Anyone who likes to garden will tell you the secret to gardening success is in the soil. My friend and fellow Master Gardener Billie Carroll of Shreveport came up with a recipe for improving her garden soil that pays off with giant vegetables. 

She uses equal amounts of Echo Milch black top soil, cow manure and cotton gin trash as the magic formula that creates huge produce. Her tomatoes this year were over eight feet tall! Her squash looked like it was on steroids.

Cotton gin trash are hulls that are left over in the field after the cotton harvest. It's rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Another friend, Darrel Folse, sells cotton gin trash by the bag or truck load.

I can't wait to try out this potent combination out on the garden that both my husband and I keep procrastinating about. Every spring we say we're putting in a fall garden, and every fall we say we're putting in a spring garden. But the produce section of the grocery store is still where we get all our vegetables!

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