July 1, 2017
Growing Great Garlic is the title of a well known text on the subject by Ron Engeland. Not a bad place to start if you are interested in this unique specialty crop. Penn State and other Land Grant Universities also have good information, if you plan to grow this crop.
The University of Minnesota Extension has produced an excellent garlic growing guide that is a good first read if this crop is new to you, or for beginning vegetable growers. It covers all of the essentials…. varieties, planting procedures, pests, soil fertility, harvest, and storage. It also contains an excellent list of references and further reading. To this list, I would add The Complete Book of Garlic by Ted Jordan Meredeth, a recently published (2008), comprehensive look at this species and its culture. Penn State’s Commercial Vegetable Production Guide has a section on garlic culture but beginning growers will want to gain greater perspective on this crop’s culture than the guide provides. Our Ag Alternatives Garlic publication has sample budgets and additional information.
June 30, 2017
From The NC State extension.
The advantage of using plants grown in containers is that 100% of the roots are in the container. Thus, the plant goes through limited transplant shock if given adequate follow-up care. Container-grown plants can be planted into the landscape year-round. Plants produced in containers, in a soilless medium (usually bark and sand), are much lighter than B&B material. This is very helpful to home gardeners who may not have large equipment to handle the heavy plants.
The main disadvantage of container-grown plants is the possibility of deformed roots. “Rootbound” plants have roots circling inside the container. The entangled roots are a physical barrier to future root growth and development. If this condition is not corrected at planting time, the plant may experience slow growth and establishment because of the girdled roots. Some form of root mass disturbance is recommended before planting.
A relatively new production system is the use of fabric containers or bags. Plants are grown in the bags, placed in the ground, with a soil backfill. The advantage to this production technique is purported to be a means of harvesting a greater number of roots while using field production practices. The fabric must be removed at transplanting time. This can be somewhat of a problem when the roots have become attached to the walls of the bag, or if roots have escaped through the fabric.
Smaller plants live better and establish faster than large plants and are more economical. Many consumers, on the other hand, want the “instant” landscape look. Demand for large, landscape-size trees has certainly increased over the last decade. With large mechanical digging equipment, 6- to 8-inch diameter trees can be moved. Large diameter trees are often transplanted for instantaneous effect, but post-transplant stress and costs increase with the size of the tree.
June 29, 2017
Super Food that’s Super Easy! Goji Berries (a.k.a. Wolfberries) are used throughout the Orient to treat a broad range of ailments and diseases. They are high in antioxidants, amino acids, essential fatty acids and are widely used to reduce inflammation. Grow them yourself without the chemicals.
Most Goji Berries come from China where they’re often treated with chemicals that have been long banned in the US. They can turn an incredibly healthy food into something toxic.