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(Feb. 2009)

QuestionWe moved from Ireland to Rogers, Arkansas a couple of months ago and we purchased a lovely family home with a large back yard. The backyard is currently lawn, with a couple of medium sized trees and a few beds set away from the grass with low stone walls around the house. I used to be an active gardener back in Ireland, but I am new to this area and don't know what grows well here and when one starts planting. Once spring starts here I would love to do some gardening in those beds. I am interested in planting some herbs and maybe some berries as I love raspberries and blackberries especially, but they are so expensive to buy in the shops. I won't be able to spend very much time gardening though, as I have one year old twins and they are a handful! Can you suggest some herbs and fruit plants for our new home?


AnswerHerbs are very easy to grow, and you can do a variety of both annuals and perennials. For dry, sunny areas consider the perennial rosemary and thyme. Oregano, fennel, garlic and sage are also very easy to grow. Cilantro is best grown in the fall as a winter annual. Parsely is a biennial and does well for a couple of years. Basil and dill are both summer annuals and thrive in Arkansas summers with a little bit of water. Blackberries and blueberries are both easy to grow and require little care, other than occasional pruning and water. Raspberries are a tad trickier, but they can be grown. As you have time, you might consider joining the Benton County Master Gardeners. They have a very active group of gardeners in your area. You will learn a lot and get to know fellow gardeners in your community.


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