Are persimmons pleasing or puckering?


    Are they a delicious fruit? Or an astringent annoyance only to be eaten under puckering protest? Mike McGrath, reveals the surprising truth behind the much-maligned persimmon.

    Question of the Week

    “Our radio show received quite a bit of ‘feedback’ after I told a listener named Loki (yes, ‘Loki’) who was looking to replicate the taste of a specific (and delicious) persimmon that wild persimmons tasted astringent, and that named, grafted varieties would taste much better.”

    Mike McGrath

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    Highlights from show for January 17, 2015:

    Harvesting garlic

    Lisa in Nashville, TN planted 155 bulbs of Garlic and can’t wait to harvest them. However, she noticed that, after a few warm days, the little bulbs began to sprout through her leave mulch. Will they still be ok? Mike assures Lisa that it’s not a problem and is curious what variety she chose for her Garlic. The Garlic, she explains, is hard neck, which according to Mike is more associated with areas in the North. Mike tells Lisa that when she sees sprouts from her garlic it’s just the garlic rooting itself and if the greenery turns brown that can just be from a cold wind or other weather changes.

    Caring for peach trees

    Ed in Kimberton, PA just moved into his home in the last year and realized last summer, to his incredible surprise, that he had five peach trees. However, they got so heavy with fruit that the branches broke and one of the trees actually split. He hopes Mike can help him care for these trees in a better way. Mike explains the fruit tree basics. “Here’s what you do: First they need to be pruned, that will get rid of the excessive branches and give more light and air.” Mike goes on to explain that the peaches need to be thinned as well so the tree can put its energy into making larger peaches. It’s also really important to get rid of any diseased peaches.

    The limits of potted plants

    Christy in South Jersey recently bought two baby, blue Colorado Spruces and wants to use them as ascetically pleasing plants through Winter in outdoor pots. Mike is a little skeptical of this plan since trees like this really like to have their roots in the ground. Mike says that Christy should look for a conifer that is rated down to Zone 3 and offers this advice, “(put them in) fairly large containers, the containers should be in a sheltered location, as close to the house as possible, but still where they can get full sun, but they have to be a plant that is rated down to Zone 3 or 4.”

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