Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

Raising Honeybees. Growing Parsnips.

July 21, 2020 Fred Hoffman Season 1 Episode 30
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
Raising Honeybees. Growing Parsnips.
Chapters
00:01:12
Raising honeybees.
00:16:19
Growing parsnips.
00:26:10
Sleep, Creep, Leap. It's what plants do!
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
Raising Honeybees. Growing Parsnips.
Jul 21, 2020 Season 1 Episode 30
Fred Hoffman

Bees are one of the best pollinators to have flying around your food garden. It’s been said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food you eat. Today, we take attracting bees to your garden one step further: how about raising your own hive of honeybees? We talk with one of the world’s foremost bee authorities, Dr. Norman Gary, on how you can become a successful backyard beekeeper. He is the author of the book, "The Honeybee Hobbyist."
Maybe you just want to attract bees to your yard to help pollinate your food garden. Here's a list of plants for California that attracts bees. And for the entire country, check out this very informative bee website for even more plants.

Are you familiar with parsnips? This tasty, nutritious root crop matures in cold weather but needs to get planted soon for harvest after the frost season begins. We talk parsnips with a big fan of this carrot relative, Matt Mattus, author of the book, “Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening”.
Matt mentions his favorite parsnip variety, Gladiator. Find it at Renee's Garden seed company.

Gardening takes patience. Lots of patience. Years of patience. That’s the crux of a popular saying among nursery employees about growing plants…sleep, creep, leap. College Horticulture professor (retired) Debbie Flower will explain.

We’re buzzing with great garden information on this, episode 30 of Garden Basics with Farmer Fred. And we will do it all in under 30 minutes.

More episodes and info available at Garden Basics with Farmer Fred https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Bees are one of the best pollinators to have flying around your food garden. It’s been said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food you eat. Today, we take attracting bees to your garden one step further: how about raising your own hive of honeybees? We talk with one of the world’s foremost bee authorities, Dr. Norman Gary, on how you can become a successful backyard beekeeper. He is the author of the book, "The Honeybee Hobbyist."
Maybe you just want to attract bees to your yard to help pollinate your food garden. Here's a list of plants for California that attracts bees. And for the entire country, check out this very informative bee website for even more plants.

Are you familiar with parsnips? This tasty, nutritious root crop matures in cold weather but needs to get planted soon for harvest after the frost season begins. We talk parsnips with a big fan of this carrot relative, Matt Mattus, author of the book, “Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening”.
Matt mentions his favorite parsnip variety, Gladiator. Find it at Renee's Garden seed company.

Gardening takes patience. Lots of patience. Years of patience. That’s the crux of a popular saying among nursery employees about growing plants…sleep, creep, leap. College Horticulture professor (retired) Debbie Flower will explain.

We’re buzzing with great garden information on this, episode 30 of Garden Basics with Farmer Fred. And we will do it all in under 30 minutes.

More episodes and info available at Garden Basics with Farmer Fred https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube

Farmer Fred :

Welcome to the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. If you're just a beginning gardener or you want good gardening information well you've come to the right spot. Bees. They're one of the best pollinators to have flying around your food garden and your flower garden. It's been said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food you eat. Well, today we talk about attracting bees to your garden and we're going to take it one step further. How about raising your own hive of honey bees? We talk with one of the world's foremost Bee authorities, Dr. Norman Gary, on how you can become a successful honeybee hobbyist. Are you familiar with parsnips? it's a tasty nutritious root crop that matures in cold weather but needs to get planted soon for harvest after the frost season begins. We'll be talking parsnips with a big fan of this carrot relative, Matt Mattus. He's the author of the book "Mastering the art of vegetable gardening". We're buzzing with great garden information on this, episode 30 of Garden Basics with Farmer Fred, and we're gonna do it all in under 30 minutes. Let's go. So do you like animals? Do you enjoy caring for plants? Do you have a garden? Well, if you're listening to this show, you probably do. And you're probably curious about nature. And if this sounds like you, you just might love beekeeping in your backyard. But how do you get started? What are some of the problems? We are talking with the area's best expert I can think of when it comes to bees. He's an entomologist. he graduated from Cornell University, and he joined the UC Davis entomology faculty way back when in 1962. He retired in 1994. After a 32 year academic career he's authored more than 100 publications, including scientific papers, book chapters and popular articles and beekeeping trade journals. And you may have even seen him at the state fair, playing a clarinet while covered in bees. That would be Dr. Norman Gary, who's now retired but he keeps producing books, including his latest, the second edition of "the honey bee hobbyist", which came out recently. So you just might want to give a listen and maybe share it with your friends too, as far as the podcast goes, who are raising bees, and they're gonna learn a lot today about raising bees in the backyard. Dr. Gary, it's pleasure talking with you. I think we talked many years ago when the first edition of the honeybee hobbyist came out, and now you have a second edition. So what's different in the second edition?

