a gardener determines the desired size of the garden, they can narrow down the size of the rototiller they will need.
“This year has been an odd year in regard to purchasing a tiller due to the fact there has been a shortage of tillers available because of COVID-19,” Lott explained. “This caused a shortage because tillers are manufactured in the winter using previous years’ data to determine demand. No manufacturer saw this coming.”
With gardens being planted in record numbers in response to COVID-19, gardening supplies have sold out. Some new gardeners in Childress turned to master gardener Bob Halencak to till their new gardens.
Halencak said he has no idea how many gardens he’s tilled. “Let’s say 10 people.”
This longtime gardener has a big tiller, a middle-sized tiller and three little rototillers for his garden. He grows 25 vegetables, including corn, okra, cucumbers, butter beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peppers, green beans, spinach, squash, tomatoes, onions and cabbage.
“My son bought my tractor, tillers and trailer, so I wouldn’t have to work so hard,” Halencak said.
For newbies to gardening, Lott said the step after tilling is preparing soil by fertilizing and planting seeds.
“Once this is done you provide the proper water either from God above, city water or captured supplies,” Lott said.
“Making sure your garden is free from weeds or grass that will deplete moisture is very important also.”
Lott, who provides the equipment and fertilizer to maintain and continue growth in gardens, is open to questions.
Halencak is usually in his garden and will answer questions new gardeners have as well.