Planting Cucumbers, Melons & Pumpkins

Join us on May 13th at 10:00 a.m. as we discuss planting your melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins. We will also cover the subject of fungus control.

  • Top Cucumbers: Diva • Japanese • Persian • Lemon; Spaced two feet apart.
  • Top Pumpkins: Atlantic Giant • Howden’s Best • New England Pie • Jack B’ Little; Spaced five feet apart (plant pumpkins from seed through mid-June).
  • Top Melons: Ambrosia • Hale’s Best • Cantaloupe; Spaced five feet apart.

Conditions: All like sunny conditions, however, cucumbers can use support along a fence or trellis. Pumpkins and Melons prefer lots of room to grow. They will spread out from the center with large leaves filling any available space about a foot from the ground.

Planting Times: Try to plant seeds 1-2 weeks after the average last frost, but only if the weather will be consistently warm for a week (2-4 weeks for pumpkins). They prefer to start when the soil temperature is warm; during April-May. Any sprouted seedlings in a cell pack can be put in the ground right away. This allows them the time to acclimate to their new home.

Soil: 50% native soil, 50% Bumpercrop®

Water and Feeding: Regular water (3x per week). Keep cucumbers evenly moist to prevent bitter fruitGive new plants a gentle boost with E.B. Stone’s Organic Starter Fertilizer®, then feed monthly with Master Nursery Tomato and Vegetable Food® or E.B. Stone’s Organic Tomato and Vegetable Fertlizer®. Apply the fertilizer sparsely around the base of the plant. It can be mixed into the soil or left underneath a thick layer of mulch.

Prevention: To prevent weeds, use Concern Organic Weed Preventer. Apply to soil surface right after planting and water in. Add mulch to further reduce weed growth. A thick layer of mulch will make it easier to remove weeds and provides insulation for your soil. For weed elimination, spray weeds with undiluted distilled vinegar. Take care to not get vinegar on veggie leaves.

Solution to Common Problems: Cucumbers: Careful pruning and training on a trellis will lead to a stronger network of stems to support your large cucumbers. Allow spiders a home in between stems, or let loose some ladybugs or praying mantis on your plants to eat potential pests. Pumpkins & Melons: Mulch will prevent mud from splashing onto your pumpkins & melons. (Use organic veggie fertilizer to feed your pumpkins monthly and make them grow even bigger!)

Pest Control: Sprinkle soil/mulch surface with pet-safe Sluggo®. Place a SLUGX® container under the leaves using beer as an attractant and pest-killer. Bird netting can deter both birds and small animals from nibbling on your cucumbers.

Support: Cucumbers: Use big stakes connected with bird netting to create a fine trellis that doubles as an animal repellent. They are naturally curly on the ground when grown without a trellis. Pumpkins & Melons: Keep them on a flat even surface to minimize gravity’s effect on their shape.

Harvesting: Cucumbers: Begin growing in the summer around July and should be harvested before they get too mature. Use pruning shears to cut the stem an inch from the fruiting body. Pumpkins & Melons: (depending on their planting time and desired size) Use a Razor Tooth Pruning Saw to harvest your pumpkins from late summer to early winter, and your melons from late summer to fall.

Reference for planting times: http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/CA/Livermore.

