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Thread: 2013 Gardening Thread

  1. #26
    Heroic Warrior MrRoboto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    Very nice. Thanks for the picture and welcome to the gardening thread. Last year we had about 20 watermelons that God grew. lol. We just threw our old watermelon rinds and seeds over the hill and then the next thing we knew we had tons of watermelons.
    Thanks! Always enjoyed it as a leisurely past-time. Great to help clear the mind IMO.

    20! Gee, i'd love to be able to have had that many. I just don't have the space for that at the moment. Also, kudos on the landscaping ~ looks great!
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    1. Do we need different kinds of soils or fertilizers for the different crops? Are there fertilizers that aren't healthy? Do we have to worry about insect and, if so, what's the healthiest thing to do about them? (We know we need bags for the seed potatoes.)
    If you were going to try to have a 1,000+acre farm and want to maximize your produce output to sell to the general public then you would need to have the soils tested and enhanced in order to meet those objectives. BUT for a home garden it isn't as important since most crops grow well in any type of soil. At the end of each year you can add manure, straw, leaves, etc and till it into the ground and each year your graden area will become more fertile. As far as fertilizer, I would use Miracle Grow plant food each week after you plant. As far as insects, if you don't want to use pesticide then you can find an organic "pesticide" at most garden centers to help control insects.

    Also, why do you need bags for seed potatoes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    2. We don't want to fall in the trap of doing one planting, then harvesting and finding out we only have enough for a month's worth of food. Do we make three or four plantings of each crop and how do we know how long to stagger them between plantings to do a harvest every month?
    You can stagger many vegetables through the whole season. I would plant most things around 3-4 weeks apart. Potatoes and corn are a good example of vegetables to stagger. Tomatoes will produce fruit all year long until the first hard freeze )granted you cover them up each time we get a frost).

    Asparagus has a long arduous process of growing, but can be very fulfilling. You need to make sure you plant it correctly and then for the next 4-5 years make sure you pick it correctly. First 2 years you usually don't pick asparagus to give its roots time to grow, but if you purchase 1-year old roots to plant then you have to wait only 1 more year after planting. Then in year 3 you can pick for about 3-4 weeks then stop picking. In year 4 you can pick for 4-6 weeks. Then in year 5, you can pick all season long which is about 6-8 weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    3. We've got a lot of squirrels and chipmunks. Last year they consumed our entire crop of strawberries. Is chicken wire around and over the crops enough to protect them?
    I grew up on a very large fruit and vegetable farm and we had about 6 acres of strawberries that we sold as U-Pick and to Kroger stores. We never had any problem with animals. However, once I got my own house and tried to have a small strawberry patch the squirrels and rabbits came out of the woodwork. To answer you question, yes chicken wire will work (somewhat) but there can't be any openings between the ground and the wire. Also, they will still use their little paws to reach through the wire and grab the ripened fruit. Birds also seem to like strawberries and they will peck through the wire openings. You might want to try something like "Deer Off" or "Critter Ridder" to repel the animals, but make sure you read the bottle to confirm it is safe on vegetable gardens. Some versions are and some versions are not. There are also homemade remedies that you can google.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    4. What about irrigation? We've got a water line near where our plantings will be. Is a dripper enough, do we keep it going night and day or only once or twice a week? Is it the same amount of water for all the different crops? Is it better for us to get out there and just hose the areas two or three times a week?
    You can use a drip hose which can be very beneficial during dry months, but once it gets hot it is best to water at night because you will lose most of your water to evaporation if you water during the morning. Also if you water during the heat of the day then plants might get sun scald (sun burn).

    Also, certain plants don't like to get too much water...like tomatoes. If you water tomatoes too much then the fruit will get black rot. I always mulch around my tomato plants with wet newspapers and then put straw on top of that. I do water them early on, but once they start to produce fruit you don't want to water to much.

