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Weston Pro Sows Her Gardening Tips

Russell Smith's 3-year-old son, Julian, loves to pick chives from their garden for his bagel in the morning.

The Weston family has an edible garden that includes tomatoes, cucumbers, chives and other herbs. Their most recent additions were three dwarf apple trees. Julian waters the plants, watches them grow and also does some of the picking.

"In the middle of the summer, when the tomatoes are good, I love tomato and cucumber salad," said Russell.

Debbie Giannelli of Weston Gardens on Good Hill Road offered some gardening tips. Now’s the time to get started, she said.

The first chore is to prepare the soil by turning it over, weeding and fertilizing, she said, adding that this is the best thing a gardener can do.

To grow a successful edible garden, she said, requires patience and remembering not to overwater tomatoes. In addition, she warned against planting tomatoes in the same spot each year because diseases stay in the ground.

"You save so much money and the vegetables you grow taste so much better," she said.

Weston Gardens sells seeds, potting soil and plants in 4- and 6-inch flats. Giannelli said she is always available for questions about gardening.

She usually sets plants outside on Mother’s Day, Giannelli said, but because that day comes early this year (May 8), she will wait until May 15.

On Tuesday, May 3, the Norfield Grange will host “Growing Sustainably in Connecticut” with speakers Diane Brewster of The Hickories in Ridgefield, Annie Farrell of Millstone Farm in Wilton and John Holbrook of Holbrook Farm in Bethel. They will discuss farming practices, the local food movement and ways to grow and distribute to the community. The moderator will be Analiese Paik from the Fairfield Green Food Guide. For more information, contact Phoebe Cole-Smith at

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