Avant Gardener – 093013

Derek and Carolyn Fell begin with a quiz, based on recent articles from their on-line full color newsletter, the Avant Gardener (visit avantgardener.info). Examples of the questions Derek asks Carolyn to answer include: What tree fruit evolved in order for its seeds to be dispersed by dinosaurs? He provides a hint – it’s an American native that is believed to have been the favorite food of the wooly mammoth. He also asks Carolyn if she knows the name of the asparagus variety that is two weeks earlier than any other and so tender that Rutgers University plant scientists are using it to create new hybrids. He says that a leading seed company claims that Bright Lights chard and 5-color Chard are the same, and asks Carolyn if she knows whether it is true, since one of her favorite vegetables to grow is Bright Lights. In the email segment Derek answers a lady who wants to know how to rid her sandy soil of nematodes. Another listener from Nebraska wants a recipe for compost tea and would like to know what advantage there is to using compost tea as opposed to raw compost. A New Jersey listener says he is planning to have a live Christmas tree that he would like to transplant to his garden after Christmas and wonders how to make the transition from house to outdoors so the tree will survive, and how to contend with frozen soil.