    I also water with miracle grow about once per week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    5. Finally, if this works out well then we'll want to do it all year 'round. We like in northern Indiana, so it gets cold here in winter. I'm willing to put in a full greenhouse if that's what needs to be done. Any thoughts on that -- i.e., will we still be able to raise those basic crops all year 'round?
    Greenhouses are normally used to extend the growing season. They allow you to start your plants earlier and harvest even later into the year. If you are wanting to grow year round through winter then your greenhouse will need to be equipped with a natural gas or propane heater and possibly with supplemental lighting and some type of bubble insulation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Patreek View Post
    I'd like to have some stuff on my porch this year. I've also be starting a succulant garden indoors. Having trouble with spider mites though
    Good for you for having a garden. So, what have you planted already?

    As far as pest insects, you can find natural pesticides at most stores.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrRoboto View Post
    Thanks! Always enjoyed it as a leisurely past-time. Great to help clear the mind IMO.

    20! Gee, i'd love to be able to have had that many. I just don't have the space for that at the moment. Also, kudos on the landscaping ~ looks great!
    I agree, gardening is a great outlet to think and ease the mind.

    Also, thanks for the kind words
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  3. #28
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Wow! Thanks so very much for your detailed and invaluable information. You obviously know your stuff.

    We'll apply your advice to our gardening efforts and will post pics later in the season. I have to confess, however, after your dissertation on asparagus I think I'll continue to purchase it at our farmers' market. There's a limit to what I can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    If you were going to try to have a 1,000+acre farm and want to maximize your produce output to sell to the general public then you would need to have the soils tested and enhanced in order to meet those objectives. BUT for a home garden it isn't as important since most crops grow well in any type of soil. At the end of each year you can add manure, straw, leaves, etc and till it into the ground and each year your graden area will become more fertile. As far as fertilizer, I would use Miracle Grow plant food each week after you plant. As far as insects, if you don't want to use pesticide then you can find an organic "pesticide" at most garden centers to help control insects.

    Also, why do you need bags for seed potatoes?

    You can stagger many vegetables through the whole season. I would plant most things around 3-4 weeks apart. Potatoes and corn are a good example of vegetables to stagger. Tomatoes will produce fruit all year long until the first hard freeze )granted you cover them up each time we get a frost).

    Asparagus has a long arduous process of growing, but can be very fulfilling. You need to make sure you plant it correctly and then for the next 4-5 years make sure you pick it correctly. First 2 years you usually don't pick asparagus to give its roots time to grow, but if you purchase 1-year old roots to plant then you have to wait only 1 more year after planting. Then in year 3 you can pick for about 3-4 weeks then stop picking. In year 4 you can pick for 4-6 weeks. Then in year 5, you can pick all season long which is about 6-8 weeks.



    I grew up on a very large fruit and vegetable farm and we had about 6 acres of strawberries that we sold as U-Pick and to Kroger stores. We never had any problem with animals. However, once I got my own house and tried to have a small strawberry patch the squirrels and rabbits came out of the woodwork. To answer you question, yes chicken wire will work (somewhat) but there can't be any openings between the ground and the wire. Also, they will still use their little paws to reach through the wire and grab the ripened fruit. Birds also seem to like strawberries and they will peck through the wire openings. You might want to try something like "Deer Off" or "Critter Ridder" to repel the animals, but make sure you read the bottle to confirm it is safe on vegetable gardens. Some versions are and some versions are not. There are also homemade remedies that you can google.


    You can use a drip hose which can be very beneficial during dry months, but once it gets hot it is best to water at night because you will lose most of your water to evaporation if you water during the morning. Also if you water during the heat of the day then plants might get sun scald (sun burn).

    Also, certain plants don't like to get too much water...like tomatoes. If you water tomatoes too much then the fruit will get black rot. I always mulch around my tomato plants with wet newspapers and then put straw on top of that. I do water them early on, but once they start to produce fruit you don't want to water to much.

    I also water with miracle grow about once per week.



    Greenhouses are normally used to extend the growing season. They allow you to start your plants earlier and harvest even later into the year. If you are wanting to grow year round through winter then your greenhouse will need to be equipped with a natural gas or propane heater and possibly with supplemental lighting and some type of bubble insulation.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Good for you for having a garden. So, what have you planted already?

