Vegetables

Cats Use Beds As Litter Box – Should I Replace Soil?

Q: I have several raised beds where I grow vegetables. Stray cats like to use my beds as their litter box. Do you think I should replace the soil before I plant in spring.  A: I am not a veterinarian...

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How Rare Are Asparagus Spears In January?

Q: We enjoyed two asparagus spears from our plant back in January. How rare is this? A: Soil temperature is the main trigger for asparagus spear production. Perhaps a root was growing shallowly and became warm enough to send up...

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How To Get Rid Of Wild Onions?

Q: Do you know of anything to get rid of wild onions except pulling them out?  A: Hand-pulling wild onion/wild garlic has the disadvantage of leaving in the soil the bulbs that don’t currently have leaves. The herbicide imazaquin (Image...

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Can I Toss Vegetable Scraps Into My Shrubbery?

Q: I’m too old to do classic composting with a pile. Every day I have a cup or so of vegetable scraps to dispose of. Can I just toss them over my shrubbery to decompose or am I asking for...

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Seedless Pickles

Q: Due to a medical condition, my wife can’t eat seeds. However, she longs for pickles. We understand gerkins are seedless. Does this apply to all baby cucumbers?  A: The pickled items that we call gherkins are indeed baby cucumbers....

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Vegetables That Are Native To North America

Q: Are there any vegetables that are native to North America?  A: The only two I could find are Jerusalem artichoke and tepary bean. Jerusalem artichoke is a type of sunflower with thick, edible roots. Patches of tall plants covered...

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Are Baby Cucumbers Seedless?

Q: Due to a medical condition, my wife can’t eat seeds. However, she longs for pickles. We understand gerkins are seedless. Does this apply to all baby cucumbers?  A: The pickled items that we call gherkins are indeed baby cucumbers....

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Vegetables Native To North America

Q: Are there any vegetables that are native to North America? A: The only two I could find are Jerusalem artichoke and tepary bean. Jerusalem artichoke is a type of sunflower with thick, edible roots. Patches of tall plants covered...

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Can I Till The Dried Vegetables Vines In My Raised Bed?

Q: Now that the squash and other vegetables are withered in my raised bed garden, can I till the dried vines into the bed where they grew or should they be put in the compost pile? According to the planting...

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Okra pods not pollinated

Q: I was away for a week and wasn’t able to cut my okra while gone. When I returned there were ants on the stalk and I noticed that the small pods would fall off when I shook the plant...

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Can I Prune Okra?

Q: In last year’s garden the okra did well but grew way too tall. Can it be pruned to keep it lower and still produce well? A: You sure can! As our common okra varieties age, the top of the...

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How High Can Raised Beds Be?

Q: I am working to create permanent raised beds in my garden. I have been told that raised beds should not exceed twelve inches high because the soil becomes too hot and dry.  A: Raised beds do dry out a...

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When to harvest garlic

Q: Now that my garlic plant has this beautiful bloom will it have a garlic bulb or onion to harvest or do I just leave it? A: By the time the plant flowers, garlic may be a little past optimum...

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Starting A Vegetable Garden On A Sunny Cow Pasture

Q: We are moving out in the country and I’d like to start a vegetable garden. Our property is on a sunny former cow pasture. I’d like to grow corn, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, and maybe potatoes. Any suggestions on...

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Is Compost Tea A Good Fertilizer?

Q: Is compost tea a good fertilizer for the vegetable garden or is it better to just mix the compost into the holes of the plants?  A: I have a history with garden “teas”. I remember helping my mother make...

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My Indoor Corn Plant Doesn’t Look Healthy

Q: I have an old indoor corn plant that won’t die but doesn’t look healthy. I’ve tried various things but I’m not sure how to save it.  A: My first instinct would be to toss it, but I know houseplants...

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Is The Yuca Root The Same As The Ornamental Yucca?

Q: When I eat at Hispanic restaurants, they serve yuca root. I this the same as ornamental yucca?  A: They are not the same, although I sometimes see “yucca” on restaurant menus. Yuca (cassava), Manihot esculenta, is a tropical plant...

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Pruning Okra

Q: In last year’s garden the okra did well but grew way too tall. Can it be pruned to keep it lower and still produce well? A: You sure can! As common okra varieties age, the top of the plant...

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