Asparagus varieties from UC produce quality spears

Q: Do you have a recommended type or brand of asparagus that does well here in Southern Nevada? I read your blog, and you noted the purple varieties are sweeter, but do they grow as well as other types?

A: Yes, I do have recommendations on varieties of asparagus for the Las Vegas Valley climate. I grew 17 different varieties of asparagus for many years at the university research and demonstration orchard in North Las Vegas. The varieties included a few older European types, some old heritage types, varieties released from Rutgers University, University of California releases and a couple of commercial purple varieties.

All varieties grew well, but some produced higher yields, some produced longer, good quality spears for a longer time when it started getting hot. Chefs who evaluated these varieties said different varieties had slightly different flavor profiles and could be paired with different foods.

Generally speaking, University of California releases, such as UC 157, give higher yields and produce quality spears for a longer period of time when it gets hot than varieties such as Jersey Supreme and Jersey Knight, heirloom types such as Mary Washington and European varieties.

Asparagus harvest can start as early as mid-January in Las Vegas Valley, and harvesting stops about eight to 10 weeks later when new spears are smaller than pencil diameter. The remainder of the year asparagus is not harvested but grown to its full height, between 5 and 6 feet, to rebuild itself for next year’s spring production. That is when fertilizer is applied, plants are inspected for insects and diseases, and low yielding, female plants are removed.

Purple varieties, such as Purple Passion, are unique and grow well in the desert but don’t yield as well as green improved varieties such as UC 157. Purple spears are sweeter. The purple color disappears when they are cooked. In my experience, purple varieties are not as productive for the same number of years as green varieties.

Any of the green varieties can be used to produce white asparagus.

Asparagus plants are either male or female. Male asparagus plants produce more spears than female asparagus plants. Asparagus can be started from seed, not just from crowns, but the female plants should be “rogued out” or eliminated during the first couple of years if your focus is on higher yields.

I have written an asparagus production guide for Southern Nevada and will post it on my blog in the next couple of weeks.

Q: I bought Citrus Tone fertilizer for my citrus trees. What other fruit trees can I use this fertilizer on besides citrus trees? My other fruit trees are as close as 4 feet away from my dwarf orange trees. Is there a problem using this fertilizer?

A: Citrus Tone is a citrus and avocado fertilizer by Espoma. I looked at the ingredients on the label, and it seems to be a good fertilizer formulation for any fruit trees as well as roses and other important flowering shrubs and trees.

It is a mineral fertilizer and geared toward improving flower production, which results in more fruit produced. It is labeled as a citrus and avocado fertilizer, so the public knows what to use it on, but it can be used on other flowering plants as well.

The manufacturer is trying to capture uninformed consumers with this fertilizer, which is why they give it such a specific name. Informed consumers know they can use it on other plants.

The only precaution I have for you is not to apply any nitrogen-containing fertilizers to winter-tender plants after Aug. 1. This includes citrus in our location. All fruit trees should be fertilized before this date anyway.

Q: We planted a 5-gallon tree three weeks ago. At first, we watered this tree every day as the nursery directed. Then we began watering it every other day, but the leaves started falling off. Daytime temperatures are 80 to 85 degrees and drop to 40 degrees at night.

A: Leaf drop after planting falls under the general category of transplant shock. The plant was traumatized — in human terms — sometime after it was at the nursery through when it was planted.

This trauma can result from a lack of care in transporting the tree from the nursery to its new home, a radical change in locations such as growing under shade cloth and then plunged into full sun as well as rough handling during planting.

The plant went through a radical change or changes in its environment. Once adjusted to one environment, moving them to a radically different environment can cause trauma. It dropped its leaves in response. Plants can’t move. A reaction to trauma can be sudden leaf drop.

The tree is not dead but needs time to recover. Our immediate response to leaf drop is to give the plant more water. We think leaf drop is a result of drought. That would be the wrong thing to do if the problem was not from a lack of water.

When given time, traumatized trees produce new leaves and readjust to a new environment. New growth is better adjusted to the new environments. Be patient and don’t overreact.

The nursery was right to tell you to water it every day immediately after planting. Back off and water only when needed. Give the plant a one-day break between waterings. Let the water drain from around the roots. Let the roots breathe and the plant will recover on its own.

Q: Tell me when the first frost occurs in Las Vegas? I have tomato seeds that require planting indoors five to six weeks before the first frost.

A: If I give you that date, you will start tomato seeds too late. I start tomatoes from seed right around Jan. 1 in the Las Vegas climate. The first frost date in the Las Vegas Valley is considered to be March 15.

March 15 is when, historically, there is a 10 percent chance frost will occur after that date. But in most years, using this date is too late for calculating when to start seedlings.

In some years you might put out tomato seedlings, with some protection, the middle of February. Other years it might be the first week in March. Rarely will it be the middle of March.

By starting tomatoes from seed on Jan. 1 you will be ready to put tomato seedlings into protected areas outside by mid-February. If you discover this date is too early, delay putting them out for one or two weeks or until the weather gets better.

Watch weather reports for the coming week. This gives clues whether you can put tender seedlings out early in the season or if you must wait until later.

Seedlings need to be “hardened off” two weeks before putting them in the garden, particularly when starting them inside or in a greenhouse. Hardening off seedlings means moving them outside into protected locations and gradually getting them adjust to a much harsher environment. Plunge them into this harsh environment gradually.

Protect tomato new seedlings if temperatures drop into the 40s. Freezing doesn’t occur until 32 degrees, but tender plants such as tomatoes can suffer cold damage at temperatures in the 40s.

Think about what happens when you put a banana in the refrigerator. Tomato plants are also tropical, just like bananas.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert and professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to Extremehort@aol.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Life
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like