Langley Gardening: Zucchinis need calcium, celery likes water, and killing wisteria is really diffic

Dear Anne,

“My kids and I started a vegetable garden this year, and we are growing zucchinis. Our problem is that most of the fruit has gone yellow/black and squishy at the ends. I have read this is a calcium problem. But how can I fix it?

“We also planted celery. When does it mature? The stalks are tallish, but very small in circumference.”

Michelle MacRae, Port Coquitlam

Yes, your zucchinis likely have a calcium problem. Adding dolomite lime or bonemeal will raise the calcium content on your soil, but

it may not work quickly enough to give you a zucchini harvest in a few weeks.

But it’s best to do it now anyway, in hopes we have a long fall of good growing weather.

I’d suggest that you decide this fall where you’ll plant zucchini next year, and be sure to add some lime or bonemeal to that spot.

Both will benefit other areas, too.

You could do a soil test to find out if other amendments are needed. Garden centres have soil tests – but make sure you get a test that evaluates trace elements as well as the major ones.

Eggshells also contain calcium. I’ve been adding crushed eggshells to the veggie garden for years.

The crushed ones take a while to break down. Ground eggshells work faster. Grinding is more do-able (and causes less trouble with spouses) if you grind eggshells in an old blender or coffee grinder that’s used for nothing else.

From the time you sow the seed, celery usually matures in 100 days, though the West Coast Seeds variety ‘Tango’ is said to take only 85 days.

Celery can be used at any stage in its life cycle.

Your stalks are small because celery needs a very rich soil and loads upon loads of water. That’s why it’s not an easy crop to grow.

It’s known as a crop for ‘muck’ soil. Manure benefits celery because it holds in moisture and is rich in nutrients.

Another problem with celery is that the stalks are dry and very stringy. Our long, hot summer droughts sure don’t help celery gardeners.

Dear Anne,

“I decided to remove a wisteria plant a few years ago. I cut off the main stalk and removed most of the main root and some of the longer pieces, but could not dig it all out. Now I get wisteria popping up in three or four different places. So far, I control it by either pulling out the suckers or killing the leaves with vinegar or Roundup. How can I get rid of it?”

Frances, Cloverdale

Sad to say, Frances, you’re already doing the very best you can in this situation.

But if you’d left the wisteria growing, you’d still have had a problem with suckers.

Wisteria is programmed to become a huge vine. It needs a lot of pruning, but that stimulates the roots to produce suckers – and as you’ve discovered, the roots spread far and wide.

So keep digging, pulling, or killing the suckers, because the roots can’t keep producing suckers forever. They’ll eventually exhaust their food stores, and ultimately, the suckers will be fewer and smaller… and then vanish.

Just Posted

Langley goes Hollywood

Red carpet fundraiser for ER campaign

Langley pedophile wins appeal after violating court order

Kelly Glen Isbister’s sentence was cut by the BC Court of Appeal

Neighbour recounts ‘fifteen minutes of insanity’ after deck collapses at Aldergrove wedding

Local resident Charles Ford ran over to the dozens wounded, along with many other neighbours

High school mechanics get ‘huge head start’

The ACSS apprentices will showcase their work at this year’s Country Car Show in Aldergrove.

$18 million Aldergrove amenity seen as unfair for other Township communities

An unanimous council voted in favour of Councillor Eric Woodward’s policy to provide downtown Aldergrove with more resources.

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Loud jets from Abbotsford are annoying residents of tiny U.S. town

Flights out of Abbotsford airport turn over border town and annoy residents, Sumas mayor says

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

VIDEO: Spiderman-clad Lamborghini makes pit stop in Abbotsford ahead of Avengers premiere

Highstreet Shopping Centre displaying unique car during Friday’s opening of Marvel movie

Most Read