May Vegetable Guide

Vegetable Plant Time Amount
(family of 4)
Special Notes Plant Now
Artichoke Year ’round 3 – 4 plants Permanent, perennial.
4″ Pots
Beans, lima May – June 15 – 25 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.
Beans, String April – May Then later again in July and August 15 – 25 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest.
From Starts or Seeds
Cantaloupes/Other melons April – June 5 – 10 hills Soil must be warm.
From Starts or Seeds
Carrots Year ’round 20 – 30 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest.
From Seeds
Chayote May – June 1 – 2 plants Vine
Chives Year ’round 1 clump Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.
From Starts or Seeds
Corn, sweet April – July 20 – 30 ft. row Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest. Soil must be warm.
From Starts or Seeds
Cucumbers April – July 6 plants N/A
From Seeds
Eggplant April – June 4 – 6 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.
From Starts
Okra May 10 – 20 ft. row N/A
From Starts
Parsley Year ’round 1 – 2 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.
From Starts
Parsnips May – July 10 – 15 ft. row N/A
Peppers April – July 5 – 10 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown
From Starts
Pumpkins April – June 1 – 3 plants N/A
From Starts or seeds
Radishes Year ’round 4 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest.
From Seed
Squash, summer April – July 2 – 4 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.
From Starts or seeds
Squash, winter June – September 2 – 4 plants Known as winter Squash because it stores over winter but it grows in summer-fall.
From Starts or seeds
Strawberries June – September 12+ plants Bare root in November – 6-Pack arriving in Feb.
6-Packs Soon
Tomatoes March – July 6 – 10 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Weather permitting, starting in March is possible.
From Starts
Turnips February – August 10 – 15 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown.
From Starts
Watermelons April – June 6 plants N/A
From Seeds

Versatile Peppers Warm and Cool

Peppers are definitely a diverse group in the garden, from sweet to blazing hot.  Every garden needs at least one either to warm a dish or cool a plate. Peppers like growing conditions similar to tomatoes but benefit from a bit of late afternoon shade. The following describes a few we have on hand today.

ANAHEIM PEPPER
80 Days to maturity. A mild California chili. Ripens from light green to dark green to red and grows 6-10 inches long by 1-2 inches wide. Can be used at any stage but is most often used green. Most often seared to remove the skins and then dipped in batter for chile rellenos. When red, it is hotter and usually dried for use. Many cultivars exist, hence their wide range on the Scoville scale (400-4000).

DeARBOL PEPPER
90-100 Days to maturity. A long (3-4″), thin, hot pepper. It is mature when red in color. Related to the Cayenne pepper, it rates 50,000-65,000 on the Scoville scale. Plants produce high yields. It is also dried, for craft projects.

CAYENNE LONG SLIM PEPPER
(Hot) Very hot fruits 5 in. long and ½ in. thick. Use fresh or easily dried for winter use. Harvest starts about 75 days after plants are set out. CAUTION: Use rubber gloves, or clean hot peppers under running water, to avoid skin burn from the pepper juice. 50,000-65,000 on the Scoville rating.

FRESNO PEPPER
90-100 days to maturity. A California hybrid similar to the jalapeno but meatier and thinner skinned. Medium hot when used green, hotter when red. Usually used fresh, not dried, in salsas. 5,000-10,000 on Scoville scale.

HABANERO PEPPER
90-100 Days to maturity. Fruits are 1-2 inches long, and lantern shaped. They start out green and ripen to bright orange and are reported to have a slightly fruity or citrus after-taste but is hotter when red.. 200,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale! Plants are bushy and can overwinter in a greenhouse.

SERRANO PEPPER
85 Days to maturity. Similar to a Jalapeno in size but thinner and meatier but most importantly, up to 5 times hotter! They emerge green and ripen to orange or red. 10,000 to 30,000 on the Scoville scale. Do not dry well.

JALAPENO PEPPER
80 Days to fruiting. Fruits are 3 inches long, smooth, green to red, with a slight taper and blunt end. Dry streaks or “stretch” marks are common and often indicate a hotter pepper. It is considered medium hot on the Scoville scale, rating 5,000-7,000. Can be eaten either green or red but is hotter when red.

EUROPEAN RED BELL PEPPER
70-80 Days to maturity. Fruits are 3-4 lobed, 6-8 inches long, have thick walls and a sweet, crisp flavor. Red bells provide 100% of the daily requirement for vitamin A.

YOLO WONDER PEPPER
70-80 Days to maturity. Fruits are 4 inches long and blocky, with thick skin and sweet flavor. This pepper does double duty as it can be eaten green or left to further ripen and enjoy it as a red bell.

GYPSY PEPPER
65-70 days to harvest. Fruit is 4 ½ inches long by 2 ½ inches wide and color from green to orange to red. Mild flavor Plants are compact.

