Garden Q & A

Untitled-1 copy
If you have a garden question email in to us at 

 Late fall planting 
Q: (Fall) My Carrots, Beets and turnips are all really late I really got a late start on them two weeks ago. I looked at them the carrots were about one or two in and length and the beets are about 1 in across my question is, should I pull them out or can I leave them in and let them grow longer with the potential Frost and possible freeze here in the next days and weeks I live about 30 minutes south of Green Bay Wisconsin zone 5A? Thank you

A: Fortunately those are all cool cooler weather crops and if you’re just going to have a frost it’s not going to hurt them it may slow their growth down during, but the warm days will pick back up. It’s not going to kill them like it would have tomato, pepper or eggplant that type of thing. The other thing in which you can do is if it’s not going to get 27° your ok. Beyond that what you can do is take leaves and Mound over that area and basic create a blanket of insulation over top of your plant if it’s going to get like for example of tomorrow night’s to be 21° you can cover those with leaves two or three feet of leaves.  If the next week is going to be warmer temperatures with Mild night you can remove the least. Basically it’s creating a little refrigerator to keeping the soil from freezing and keeping the plant from freezing. You can also do this over winter you can overwinter them. And remove the leave back harvest what you need and cover again.

Space needed for Brussel Sprouts
Q: Do Brussel sprouts take up very much room? I am interested in growing the next year how much space do they really take?
A: About 2 square foot and you get a lot of Brussel sprouts on one plant

 Coffee grounds
Q: I’m going to use my coffee grounds in the garden how dry should they be?
A:Great question coffee have a lot of good properties you can put them in your compost pile as a nitrogen supplement a green material that you need in order to keep the compost pile balanced browns and greens. You can also put them in the garage and have around 2% nitrogen.
You don’t have to let them dry out to be put in the garden. You may not have enough grounds so you can go to your local coffee shop and provide them with a device in which they can put the grounds in. we have used a 5 gallon bucket. Then just dump the filters and the grounds in the in the garden it’s all good. The filters will all breakdown. The Key is to mix it into your ground. If you broadcast the coffee grounds on the Garden is  to just get use them up and give organic material. But to get the benefit you need to work them in the soil. If you done and just leave them on top of the ground the nutrient value evaporating from the ground.
The other thing that people are concerned with is that, if I add coffee grounds to my garden it will turn soil acidic. This is not true as most if not all of the acidic has been brewed out. It had almost a completely neutral base pH level. If you find you have found that you have forgotten you had coffee grounds or they are moldy there’s nothing wrong with them go ahead and work them in the ground as normal.

Q: Can I make pasta without using all purpose flour is that possible? 

 A: Yes the flower you can look up being a gluten free grain homemade pasta recipes online or if you don’t want to use all purpose flour like a whole grain there’s recipes like that as well alternative to all purpose flour there’s nut flours and whole grain flours even seed flowers.

Q: How long does it take for a tree ‘s wood chips to the decomposed if I run through a normal wood chipper?
A: 2 to 3 year if you want to invest that time and energy into that. Take those wood chips and intermingled them in with your compost pile that would take 5 to 6 months if you have a properly built compost pile that gets about 170 degrees

Dying Rosemary 
Q: What am I doing wrong when I bring my Rosemary plant inside over winter and it dies?

A: There’s two problems in which you can you have. One is potential root rot and two is the change in amount of light the plant is getting.  You bring it from outside which is very bright to inside which is not as bright and these rosemary plant has a very difficult time adjusting keep it by a window.  The root rot issue, if you’re watering it too much and the Plant dies Rosemary like water but not all the time allow it to get almost completely dry then water.

Tomatoes in growbags
Q: I have a three-part question about growing tomatoes in grow bags. What do you recommend I use for planting medium?  I know that I should not use garden soil for tomatoes.  What the minimum gallon bags and any particular brand of grow bags you recommend?

