Veggies: NH grower says contain your enthusiasm

Special to the Union Leader
June 03. 2013 5:30PM

The mantra of container gardening is shown on a sign at Tanglewood Gardens in Bedford. (KATHY REMILLARD PHOTO)

BEDFORD — Now that Memorial Day is behind us and planting season is officially here, many gardeners are digging in with enthusiasm, planting large plots to take advantage of the short growing season.

By August, they'll be asking, "Anyone else need any tomatoes?"

According to a Bedford family who has been in the gardening business for the past 40 years , it's possible to have just enough produce this summer by planting a container garden.

Joe Komisarek and his son, Tom, of Tanglewood Gardens on Route 101 have been planting a container garden display for the past several years to show customers how simple it can be.

Started from seed back in February, when getting out into a garden seems like a lifetime away, the containers were moved out into Tanglewood's greenhouses as soon as weather permitted.

From carrots to kohlrabi, beans to Brussels sprouts, even to a 6-foot-tall corn stalk he has on display, Joe Komisarek said anything can grow in a container.

"I tell people, you're only limited by your own imagination," he said.

Container gardening is perfect for people who live alone, don't have a lot of space, or only want to try gardening on a small scale.

"It's good for people who live in apartments who still want a garden," Komisarek said.

The principles of container gardening are similar to those of growing on a larger scale, he added.

"It takes the same amount of time to grow everything, no matter where you plant it," he said.

Growing a successful container garden is easy if you follow a few simple steps.

First, don't be too anxious to plant. "People get excited to plant, but there are still some cold nights, and once the plants get cold, it's hard for them to recover." Now that June is here, that's no longer a problem.

Second, and perhaps the most important advice, is to keep up the water – in a smaller area, water tends to be absorbed quickly.

"Water and feed, water and feed, water and feed," he said. "This isn't the kind of thing you can go off on vacation and forget about."

Joe's son Tom, who dedicates much of his life to the family business, said he came up with the idea of the container garden display as a visual to help customers see the possibilities.

"I wanted to show our customers what they could do," he said.

Tom said that because everything at Tanglewood Gardens comes from seed, there is very little down time for the family.

"There is a lull around the holidays, but then we're back at it by February," he said.

Patio tomatoes are ready for purchase, as well as hanging plants of cherry tomatoes and strawberries, but for those more adventurous, a multitude of plants are available that can all be grown in containers, including more than 70 varieties of tomatoes and 30 types of peppers.

Tom, Joe, and his wife, Louise, are on hand to offer tips and advice for those who need a little extra gardening help, including what size containers are needed, and information on planting. The Tanglewood gardens website also offers plenty of advice.

"This is what we really like to do," said Tom.


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