The Gardener’s Corner

The Gardener’s Corner

Using pesticides is safe as along as you do it right

Erik outlines the dos and don’ts of pesticides and has some tips for growing asparagus

To be or not to be, that is the question.

Or shall we do it, or can it wait?

We all here in the valley know how short the growing season is, so perhaps the answer should be “just get on with it.” For us who are gardening enthusiasts, it can be just a great time to work in the dirt, trim off flowers, talk to another gardener.

In short, this is also why I enjoy writing this column and getting a reply from your readers and questions. Just remember there is only one stupid question, the one not asked.

The use of pesticides is a question that comes up this time of the year. It should be used with the intention it was meant. Is it poison? Yes, it is, so follow the directions on the label.

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Is it dangerous? No. The only way it becomes dangerous is when the top of the container is taken off, and the mixing starts. I can not emphasize enough if you need to use any liquid pesticide, ask the store if that product is sold premixed.

When the container is empty, rinse it out with water three times in a location away from where any contamination can take place. It is the most important thing to protect yourself by using gloves, face protection, and rubber boots before attempting any pesticide use.

How to grow asparagus? Asparagus is OK to zone two. Plant in a location with good drainage. Dig trenches that are about six inches wide and six to eight inches deep.

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From there, create a mound in the trench and place the crowns fifteen to eighteen inches apart, spreading the roots over the ridge.

Asparagus crowns are usually available just once a year in early spring. It takes feeding in the spring with a continuous release of plant food, water to keep the soil consistently moist and encourage moisture retention with a three-inch layer of mulch.

You might have to pick your asparagus twice a day to keep up with production. So it is usually grown from one-year-old crowns. It might take three years after planting before production will be at the highest.

However, the plant can be productive for ten years or more, so it is worth the wait. Asparagus harvest starts at the end of May and usually lasts for three to four weeks, depending on air temperatures.

So we have finally arrived at the end of May. Any time after June 1 should be safe to plant the annuals outside. For those who have started the bedding plants from seeds, it is finally the end of the water can, moving things around, we can all enjoy showing off all our effort.

But what I believe is more important to pat ourselves on the back and say, well done and enjoy the summer and the flower show.

If you have questions or suggestions for topics, please email me at

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