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broodings from the burrow

April 21, 2021

experiments in the garden
posted by soe 1:50 am

Mid-April Garden

Every year I try to plant new things as an experiment, in addition to past favorites. Sometimes it fails. The single carrot (a seedling from a friend of Rudi’s) and several beet seedlings I put in the potato patch last year disappeared ridiculously fast. But late-season squash finally grew for me, as did those crazy femur-sized cucumbers that showed up weekly in the height of summer. I’ve learned that you can’t plant just one tomatillo plant, even if you think you would only like one plant’s fruits; they require cross-fertilization and having another a few plots away isn’t close enough to cut it. In previous years, radishes didn’t work; peanuts did. I’ve planted broccoli and rabe on several occasions and grown lovely golden beetles each time.

This year, our first experiment is celery. I gave one to a neighbor gardener, but I have five more tucked amidst garlic and yellow onions in a patch I cleared out. So far so good, but they have to make it all the way to the fall.

Anything that’s going to require micromanagement, daily watering in the heat of summer, or pest management other than my flinging beetles away won’t cut it. If it thrive under benign neglect (see all those bunching onions and the sorrel I planted my first year as a gardener), that would be ideal.

Got any suggestions for this year’s experiments?

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