Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early Spring

Rhubarb Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early Spring3712121307 4907200bec m 150x150 Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early SpringAsparagus 150x150 Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early SpringStrawberry 150x150 Fruits And Veggies You Can Safely Plant In Your Yard In Early Spring

A little cold weather won’t bother these toughies!  To get  jump start on your fruit and vegetable garden move young or indoor grown seedlings of Rhubarb, Blackberry, Asparagus, and Strawberry plants outside in March.   These plants can thrive outdoors in the fickle temperatures of early Spring, and be ready for harvest quickly.

Quick Tips:

  • Rhubarb grown in colder climates will be harvest ready in April or May, or in the Fall if planted later.  When grown in the southern areas of the USA or in the Southern Hemisphere it can be grown year round for pies and jellies.
  • Blackberries, and Strawberries will be harvest ready in the June through October window with regular picking.  As with most berries, picking off a few fruits or flower buds before maturation will reduce the competition between the ovaries, and provide you with fewer, but much larger fruit.
  • Asparagus doesn’t take up much room during the planting and harvesting stage, but from mid to late summer when it needs to be allowed to fill out and produce berries, it can be a total garden hog!  Make sure to plant this delicious beast somewhere where its loose fern shape won’t offend your garden scheme, or impede pathways.  Garden centers advise that a three year old plant is the most reliable producer, so don’t  plan on instant gratification with this favorite gourmet veggie.  For long term success, it’s best to leave the plant alone for a few years to allow it to really take to root in your veggie patch.
Photo’s Courtesy of:  cygnus921, Rob Ireton, ^riza^

How To: Protect Fruits And Vegetables From Birds Using Netting

img 0045 225x300 How To: Protect Fruits And Vegetables From Birds Using NettingDepending on what you grow, four-legged wildlife may not be your only problem. If you find birds to be ruining a fruit or vegetable crop, I highly recommend using a polypropylene netting as the first line of defense against birds. Netting is a great flexible, and lightweight way to keep your crop plants out of the reach of would-be invaders, providing a “green” barrier that’s easy to maintain and use. I use netting where necessary to protect my Strawberries, in a way that doesn’t involve adding sprays and powders to them that will effect the harvest, or need to be scrubbed off.

Local garden stores will generally stock a black polypropylene netting material through several season of the year, that are specifically designed to keep birds off your fruit.  I recommend a netting  openings under 1 inch to keep out even the smallest birds.  Recommended netting sizes come in 1/2 inch square, 5/8 inch square, and 3/4 inches square, but a general rule of thumb is that the smaller the netting opening, the better the protection is.  My favorite sizes are the 5/8ths inch sizes and the 1/2 inch size. The benefit of black polypropylene mesh is that it is UV protected, and will not deteriorate out under the sun, or varying temperatures. This type of netting can be brought back out for several years as needed, while taking up less storage space than chicken wire, or other metal products.  And, since it is flexible, it is easy to re-purpose for other garden duties, such as covering compost bins to keep rodents out, and protecting ponds from fall leaves.

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