April Showers Bring May…Tomatoes?

Juliet tomato is always prolific.


Its been a weird year. Our three-day winter here in central Texas has mother nature standing on her ear. My fruit trees are still putting on leaves. Best me and Google can tell, this foliage delay is due to insufficient chill hours. I dislike chill myself, but I agree it’s a necessary evil. Why? Because I love peaches, that’s why. No chill, no peaches…no happy me. I’ll wear a coat for a ripe, plump, delicious Ranger peach any day.  Also, the persistent, low night-time temps have slowed the growth of most the garden plants, but a few just keep powering through. The tomatoes are leading the way. Might even get a red, ripe one this month. My record so far is June 1st. Okra and melons are dragging up the rear. Radishes never seem to give a flip. Even the seeds I dropped in-between rows while planting (tiny buggers) are giving it their all. I just maneuver around them. They’ll be ready to pull and eat soon enough.

Candela Di Fouco radish. An Italian strain.

Speaking of radishes, I love this variety I’ve tried this year. Spicy, like all delicious radishes, and fun to look at,  these carrot-looking beauties don’t mess around. My soil is loose, and has ample depth so they have all the room they need to explore and grow almost as straight as a candle-stick.

Rat’s Tail radish

Something else new in the R. Perkins garden is an above ground radish type; a Rat’s Tail radish. Look closely and you can see the edible seed pods which resemble a rat’s tail. Haven’t tried these yet, but doesn’t appear that it will be long before I do.

Cocolla Di Napoli squash.
Another Italian selection.

I’ve become bored with the standard “straight neck prolific” and “yellow crook neck” varieties of summer squash, so a few years back I began experimenting with something different. What I’ve discovered is that the Italian varieties are much more flavorful. There’s not much to see yet, but I predict I will harvest my first squash within a week. Updates will follow.

Those taters are looking good!

Except for those potatoes (planted on St. Paddy’s Day, of course) everything else is lagging behind. I tried planting early once during a mild winter, only to get wiped-out later, thanks to an April freeze. But gardening isn’t about rushing things. And in central Texas, we’re blessed with a long grown season; sometimes too long. I’ll be overwhelmed soon enough. Until then, I’ll water and pray for rain like a True Texan. Thanks for stopping by!

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