An exterminator told my friend that when you begin to see ants, they are the scouts. Stop these and you won't have ants. My son discovered that if you spray them with Windex (or any other glass cleaner), they are exterminated. Keep after it for a while and you won't have ants. We have used this for years. 2 days ago our humming bird feeder leaked onto the concrete front porch...the liquid got down in the crack between brick and concrete so there was not way to flush it out. Ants
appeared quickly, I sprayed them with Windex. Watched through the day and kept spraying them. Now ant free! Safe for kids, pets and environment! It is worth a try before you spend hundreds.
There is nothing like having fresh asparagus from your own garden! Asparagus is just one of those crops that no matter how fresh it may look or feel in the supermarket - the taste of home
grown can't be beat!
Asparagus is different than most of the vegetable crops planted in the garden. Unlike annual varieties such as tomatoes, cucumber and peppers that need planted each year - asparagus is a perennial. Once established, they can provide a good crop for 20 to 25 years for you and your family to enjoy!
They also differ because plants are either male or female. The males are known to have larger and more abundant spear production, while the female varieties tend to be thinner and produce seeds in the fall for reproduction. Most prefer to plant only the male for the added production levels. Popular male varieties such as Jersey Giant and Jersey Knight are great choices for those looking for maximum yields.
Asparagus can be started from seed or from what are called crowns - which are nothing more than the roots of 1 to 2-year-old asparagus plants. Most, (including us) really prefer starting them with the crowns and not from seed. Growing from seed can take up to 2 to 3 years to have edible spears formed - while starting with crowns can give you a few spears to enjoy by the second year. It's also easier to start and maintain the crowns - as their growth is more defined early on, making it easier to keep weeded.
How To Plant :
With the long crop cycle of 20 or more years - it is important to prepare your bed space accordingly. Work in generous amounts of compost to the soil before planting to provide a good starting base for your crop. Asparagus will do best in a nice, sunny location. They can tolerate some partial shade, but grow and thrive much better with full sun.
To plant asparagus, you will want to dig a trench about 6" deep and about 8" wide. We like to space ours about 18" between crowns. Place the crown at the bottom of the trench, and cover with about 2" of topsoil. As the crown begins to grow through the soil, keep adding a few inches of soil until the soil level has filled in the trench over the course of a few weeks. This process allows the asparagus to develop a deep root system to provide for years of crop harvests.
For your first year, allow the plants to grow tall. Resist the temptation to cut a few spears - you want all of the growth to go to the plant and root structure. In the fall after they have died off, you can cut them off about 1" above the soil and place a little straw or compost mulch over them for the winter.
In year two, you will begin to see some small spears shoot through the earth in the spring. You can harvest the first week or two of spears, then allow the plants to once again grow tall and build up strength. The year 2 spears will be smaller, but still very tasty!
Year 3 is where the fun begins! You should be close to full harvest - enjoying fresh spears each and every spring for many years to come. After each spring harvest, let your asparagus grow tall in the beds and repeat the process of cutting back after they have died off in the fall.
Upkeep and Maintenance of Beds:
The biggest key to good productive asparagus is to keep your beds weed free. Weeds and grass compete for valuable nutrients, and a weedy bed will result in smaller, less productive harvests. We use either straw or compost mulch to keep ours weed-free throughout the year. It's also a good idea each fall to put on a two-inch covering of compost on top of your beds to give some added nutrients. Other than that - once established, your asparagus beds will provide you with years of fresh and amazing tasting crops each spring!
Happy Gardening! - Jim and Mary
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Commented on May 09, 2013
thanks for the info Bonnie! I didn't know it would make that big a difference if you cut vs
When I bought my 1880 Victorian home two years ago, I grumbled about the invasive climbers the previous owner had planted to grow up the porch (a wisteria and a trumpet vine!). But I
became accustomed to the constant pruning required and love the charm they add - particularly when they are in bloom. I'm now getting the house painted, and they need to be removed - at least temporarily. Because both are so agressive, I strongly suspect that if I cut them back, they will eventually return...but have concerns I may lose one or both. Any advice??
I had to pull the carpet up in one of my bedrooms and I didnt know what to put down on the bare concrete floor, so it stayed concrete for a while. I eventually decided to use the room as
an art studio and wanted to have a wood floor in there. I decided to put my trompe l'oiel knowledge to work and paint the concrete floor in a bamboo style similar to my bamboo floor in my living room and I love the way it turned out. People have to look twice or be told its painted. a true trompe l'oiel effect.
3 Days Moderate
Commented on Apr 21, 2013
wow...stunning! but you drew all the "boards"? That looks difficult and i'd think you'd have
to have some talent..lol!! doubt I'd ever do it but wow, you are amazing and LOVE your floor!!
I started may 28th planting 4 tomatoes around a garbage can with holes drilled in the bottom rim and a second row up about 10 inches... buried the can to where the top holes just barely
were above the ground... put in two shovels full of compost... then I fill the can up with water ever 2 days and try not to water the leaves... these four plants are now 5 ft 4 inches in less that a month and a half and loaded with green tomatoes and about a hundred sets of tomato blossoms...