Jim’s April 2018 Garden Answers

 

April 2018 Garden Answers

You can find all of the answers to the April Quiz someplace within the pages of The Perfect Vegetable Garden.  Most answers may be basic common sense but, I’m sure you will find a few surprises, too!


 

Answer to Question #1

Asparagus plants can be either male or female.  Which gender of asparagus produces toxic red berries that can cause diarrhea and vomiting?

B) Female

Jersey Knight asparagus

That’s right!  Female asparagus plants are the ones that produce poisonous red berries.

The answer is found in Growing Asparagus.


 

 

Answer to Question #2

Which gender of asparagus would you most likely find in your neighborhood grocery store?

A) Male

Asparagus with dipping sauce

For the most part, the male asparagus plant is found in the majority of supermarkets.

The answer is found in Growing Asparagus.


 

 

Answer to Question #3

A successful compost pile contains a mixture of four basic components.   Three of these are dry/brown ingredients to produce heat energy, moist/green ingredients to spur organism growth, and water to facilitate the breakdown of the dry/brown and moist/green ingredients.  What is the fourth component?

C) Oxygen

Oxygen is needed for compost breakdown.

Dry/brown ingredients produce carbon. Moist/green ingredients produce nitrogen.  And, oxygen facilitates the decay process by turning the compost pile every couple of weeks to mix it up.

You really don’t want to add hydrogen to the compost – unless you want a very explosive situation!

The answer is found in Composting For A Healthy Garden.


 

 

Answer to Question #4

There are two types of bacteria that can show up in a compost pile – anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria.  Are either of these bacteria good your compost?  And, if so, which one is the good one?

B) Aerobic

Anaerobic bacteria - E.coli

Aerobic bacteria are essential for breaking down the organic material in your compost pile.  On the other hand, anaerobic bacteria produces a spoiled odor and are the enemy of your compost – examples of anaerobic bacteria include some of those associated with food poisoning like Staphylococcus, E.coli, and Listeria.

The answer is found in Composting For A Healthy Garden.


 

 

Answer to Question #5

Most seeds will germinate in a couple of days if you keep their temperature:

B) Between 60 °F (15.5 °C) and 70 °F (21 °C)

Cucumber (Cuke) seedlings

The secret to germinating seeds and getting seeds to sprout in a couple of days is keeping them warm – at least 60 °F (15.5 °C) to 70 °F (21 °C).  If the seeds are cooler, germination takes longer.  Chances are that no germination will happen if the temperature gets below 50 °F (10 °C).

The answer is found in Germinating Seeds – Simple Steps with Great Results!


 

 

Answer to Question #6

I need a soil test.  How do I correctly collect my dirt sample?

C) Pick some of random spots throughout the garden area, remove the surface dirt, and use the deeper dirt to create the sample.

Take random samples for soil testing

Get soil samples from about a half-dozen random areas in your garden (more if you have a larger garden).  If you’re like me, you’ll end up with more than a bucketful.  Clear away the surface dirt and take a dirt sample at least 4 inches below the surface.

Dry it out thoroughly.  Stir all the samples together.  Remove rocks, twigs, and weeds.  Pour it through a sieve.  Then, take about a quart of the fine, loose dirt in a plastic baggie to your county cooperative extension office.

The answer is found in Soil Testing for the Home Gardener. It’s Important!


 

 

Answer to Question #7

What is the best way to support indeterminate tomatoes in the garden?

C) Use a trellis.

Jim's tomato trellises

A wooden stake will hold the main plant stem – but, the branches that are heavily laden with tomatoes will sag and possibly break so, this is not a good plan.

A cage works well for determinate (bush) tomatoes – but, indeterminate tomatoes will soon outgrow even the best of cages.

A trellis – utilizing metal stakes and chicken wire is the best bet for securing those forever growing indeterminate tomatoes!

And, don’t forget to get a fence post driver so you can easily pound the metal stakes straight into the ground.  Sledge hammers just don’t make the grade – unless you want crooked stakes.

The answer is found in Building a Garden Trellis. Cheap and Easy!


