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April Gardening Tips

Harvesting asparagus, as noted in an
Easy Gardening publication by Texas
A&M AgriLife Extension

Tips for your Garden in April

as recommended by Charla Anthony

April is prime time to plant edibles in Central Texas gardens.

Plant-ables:
* Vegetables to plant:
* Seeds directly sown: bush and pole beans, corn, cucumber, melons, okra, and both summer and winter squash.
* Small plants: eggplant, peppers and Swiss chard. Plant tomatoes before April 20 -the sooner the better. For these late season plantings, select large, sturdy transplants.
* Herbs to plant: basil, chives, lemongrass, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Mint, with container growing recommended due to its aggressive growth.
* Fruits to plant: Figs and pomegranates may still be planted, but do so early in the month. Plant trees in full sun with a southern or eastern exposure. Allow plenty of space for growth –mature trees can be 12 to 15 feet tall and wide.

Harvest-ables:
* Vegetables: asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, radish, turnips. Continue harvesting the leafy greens – arugula, chard, collards, kale, lettuce and spinach. Store unwashed and refrigerated for 24 hours to decrease bitterness and “sweeten” flavor. Then as needed, wash and prepare.
* Herbs: cilantro, dill, parsley
* Homegrown edible flowers: nasturtium, cilantro and pansy – for use in salads, cheese spreads, flavoring vinegars and decorating baked goods.
* Fruit: strawberries, harvest as soon as fruit ripens.

Asparagus:
Perhaps no vegetable is associated with spring more than asparagus. It is planted once and easily grown and maintained in central Texas. This hardy
perennial with attractive, fernlike foliage will provide delicious spears every spring for about 15 years once the plants are established.

Give careful attention to site selection and soil preparation, done a couple months prior to planting crowns in January. A 100 square foot area will accommodate 20 plants that should eventually yield about 10 pounds per season.

Choose a growing site with good drainage, in full sun and thoroughly amend the soil with 4 or more inches of high quality compost. After 2 to 3 years, you’ll have about six weeks each spring to harvest fresh asparagus stems or spears. Then, allow plants to grow undisturbed through the summer and fall. The feathery foliage can reach up to 5-feet tall. Plants will die down after the first hard frost and reemerge the following spring. More information on growing asparagus can be found at aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable/easy-gardening-series/

Charla Anthony is the horticulturist for Brazos County at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 2619 Texas 21 W., Bryan, Texas 77803.

For local gardening information, visit the website: brazosmg.com.

Gardening question? Call 979-823-0129 or email cmanthony@ag.tamu.edu

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