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fruits & vegetables
Can you have too much information on growing food?
We don’t think so. Now that you have an idea of ways in which you can plant a vegetable garden we thought we would keep our more specific information from our previous Gardensense editions in this copy. Special requirements and information on the more common vegetables that Calgarians grow are in this section. We hope you’ll try all or some of these crops this spring!
If we haven’t covered something you would like to try and you’re not sure just stop by and ask or email us at or watch this super informative video here from our greenhouse manager and Horticulturist John Duncan.
Asparagus is one of the few perennial vegetables; it can last up to twenty years with minimal care. It should be planted in an out of the way spot, since it is semi-permanent, takes up a lot of space, and grows up to 6 ft. (2 m) tall. A spot near a fence with plenty of space for further growth, facing the sun, is ideal.
Asparagus is sold as roots. The first season is spent developing their root systems. Asparagus is ready to harvest the second season after planting. Plant asparagus in trenches, approximately 1 ft. (30 cm) wide and 10 in. (25 cm) deep, with the crowns 6 in. (15 cm) below the surface and spaced 1 ft. (30 cm) apart within the trench. The root should be covered with a thin layer of soil at the bottom of the trench. As plants grow, fill in the trench, making sure not to cover the stem tips. Asparagus is a heavy feeder. Be sure to water and fertilize adequately.
Harvest mature stems when they are about 1 in.
(2 cm) in thickness. The plants’ first harvest should last four to six weeks. Stop harvesting when thin stalks appear, indicating plant exhaustion. Harvest length will increase as the plants mature. In the fall plants should be cut back to the ground and mulched for winter protection. Mulch should be removed in the spring when weather allows.
Although some varieties are frost tolerant, most beans are not, and should be planted outdoors when the soil is warm and the days are consistently above 13 C. There are two general types of beans, bush beans and pole beans. Bush beans mature more quickly than pole beans, about 50 days. Bush beans grow to a specific size, depending on variety, stop growing and then begin producing. Pole beans take 60-70 days to reach maturity, and require support. A trellis or stout pole is traditionally used to support these bean vines. Harvest beans when they are firm and brightly coloured. Frequent harvest will promote further production.

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