 

 

Answer to Question #8

Tilling the soil is optional.  As long as the correct formula of nutrients is used, the veggies will grow just as good in a garden that has not been tilled.  Just rake it a bit.

B) False

Tilling the garden - second pass - length-wise

Tilling is critical.  It is NOT an option.  The garden soil needs to be loose so the plants can form a solid root growth network.  Tilling also allows the soil to drain easier.  The plants do need nutrients but, they need loose, loamy soil to get their roots to the nutrients.

The answer is found in Tilling The Garden. Put Your Back Into It!


 

 

Answer to Question #9

Watch out for underground utility wires when tilling.  You don’t want to chop them up and create a big headache for yourself.  However, if your garden is over 20 feet from your house, there shouldn’t be any wires to worry about.

A) True

When tilling beware of underground wires

Most utility wires are buried anywhere from 18 inches to 3 feet deep – except for cable and telephone lines which can be 2 to 6 inches deep.  Even though it is pretty safe to say that there shouldn’t be any wires under your garden – if the garden is at least 20 feet from the house – it may be prudent to call the county – normally 811 – in advance of tilling to get a map of wires buried around the house.

The answer is found in Tilling The Garden. Put Your Back Into It!


 

 

Answer to Question #10

A soil pH of 7.0 is considered:

C) Neutral

Correct pH helps plants absorb correct nutrient

A 7.0 soil pH is neutral.  A pH reading less than 7.0 – such as 6.5 – is acidic – or sour.  A pH measurement that is higher than 7.0 – such as 7.5 is more alkaline – or sweet.

The answer is found in pH and Nutrient Deficiencies. Keep Your Vegetable Plants Healthy!

 

 

Answer to BONUS QUESTION

Situation:

You are in a room that has three light switches and a closed door.  The switches are connected to three light bulbs in the next room – on the other side of the closed door.  Once you open the door, you cannot touch the switches again.  How can you be 100% sure which switch is connected to which light bulb in the next room?

After thinking this through very carefully, I turn on the first two light switches and leave them on for at least 5 minutes.  Then, I turn one of them off and leave one of them on.  Then, I go through the door.  The light that is still on is connected to the light switch I left turned on.  I feel the two light bulbs that are turned off.  The bulb that is warm to my touch is connected to the light switch I had turned on for at least 5 minutes and then turned off.  The third bulb – that is cold – is connected to the third light switch that I never turned on.

Light switch #1Light switch #2Light switch #3

 

 

Light bulb #1
Turned On
Light bulb #2
Warm Bulb
Light bulb #3
Cold Bulb

 

 

 

Did you do better this month than you did last month?  How did you like the BONUS QUESTION?

Getting at least 8 out of 10 correct definitely makes you a “Master Gardener.”  Answering half of the questions correctly means you have average gardening knowledge.  If you answer less than half right, spend some more time reading about gardening at The Perfect Vegetable Garden.

Comment below or email me, jim@perfect-vegetable-garden.com.

 

Jim, the Lifelong Gardener

 

2 thoughts on “Jim’s April 2018 Garden Answers

  1. Ann Reply

    Hi Jim
    What an interesting quiz. I love asparagus and eat it regularly but who knew this tasty veggie had a darker side? The gender of asparagus never crossed my mind, far less that the female version of it could produce poisonous berries.
    So this means that the asparagus we buy and eat is ALL male asparagus? Is female asparagus ever grown? If so, what happens to it?

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Ann,

      I’m glad you liked the April 2018 answers to my April 2018 quiz.  You may also like the March 2018 quiz and March 2018 answers.  All quizzes are developed from information provided on my gardening website.

      Male asparagus is meatier and tastier than female asparagus.  That is why it is the gender of asparagus that is most commonly sold at the grocery store.

      Female asparagus is also safe to eat and is mostly sold through low-end mom and pop neighborhood food marts.  Just don’t eat the poisonous berries it produces during its growth cycle.

      I will try to generate new quizzes and answer sheets every month or two so I can keep my website visitors on their toes – so, check back with us at The Perfect Vegetable Garden for more to come!

      Jim

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