In the Garden:
Mid-Atlantic
April, 2004
Regional Report

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1371

Raphanus sativus D'Avignon is a fancy variety of long French radish. By any name, a radish is still a radish!

Take the Radish

Radishes are not my favorite food, but I like to grow them. They give me an excuse to be out in the garden, industriously planting away to celebrate spring when really it is almost too early to be planting much else except ... well let's see: snow peas, lettuce, cole crops like broccoli, and of course your potatoes and onions and spinach and chard. And let's not forget the dill, parsley, and chives.

So actually there's quite a lot we could be doing in the weed, er veggie, patch as long as we are out there planting those nasty radish seeds. If you have a small child along to help you, so much the better because he or she will make sure you remember to plant the radish seeds while you are outside lollygagging and enjoying this early taste of spring.

While You're Out
As long as we are out in the yard keeping busy in the sunshine, we could pick up all the sticks and branches that have fallen on the lawn this past winter. We could take some soil samples for testing if we still haven't managed to get around to that. And plant the bare-root perennials that came in the mail, and then do battle with the ornamental grasses. I use the electric hedge trimmer, while elastic cords hold the grass out of my face. Those clumps are bigger than I am!

Did I mention take time to enjoy the crocus, Iris reticulata, chionodoxa, and little winter aconites blooming away? My new baby hellebores have no flowers this spring (sad sigh), but the icicle pansies I planted last fall are blooming like mad. And when I check the warmest corner of my yard for the first daffodils -- YESSS!

Have you noticed the buds swelling on the clematis vines? The forsythias are beginning to show a touch of yellow now, and the willow trees are glowing with their delicate, pale green aura of early spring.

I scrutinize the swelling flower buds on the ornamental cherry tree. Soon, soon. I may only have the one tree but I sure do enjoy my own personal springtime cherry blossom festival right here at home. I can hardly wait.

Now isn't that a far cry from the radish? Maybe tomorrow I'll remember to actually take the packet out of my pocket, open it, and plant the seeds.


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