Retired nurseryman speaks to Bluff City ABWA

Jack Cockrum, retired nurseryman and Master Gardener, spoke on the importance of soil preparation for successful gardens during the recent meeting of the Bluff City American Business Women’s Association, held at the Pine Bluff Country Club.

Janelle Thomason, program chairman, introduced Cockrum before he began his talk. Cockrum told the group that the soil east of Main Street in Pine Bluff and west of Main Street were different in that east of Main was sandy loam as it had been farmland and west of Main required “help”. He said there was a right way, a wrong way, and Jack’s way to supplement the soil.

His “recipe” for planting on the west side of Pine Bluff for each 75 square feet was 2 inches of sand, one 6-cubic foot bale of Canadian peat moss, and a 50-pound bag cow manure. His advice was to work this in to the soil before planting. Raise the soil level for good drainage. He informed the group that a $1 plant will survive with proper soil and just as easily a $100 plant will die without the proper preparation.

He said for azaleas, camellias and dogwoods, plant high, about 1 inch above the ground level. Pine mulch is the best to use and plentiful as a “free” mulch or use hard wood mulch. His favorite plantings are white as they are cool-looking during the day and show up well at night. Another cool color he likes to use in pots is salmon colored geraniums.

Nancy Longacre was introduced as a guest.

The new officers for 2013-14 are Patsy Stroud, president; Barbara Horner, vice president; Mary Ann Grimes, secretary; and Donna Davis , treasurer.

The dollar pot was won by Barbara Horner and donated back to the club. Nancy Jones won the door prize. The October meeting will be a Halloween get-together at the home of Diane Bradshaw with costumes optional.