Q When is the time to sow English peas outdoors ?
A Anytime after March 15 (some people have success with even earlier planting in this area) whenever the soil is dry enough to work. There is a new pea, Sugar Snap Pea, a 1979 All-America Selection, available at some seed stores for planting this year, absolutely delicious, that can be cooked or eaten raw. The pods also are edible, crisp, crunchy and juicy.
Q I planted a young Norway maple last spring. When is the best time to remove the lower branches ?
A The best time to prune young trees is clearly spring because the wounds heal quicker than at any other time of the year. Small twigs can be removed anytime. Unless there are structural weaknesses to correct, such as Y-crotches, it is best to wait as long as possible before removing the lower branches.
Q I've been told wild mushrooms are very good and I'd like to start collecting and eating some of them. Is there much risk involved ?
A Many kinds of wild mushrooms can be eaten; many poisonous species grow side by side with edible ones and there is no simple test to distinguish one from the other. The best policy is not to eat a mushroom unless you are certain it is edible. Individuals react differently to the toxic chemicals produced by some mushrooms; one person may eat a certain kind with no ill-effects while another may suffer severe nausea and internal distress.
Q Is it possible to grow garlic in my garden? If so when do you plant it and when is it ready to harvest ?
A Garlic can be grown in the garden, handle it about the same as onions. Separate and plant individual cloves six inches apart in early spring. Harvest in about 90 days when the tops begin to turn yellow. Store loose, like onions, in a cool, well ventilated place.
Q Can you recommend a basic book for vegetable gardening ?
A Your best bet is to go to the public library and look over the garden books and borrow two or three that appeal to you. You can get a book store to order the ones you would like to own.