Norman Gary :

Well, in the second edition, I've added a great deal of information, things like I have a chapter on beekeeping clubs, so that anybody interested in bees in various areas and counties can get the idea of how to make contact there. And get a chapter on formal beekeeping education, ways to get a get a master beekeeping degree. And the real spotlight is on urban beekeeping. That's a hot spot here. Then for fun I added a chapter on entertaining with bees. And I think you'd be greatly surprised by what I say there. finishing off with more fun with bees. There's so many fun things you can do and so I go into great detail there.

Farmer Fred :

Do I have this right? that you are in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the most bees in your mouth for the longest period of time.

Norman Gary :

I'm afraid so. That's the longest time but for 10 seconds. That's just a little fun thing I did I dreamed up this stuff. I wrote the rules and basically I trained foraging bees to come from their hive over to where I was seated. And they were collecting artificial nectar just Sugar Syrup with a flavor added from a sponge and a little plate right where it was seated. After I had about 1000 bees or so routinely going back and forth collecting and then delivering back to the hive. I took I hid that source of food and substituted a little sponge with the same food that I could put inside my mouth. So every time I exhaled, the fragrance of that nectar would go out into the air and the bees would suddenly head for my mouth. So the time came for the start. I just opened my mouth and within about 10 seconds, my mouth was full of bees. I close my lip,s tried to smile, but I couldn't I was too, too stressed.

Farmer Fred :

And did you get stung?

Norman Gary :

No, I didn't get less. We can talk about stings. I loved it. Anyway, I didn't get stung. And I just simply opened my mouth after 10 seconds and sort of blew the bees into the cage for counting. And can you guess How many I had I bet you already know,

Farmer Fred :

somewhere around 100? Wasn't it?

Unknown Speaker :

109. I don't recommend this as a recreational activity for anyone else. Okay.

Farmer Fred :

All right. It's not in your chapter on entertaining with bees.

Norman Gary :

No, I Well, if it's there, it's certainly not there to encourage beekeepers to do it. In fact, I discourage these public displays of weird things with bees like clustering on your body and such. I've done a lot of that as an entertainer, but for the average beekeeper, I discourage this because I think people get the wrong ideas.

Farmer Fred :

All right. So basically, the subtitle is kids don't try this at home.

Norman Gary :

Yeah. All right.

Farmer Fred :

Now right. In your first chapter, you talk about the fear of stings. And of course, when you talk about trying to encourage people to have a backyard hive of bees, somebody in the family is going to say something about beestings.

Norman Gary :

This is something that is a misunderstood element. Let me say this about these. Yes, they do sting but in defense of their hive their colony, their social organization there and only near their hive. It makes no sense for a bee to sting away from the hive because the bee that stings always dies. We see these foraging all over the place all around us every day they're on flowers and never bother you on the way you could possibly get stung as if you say you step on a flower that and you're barefoot, something weird like that.

Farmer Fred :

Exactly. I remember when I had a swimming pool and I'd be floating in the pool and a bee would land on me and I would just watch him or her to see what they wanted and basically they just wanted the water off my body.

Norman Gary :

They they wanted the salt water. They have a requirement for salt and yes, sometimes they do visit pools and and sort of scare people but they're harmless. If you don't bother them.

Farmer Fred :

Yeah, they're our friends obviously. I mean we've talked on the Garden Show for years about the benefits of bees and basically every third bite of food you take is comes courtesy of a bee consider the bees that are necessary for pollenating fruit trees and and so much more, that they are a very necessary part. And it certainly makes sense for homeowners to to want that action in their backyard to not only help pollinate their plants, but maybe harvest a gallon or two of honey if that's possible. And one thing you pointed out in your book and the second edition is the fact that sometimes homeowners get a little too over enthused when it comes to starting a hobby like beekeeping and they basically have too many hives that their yard cannot support or the neighbors yards can't support

Norman Gary :

absolutely This is the greatest threat to the welfare of bees in the urban environment. There's only so much nectar and pollen out there in the immediate area. So if you have too many bees, they're on the verge of starvation and they are not producing what we call surplus honey, honey above their needs. My main target here is to persuade beekeepers to have a maximum of two hives in the urban environment. Otherwise, we're going to have serious problems too many bees and resulting starvation of bees.

