Is it possible to sow seeds of asparagus in the fall, or is it necessary to wait until spring? We can take a tip from nature and sow in the late summer (late August or early September).
Young seedlings should come through the winter in fine shape. You would then be able to cut a few spears the third spring, and more thereafter.
We plant some new tulip bulbs every year, but leave in those that have bloomed in the spring. But after two or three seasons of bloom, the bulbs usually have multiplied to form several small bulbs. What can one do with these small bulbs to make them bloom again and, also, how can one prevent new bulbs from changing to small ones so quickly?
Discard those bulblets that are less than 1 inch in diameter, then set out all others 3 to 4 inches deep in a spot in the garden where they can grow on into larger bulbs.
Keep weeded, fed, and worked up as with any other crop.
New tulip bulbs should be planted at least 5 or 6 inches deep. Some folks maintain 8 to 10 inches is best (measuring from the top of the bulb). Deep planting discourages multiplication into small bulbs. However, to plant deeper than 6 inches, you must have well-drained soil.
We planted some flowering kale, and it is forming beautiful, frilly pink and purple heads, but green worms are eating the leaves. We prefer not to use toxic sprays, so we've tried handpicking, but the leaves are so ruffled, it is hard to find the pests. Is there a nontoxic spray we can use?
Bacillus thuringiensis is excellent for use against cabbage worms and any other larvae of moths and butterflies. The State of Pennsylvania opted for this, rather than chemical sprays, against the gypsy moth this year, thus leaving the many predators free to help fight the gypsy moths. It is sold under such names as BT, Dipel, Thuricide, and so forth.
Flowering kale (more accurately ornamental kale) is not actually a flower, but has leaves so beautifully designed that they look like a large old-fashioned nosegay. They come with cream centers within green leaves, too.
Flowering cabbage is similar, and both will withstand Fahrenheit temperatures below the teens before freezing and losing shape. Ours, in the Northeast, usually survives through Christmas.
Is it possible to sow geranium seeds in the fall and have blooms during the winter? A friend says geraniums from seeds bloom only in summer.
The blooming performance of seed geraniums does not differ from those that are grown from cuttings.
The problem with either (or with large plants cut back) is that usually from November to late January they do not get enough sunlight in the home to induce blooming. If you can provide 5 or 6 hours of sun a day, or more, you can sow the seeds of geraniums anytime and have blooms in about 16 weeks.
Sow seeds in a peatlite mix, cover with one-eighth inch of medium, keep moist and at 70-72 degrees F. Seeds may take 3 weeks to germinate. Light is not needed for germination.
A friend has a beautiful small tree that blooms in spring with pink double flowers. He calls it ''Rose Tree of China,'' but I have looked through several nursery catalogs and cannot find it listed. Do you know another name?
Rose Tree of China is Prunus triloba and comes in either small tree or bush form. It is usually listed under ''Prunus,'' but sometimes it is found under ''Flowering almond.''