Limber Up That Green Thumb!

Calling all gardeners, amateur agriculturists and green thumb enthusiasts:  Spring is half sprung!

I compare our Wisconsin spring to temperamental November….Father Winter chasing the April rains, turning some to sleet and snow; even claiming parts of May with devastating frosts.  Today my blossom laden sour cherry tree is in danger of forecasted hard freeze later this week.  The average last frost in Wisconsin is around May 12: Beware those fleeting warm days before mid May that lure tomato transplants to your garden.  Patience is your friend, my friend.  Best to wait until June 1 for our sensitive peppers and tomatoes.

PEAS RADISHES ONION POTATOES- These brave early survivors thrive in cooler weather.  Our grandmothers preached that potatoes go in on Good Friday.  Radishes are so darn dependable and are a terrific plant for kids as they ALWAYS come up and do it quick.  Plants radishes and peas in the fall too in the cooler weather.  

Since we can’t flash our money around in the casino, roll the dice in your raised beds!  Luck will be on your side.  Try some new tomato varieties.  Have you ever grown Roma or paste tomatoes?  Terrific for salsa, canning.   Love radishes but only grow little red orbs?  Give the “French Breakfast” variety a try.  It looks similar to a carrot in shape and more spicy goodness to savor.  

My vermicompost (worm poop) is flying out of the shed in 5 gallon buckets.   Tis the season.  I did put an advertisement in our local paper this week and next.  Fun to see the words WORM POOP in the Herald Independent!  Call me, text or email for your bucket of fun.  

Something magical occurs in the gut of the red wiggler worm: digestive juices mix with the finely ground castings (poop), leaving the final product chock full of nutrients and microbes.  The vermicompost contains plant loving enzymes that promote a bigger root ball, vigorous growth and even insect repellant properties.  Researchers believe the proteins in vermicompost prove distasteful to some chewing insect palates!

So, try it!  Sprinkle on your peas, radishes, beans in the furrow.  Toss a handful in the trench when you plant your tomatoes and peppers.  Work in around your plants weekly this summer.  Make a yummy compost tea (don’t drink it) but give your flowers a foliar drench.  They will thank you with stunning bouquets.

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