COSTA RICAN SWEET PEPPER
70 days to harvest. Fruits are 3-4 inches long and tapered and are best picked when they turn a deep ruby red. Flavor is sweet with a fruity finish. They are great for frying or in salads. Plants are compact. Burpee selection.

ZAVORY PEPPER
90 days to harvest. An exciting breakthrough sure to become the conversation piece of your summer garden. Habanero peppers have a distinctive taste, but… ‘Zavory’ is the first ever Habanero with a mild heat registering only 100 Scoville’s! You can bite into one just like an apple and survive to tell the tale. The beautiful, shiny, 1-2 inch cardinal red fruits appear in large numbers in late summer on vigorous branching 30″ plants. Burpee selection.

Prepare Soil Now for a Great Summer Garden

Gardening is not just about taking care of plants, it is about taking care of soil. If your soil is amended for improved texture, if it contains a balanced supply of moisture, nutrients, and minerals and is teaming with microscopic life, your plants will probably thrive without much additional effort from you.

bumperOver the course of a year, nutrients are used up and soil organisms break down organic matter in the soil. This is a good time to add compost fortified with chicken manure. The organic matter and nutrients in the soil are restored while improving soil texture.
Three to four inches of Bumper Crop worked into the top 8″ of soil will yield a 9-12″ deep layer of suitable garden soil that drains well, nurtures life and produces a respectable garden harvest. Ongoing care of the soil will result in a garden that produces better and better as the years pass.

Good Garden Soil Starts Here!!

If you are preparing a vegetable or flower garden bed here’s a tried and true soil preparation recipe that works wonders. It lightens our heavy soil, nourishes it and buffers the pH to make it ‘just right’ for the success of your vegetable and flower seeds or transplants.

Good Soil Tips

The following is a do list that can help you nurture your soil:

  • Plant in a Raised Bed: Improves drainage, helps warm the soil.
  • Incorporate Organic Material: It acts as a wedge to hold clay soil open and allows water to drain more freely and permit air to occupy more of the space between soil particles.
  • Add Gypsum: Helps leach salts from the soil, adds calcium and relaxes the clay.
  • Add Mulch: Apply 3″ of bark or Bumper Crop to reduce weeds, save water and moderate soil temperatures.
  • Add Nutrients: Fertilize with a mild fertilizer which includes micro-nutrients (EB Stone Organics, Maxsea). Micronutrients are essential for healthy plant development and are sometimes missing from soils.
  • Water Appropriately: Water thoroughly but infrequently enough so that air is allowed back into the soil between waterings, usually only every 3-10 days.
  • Use an inexpensive Moisture Meter to judge soil moisture more accurately.

 

 

 

Remineralize Your Soil

Azomite is flour-fine rock dust

California’s big Central Valley is the breadbasket of the nation. Its alluvial soils are rich and friable because centuries of seasonal flooding have deposited minerals from the eroding Sierras into the fertile lowlands.

Alluvial soils are perfect for growing crops partly because they are so full of minerals and nutrients.  Adding minerals to your own soil using rock dust is similar to centuries of valley flooding. Spread a 40 lb. bag of rock powder around your landscape 3 to 4 times a year. Gardeners doing so have achieved noticeable improvements, not only in leaf color and vigor but in fruit and vegetable flavor and production as well.

Where do you suppose vegetables get their nutrient content from… “the soil” Azomite replenishes and enhances the soil. Azomite® powdered rock is a naturally mined mineral product with 70 micro-nutrients rarely available in one place. It is odorless, won’t burn your plants and won’t restrict aeration or water penetration. Unlike some products, Azomite® powdered rock is not a manufactured, chemically prepared fertilizer. It is 100% natural with no additives, synthetics or fillers.

