The FarmGirls are not the only busy bees anymore on our 2.9 acre urban farm.

A few weeks ago we had thousands of workers delivered to our gardens. We have been expecting a buzzing delivery for months and the call finally came from Collin Vincent, a local bee enthusiast who had been preparing a hive for us.

The bee hive arrived after dark, making it less stressful on the bees.

By the next morning the gardens were buzzing! The vegetable productivity is supposed to go up by more than 40 percent with bees on the property. We have always seen bees on our property. However, we already recognize a notable difference. We can hear the bees working for us.

Whether you are looking for a higher yield of vegetables, want to harvest the honey, or improve the environment introducing bees to your property is a good move.

There are other ways to increase productivity. The productivity of your vegetable garden is dependent on the nutrients and trace elements in the soil.

Whether you ground garden or have raised beds it is important to have the garden soil tested. Soil testing is available year round. Fall is a good time to collect soil samples and send them off for a soil test. Testing now will allow time to implement the necessary amendments to existing vegetable gardens before spring planting or test the soil now and ready the soil for a new garden spot.

The FarmGirls recommend Texas Plant & Soil Lab for your soil testing needs, you can find them online at www.texaxplantandsoillab.com.

The reason why The FarmGirls use this particular lab includes their ability and knowledge of organics.

When sending your soil samples off you will need to give many details on your soil testing form. Such as if you ground garden or if you garden in raised beds and what types of crops you are wanting to raise in your tested area.

Your results will arrive via email in a couple of weeks. The technical information that is often hard for a gardener to understand will be presented in three formats. You will receive written information, graph, and a 10 minute phone call with the soil lab.

You might be surprised at what the results of your soil test are, you might find that you can raise certain crops better than others and vice versa. If this sounds difficult, simply add The FarmGirls to your soil sample form, farmgirls@gardeninspirations-tx.com and we can help guide you on your soil results and needed amendments for your soil.

Both bees and testing your soil are working with nature to increase your productivity and take stress out of your gardening.

Knowledge is a powerful gardening tool and the buzz of bees is a powerful pollinating weapon in your gardens.

We encourage you to do both! From our garden gate to yours. Tune into The FarmGirls Organic Gardening Radio Show on KAAM 770 AM Fridays at 1 p.m. and Like us on Facebook: Garden Inspirations

FarmGirls of Garden Inspirations, a garden education company are Marilyn Simmons and daughter, Donelle Simmons. You can email us at farmgirls@gardeninspirations-tx.com and join our weekly email by signing up through our website: www.gardeninspirations-tx.com, like us on Facebook! Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. to the FarmGirls Organic Radio Show on KAAM 770 AM.