Monday, April 20, 2009

More Spring Garden Tidbits

A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew, A cloud,and a rainbow's warning, Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue-- An April day in the morning.~Harriet Prescott Spofford

Last night we had the best soaking rain! My irises grew taller overnight, and things are greening up nicely at last here in Michigan. Today I have more spring tidbits:

Butterfly bushes look pretty sad in the spring, but don't be fooled! They are fast growers once warm weather hits. Wait until you see new growth, then cut back the old wood to 3-4 inches above the ground. Work in some compost around the base of the plant and water well.

Don't forget your pine trees! Prune any dead wood now, and if the tree is young, water once a week.Radishes are another spring vegetable that are very easy to grow. There are many varieties and if you can't make your mind many seed companies offer mixtures. Ideal soil temperatures are 50-65 degrees F. Direct seed the radishes every 2 weeks until temperatures reach about 80 degrees. This will give you a good supply for salads.

To grow the best radishes you'll need a fertile, well worked soil and plenty of moisture. Radishes need a scheduled watering. They should not dry out, but you don't want the soil soggy at all either. Be sure to thin the radishes if they are too close. The radish is the root of the plant and it needs room to grow. Harvest often once they are the big enough. If they grow too large they will be woody.

Peas can be planted any time your soil can be worked as long as it's not too wet. The soil should be well worked since the roots grow rather deeply. Mix in compost, peat and organic matter. They will also benefit from adding a cup of bonemeal to the soil. The seeds should be sown 2 inches deep. Keep the area very well weeded once the seeds germinate and water regularly. You can also sow the seeds every three weeks to keep a steady supply on hand when you need them.

On OFL we have more tips on growing butterfly bushes:

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