A:  You do not want to use garden soil native soil as it will get very compact you can buy pre-made potting soil. We have planting tomatoes and other plants in 100% compost and have seen them do very well.  You can make your own mix and you would do with three ingredients 1/3 peat moss or coco coir and 1/3 of vermiculite and 1/3 of compost.  What is a minimum size grow bag that you would recommend going in?  A 10 gallon grows bag size it’s the right size for tomato. They are heavy feeder so and that give them a lot of room to grow and feed we use grow bags from they have sizes from 1gallon to 60 gallon

Days to maturity
Q: Can you please explain to me what it means when it says days to maturity?

A: Depends on how you start the seed. If the seed is planted straight in the ground the time to maturity is the time between the planting in the grow and harvesting of the crop. If you start seeds indoors and then plant them in the ground, the time from you transplant in the garden to the harvest is the days to maturity.  

Old Seeds 
Q: Are my Seeds still good from last year and from the last couple of years?

A: To a certain degree each year the viability goes down by 10%. The type of storing matter too, you can put then in the crisper of your fridge in the jar with a lid and label them. They will keep several years.  Tomatoes kept in that environment can last up to 10 years not with 100% viability.  Parsnip, onion, leeks and carrots you’re looking at one maybe two years if you’re very fortunate. A couple years ago we save some parsnips, the book or the internet said about one year is all that seed good for. Three years later we planted the seed, we planned them extremely heavy and we had a tremendous amount of seedling, dozens upon dozens of seeds so don’t always go by what it says but also if you think the seeds are old plant heavier

Planting on a hill
Q: I have a relatively steep incline in my yard, I have planted purple coneflowers and Lily there they but they fall over and the weeds come up. My next thought is to optimize this by planting plants that would produce vegetables. Something that grows low to the ground and thick to drown out a lot of those weeds. Can you make any suggestions? I was thinking a vine crop like squash but I think when they mature they would potentially roll down the  hill, the slope is west facing,

A: We always like to see your utilization of areas to be more productive for food. A west facing slope that’s good it will get a lot of afternoon and evening sun. I would recommend watermelon, pumpkin, Butternut squash and or spaghetti squash. There are going to be attached to the vine so they’re going to be perfectly fine there. Plant them thick and you’ll be good to go.

Cooked or baked seeds 
Q:  Will seeds that I have found in fruits or vegetables that have cooked already or baked be planted and will they grow?

A: No those seeds are already non-viable when baked or cooked and gone through the cooking process even when you dehydrate they will not grow. Gardener will take a dehydrator and dry seeds out from tomatoes, eggplants or onions. If the heat is too intense on the seed it will bake the internal portion that seed and make it non viable. If you save seeds let them dry naturally

Pumpkin is soft 
Q: Hi! I had a volunteer jack-o’lantern pumpking patch this year and decided to roast and puree the pumpkin and freeze it. The harvest was bountiful, and I am still working on my pumpkins. I have one that is now a bit soft but has no odor or rotting yet. I cut it open, smells fine. Looks fines, It just softened. Is it too ripe now to use? I thank you very much!

A: Hi thank you for the question. If there is no order or smell and it is just soft it is fine to use. It can several factor it could be over ripe or under ripe.

Rhubarb do in containers
Q: How did your Rhubarb do in containers? Also what zone are you in?

A: The Rhubarb has been doing great it was started from seed and it is going into its 3rd year in the container. It will soon have to be divided. We do not bring it in the winter is stays out all year. Here is a newer video of how it is doing we are is zone 5a

Dividing Seed Potatoes 
Q: When I cut the potato for planting do I have to let the cut side “cure” and form a skin/ scab?  Or, is it okay to just plant it after cutting?

A: You do not have to wait growing up we never waited, we just cut and planted people will let them dry and scab over to limit the chances of insects from eating the potato in the growing other people will coat them in Horticultural sulfur is a powder commonly used to acidify soil or lower its pH level. It can also be used directly on cut potato pieces to protect them from rot and other soilborne diseases.

What is required to grow Asparagus
Q:I’m considering growing Asparagus but have no clue where would I start or buy the crowns or seeds?

