How should Brussels sprouts be harvested?

Harvest when sprouts reach about one inch in diameter and begin at the bottom of the stalk. Do not wash until ready to store or use. Sprouts can be refrigerated for 5 days in plastic. Harvesting can continue into winter by mulching with straw or providing a cover.

I would like to plant garlic this fall. Where do I start?

Garlic cloves need to be high quality and not grocery store produce which may have been treated with a sprouting retardant. Many local garden centers and seed catalogs will have garlic for fall planting. To properly grow garlic requires a cold period. Cloves should be planted in full sun six to eight weeks before the ground is expected to freeze, usually in late October. Plant in well-drained soil adding 2 – 3 inches of compost before planting. Generally, the larger the clove at planting time equals a larger sized bulb at harvest. Plant individual cloves, peels intact, two inches deep and 6 inches apart. Cover the new planting with 5 – 8 inches of straw mulch. Next spring the new shoots will poke through.

Is there anything I can still plant in my garden?

Leaf lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, and spring radish can be seeded until mid-September. Watering and weed control are the order of the day until harvest or frost. You can extend the season with floating row cover and cold frames.

Can I place garden cleanup waste in my compost bin?

Composting is a practical and convenient way to manage yard and garden waste. Compost is excellent for improving soil and plant health. Avoid adding diseased plants or plants treated with herbicide. Weeds can be composted, but, you risk contamination with weed seeds and pathogens. It takes 30 days of exposure to temperatures of 145 degrees or more to kill seeds from tougher weed species.

What is the best way to harvest cabbage?

The most successful technique for harvesting cabbage is cutting. Cut at the lowest point possible, leaving the loose outer leaves attached to the stalk. This will allow for a later cabbage harvest of sprouts which will grow on the stem after the cabbage head is removed. If excessive rain is expected, harvest mature heads to avoid having them split and become inedible. Contact us with your gardening questions. sdeberg@marengo-uniontimes. com.

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