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Recent Blog Posts

  • Planting Asparagus


    Though it is too early to plant asparagus, it is not too early to make plan and prepare the soil. This crop is a perennial and will survive for many years if given proper care. It prefers full sun and a well-drained soil and is usually placed on the edge of the garden area so that there is no need to till around the area to plant other crops.

    Proper soil prep is especially important for perennial crops. Take a soil test to ensure proper levels of nutrients. See the accompanying article on how to take a soil test for the correct procedure. 

    Work the soil as early in the spring as possible but do not work wet soil as clods will form. Then add two inches of organic matter to the surface and the fertilizer and work again so the organic matter and fertilizer are blended into the soil.

    Asparagus can be propagated from seed but is more often started from 1-year-old crowns. These crowns are planted deeply; 6 to 8 inches deep either in a hole for each crown or in a trench with shallower planting recommended for soils with more clay.  Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart. Fill in the trench gradually over the growing season to encourage growth. 

    March 15 to April 15 is the best planting time. Adapted varieties include Jersey Giant, Jersey King, Jersey Knight, Jersey Supreme and Purple Passion. These are all male hybrids that will produce three times as much as our old Martha or Mary Washington varieties.  Males have a number of advantages over females in that they live longer, emerge earlier in the spring, are more productive and eliminate potential volunteer plants that can reduce the productivity of a planting.

    Weed control is very important. Competition with weeds results in slow establishment. A shallow hoeing should be all that is needed.


  • March Gardening Calendar

    Houseplants Weeks 1-4: Two handsome houseplants that provide fragrant blossoms indoors this month are the Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and Japanese pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira). Both thrive in average home conditions and are...

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  • Gardeners’ Gathering

    Thursday, February 21, 2019 “400 Million Years on Six Legs: Evolution of the Insects” Do you appreciate insects or want a greater understanding of insects? Did you know that insects are the primary pollinators of our ecosystems? Did you know that...

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  • Annual Spring Seminar

    Have you signed up for our Annual Spring Seminar yet??? It is an amazing all day event offering a variety of presentations for the avid gardener. You can learn about the Best Veggies for our Midwest Climate, Gardening with Natives or everything you ever...

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  • Bringing Houseplants Down to Size

      We sometimes receive calls from gardeners who wish to donate houseplants that have outgrown their location. In most cases, we don’t have room to accept plants and suggest that people bring them down to size by air-layering. Air-layering is...

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  • February Gardening Calendar

    Ornamentals Weeks 1-4: Winter aconite (Eranthis sp.) and snowdrops (Galanthus sp.) are hardy bulbs for shady gardens that frequently push up through snow to bloom now. Weeks 1-4: Water evergreens if the soil is dry and unfrozen. Weeks 1-4: Inspect...

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  • Pawpaw Trees: A Native Fruit

      Even though pawpaw is native to eastern Kansas, many people in the state have never eaten one. Fruits resemble fat bananas and are generally up to 6 inches long and as much as 3 inches wide. The taste is unique and is difficult to describe but...

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  • Advanced Education Workshop opportunity

    Saturday, February 9th, 2019 Viburnum— A genus of great diversity and functionality whose sum of the seasons are greater than the parts. 09:30-12:30 Southeast Community Center, 420l E 63 Street, KCMO 64132 Get hooked on Viburnums: a diverse genus...

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  • Pruning Trees and Shrubs in the Fall

      Pruning in August can stimulate new growth that is less hardy during the winter.  But what about pruning at this time of year?  Woody plants move sugars and other materials from the leaves to storage places in the woody portions of the plant...

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  • Gardeners’ Gathering Tour June 21st

    Thursday, June 21, 2018 Tour of KC Water Swope Campus Green Infrastructure Tour of KC Water’s Swope Campus Infrastructure Thursday, June 21, 2018 Rain gardens, bioswales, native plantings, permeable pavers—are you interested in these gardening/water...

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  • Become a Master Gardener!

    Master Gardeners and Garden ‘N Grow Participants It is time to steer our friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, and any other people you know who are interested in gardening to the Master Gardener Volunteer Training! We are accepting applications...

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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program