Azomite® has been shown to loosen hard soils, build healthy, more pest-resistant and drought-tolerant plants and promote lusher growth. Use Azomite® powdered rock to improve all your gardening and landscape areas from lawns and vegetable plots to compost piles and enjoy:

  • Increased fruit and flower production
  • Increased vitamin content in your fruits and vegetables
  • Better tasting fruits and vegetables
  • Increased pest and disease resistance and greater cold tolerance in all your plants
  • Lawns with better color while using less fertilizer

Best of all, Azomite® powdered rock is easy and economical to apply – one 40 pound bag can cover 1000 square feet. Azomite® powdered rock – gardens and landscapes have not had it this good since the last ice age.

Plant for Now & Later


Plant a bumper crop of winter veggies now and start seeds indoors for tomatoes, peppers and other summer veggies.

This week is special in that we enter the window of time for starting tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables for setting out into the garden later.  You can also set out starter plants for a second, bumper crop of cool season crops.

Peas, broccoli, onions, and cauliflower set out now can squeeze in a productive run before temperatures rise in June.  Cool season crops, such as these are often planted in September and October for harvest now, but planting now allows you to work in a crop for later spring harvest. This can even out your garden harvest before summer veggies begin to fruit.

Snap peas are great for a quick, sweet snack.  Plant a couple for snacking or plant a 10′ row for meal-size harvests.

Cauliflower comes in hues including orange and white, Broccoli is in stock in green and chartreuse; try something new!

Summer Vegetable Seed Starting

Now is the time to start seeds indoors for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. wee have seeds, seedling trays, seed starting mix, and heat mats to get you going.

Here is an example of the highly informative Botanical Interests Seed packet:

Hungarian Yellow Wax Pepper – Capsicum annuum
Organic HEIRLOOM Seeds 

75 days from transplanting. Developed in Hungary, this early-maturing pepper has a waxy texture that resembles beeswax. Wax peppers are actually orange-red when ripe but are usually picked while still yellow. Great used fresh in salads, pickled, fried, canned, or roasted. 4,500–5,000 Scoville heat units (medium hot).

This packet sows up to 24 plants when started indoors.

When to sow outside: For mild climates only: 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost, when soil temperature is at least 70°F [Warm enough for Sun Bathing].

When to start inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before transplanting. Ideal soil temperature for germination is 70°‒90°F. Transplant seedlings outside 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost, and when daytime temperatures are at least 70°F, and nighttime temperatures are at least 55°F. Mild Climates: Also sow in late summer for fall/winter crop.

Harvesting: Harvest when 3″–5″ long or longer and when peppers are yellow or orange-red. Even though Hungarian yellows are usually harvested yellow, they will ripen to orange-red if left on the vine. When harvesting, take care to avoid touching the interior of any broken peppers, as the capsaicin is an extreme irritant, especially to the eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after harvesting, or wear gloves to harvest peppers.

Artist: Pat Fostvedt

 

 

 

 

Grow Potatoes in Fabric Pots

fabric-pot-potatoHave you ever tasted potatoes fresh dug from the garden?  The taste is incomparable to store bought types and growing in a bag or container is very easy.

We have fabric growing pots that have several advantages over conventional garden growing. They drain well and they are easy to harvest.

These fabric planting pots are made with a spun fabric that feels like felt.  The pots drain well, they allow air into the roots and cause the roots to “self-prune” as they hit the edge of the pot. Roots normally hit the wall of a container and simply turn to wrap around the inside of the pot. With fabric pots, the roots prune themselves when they hit the air and they branch instead of turn.

Fabric pots also have the advantage of remaining cool in the sun.  Normal plastic containers can reach hard-to-touch temperatures on a hot day, but fabric pots breathe, releasing the heat.

Grow your Potatoes the Easy Way!

Prepare
Cut seed potatoes into chunks having at least 2 eyes each. Allow the pieces to dry and callous at least overnight.

Fill the container about 1/3 full with a 50/50 mixture of Master Nursery Bumper Crop and either garden soil, or Master Nursery Potting Soil.

Plant
Plant one seed potato for each 3 gallons of fabric pot capacity. For the #15 container, for example, plant 5 seed potatoes. For the #10 container, plant 3 or 4 seed potatoes. Place the seed potatoes evenly in the container.

Water the soil thoroughly. It should be moist but not soggy.