    As far as pest insects, you can find natural pesticides at most stores.


    I agree, gardening is a great outlet to think and ease the mind.

    Also, thanks for the kind words

  4. #29
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Planted my tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini today. For my peppers and tomatoes, I use an old family recipe of mulching (to keep weeds out, moisture in, and disease prevention). It is a tradition that I have been using for almost 30 years myself. Directions and photos below.


    (1) Plant tomatoes (and peppers)
    Attachment 84477

    (2) Place newspapers into water mixed with Miracle-Gro. Allow to soak about 10 minutes.
    Attachment 84478

    (3) Tear newspapers apart down the seam...keeping them 2-3 ply thick.


    (4) Place the newspapers down flat between plants.
    Attachment 84479

    (5) Place straw on top of the wet newspapers.
    Attachment 84480

    (6) You are done. You will no longer have problems with weeds and this also helps to keep the roots moist. But most importantly it helps prevent disease on tomatoes caused my mud that splatters onto the leaves. With newspaper and straw down mud is unable to splash up
    Attachment 84481

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Wow! Thanks so very much for your detailed and invaluable information. You obviously know your stuff.


    We'll apply your advice to our gardening efforts and will post pics later in the season. I have to confess, however, after your dissertation on asparagus I think I'll continue to purchase it at our farmers' market. There's a limit to what I can do.
    You're welcome. Gardening is one of the few things that I am knowledgeable about. I learned a great deal due to being raised on a very large vegetable and fruit farm


    Also, I hope I didn't scare you away from growing Asparagus. It isn't difficult to grow. It just has an initial 4-year picking schedule that takes time and patience. I would definitely add it to your garden.
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  5. #30
    Southern-Fried Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    Un-be-liev-able! It turned cold cold cold here and actually snowed about two inches yesterday. I am beginning to wonder if I am ever going to get my garden in.
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  6. #31
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-Man View Post
    Un-be-liev-able! It turned cold cold cold here and actually snowed about two inches yesterday. I am beginning to wonder if I am ever going to get my garden in.
    That is terrible. Weather here and in many parts of the country has been wacky this spring so far, BUT not so wacky that we have snow in May!!
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  7. #32
    Brassy Baroness Judith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    Planted my tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini today. For my peppers and tomatoes, I use an old family recipe of mulching (to keep weeds out, moisture in, and disease prevention). It is a tradition that I have been using for almost 30 years myself. Directions and photos below...
    Awesome! I plan to plant some hosta tomorrow and would like to keep it as low maintenance as possible. Big kudos!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-Man View Post
    Un-be-liev-able! It turned cold cold cold here and actually snowed about two inches yesterday. I am beginning to wonder if I am ever going to get my garden in.
    I'm with you. It was gorgeous today and a lot of people were buying tomatoes and peppers but I decided against it. Not worth the gamble with this season...
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Awesome! I plan to plant some hosta tomorrow and would like to keep it as low maintenance as possible. Big kudos!
    Thanks If you were closer, I could have given you tons of Hostas (as I need to split mine).
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  9. #34
    Brassy Baroness Judith's Avatar
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    You have to split it? I didn't know that. How long before you have to split it. I give mines a LOT of room and it's really shady so they don't grow too big.
    How do you know when to split it?
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    You have to split it? I didn't know that. How long before you have to split it. I give mines a LOT of room and it's really shady so they don't grow too big.
    How do you know when to split it?
    Yes, Hostas need to be split every so often. Their is not an exact science as to when to split, but the best way to know is when they have outgrown their space and it becomes crowded and/ or the center of the clump starts to die out. Once they outgrow their space you will want to split them and transplant part of the clump to another area. My Hostas are on year 6 now and I will be splitting them this fall. I would say they need to be split every 4-5 years or so on average.
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  11. #36
    Brassy Baroness Judith's Avatar
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    Interesting, I have a feeling I will be long gone before I will have to split it.
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  12. #37
    "Oh dearie my!" Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Question for gardening experts

    Hey y'all, so I have these two big containers on my patio, about 14" deep and 14" diameter. I've tried a couple of things in 'em before but haven't had much luck; they seem to love to retain water (right now just have a couple of hens 'n chicks in 'em to just have something in them).