Farmer Fred :

How much nectar do bees consume? How much do they need?

Norman Gary :

Let's first realize that honey is the primary food of bees they also eat nutrients from pollen but within a year's time, a hive of bees will consume more than 100 pounds of honey. They have to have that stored before the surplus honey above, above and beyond it can be harvested by beekeepers for human consumption.

Farmer Fred :

One thing you pointed out in your book I found interesting is that the harvestable honey, the quantity for home beekeepers has actually been going down over the years and is it because of this overpopulation?

Norman Gary :

Yeah, if you have too many cows in the pasture, they start starving and in the bees' situation, if they over graze their nectar,pollen resources, then there there are going to be producing and storing less honey. So it's a losing game if we have too many bees in the urban environment.

Farmer Fred :

We're talking with Dr. Norman Gary author of the honeybee hobbyist, the care and keeping of bees, the second edition. He's a former entomologist at UC Davis. It's an excellent book if you're going to be starting the hobby of keeping Honey bees. And if you are one you need this book. So let's talk about some of the common mistakes that home beekeepers generally make. And when people get enthused about having bees, one of the most disconcerting things that happens to them that sometimes around October or so, the bees leave. Where did these bees go?

Norman Gary :

healthy colonies don't leave, they just cluster during the cold winter and survive that way they create their own heat inside that winter cluster. But now that we have some serious parasites and various diseases or bees, sometimes the colonies simply abscond. I mean the bees just all leave the colony and go elsewhere. It's unfortunate that it does happen now and then.

Farmer Fred :

And one thing that sometimes scares people is sometimes in the spring there will be a swarm of bees that will take up residence in a backyard tree.

Norman Gary :

Yes, that's fairly common. April and May in this area. That is the way honey bee colonies reproduce. half the population will leave the colony with the old Queen cluster nearby until the scout bees find a good new cavity for a home and then when they decide together what's the best one they'll take off and go into that hollow tree or sometimes into a wall of a building, which is unfortunate. And let me emphasize this that bees swarming like this are totally totally defenseless, they have no information, whatever to sting you. The only way you can get stung again is to physically molest them or something. just watch and enjoy them.

Farmer Fred :

Exactly. What are some of the more common mistakes that home beekeepers make?

Norman Gary :

Well, the first thing that a home beekeeper should do is to join a local bee club. Look up the name of your city or your county and then search for beekeepers club And join the other beekeepers, you can learn a whole bunch from you really it takes a lot of reading and practical experience to learn how to safely keep bees. You have to open the hive periodically to check out the condition and for example, you you if you don't use your smoker correctly, then you're going to get stung. And in extreme cases you could this would even be a threat to your neighbor. So what sort of equipment does the home hobbyist need for Bees? so that'd be smokers. Number one, and knowing how to use it and I devote a lot of space in my book, to that that subject. In addition, protective gear, like a bee vail, a screen vail, it's over your head. And if you want to go farther, you can buy an entire bee suit. those protections are good too, but the primary protection is still to learn how to smoke those bees correctly and handle the way That doesn't get them all excited.

Farmer Fred :

How do you differentiate the workers from the queen?

Norman Gary :

For me, it's easy for beekeepers, it's not quite so easy. The Queen is larger, her abdomen is longer because her ovaries are so enlarged with the eggs, you know, she lays over 1000 eggs a day, about almost bodyweight, and eggs a day. So that's an egg factory and it makes the Queen longer, bigger. And you can visually distinguish her from the workers and they're smaller.

Farmer Fred :

And of course what a lot of people want to know is okay, I want more honey out of my hives. How do I get more honey?

Norman Gary :

Well, how much honey Do you need anyway? That's the you know, we all eat too much sugar. I think every everyone would agree to that. And honey is their sugars. My guess is that the average family would benefit from producing less than 50 pounds or less. I mean, how much do you want? That'll give you enough for your friends. You're not into this to be a commercial beekeeper to make a profit. You're in it for fun. That's why we have bees, is for fun. And of course the rewards are honey. Unfortunately, we keepers sort of think well, if I've got 10 hives, I'm a better beekeeper than somebody with two hives. not true. I would be saying it's just the opposite. If you have 10 hives, and you're in an urban area, then then you're hurting yourself and everybody else by having too many bees in that area with Too few nectar sources.

