Monday, March 15, 2010
Radishes, Arugula, and Cilantro Oh My!
Radishes! Yes, you can plant radishes now. They are hardy little souls and can handle anything the weather wants to throw at them. They are a very short season crop, 28 days, so maybe you want to plant just a few and then when they show up, plant another section, etc. That way you may have radishes for a few weeks rather than lots for a few days and then nothing. So it goes with succession planting. Mustard greens are very hardy also, and can be planted from seed as soon as you can get a place ready. Arugula is one of many mustards available. They are fun to add to salad and can be picked leaves at a time so that they continue to produce for awhile. If you have enough nitrogen in your soil, mustard greens (and radishes) will grow quickly and be less hot and more tasty especially if they are getting sufficient water. If they are not getting either enough nitrogen or water, they will turn yellow, go to seed (make flowers) and be so hot, you won't enjoy them. There are lots of wonderful bagged products out there these days, and "Bloom and Grow" comes to mind, but check your local nursery outlet or where you buy garden goods for a good organic (if possible) mix that has listed ingredients rather than "potting mix" which tends to be weaker. Cilantro is another thing you can plant now and for the next seven months! Ha-ha. The life expectancy for cilantro is short, like 35 days. There is nothing you can do when it starts to bolt. So, once again, you should plant some and then some more so you can have it for longer. Cilantro grown now, obviously won't be around when your tomatoes are ready and you can make salsa. Get ready to plant a little cilantro every two weeks if you want to have it continuously. Otherwise, plant a row when tomatoes start to turn red, and it will be ready for salsa. Cilantro takes its time to germinate, sprout, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't pop right up as the radishes and mustards did. They can tell if you have doubts and it can affect their self esteem!