    Anyway, I was wondering about putting something in them that could get between maybe 3 and 6 feet tall, for a little privacy. I've seen someone nearby has a couple of evergreens in pots about this size, and another seedling or two, but I don't know what sorts of "tall plants" you can put in such pots whose roots won't get too big for the pots.

    So...are there any good tall plants that can reach up to a few/several feet but don't need a lot of root room?

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  13. #38
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    I have my annual gardening thread that you can visit by going here: http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...rdening-Thread, but to answer your question, there are several different privacy plants than can be potted with Arborvitaes probably being the most common privacy potted plant. Below I have listed several other options that can be found at your local nursery.

    ~Arborvitaes
    ~Bay Trees (Laurus Nobilis)
    ~Loropetalum
    ~Cypress
    ~Viburnums
    ~Bamboo
    ~Ficus

    If you need any other help or have any other questions just let me know
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  14. #39
    "Oh dearie my!" Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks MM (and your location is "In the Garden", how fitting, lol)

    One thing I forgot to specify, is I'm also looking for plants that are repel Japanese Beetles. I did see someone local on CraigsList has bamboo plants for sale, and I was interested, but I saw through Googling that Japanese Beetles like some types of bamboo, grrrrrr.

    Thanks for these suggestions, though. From a little Googling it looks like at least arborivtaes and ficus may repel/disinterest them.
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  15. #40
    "Oh dearie my!" Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Wow MOTU_Maniac, beautiful flower garden!

    I love rain so much, and in a lovely rainy spring like this I just love seeing my hydrangea bud and leaf. I love seeing my day lilies and stonecrops and hens 'n chicks also thrive, but I'm so in love with my hydrangea! lol
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  16. #41
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    Oh! That newspaper trick is really cool! Thanks. I typically use black plastic, but it appears that this is cheaper! Hmmm.

    I bought sweetcorn n' beans. My land has been tilled and now I'm just waiting to buy some plants. Maybe this weekend, though it does seem awfully soon.
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  17. #42
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mer-Man's Minion View Post
    Wow, thanks MM (and your location is "In the Garden", how fitting, lol)

    One thing I forgot to specify, is I'm also looking for plants that are repel Japanese Beetles. I did see someone local on CraigsList has bamboo plants for sale, and I was interested, but I saw through Googling that Japanese Beetles like some types of bamboo, grrrrrr.

    Thanks for these suggestions, though. From a little Googling it looks like at least arborivtaes and ficus may repel/disinterest them.
    You're welcome
    I personally love arborvitaes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mer-Man's Minion View Post
    Wow MOTU_Maniac, beautiful flower garden!

    I love rain so much, and in a lovely rainy spring like this I just love seeing my hydrangea bud and leaf. I love seeing my day lilies and stonecrops and hens 'n chicks also thrive, but I'm so in love with my hydrangea! lol
    Thank you. I live in Kentucky also and you are right...we sure have been getting plenty of rain. I mowed my yard on Friday and it grew so much from the rain I had to mow it again on Monday My garden and landscaping is growing fast as well.

    I need to get me a hydrangea as they are a beautiful flowering shrub!

    Quote Originally Posted by Divia View Post
    Oh! That newspaper trick is really cool! Thanks. I typically use black plastic, but it appears that this is cheaper! Hmmm.

    I bought sweetcorn n' beans. My land has been tilled and now I'm just waiting to buy some plants. Maybe this weekend, though it does seem awfully soon.
    You're welcome. I have been using newspapers since I was a wee little tot. lol.

    We used to use black plastic when we planted our watermelons so that the roots would stay moist and so the ground wouldn't cause the fruit to rot.