Farmer Fred :

And if you're wondering about what Dr. Gary is saying about the nutritional value of honey, he is dead on accurate. Honey has zero grams fiber and 17 grams of sugar and most of the authorities say that we should try to limit our consumption of sugar to no more than 20 to 40 grams of sugar per day. So there's almost a daily dose right there in one tablespoon of honey.

Norman Gary :

Right? Oh is it should be a little reward now and then not a staple.

Farmer Fred :

You mentioned that there are organizations that do encourage beekeepers and help train beekeepers. And that's kind of an exciting new venture for the University of California Davis. they're expanding the Master Gardener program and the master food preserver program to include a master beekeeping course,

Norman Gary :

yes, that was just started fairly recently. They got a very substantial grant to support that. And this this really could be your first stop as a potential beekeeper to contact UC Davis and inquire about the California master beekeeping program. That's a good start.

Farmer Fred :

There you go. And again, I think the best place to start is with the book honeybee hobbyist second edition, the care and keeping of bees by Dr. Norman Gary.

Norman Gary :

If you try to find this book online, look it up by title, the honey bee hobbyist, those three words. Sometimes they not listed correctly by various sellers and but if you really go for those three words, you'll find it.

Farmer Fred :

Dr. Norman Gary, thanks for a few minutes of your time.

Norman Gary :

Thank you for the opportunity.

Farmer Fred :

like vegetables? Do you like unusual vegetables? Do you like pretty vegetables? Of course you do. There's a new book out on the subject called Mastering the Art of vegetable gardening. It's a book by Massachusetts gardener Matt Mattus. He's an American visual designer, an artist, horticulturist and futurist, a third generation gardener of his family's property in Massachusetts. He runs the very popular gardening blog, growing with plants. You can find it as website growing with plants.com Matt has traveled the world looking for unusual vegetables for you to try in your yard. And he has a wonderful saying: treat your vegetable garden As your own private fantasy supermarket. and Matt in your book, in talking about all the various vegetables you can grow, you come back to a very important point that what you grow in your home garden is gonna taste better than what you find in the supermarket.

Matt Mattus :

Oh, absolutely. And I'm kind of a foodie so you know why we had why we keep vegetable gardens today is different than let's say why our parents or grandparents or great parents may have had a vegetable garden, you know, then it was so it was a victory garden or we need to save money. And I think today it's more like let's grow something that tastes better and ultimately taste better. It's a better quality and for me, it's often something I can't find that at, you know, the local supermarket.

Farmer Fred :

In the last year I've discovered the joys of such things as pak choi and joy choi, and Malabar spinach. He has unusual edibles that are common in some cultures just not common to us, but they're certainly very enjoyable. What are some of the I won't say unknown, but some of the vegetables that are unfamiliar to most Americans that you would like to see them try,

Matt Mattus :

you know, and seed catalogs now there are new vegetables showing up all the time and they're not really new. They're just, you know, being reintroduced a few Well, many of the Asian greens in here in New England, of course, it's you know, we have to grow them as a fall crop, and they're done by Christmas, but anything any of the Asian brassicas, so anything in the cabbage family that's grown for its green, so the bok chois and the tough sois and anything in the mustard or cabbage realm is is grows best here. And I would assume for you as a fall, winter, even early early spring crop,

Farmer Fred :

all right until it gets too hot. They do fine, right?

Matt Mattus :

There are fewer insect problems in the cool weather.

Farmer Fred :

Speak for yourself. Yeah, it must be wonderful in Massachusetts to be able to grow those things while the insects are dying off around you. We have 12 months a year aphid and whitefly issues here. Let's talk a little bit about some root crops that are popular to grow in our area and they're probably popular with you because you've written about them in your book, Mastering the Art of vegetable gardening. And one of my newly found favorites is probably something that I didn't like as a child but I've grown fond of it now especially this time of year and that's parsnips.