A: You can purchase them at your local garden center or online. You purchase them as a 1 year or  2-year crown . A two year crown you will be able to harvest some off of it next year if you want it sooner than later. They have a root system that is kind of spread out like an octopus is take things and you want to make sure you spread those roots out when you plant them those roots will shoot under the ground and the shoot up Asparagus. Asparagus is a perennial it will last forever 20 to 50 years, if you have a specific area in which you want to turn into a low effort Garden you can have asparagus growing there.

Seed saving options
Q: I would love a great saving option I use the shoebox and I use a banker’s boxes but the packets fall to the bottom of it. The mice seem to like them as well even when I put the little silica gel packets in them. And then I want to be able to label them what can I do?

A: I did some research and they’re not associated with his for anything but you go on Amazon and here is the link to what my work well.×6+photo+and+craft+keeper+extra+large+clear&ref=nb_sb_noss

Tomato Hornworms
Q: I had tomato hornworms last year how do I prevent that from happening again?

A: Tomato Hornworms lay their larvae in the fall at a determine depth in the soil so by disturbing the soil either late in the fall or as soon as you can get in the garden and  work the soil in the spring you’re going to reduce your chances of the return of tomato hornworms by about 90%. If you’re able to find the larvae destroy it. The larvae will look like a butterfly cocoon.  So if you  choose to spayed  or till the area, whatever the case is it will put it in a level in which is not designed to survive and it will greatly reduce the chance of getting tomato hornworm. Also moving your tomatoes from one location to another location will help.

The Best kind of watering can
Q: What is better a plastic watering or a metal watering can?

A: We use both, their pros and cons to both. A metal watering can will not break down in the sun like a plastic one will. But if you leave it out for a long time obviously the metal one will rust the plaster one plastic one will not.  I would be encouraging you to look at when it comes to a watering can is get one with a detachable sprinkler head, that way when particles gets stuck you can remove the sprinkling head and you don’t have to beat around on to dislodge the dirt. Also get a watering can based on how much you’re capable of caring just because it’s a pretty three gallon watering can if you can’t lift the 3 gallon water because of whatever reason it does not do much good.

Number of seed per hole
Q: I’m new at this is there a master list somewhere that tells you how many seeds to start to plant in each cell? l I’m hoping to start tomatoes and peppers  along with basil cilantro parsley and mint but I can’t find anything that tells you how many seeds to throw in the whole.

A: If you have good seeds you’re going to have about a 95% to 100% germination rate. However you we recommend planting two seeds per cell and then cut off the one that is the weaker on once they  have sprouted

Dampening off
Q:  What is the best way to prevent dampening off?

A: This happens when the seedlings fall over and then your plants are dead. It looks you cut them off at soil level.  One thing you can do is use cinnamon and sprinkle cinnamon on top of the soil at the time of planting this helps prevent that fungus from destroying the plant. This also happens because of over watering.  Water as need and use cinnamon.

Oak leaves for the garden 
Q:I also have an abundance of Oak Leaves, I could bring that over and use it as a mulch, right? Someone told me that Oak Leaves would kill a garden.

A:  That is simply not true oak leaves have tremendous about of benefits to your garden as do most of the leaves you find in your backyard.  They have such nutrient power for your garden Oak leaves work just fine they are large, They may mate together and prevent water from running through them you might want to run them over with a lawn mower or mulch them in a smaller prices.  We used Oak,  and Maple leaves and all that that we can find.

sheep manure
Q: Can you advise me on is sheep manure common to use for the Garden? I’ve heard a horse manure is very good any advice on sheep manure?

A: Yes it will work great for the garden but you want to let it aged if you don’t let it age it’s just like cow manure or horse manure it will burn the plants and know your Source know what the animals are eating because if it they’re eating a grass that contains a broad leaf herbicide that can still be persistent after the animal has digested extracted it you compost it when your garden it can still be detrimental.  You want to look up the term killer compost.