    The beginning of May is typically when we start planting crops here in Kentucky and surrounding areas, so it might be a little soon for planting up north. I am not as familiar with your growing season.
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  18. #43
    "Oh dearie my!" Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    I need to get me a hydrangea as they are a beautiful flowering shrub!
    Yup...this week I've been to Lowe's and Home Depot, and they have lots of hydrangeas. I got mine at one of the Frank Ottes here several years ago. Mine's a "Big Daddy", lol, and I treated the soil to make the pink flowers turn blue. One year they went in between and turned violet! Loved that.



    Quote Originally Posted by MOTU_Maniac View Post
    The beginning of May is typically when we start planting crops here in Kentucky
    My dad's a farmer here, and he always tries to start in April. Course, with all the rain there usually is, it's not uncommon for his plantin' to get pushed back, lol.
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  19. #44
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    We had a hard frost overnight, so I had to cover up all of my warm weather veggies (tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and green beans. Hope they weren't harmed or I will have to start all over.

    Also, I had to relocate a VERY aggressive snake from my backyard landscaping. I believe it is a Black Racer, but it was hard to tell since it is still on the younger/ smaller side (about 3 feet in length) and its final colors/patterns aren't complete yet.

    Attachment 84663

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mer-Man's Minion View Post
    My dad's a farmer here, and he always tries to start in April. Course, with all the rain there usually is, it's not uncommon for his plantin' to get pushed back, lol.
    Yeah, I grew up on a very large vegetable and fruit farm and have been farming for many years. We sold much of our produce to Kroger stores as well as at 2 Farmers Markets. In Kentucky, cold crops can start being planted around mid-March and warm weather crops usually between May 1st and May 10th (for best results and maximum harvest yield).
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  20. #45
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    nice snake!

    We had a frost here too. I havent planted anything though, so thats good. Typically I dont do that until Juneish
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  21. #46
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divia View Post
    We had a frost here too. I havent planted anything though, so thats good. Typically I dont do that until Juneish
    Thankfully you hadn't planted yet. I was lucky that I had several tarps and enough landscapers cloth to cover everything up. What's funny is we had a frost warning 2 nights ago followed by a heat warning today. lol.
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  22. #47
    Mistress of the Whip! Divia's Avatar
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    Alrighty, I am planted. I'm early this year and we already had a frost scare. Me dumb I should have waited a week or two.

    here be the list:

    Tomatoes
    Cukes
    beans
    Indian Corn
    Pumpkins
    watermelons
    Broccoli
    Basil
    sweet corn (new!)
    onions (new!)
    gords(new!)
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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divia View Post
    Alrighty, I am planted.

    here be the list:

    Tomatoes
    Cukes
    beans
    Indian Corn
    Pumpkins
    watermelons
    Broccoli
    Basil
    sweet corn (new!)
    onions (new!)
    gords(new!)
    Awesome! Can't wait to see pics as your garden grows.
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  24. #49
    Southern-Fried Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    I got some stuff sprouting in Jiffy Pots. Hopefully I will soon be able to till and put it out.
    Got some tomatoes, some peppers, some pumpkins and watermelons
    I got weird results from the Asparagus this year - it sprouted without me doing anything and turned almost into a bush. But no Asparagus spears like you usually eat.

    I have stevia and peppermint coming back too - I thought the drought had killed them last year.
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  25. #50
    Master of Invisibility MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Picked some Asparagus and Broccoli and pulled 2 green onions. Here are some pics:

    Attachment 85140

    Attachment 85141

    Attachment 85142

    Attachment 85143

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave-Man View Post
    I got weird results from the Asparagus this year - it sprouted without me doing anything and turned almost into a bush. But no Asparagus spears like you usually eat.
    Asparagus spears always turn into a fern-like bush if they aren't picked soon enough. How many years ago did you plant your Asparagus? That helps determine how long your picking season should be. The first 2 years you aren't supposed to pick at all and should just let it fern-out. During Year 3 you can pick spears for about 3-4 weeks and then let them fern-out. During Year 4 you can pick spears for 6-8 weeks and then let them fern-out.

    Also, what do you mean your asparagus "sprouted without you doing anything"? I have had asparagus my whole life and it has always sprouted without me doing anything. It is a perennial and comes back year after year on its own.
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