Care
Soon, you will see little stems pop through the soil. Mound up more soil/compost mix, but do not to cover the leaves. The leaves need sun and air exposure.

As the potatoes continue growing, keep adding the soil/compost mix until you reach the top of the container.

Mid to late summer the potato leaves and stems will begin to turn yellow. Timing will vary somewhat depending on the potato variety.

When the foliage has died back and the weather is cooler, stop all watering about 2 weeks prior to harvest. The leaves and stems will turn almost completely yellow. You are ready to harvest.

Harvest
Don’t use a spade or sharp instrument! Pull out all the stems and leaves, wearing gloves. Dig in and find your hidden potatoes.

Store
Arrange potatoes in a single row for a day and allow to dry. Then brush off the soil. Store potatoes in a cool, dry area with good ventilation. Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator!

Bag Care
Fabric containers are reusable! Shake out any extra soil and allow the container to dry. Store in a dry location until you are ready to start again next spring.

Read more about growing potatoes.

January Vegetable Guide

Vegetable Plant Time Plants for a family of 4 Special Notes Plant Now
Artichoke Year ’round 3 – 4 plants Permanent, perennial. Bareroot 
Asparagus January – February 30 – 40 plants Permanent, perennial. Pick up free planting guide. Bareroot 
Broccoli August – February 15 – 20 ft. row Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest. From starts or seeds
Brussels Sprouts August – February 15 – 20 ft. row N/A From starts or seeds
Cabbage August – February 10 – 15 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. From starts or seeds
Cabbage, Chinese August – February 10 – 15 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. From starts or seeds
Carrots Year ’round 20 – 30 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest. From Seeds
Cauliflower August – February 10 – 15 plants Tie leaves up and over head to protect from frosts. From starts or seeds
Celery August – February 20 – 30 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. From starts or seeds
Chard August – February 3 – 4 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. From starts or seeds
Chives Year ’round 1 clump Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. From Starts or Seeds
Endive August – February 10 – 15 ft. row N/A From Starts or Seeds
Garlic October – January 10 – 20 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Note: plant through EARLY January for best results From Bulbs
Leeks August – February 10 ft. row N/A From Starts or Seeds
Lettuce August – February 10 – 15 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest. From Starts or Seeds
Mustard August – April 10 ft. row N/A From Starts or Seeds
Onions  November – March 30 – 40 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. starts
Parsley Year ’round 1 – 2 plants Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. From Starts or Seeds
Peas September – January 30 – 40 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest. From Starts or Seeds
Potatoes January – March 50 – 100 ft. row Arriving Early January for planting through mid-March
Radishes Year ’round 4 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. Can be planted more than once/year for a continuous harvest. From Seed
Rhubarb December – February 2 – 3 plants Bare root in November – January, Canned in February – April and again in September and October. Bareroot
Spinach September – January 10 – 20 ft. row Suitable for a small garden if compact varieties are grown. From Starts or Seeds
Strawberries June – September 12+ plants Bare root in November – 6-Pack arriving in March. Bareroot after 11-12

January Garden Checklist

checkbox 2017 Roses are arriving every day! Come select early to get growing.

checkbox Choose your Camellias now! Seeing is believing, so choose now while they are in bloom. The selection is great and you’ll be able to pick just the right color for your winter garden.

checkbox Move your living tree outdoors. Care for other holiday gift plants such as azaleas and camellias by placing them outside where they will thrive in cooler temperatures.

checkbox Seed Potatoes are available in early-January. Choose from certified disease-free white, red and russet, blue and gold varieties. Harvest new potatoes when plants begin to bloom in June and more mature potatoes when plants begin to die down in midsummer. Pick up our handy planting guide.

checkbox Feed the lawn monthly even during cold winter months. This not only maintains its attractive green color all winter it also minimizes rust disease and other problems resulting from malnutrition. Masters Fall and Winter Lawn Fertilizer is especially formulated for the winter season.

