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  • Planting Asparagus


    Though it is too early to plant asparagus, it is not too early to make plans and prepare 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; about 8 inches deep either in a hole for each crown or in a trench. 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. (Ward Upham)

  • Gardeners Gathering

    Thursday, February 16, 2017 “Best Garden Practices for Water Quality and Conservation”The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present “Best Garden Practices for Water Quality and Conservation” Thursday, February 16, 2017, 6:30 pm at Kauffman...

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  • February Gardening Calendar

    OrnamentalsWeeks 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 summer...

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  • Care of Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti

    Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) and Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) are epiphytes native to the jungles of South America. Epiphytic plants grow on other plants and use them for support but not for nutrients. Though these cacti...

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  • Poinsettia Care

    Modern poinsettia varieties stay attractive for a long time if given proper care. Place your poinsettia in a sunny window or the brightest area of the room, but don't let it touch cold windowpanes. The day temperature should be 65 to 75 degrees F with...

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  • Garden Soil Preparation – It’s Not Too Late

    Autumn is an excellent time to add organic materials and till garden soils. Winter can still be a good time to take care of this chore as long as the soil isn’t frozen. It is far wiser to till now than to wait until spring when cold, wet conditions...

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  • Winterizing Roses

    Though most shrub roses are hardy in Kansas, other types of roses can be more tender. For example, the hybrid teas have certain species in their ancestry that originated in the warm climate of southern China. These roses need protection to reliably survive...

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  • Fall Colors of Trees

    Part of the allure of fall foliage is color variation. There are trees that turn red, purple, yellow, orange and brown. Specific plant pigments determine individual colors. Foliage derives its normal green color from chlorophyll, the substance that captures...

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  • Fall Armyworms on Turf

    Though we had some fall armyworms last year, the last time we had a significant outbreak on turf was August, 2000. Armyworms are so-called because they invade fields or landscapes as large groups and can cause a lawn to turn brown seemingly overnight. Young...

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  • Gardeners’ Gathering

    Thursday, October 20, 2016   "Apps for Birds and Plants"The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas city present:  "Apps for Birds and Plants" Thursday October 20, 2016, 6:30 pm at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO. Mary Nemecek,...

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  • Wet Weather Can Cause Seeds to Sprout on the Plant

    Corn and soybean seeds possess several mechanisms that prevent sprouting before maturity. The primary mechanism is a balance between two growth hormones, gibberellic acid (GA) and abscisic acid (ABA). In general, GA promotes germination and ABA inhibits...

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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program