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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Asparagus!

In Gardening on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Do you like to eat fresh asparagus?jersey-night

Did you know you can grow your own asparagus bed?

Well, you can!  And it’s fairly easy.  In fact, the hardest part is planting it.  After that, give it some water, keep it mulched a bit and you can enjoy fresh asparagus spears from March to June in central Oklahoma.  And the best part?  Your plants will live for about 30 years! 

Purchase asparagus roots (crowns) at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Farmer’s Grain (in Edmond), or your local nursery. Look for “all-male” varieties, as they will give you heavier production.   Each crown will produce about ½ pound per year, so consider how many plants you’d like to have.

Dig your trench about 6 inches down.  Lay your roots in the trench, about 1 foot apart.  Cover with soil, but don’t tamp down.  Water. 

200px-asperge_planten_asparagus_officinalisThis year you’re only going to establish the roots by allowing the spears to grow into pretty ferns that will reach about 3 feet tall.  When the ferns die back this fall remove the dead foliage.  Then next year when your asparagus stalks appear, harvest the stalks when they are about 5-8 inches tall, and tips are closed. (cut or break off at the soil line)  Don’t worry if you miss a few days harvesting.  The spears will turn into ferns again giving nutrients to the roots for more growth next year.

 

That’s it.  A little work for a reward that will last for years to come!

Do you like asparagus?  Ever considered growing it?

 

 

mom4

 

Robin

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Dear Robin…I Want to Plant a Garden

In Dear Robin, Gardening on Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Dear Robin, 

 

I want to start a vegetable garden this year.  Where do I start? 

 

My advice:

Start small.  Find a plot that receives at least 6 hours of full sun a day.  It also needs to be a fairly level space.

 

Next, begin digging out the sod.  (This is the hardest part!)  Remove as many of the roots as possible.  At this point you may choose to add plenty of a good quality garden-blend soil (either bags or have a load delivered), or take your chances with the soil that is there.  You can also have your soil tested at your county extension office to determine if anything needs to be added to improve it. 

 

Rake smooth ready to receive seeds or plants. 

 

Your bed can be edged with rocks, bricks, landscape timbers, etc. 

 

Next, determine what you want to plant.  I’d suggest starting with lettuce, radishes, a couple of tomato and pepper plants and maybe a couple of herbs. We’ll talk about planting lettuce and radishes soon.

Read up on gardening at:

 Square Foot Gardening

Organic Gardening

Garden Web Forums

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Keep it simple, and you’ll enjoy some fresh vegetables this summer!

Do you have more gardening questions?  Ask away.

mom4

 

Robin

Got Milk?

In Gardening on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 11:54 pm

 Gardening season is right around the corner, and I’m going to try to post gardening tips each Friday for a while.

 

This week I want to show you how I start a lot of my plants.  It’s an easy process and I’ve grown many nice plants from seed…even hostas!  At the price of plants from the nursery, this is a real money saver. 

Save your milk cartons.  Using a heavy-duty pair of scissors, make a cut about 4 inches from the bottom starting by the handle, and cutting horizontally around to the other side of the carton, leaving the handle as a “hinge”.  Next, make 6 or so drainage cuts in the bottom (be careful and don’t stab yourself!)  Label the bottom of your carton with a permanent marker naming the seed you plan to plant. blog-034blog-036

 

 

Fill the bottom of the carton with a good quality potting soil, almost to the top.  Now water it well, making sure all the soil is drenched. 

Take your seed and sprinkle or place over the top of the soil.  Press tiny seeds into the surface of the damp soil, and cover larger seeds with a light covering of the soil.

Push the top down, putting the top into the bottom of the carton in order to keep the “lid” shut.  Leave the cap off the carton. You’ve just made a mini-greenhouse.

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Keep it outside in a sunny location, even in the extreme cold!  Check occasionally for watering, especially on warm winter days.  Keep soil moist. 

Depending on the weather conditions, you can expect to see green sprouts as soon as a week and as long as several weeks.  As soon as you see sprouts, make sure you keep your baby plants watered.  A good way is with a spray bottle.  Don’t allow your soil to dry out.  Keep the carton open to the sun during the day, closing it for night. 

As soon as you see the first or second set of true leaves, you can transplant your baby plants to their new location in your garden, or you can wait until they’re a little larger if the weather hasn’t warmed quite enough. 

Try growing tomatoes and peppers for vegetables, and try sweet William (dianthus), snapdragons, gaillardia or rudbeckia for flowers. 

 Have you ever started your own plants from seed?  Have any other questions? 

mom4

 

 

Robin