April Gardening

By Roger Erpelding
Contributing Writer

The early crops are mostly in, and it is still far too early to plant the later crops. I am awaiting several shipments of perennials from mail order seed suppliers, so gardening has hit a small lull. Just as well, as it was rainy on Saturday, and my week nights have been busy.

Saturday morning, in the rain, it was off again to my favorite garden center to purchase more plants. I picked out 4 nice Brussels sprouts and 4 good-looking broccoli plants. The broccoli plants are mixed, and what cultivar they are is not specified. So I’m going to have an interesting experience. The Brussels sprouts are Jade Cross–tried, true, and my favorite cultivar.

A rainy Saturday, of course, meant limited outdoor work. By late afternoon the sun was shining, and I couldn’t stay indoors any longer. I have three stacks of large pots that I’ll plant peppersin, which will be placed on the garden borders, just inside the fence. I had saved 3 5-gallon buckets of soil from the forced bulbs this winter. This soil was good for filling seven pots, and I’ve carried them out to the garden. Now, when I have pepper plants, the job of placing them in the soil will be simple and easy. As time and weather permits, I’ll be filling several more pots from a pile of soil provided by my neighbor last summer. He was preparing a portion of his backyard for a patio, and I was happy to receive his good topsoil.

I had a coupon at the garden center, so I purchased some annuals. Again, it is too early to place them outdoors. They will be watered sufficiently and held on the patio table for hardening off until early May. During our recent cold snap, I’ve placed them in the sun room to prevent them from freezing.

Ambition and time permitting, I’ll be planting the sprouts and broccoli out tonight. I need to move the sticks and strings 18 inches west from the last potato row. I also have a package of carrot seeds to plant, and I’ll probably place them at the beginning or the end of this row.

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