I planted asparagus two years ago with a good quality potting soil in an eight inch trench. They get bushy too early. What am I doing
John, Norwich, CT
You will need to dig them out this fall and start anew. Asparagus need a loose soil in a two foot trench that is at least 18 inches deep. Use good soil with aged manure and some bonemeal. It is good to let it go to seed but yours is premature. Those little green spears should appear quite early. You can side dress with 5-10-10, when they sprout. Cut back the top growth every fall.
My tomatoes in raised beds have sun scald with all this 100 degree heat. What do you suggest?
Bill, Tulsa, OK
You need screening to shade the plants. You have too much of a good thing. If you can find parachute silk, it would be perfect. If you use weed barrier, it will have to be elevated with about an inch opening between sheets. I would make some lathing on two by threes. Put the lathes about an inch apart. You can save the lathing each
I just got a new hybrid tea pink rose. It is beautiful. Should I be
Vicky, Westerly, RI
You can remove the old flowers as they expire. It will bloom in waves throughout the season. In the fall you can prune it back to three main stems that are 18 inches above the ground. Your flower bearing branches will sprout off this scaffolding. Roses need organic fertilizer and aeration. Each fall use aged manure bad some bonemeal. Keep the soil cultivated throughout the summer to keep out weeds and insects. If attacked by beetles or other insects, use a home orchard spray or rose spray. Follow directions on the labels.
My apricots have few fruit that turn brown before ripening. I do not fertilize or spray much. My apples and pears do great every year. The apricot has a four diameter on the trunk. What might be the problem?
Paul, Wanneco. IL
You may have planted them on a rock. What is more likely is the excess rain that you experienced this spring was too much for the fruit. Since apricots start earlier and take longer to mature, they are more sensitive to temperature swings. Sudden heat may cause flower dropping. A disproportionate amount of nitrogen to phosphorus could be the cause of the rotting before maturation. I would suggest that you add some 5-10-10 fertilizer. Dig a half dozen holes that are in a circle about four feet from the trunk. They should be at least a foot deep. Fill the holes with the granular fertilizer. This will strengthen the stems to hold the fruit. Repeat this every five years.
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