Matt Mattus :

Yeah parsnips are in here in New England has a long history of parsnips, you know, they basically with these go back to the pilgrims. So if you're growing food festivals, you know, we all know carrots we all know beets. But parsnips are very interesting because I would assume most of us have tasted parsnips now but I think few people have grown them. And if you have grown them, they seem to be prone with some problems. They look fine, the plant looks fine, but then you you attempt to pull the root out and you end up with something looks like a baseball and not you know, a foot and a half long parsnip with trained I think to know to be familiar with parsnips by what we find in the supermarket, which you know crops that are designed to fit in a polybag so They're a foot long and they trimmed on the edges but I think a lot of people maybe don't know and I encourage you to look on YouTube for exhibition parsnip growing is that in the UK, in England, parsnip growing, is competitive parsnip growing is a sport and they can grow parsnips, you know, three four feet long. So I took some of those tips that these crazy guys they use like which they might be throwing them in pure sand or potting mix in a hole drilled into a barrel in oil barrel and they grow them from seedlings, I tried to, to use that method in the home garden and switch makes a lot of sense for root vegetables, especially here in New England where we have rocky soil. So I lay it out in the book but in the few steps you're drilling a hole and you're filling the hole with a very soft soilless mix like a promix or any soilless potting mix and then laying in the seed carefully on the surface or I even try with the with the British do is lay in a seedling which seems crazy For a root vegetable, but if it's grown perfectly well and you ensure that the seed root that taproot is perfectly straight when you set it in and lay the soil around it, you can and I have ended up with you know, three foot long parsnips if you so need one that long.

Farmer Fred :

and you mentioned in your book that sometimes you'll start them in long narrow pots pots out here we call tree pots, but I think back there they're called root trainers and they're basically just long, narrow pots that allow for a root crop to get some length to it before you transplant it.

Matt Mattus :

Yeah, it's it has to be done very carefully, like I said, but I mean you will find on the internet and in some gardening blogs that people pre germinate their seed on paper towels or they people go to great lengths with parsnips as long as you're very careful and you ensure that that root is perfectly straight. When it's set into the soil. You You're better off you certainly don't want to say plant seeds and then transplant a seedling from the garden. But it can be done if you grow carefully in the Good soilless mix, I would imagine you can do it also by setting the seed on the, you know the ideal method of setting a seed on the soil in the garden and covering it lightly. The problem with that is parsnips can take, you know weeks to germinate.

Farmer Fred :

Let's talk about harvesting parsnips, I would think you would have to be very careful digging the root out.

Matt Mattus :

Yeah, you do. In fact, if, if you've done it properly, your root can. The root tip is you know it all it's a thick root but it'll turn into almost a hair like root. So I think the British on their rules for measuring they want to extract the entire root, but I go down about two or three feet with a root shovel and then carefully dig around the root as if you're digging a tree and you can feel by tugging on it. That it's an a parsnip that is not as brittle as a carrot. It's a little more Woody. So we'll extract carefully.

Farmer Fred :

It is a root shovel the same thing as a trench shovel.

Matt Mattus :

Yes, yes.

Farmer Fred :

And then what do you do with parsnip? I know we like to eat it raw in a salad.

Matt Mattus :

Oh really? I've never had it raw. Now we have something on knowing that farmer would have kept in a root cellar through the winter. Our house is 150 years old. So we have a root cellar cork-lined root cellar it built into our cellar. so fortunate there that I can lay them in, in beds of sand where it's dark, and it's about 35 degrees. But no, you know, when a refrigerator door washed off and trimmed, it should last, you know, a few months. Wow,

Farmer Fred :

you just need a deep drawer to hold it. Yes, yeah,

Matt Mattus :

right.

Farmer Fred :

What are some of the good parsnip varieties to try?

Matt Mattus :

Well, gladiators classic I always laugh at the names of the varieties because they always sound like something that's very large or massive and certainly, people wanted a large parsnip back in the 19th century, but most of them are British variety, some haflong currency was an heirloom variety. White spear is a good one, but the gladiator is an f1 hybrid and javelins f1 hybrid and both of those you should find like good seed catallogs, like Johnny's seeds or even some of the larger names like a burpee catalog.

Farmer Fred :

You mentioned some of the heirloom and open pollinated varieties in your book like half long, Guernsey and white spear. Do they have problems that the hybrids don't have?

Matt Mattus :

No, there they there may be a problem with some of the crowns being hollow, but most of them are pretty because it's aroot vegetable, There are less problems with root damage, like anything in the in apiaceae family. So that would be all of your umbelliferae as what we used to call it right, your dill, your parsley and an even parsnip, if the problem would be with Caterpillars, so it would be with you know, butterfly moth larvae.