checkbox The Berries are looking awesome this year! In stock now, we have Olallie Blackberries, Raspberries, Huckleberries, and Blueberries. In addition to all of our berries, we also have Currants, Olives, Kiwis and Grapes. This is the best time to shop for the best selection.

checkbox Coming end of January, please look for our full line of Fruit Trees. From Apples to Walnuts and everything in-between. This really is the best time for selection and planting of Berries, Grapes, Figs, Pomegranates and Fruit trees. Come on by and let our Professional Alden Lane Nursery staff help you select and give you the very best advice on how to plant and care for your trees. We are here to see you through so you get a wonderful harvest year after year.

checkbox Spray Your Roses Now. An application of dormant oil just after winter rose pruning will help reduce pest populations by smothering over-wintering eggs. Spraying fungicides, as well, will halt diseases such as rust, blackspot and powdery mildew. Bonide All Seasons Spray Oil is listed for use on organic gardens.

checkbox Protect frost tender plants when frosts are expected. Spray with Cloud Cover and for added protection drape frost tender plants with Fast Start Plant Blanket Fabric. Try not to let the covering material rest on the plant. String non-LED Christmas tree lights on your frost tender plants when a freeze is expected. The warmth from the bulbs will provide another measure of protection.

checkbox Prune most fruit trees, roses and other leafless trees and shrubs from December through January. WARNING: Do not prune spring blooming shrubs and trees such as lilac, quince, flowering cherry, etc. until the blooming period is over.

checkbox Keep up your New Year’s Resolution . . . join the Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club (www.lavgc.org) and the Mt. Diablo Rose Society (mtdiablorosesociety.org).

checkbox Think Strawberry shortcake! This is the month to plant perennial vegetables and fruits. You can set our strawberries, rhubarb, raspberry, blackberry and many other cane fruits.

checkbox If you like asparagus, horseradish and artichokes we have starts for those too. Come by and let us help you choose your favorites.
Prevent crabgrass in your lawn before it starts. Apply Bonide Crabgrass & Weed Preventer now to prevent crabgrass seeds from sprouting.

Planting and Growing Artichokes

artichoke600[1]

How To Plant & Grow Artichokes – Bare Root Plants have Arrived
Artichokes are a cool season perennial vegetable. The mature plants reach 3-5 feet in height and cover several square feet with large, deep cut, grey-green leaves.

Artichokes are primarily grown for the soft fleshy flower bud, but this handsome plant is often used ornamentally in the garden. Given the proper conditions, each plant will produce several stalks with many flower heads and will remain productive for several years.

Preparing the Soil
Artichokes grow best in rich, well-drained soils supplied with plenty of organic matter. We recommend MASTER NURSERY GOLD RUSH. One cubic foot will enable you to prepare a 3 ft. by 3 ft. area, enough for one artichoke plant. Also important when planting is an initial treatment of MASTER NURSERY BONE MEAL. Use one cup bone meal beneath each plant for strong root development. Mix well into the soil beneath the roots. Water new transplants immediately and thoroughly.

Planting
Early winter to early spring is the perfect time for planting artichokes. Plant divisions in a sunny location or in one that receives a half day shade. Artichokes need plenty of room; space them about four feet apart. Place the plants in the soil so the base of the new leafy shoots is just above the ground.

Watering & Feeding
After growth begins, water plants thoroughly once per week. Regular soakings are much more beneficial than frequent lighter sprinklings. As temperatures begin to rise, plants may need additional water. Water when the leaves begin to relax and wilt.

For a balanced supply of nutrients, feed the plants monthly with MASTER NURSERY TOMATO & VEGETABLE FOOD.

Harvesting
Cut artichokes while the buds are tight and about 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Cut each bud with 1 to 2 inches of the stalk. If left on the plant, the green bracts loosen and their purple flowers show. Buds will open more rapidly in hot weather.

artichoke600[1]After harvesting, the last artichokes from a stem, it will wither and the leaves will die back to the ground. This is the time to cut the stem and leaves to the ground, usually mid to late summer. New shoots will grow from the base producing a new plant with next year’s crop.  Make regular applications of Sluggo Plus to ward off earwig invaders.