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General Discussion / Re: Asparagus
« Last post by Double B on Today at 04:11:26 PM »
Thank you for your responses. NewKYhome, your tutorial is great. Like I stated in my original post, I am going to use my raised bed so as not to tie up garden space where I row crop. I am looking forward to this as I have read that many people get decades of asparagus from their initial planting. It is one of my favorite vegetables for sure and I have never had any home grown. Our stores locally bring it in and most of the time it is fairly fresh where it snaps with a crisp break but just like everything else.... homegrown cannot be beat!!

Thanks again,
Double B
The cattle panels sure look like the way to go. They should last as long as most of us and should be fairly easy to take down, clean and store.  I think the okra would certainly be strong enough as my okra stalks are a couple inches in diameter in the summer but it would be a hassle to cut the okra and find all the beans. JMHO
General Discussion / Re: Soil test
« Last post by Gymgirl on Today at 03:57:59 PM »
I wondered about that same thing.  I had 5 raised beds to test, and bit the bullet with ONE Soil Savvy test kit.  Took samples from each, mixed it in a large ziplock baggie, scooped out one the sample, put it in the cup, and into the return envelope.  I had my results in 3 days.  And, a very nice printout, too.  Also kept a copy on my cellphone.

I was very happy with the overall results, because the report was straightforward and easy to read.  And, it actually gave me a starting point for adjusting all the beds.  The clue was that I had been mixing the same basic nutrients in each raised bed, just to varying degrees.  I could tell by the report just about which bed needed which adjustment, based on the production I was getting out of the beds.  The report made total sense to me.

I couldn't have afforded six separate tests.

I have never tried using okra for pole beans. Sounds like it may and should work.  You can always give it a try and see how it works.  I’m like the others and suggest that you let the okra get to 3-4 feet before planting the beans.  If you decide to do it, please tell us the outcome later this summer or fall.

I have grown some tall okra when it was never trimmed in the 9-10 ft range by the end of October, but most are 6-7 feet.  I just wanted to see how tall it would get.  Most all of those plants could support most any type pole beans.  I would plant no more than 1 bean per stalk. Depending on the pole bean you plant, some of the more vining ones will weigh down the okra stalks.

CCAT - I tried planting pole beans last year alongside a couple of rows of Ambrosia sweet corn.  I let the corn get up about 2 feet and planted the beans (should have waited for 3-4ft).  Beans did their thing and grew up the corn and all with right with the world. . . . . . until the thunderstorm blew through one afternoon and blew down both 75 ft rows of corn and beans. Corn wasn’t quite ready so I lost them both.  Corn will be separate this summer.

I prefer using a cattle panel trellis or vertical cattle panels that are supported by T-posts for both my pole beans and cucumbers.  Another great way to support the beans are via crop netting and T-posts. I never had any issues with the netting.  I started that way from Mr Donald’s video and have migrated to the cattle panels last year when it was time to buy more netting.  I used the netting for several years but I shouldn’t have to buy more cattle panels.  Link to Mr. Donalds video:

Gymgirl – good idea about cutting the panels.  What do you use to cut the panels – bolt cutters?  Can you post some pictures of the TP style you are using over your raised beds?

Here are a couple of pics of the trellis and vertical panels for beans and cucumbers.

Good luck!
General Discussion / Re: How I grow Beets ( in the High Tunnel )!
« Last post by NewKYhome on Today at 02:50:21 PM »
I'm going to try your method for growing beets. I've had no success just sowing them directly in the garden.  Thanks for the great tips on how you did it.

That FrankenBEET is something else.  You'll need some pictures and a weight on that beast when you take it out!
General Discussion / Re: Asparagus
« Last post by NewKYhome on Today at 02:41:06 PM »
Double B

I agree with Texan - the taste of the garden asparagus is so much better than you can buy - almost like it is a different vegetable altogether.

I am still learning about asparagus and how to grow it, but will share what I have done so far.   In my garden I took the tiller and got down about 12 inches and removed the dirt and made a trench about 12-14 inches wide.  I brought in some ag-soil from a local landscape store and filled in 3-4 inches of the bottom of the trench.  Planted the crowns about 14-16 inches apart and covered the top with the rest of the ag-soil/compost mix and then topsoil on the top of it.  All the plants seem healthy.  I'll take 3-4 lbs of 10-10-10 and side dress in the spring and again in the fall when I trim back the ferns.