Farmer Fred :

What's nice about growing parsnips here is you can plant them from seed three times a year here in the valley. You can plant them in April, and then in July and then again in October.

Matt Mattus :

Yeah, I'm a bit envious. They're here. You can plant them in the northeast, let's say zone five they're sown in late March and April, or seedlings sent into the ground later, but certainly the ideal way is seeds. Direct, but it's a long season crop we can keep them through the winter and often they get, they get sweeter with the ground freezing and they can handle ground freezing, but we'll throw a straw on them so we can dig them up in under a snow cover.

Farmer Fred :

The name of the book is Mastering the Art of vegetable gardening. It's by Matt Mattus and Matt profiles many of your favorite vegetables in the book, such as onions, garlic, asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, Swiss chard, the lettuces, carrots, beans, okra, and of course the standards tomatoes and peppers, as well as cucumbers and squash. It's really a beautiful book well written. And like I say his philosophy is outstanding. Treat your vegetable garden as your own private fantasy supermarket and check out his blog as well. Growing with plants.com is where you will find it growing with plants dot com, and the name of the blog is growing with plants. Matt Mattus, Thanks for a few minutes of your time today.

Matt Mattus :

Thank you Fred

Farmer Fred :

we got a quick tip for you. Debbie Flower is here a favorite college horticultural professor and she must be hanging out in nurseries too because when I visit nurseries, it's not uncommon to hear the three words sleep, creep and leap. And it's usually in reference to plants. What's that all about Debbie Flower.

Debbie Flower :

Yeah, that's about those plants that you're putting from a container or ball and burlap into the landscape, or even bare root. And what they do in the years that follow. the first year, when you put them in the ground, they just sleep, they're just getting adjusted. They're getting their roots to grow and expand and run into places where there's good water and nutrition. And most of the growth that's happening that first year is underground, and the second year, they start to show more above ground growth. It's not a lot. So they creep. The growth above ground is creeping and the third year, typically They're much better established, you got a great root system, and they just take off so they leap. So this is applied to perennials, things that live three or more years in the landscape. And it varies in how much the sleep how deep asleep is, I guess I'd say and how slow the creep is and how big the leap is, that varies by species. But it's a very good rule of thumb. And it really says to me, I have to be patient and put it in the ground the first year, it's not going to do a whole heck of a lot. I just have to be patient.

Farmer Fred :

I would think this would hold true for shrubs and trees as well.

Debbie Flower :

Absolutely. shrubs and trees are technically perennials because they live they live more than three years. And that's a I had a student take me to task on that. So I'm a little sensitive about that. woody plants, shrubs and trees being woody plants do live more than Three years if you know or have a life span more than three years, hopefully for you, they will live more than three years. But they are. If you're looking at a book or you're going to the garden center, they're going to be in a separate place than the perennials. The perennials are typically the herbaceous perennials, the things some of those herbaceous perennials may die to the ground and disappear all winter long and then reappear in the spring. Others will have a presence above ground, but it tends to be a smaller plant and then it springs to life and does its flowering the next year. So those things are called perennials. If they form wood, they're typically in the tree or shrub section.

Farmer Fred :

There you go, sleep creep and leap and if you have any doubts before you yank a plant out, if it's going too slow for you put a stake in the ground next to it at exactly the height it is and then walk away for a few months and come back the following spring. I bet that plant will be taller than the stake.

Debbie Flower :

Good point. The other is to take pictures. Everybody's got a smartphone right? Yep.

Farmer Fred :

Or take your old smartphone and stick that in the ground and when the plant gets taller than the smartphone you know it's growing.

Debbie Flower :

Well that drawer full of old phones I can do that with

Farmer Fred :

all right. Well then we have slept, we have crept we have lept. Debbie Flower. Thanks again.

Debbie Flower :

Oh My pleasure. Thank you Fred.

Farmer Fred :

garden basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday and it's available just about anywhere podcasts are handed out and that includes Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, I Heart Radio overcast and Spotify stitcher tune in and hey, Alexa, play the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. Would you please? Thank you for listening, subscribing and leaving comments. We appreciate it.

Raising honeybees.
Growing parsnips.
Sleep, Creep, Leap. It's what plants do!