Monthly Archives: March 2011

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PRUNING WORKSHOP, April 3rd, at my garden!!

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Summer cole slaws, steaming plates of broccoli, and kale cooked and drizzled with some olive oil, lemon juice, and toasted sesame seeds are now on their way. Seeds are sown, sprouts should be up within a few days, and a few days after that I’ll lift enough sprouts from their mini-furrows in a seed flat to fill a 40 cell tray. By May 1st, the seedlings will be big enough and will be planted out in the garden.

An early start is important with most of these plants in the cabbage family, the so-called cole crops, or crucifers. (“Crucifer” because everyone in the family bears 4-petalled, cross – “cruc” – shaped flowers.) These are plants that thrive in and taste best with cool, moist weather. The one exception is kale, which to me has a …

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[carnations]

 
 
Don’t be surprised if you see me sporting a pink carnation in my buttonhole this summer. I want big, fat, fragrant, florists’ carnations, and I think I finally found one: Enfant de Nice. I’ve grown many “pinks,” another name for carnations, in the past, but they were always too demur. Enfant de Nice, from its descriptions, should have corpulent blooms in white and various shades of pastel pink. The fragrance, billed as “intoxicating spicy-sweet clove perfume,” sounds heady enough that it might have me unable to walk a straight line with one of those in my buttonhole.
 
For now, the practical must be dealt with: sowing seeds 1/2 inch deep in seed flats kept cool and moist, then moving sprouted seedlings to individual cells, and finally, after the last average frost date (mid-May), out to the garden. Pruning back stems after blossoming should keep me in boutonnières through July …

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