New gardner needs some help!!!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-08-2011, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey all, I am new to this and I would love some help!  I live in SW Ohio and we purchased a house a little over 2 years ago.  The first Spring that we were in the house asparagus came up in my garden, which was a welcome surprise!  I really have no idea how old the crop is.  That same spring I planted several tomato and pepper plants as well as some cucumbers and zucchini.  The asparagus was great in the early season and the other crops started out wonderful as well.  I had several large zucchini and a lot of cucumbers.  About half way through the season the leaves on my zucchini plant started to wilt and the plant slowly died.  The cucumbers also followed suit.  They were planted nearest to one another and closest to the asparagus.  Then last spring, my asparagus didn't come up, not even a stalk.  I didn't plant anything last year because of my busy schedule with my wedding and school.  Can anyone explain what could have happened?  I am new to gardening and want to plant again this year but don't want to encounter the same problems.  Also, is there any chance the asparagus will come back this year?  Thanks in advance for any help!!

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#2 of 8 Old 02-08-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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Sounds like you are doing great. Your zuchini and cukes were probably killed by this nasty little creature (that is the bane of my existance from June-August every.single.year.)

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1208.html 

They are evil. You can trap them and kill them with this:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Squash-Bug-Control-Squisher-Trap-Crop.aspx 

and here is some more information about controlling them:

http://www.life123.com/home-garden/gardening-tips/garden-pests/top-five-ways-to-control-squash-bugs.shtml 

 

Maybe someone else will chime in about your asparagus, but where I live it has a very short season. I wouldnt be suprised if it came back next year. Good luck, and I have to supply you with this link, because it is the best place to get seeds ever.

 

www.rareseeds.com


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#3 of 8 Old 02-09-2011, 05:02 AM
 
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Hmm, maybe the asparagus was a newer planting and you picked a year too soon?

Did you fertilize after picking and keep the bed weed free for the rest of the year. Asparagus doesn't like any competition and they do all their growing after harvest.

That's all I can think of.

Did the cuke and zucchini leaves turn white?
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#4 of 8 Old 02-10-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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Squash vine borer is a perennial problem for us.  If you know what you're looking for you can tell pretty easily if your plant has been invaded by a borer.  The worms chew their way into the vine near the base and climb upwards, eating out the vine and expelling orangish "frass" (i.e. poop) out through the large hole/slit.  When they have totally killed your plant they crawl into the ground to pupate, then re-emerge as adults to lay eggs on more of your vines.

 

Whatever your problem, I would try planting in a different spot this year.  If you think it could be borers you can cover the plants with summer-weight row cover to prevent the adults from laying eggs on the vines.  If you find any of your vines this year have borers, pull them out and dispose of them right away to prevent the larva from pupating in your soil.


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#5 of 8 Old 02-10-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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Did you pick all the asparagus or did you let some of it go and fern?


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#6 of 8 Old 02-11-2011, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great advice!  I read a little about those squash borers and think that could be the issue. I'll look into that more and try some of your suggestions.  Is it ok to plant peppers or something else in that area this year? 

 

Regarding the asparagus, there were some weeds in the back later in the season, after the asparagus was done.  Could that be why it didn't come back?  Is it ok to till the garden with the asparagus?  Sorry for all the questions but I really want to do anything I can to get it back without having to start over from seeds.

 

Thanks again!

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#7 of 8 Old 02-12-2011, 01:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akthomas22 View Post

Thanks for all the great advice!  I read a little about those squash borers and think that could be the issue. I'll look into that more and try some of your suggestions.  Is it ok to plant peppers or something else in that area this year? 

 

Regarding the asparagus, there were some weeds in the back later in the season, after the asparagus was done.  Could that be why it didn't come back?  Is it ok to till the garden with the asparagus?  Sorry for all the questions but I really want to do anything I can to get it back without having to start over from seeds.

 

Thanks again!

Ack, don't till the asparagus!!!!!  Tilling will basically pull apart the plants - they depend on the roots staying there, undisturbed.  For like 25+ years or until they're killed off.  Kinda like you don't till a strawberry patch when you still have strawberry plants in it, you know?  ;)

 

I don't know what zone you're in, so I won't be any help with pests like the squash vine borer.  I live in a chilly climate, so my tradeoff of the short growing season is balanced out by the lack of bugs that warmer climates get.  :D

I have tried planting a few marigolds and tomatoes and alyssum under my asparagus, but the asparagus ends up shading everything underneath (so maybe I'll try spinach or lettuce underneath next...), so I wouldn't do sun loving plants underneath them.  And yes, you want to leave a few spears (like 1+ per plant) to fern out - helps keep the root going and all that.  Plus they just look really cool - like cute baby Christmas trees.  As for what would and wouldn't go with asparagus, I know there's tons of companion planting charts out there online, and books like Carrots Love Tomatoes.


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#8 of 8 Old 02-12-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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Yeah don't till the asparagus.

Think of it this way. For the rest of your vegetable crops you spend the entire warm season babying them so they'll produce a harvest at the end. With asparagus you get the harvest first and the baby the plant for the rest of the season so that the following spring you'll get a crop again.

Generally you don't plant a companion with asparagus, they are one of the few plants that really do better alone.
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