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Learn to contain cold weather crops

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published April 6, 2016

Want to cultivate some vegetables and need an easy way to get started?

Advanced master gardener Judy Cornellier will present a three-part series at the Troy Public Library geared toward beginners.

She’s a founding member of the Troy Garden Club and a member of the Michigan Herb Society.

Cornellier’s first session, April 16, will focus on planting cold crops — potatoes, cabbage and broccoli.

Cherie Edmonds, adult service librarian, said that Telly’s Greenhouse and Garden Center staff members plant the garden in front of the library.

“We asked him (Telly’s owner George Papadelis) to recommend someone for our gardening series, and he recommended Judy,” Edmonds said.

Cornellier also presents lectures on gardening at Telly’s, where she worked for 20 years.

Edmonds said Cornellier’s program covers “really easy stuff — container gardens, edible flowers and hardy plants — and is a springboard series, from garden to table.”

Cornellier, a 55-year Troy resident, said that during the first session, she will explain how to plant and grow potatoes in tall, black containers using free city compost, for a yield of 30 spuds from each container.

“You water it once a week,” she said of the potatoes.

The trick is that the long containers allow a long stem to grow, Cornellier added.

People can and should plant potatoes, cabbage, kale and broccoli soon, while it’s still cold, said Cornellis, whose programs are designed for people who don’t have a lot of gardening experience.

“This is more to get your feet wet,” she said, noting that container gardening is a great way to get started and to “whet your appetite to grow your own feast.”

“Cool weather is so important for many crops,” she said.

“From the Garden to the Table: Potatoes and Cold Crops” will be held 2:30-4:30 p.m. April. 16 at the Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road. In “From Garden to Table: Carrots and Edible Flowers,” Cornellier will explain how to plant carrots and radishes in window boxes, and how to grow edible flowers, including pansies and nasturtiums. That lecture will be held 2:30-4:30 p.m. May 28 at the Troy library. 

During the final program in the series, “From Garden to Table: Container Growing Herbs and Veggies,” Cornellier will explain how to plant lettuce in containers placed high so rabbits don’t eat them. That talk is scheduled for 2:30-4:30 p.m. June 11 at the Troy library.

Register at or call (248) 524-3542.