Tag Archives | urban farming

Grow your own Asparagus (year after year)

Asparagus spears should not be cut for the first couple of years to help the plant establish. When they aren’t cut, they grow into ferns that look like this.

This year is my first attempt at growing asparagus. I have a friend who gave me a plant in the middle of summer and it is doing really well so far. Since I haven’t grown asparagus before, I figured I should probably do some research and figure out how to best care for this new addition to my garden. Here is what I found out:

A new asparagus spear pushes through the soil.

Growing asparagus is quite easy. It comes back year after year once it is established. The trick with asparagus is getting it established. As with many perennial plants (plants that come back each year), it is important not to harvest till the plant has developed a good root system (2-3 years for Asparagus).  So, patience is required, but it is definitely worth the wait.

Once an asparagus plant is established, you can begin harvesting it each season. The season usually starts in late spring/early summer and will continue for 6 to 7 weeks. Depending on how many plants you have, this will give you significant yields each year for a minimal amount of effort. Once the plant begins slowing down on sending up new shoots, it is nearing the end of its production for that season. The asparagus spears can be harvested by either snapping or cutting them off above ground.I’m excited to see how my first Asparagus plant does. For further reading on growing your own asparagus, check out this link on the website Grit.com (How to Grow Asparagus).

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Try this for an end of Summer snack…

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One of my favorite garden fresh snacks uses fresh basil and sun-gold or cherry tomatoes. Here is how to prepare it:

Step 1: Pick some tomatoes and a handful of basil leaves from your garden.

Step 2: Put some crackers on a microwaveable plate and cut some slices of a cheese of your choice (I often use sharp cheddar). Put a piece of cheese on each cracker.

Step 3: Place the crackers and cheese in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or until the cheese starts to melt.

Step 4: Place a leaf of basil on the melted cheese on each cracker.

Step 5: Cut your tomatoes in half and place 1 or 2 halves (depending on the size of crackers you are using) onto the cracker open face down.

Step 6: Enjoy your delicious, garden fresh snack!

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Organic ways for how to get rid of slugs in your garden

We at TogetherFarm believe in using natural and organic products for pest control and soil amendments. This ensures sustainability and health for generations to come. This is a how to on getting rid of slugs in your garden – the organic way. In addition, if you have issues with aphids, check out this article for How to get rid of aphids in your garden.

A couple days ago, I opened my cold frame where I am starting a bunch of seeds. 2 days before that, there were lots of little plants poking their heads through the moist soil and I expected to see even more true leaves on the starts. Instead, all I found were little plant stubs – the slugs had attacked again and devoured most of my starts. For anyone who has been through this before, it is very disheartening!

Slugs can devour entire sections of your garden overnight!

With that in mind, how does one get rid of slugs in their garden? Here are some organic methods that I have discovered:

1. Night-time Slug Hunting: You can try the age-old method of slug-hunting at night or early morning. My brother often uses this method and his record in one evening is about 100 slugs – that’s a lot of work!

2. The Beer Trap Method: Another method is to use beer traps.  Supplies needed: tinfoil baking container, yeast, and beer. Fill the baking tin with beer and bury it, with the top of it level with the surface of the ground. Sprinkle some extra yeast into the beer as this is what really attracts the slugs to the trap. Here is a quick video how to from the rusted garden.com: Build a Beer Trap for Slugs

3. Crushed Egg Shells: The third option is to use crushed egg shells. This is a fairly effective method and adds calcium and other nutrients back into the soil as the shells decompose. The slugs don’t like crawling over the sharp edges of the crushed egg shells. The problem with this method is that you need a lot of egg shells to cover a big garden space.

4. Sluggo: The final method (and the method I most often use) is to use a product called Sluggo. This is a product that is safe around pets. It was recently certified to be used in organic gardening by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute). I have found that Sluggo is the most effective method of preventing a total devastation of my plants by slugs. Here is a link to Sluggo on amazon.com: Sluggo

An organically certified way to get rid of slugs.

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