April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Well! We haven’t quite made it to April but I thoroughly understand the sentiment….. Typically in South Texas April is a ‘safe’ month for gardening but I withheld bean planting in my own garden due to predicted temperatures for the coming week (less than 50 degrees overnight). My empty bean trellis was lonely but expectantly awaiting the arrival of Chinese Long Bean seeds:
The beauty of the inverted trellis is that the beans grow on the outside……causing less damage to the plant structure. Garlic chives are awaiting an omlette in the foreground.
The Children’s Vegetable Garden participants pressed on with planting ‘Provider’ bush beans. These sturdy plants do not require a trellis but occasionally are corralled with bamboo stakes and twine to contain their abundant growth.
In spite of the melancholy weather the stupendous Grant’s Garnet poppies noted in the last blog entry were bursting into bloom in the experimental beds.
More information on these spectacular poppies is available in the January Scion Grant’s Garnet .
Further South in the children’s garden volunteers planted an empty bed with “Whopper” Begonias:
The Collins English dictionary defines ‘Whopper’ as anything extraordinarily large. The stunning heads on these Superstar plants will certainly live up to their name Whopper Begonias
Back down to earth with vegetables……….. Green Magic broccoli planted in week 3 was prepared for a drenching with Spinosad. The ‘HM8849’ and ‘Ruby Crush’ tomatoes were also treated to a gentle dose.
Broccoli (crowns and stems) are delicious when roasted and simply dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper. A squirt of lemon juice and a dab of tahini elevate the flavor without much additional effort.
‘Tempest” yellow squash and ‘Tigress’ zucchini squash seeds were just poking up in a few plots:
Tempest crookneck squash is reported to have a nutty flavor and a firm texture. Tigress zuchini is high yielding and particularly virus resistant.
The dedicated weekly watering team was careful to ensure the petunias were planted correctly to produce dramatic blooms like the perimeter bed. On Saturday the plants were carefully watered by hand and fertilized with Hasta-Gro:
‘Carpet Mix’ petunias planted between the end of the bed and the irrigation line need extra attention for proper watering. Petunias in the perimeter bed were a shocking pink display interspersed with bluebonnets.
‘Sweet Slice’ cucumbers were planted two inches away from each trellis after fertilizing with Espoma fertilizer:
Cucumbers are particularly good sliced thin with onion and a plain dressing of oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
An abundant swath of Indian blanket flowers waved the gardeners goodbye at the end of the day:
Gaillardia pulchella aka Indian Blanket, Firewheel, Girasol Rojo.
Until next week……….