« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Don Kinzler, Published October 25 2013

Fielding questions

Q What is the latest that rhubarb and small shrubs can be planted?

– Todd Spellerberg, Fargo

A This is a frequent question, and a good one, since I am also usually planting right up until the last moment.

Most plants can be installed until the soil freezes solid, which is usually during the first half of November. They can produce root growth until the soil cools down to 40 degrees, so earlier planting is better. To delay soil freeze-up add a layer of leaves or straw around late planted items.

Water well after planting even if the soil is already wet to eliminate air pockets and bring soil into close proximity to the roots. If the permanent location isn’t ready, over-winter plants by burying pot and all in temporary soil of a flowerbed or garden.

Q How long can dried beans be stored?

– Pat Paumen, Fargo

A Dried beans harvested from the garden or bought from the store have extraordinary shelf lives if they are stored cool and dry. Storage life is shortened by light, high humidity and temperatures higher than 70 degrees.

If kept dark, dry and cool, storage life is extended to between 10 and 30 years. Dry beans have been found in ancient pyramids. Even though they have been proven edible, one might not wish to take beans that old on a potluck to the in-laws. A shelf life of one or two years is more realistic.

Q I have the third largest walnut tree in the state. There are many nuts on the ground under the tree. If last week’s inquiry from Enderlin would like some seeds, I could furnish them with some. One year I advertised walnuts seeds to give away, and sent about 100 across the state.

– Morrie Schwinden, Fargo

A I recall when the state forestry department was taking inventory of the largest trees across the state. Thanks for your generosity in offering seeds from your large tree. Seed sources are important, and yours is obviously a great healthy source. I think you’ve earned the nickname Johnny Walnutseed.

If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler at ForumGrowingTogether@hotmail.com. Questions with broad appeal may be published, so please include your name, city, and state for appropriate advice.