Many thanks to everyone who stopped by our table at the UT Gardens Spring Plant Sale last Saturday! It was a pleasure to meet our fellow gardeners, readers, and listeners of the radio show.
April is the biggest gardening month here in the Tennessee Valley. If you have not already planted cool season crops like lettuce or mustard, the window for success is rapidly closing. Your best bet is fast maturing greens, such as mizuna or arugula, and heat tolerant lettuces. Jericho, Anuenue and most romaine varieties are heat tolerant cultivars. Another good one is Black Seeded Simpson, a local favorite since the 19th Century.
You can also plant beans, potatoes, onion sets or plants, scallions, beets, radishes, carrots and cabbage plants with success. Broccoli and cauliflower may or may not produce a crop if planted this late.
Even though tomato and pepper plants have appeared in the garden centers, hold off until at least May 1 to plant. We will still have some cold nights that can set these plants back if they are not protected. You have plenty of time to obtain a crop even if you wait.
It is still a bit early for cucumbers and squash. Plants in cold soil have more disease and pest problems. Wait until after Mothers Day to plant these veggies.
For those who would like to purchase our hardy orchids, they are available at the following local independent garden centers:
Mayo Garden Centers in Powell, Bearden and Farragut
Sweet Pea, on Carr Street in Bearden
Hardy orchids will be available until mid-May.
Please support your local, family-owned garden centers this season. Not only will your dollars remain in the area, you will get better plants, better advice and an overall better value than you will find at any big box retailer.