In April 2015 I planted 25- 3 year old crowns from Andy's in TN.  They were quite expensive.  Most all of them came up and produced some in 2016 and 2107.  I just realized they were not enough for our family for a meal and wanted to add some more plants.  Here is Andy's website:

in March 2017,  I bought 100 Jersey Knight supreme from Nourse Farms and they were great.  They sent about 110 plants.  All but 3 of them came up. They are 1 year plants and weren't that much smaller then the 3 year old ones I bought earlier and a lot less expensive.   I should have some producing this spring but will take very few of them.

Here is a link to their website:
I wish I had planted my asparagus in a raised bed outside of the garden.  I believe they would be much easier to get to and maintain in a raised bed.  And they take up a good bit of space in the garden that you cannot use for anything else for a number of years to come.

Maggie asked me if I culled the female plants out of the bed.  I wasn't aware last fall that I needed to do that to keep from having them spread out into the rest of the garden.  I'll be paying attention this spring to how many are female plants there are and will begin the culling of some or all of them.  Maybe I'll mark them and overharvest them until fall and pull them up then.....

Here are some pics of the 3 year old - (first 2 pics) and 1 year old crowns and trenches. Each group is a pack of 25.

Hope this helps and good luck with them!
Happy Hour / Re: Wood burning stoves questions and hopefully answers
« Last post by corl on Today at 01:26:49 PM »
We have been heating with wood for the past 40 years. Five different stoves in that time - cast iron, soapstone and welded steel. We use to do all the heat with wood and have a hot air oil and hot water backup. Also have a heat pump and air conditioner. Burned about 100 gal of oil a year, mostly for hot water. We have a Jotul F500 now for the last 8 years. As we get older we use the stove for comfort and heating the home, not fanatical about only wood.

Suggestions: Size the stove for your needs. A larger than optimal stove will give you open windows (too much heat) and creosote (when you dampen down the heat). Size the stove for the average winter temp, not the coldest. Use your heater added to the stove for the unusually cold nights. Do your own chimney sweeping. I do it all from the cellar with a flexible cleaner (not cheap). Get wood at least a year in advance. Wood gives heat based on its dry weight so any wood will work. Soft woods are good to start fires and get warmth quickly. Get a temp gauge on the stove so you know when you are using it most efficiently. I can't tell by looking or feeling the heat off the stove. Develop a method that minimizes the number of times you handle the wood.  Have an outside air supply to the stove. This helps minimize drafts from windows and doors. We designed our house with a central masonry (stone) chimney to act as a heat sink and piped fresh air to the stove and the fireplace.  I still love the warmth that the stove provides. It is in the kitchen, but heats the whole house. The kitchen floor is tile over concrete so the floor gets warm as well. Dog loves it.
General Discussion / Re: Soil test
« Last post by BamaFarmer on Today at 01:16:49 PM »
I use Auburn University.They tell me what nutrients are needed.Then it's up to me to decide the source.I bet LSU would do the same.
General Discussion / Soil test
« Last post by Dwight Hebert on Today at 12:02:14 PM »
I'm about to get my soil tested using either the Louisiana Extension service or Soil Savvy.  I have 3 - 4X4 beds each with different amendments over the years. It would get expensive to use one Soil Savvy kit for each bed, but mixing  samples from each bed together would not necessarily give accurate usable results for an individual bed.  The Louisiana Extension test kit has provisions for three separate samples but in my opinion does not give easily usable results for someone trying to garden organically.   Has anyone had this problem and how did you address it?
General Discussion / onion seed in Northern areas
« Last post by corl on Today at 11:49:54 AM »
When I first became a member of this group I started planting Candy onions as was recommended. They did OK but were smaller than those everyone was showing or talking about. Now several years later I no longer grow Candy onions . My garden likes Expression, Walla Walla and Riverside Spanish.  I have not settled on a red onion yet but do a couple of varieties each year. The reds are just not as big as I would like. This will be my first year just doing seeded onions. I have planted them this week under lights and on a heating blanket. In past years I have supplemented the home grown with plants from Texas. I generally get onions from hardball to softball size (largest). Planting seed is more economical than buying plants and the results are similar in my hands. There is plenty of room under the lights as nothing else gets planted this early up here. The onions move to the greenhouse when I start the other seeds. I do a couple of thousand plants each year as onions are popular at the market.
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