ELKO, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – An expert gardener is giving advice to people looking to grow plants and vegetables during the fall harvest season.
Tim Lewis owns a Lewis Farms on Georgia Highway 26 in Elko.
Lewis has extremely large heads of cabbage, along with other vegetables and plants. He specializes in poinsettias and uses his green thumb to create poinsettia baskets. The baskets hold nearly 12 poinsettia plants.
Lewis says he enjoys giving advice to local gardeners.
"I think people are moving toward gardening more and more because they can grow their own fresh produce, and they know exactly where it's coming from," he says..
Lewis finds himself often helping people correct mistakes they make when trying to plant a garden as seasons change.
"I have been talking lately about planting a fall garden of crops like cabbage, kale and collards," he said.
According to Lewis, a common mistake people make when the weather changes in planting in shaded areas.
"Most every vegetable needs full sun," he adds. "They really need six hours of sunlight per day, so that's critical for most crops."
Inadequate irrigation is another common mistake people make.
"Having a water source is vital, what the weather does these days you never know if it's going to rain or not," says Lewis. "So, I never plant a garden without making sure I can water it."
Lewis revealed the secret to his success is the soil, he uses while planting. He combines compost and green manure.
But, it is his family's legacy of sowing and reaping a harvest that has helped him over the years to teach agriculture at Perry High School for 13 years in the 80's and 90's.
He says he learned most of what he knows from trial and error, while working with his students.
"My grandma was always giving me plants to grow," says Lewis. "She was a flower lover, and she gave me plants, and I had my own little garden spot and that's what really instilled a passion for plants in me."