NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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September 20 Horticulture Column


How has your garden being doing this year and fall?  I dug up my potatoes this past weekend and found some very surprising results.  The first thing I found was a very large population of slugs.  They probably wrecked about half of my potato harvest.  The other thing I found is that after four years of planting a potato variety, that shows tolerance to scab, is the variety succumbed to scab.  I have potatoes that are scabby to the point of hardly seeing any red on the outside of the potato.  Let this be a good reminder to all of us the need for a good rotation in our garden.  We talk about  a good rotation for our ag producers but the same holds true for our vegetable gardens.  The need to rotate all of the veggies is very important.  There is also other benefits to include the nutrients that crops like beans and peas add back to the soil.  Then other crops like potatoes , corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers really use the nutrients that the garden has to offer.  So, this is a great time of year to get your garden soil tested.  We do have the tools available for you to check out.  Stop by our office or call us at 701-662-7027 to reserve the probing tool.

Did your apples freeze over the weekend?  There were many apple trees that missed the wrath of frost while others may have received a slight tingling.  Remember that apples really put on the sugar content after a light frost and should be waited to pick at that point; however how do we determine a light what mother-nature will give us in terms of a light frost or a killing freeze.  That is one chance you will have to figure out.  The one common scenario that I give is if the temperatures would reach 28-30 degrees would be like you buying apples and then placing them in the freezer for a while.  You all know what that would look like?

This past weekend was a great weekend for me as I discovered the leak in my water pond.  The dirt actually had settled in one location to the point that let water flow over the top of the rubber lining.  I am still going to line part of the river with very course rock cement.  This will also cover any exposed rubber that settling rocks have left.  I also have been determining what hostas need to be moved and where.  I have several hostas that did not grow like the little label said they should, in fact not even close.  I have three that said they should grow to about 3 feet tall and actually barely made it out of the ground.  The leaf size is a very good indicator of the growth of the hosta and these guys have very little leaves???????


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