Edible gardens, Eastside Cafe, frozen plants return!

February 4th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

Look what’s coming up!

Frozen bamboo muhly returns

My bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa) is already coming back from the roots. I’m not cutting the rest back yet. For now, the browned foliage is protecting everyone underneath, including a purple heart (Setcreasea pallida) that’s warm and comfy. His cousins are still underground, playing cards.

Although gardeners celebrate every spring when plants return, I suspect that this year we’ll have more champagne moments than usual: “Look who’s back after all!”

Thus it was last fall after the drought. “Look who’s back!” With the rains and cooler weather, my first heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata) recently showed up again, and it looks like it’s spreading. I wasn’t about to dig into its spot, since I suspected it was there, just hiding from me. Whew.

Heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata)

So, give your plants some time. It’s so early, and the warm weather guys aren’t going to peek out until it’s safe. And remember, some of our hardest hits can be in February.

This week, Daphne answers questions about when to prune. Since she can’t cover it all in one minute (though she crams in a lot!) get more tips at A&M’s Doug Welsh’s info for in-depth pruning tips.

Last weekend, I pruned the rosemary plants and dealt with Salvia greggiis and woody pink skullcaps (Scutellaria suffrutescens). This weekend, I’ll clean up my evergreen sumac and maybe prune the cenizo.  I’m not touching shrimp plant, gingers, thryallis or their kin. Also, please avoid pruning cycad fronds until March. If we prune, they’ll want to send out new growth and a late freeze could be very harmful.

On February 27, we’ll be dealing with freeze-damaged aloes and agaves. The word from future guest Jeff Pavlat is to wait on them and the cycads!

But we can get ready for warm-weather crops, like tomatoes and peppers. This week on CTG, Tom meets with Amy Crowell from Edible Yards to get you started.

kids love Edible Yards

I met Amy when she was at Sunshine Gardens (by the way, Sunshine’s spring vegetable sale is on March 6).  Later, she moved on to Green Corn. With the birth of her son, now she’s a freelance designer helping gardeners design, install, or maintain vegetable gardens. What a great idea! She also gives how-to workshops, and has lots of ideas for gardeners with small spaces, too. By the way, meet Amy in person and learn more about vegetable gardening on April 3 at the Mayfield Park Garden Symposium, “Trowel & Error.” Details on our events calendar soon.

Trisha shows us how to plant potatoes, even in a container. You won’t feed the neighborhood with a container planting, but if you’ve got kids, it’s easy and would be a real blast for them!

On tour, Dorsey Barger at Eastside Café shows us to how grow vegetables in small beds or containers, without a bunch of tools or a bunch of money! We also get a fun look behind the kitchen scenes with co-owner and chef Elaine Martin. I was fascinated to watch Elaine chop Dorsey’s garden harvests, her fingers curled appropriately. I cannot master that technique!

And, the Travis County Master Gardeners are hosting free workshops on March 12 & 13 for hands-on vegetable gardening.  Check their site for details, planting guides, and more!

If you have cold-hardy Queen Victoria agaves, here’s something to anticipate, thanks to viewer Sharon Nettle and her mom, who brought this plant to Sharon from her garden!

Queen Victoria agave flower stalk, Sharon Nettle

Queen Victoria agave flower stalk, Sharon Nettle

You just never know what surprises your plants have in mind for you!

Until next week, Linda

  1. 11 Responses to “Edible gardens, Eastside Cafe, frozen plants return!”

  2. By Pam/Digging on Feb 4, 2010

    Champagne moments–I’m looking forward to those. I’ve been away from my garden all week, mostly because of the rain, but I’ll be checking it out tomorrow. Spring is right around the corner, but you’re right–best not to cut back damaged tender plants just yet.

    And wow, that bloom stalk on the Queen Victoria agave!

    Reply

    Linda reply on February 5th, 2010 4:09 pm:

    Boy, with today’s weather, it sure is hard not to grab the pruners. I’m wrapping them with duct tape.

    Reply

  3. By Sarah on Feb 5, 2010

    Like you, I can’t wait to see what appears in the next few months.

    Thanks for the reminder about the Master Gardener workshops. I’ll be sure to attend the one on vegetable gardening. I started my square foot garden last year with varying degrees of success, but advice from experienced gardeners is always appreciated.

    Reply

    Linda reply on February 5th, 2010 4:12 pm:

    Last year was a really tough year for vegetables. I bet this time your square foot garden will explode!

    Reply

  4. By Vertie on Feb 5, 2010

    Once again, you’ll be addressing all the issues/questions I have! I’ve been thinking about new ways to grow potatoes ever since I read how much pesticides are used to grow them. And I think my bamboo muhly are going to come back too.

    Reply

    Linda reply on February 5th, 2010 4:11 pm:

    Yes, the potatoes really do look fun. I always get some in my compost pile but it’d be neat to have some “organized.” It is pretty fun to see what’s coming back up. Makes up for the ones that are goners.

    Reply

  5. By Jenny on Feb 5, 2010

    I did get my pruners out today! Couldn’t resist it any longer. The garden looks a whole lot tidier and there are signs of new life here as well. A little crocus is in flower. I wasn’t even sure that they would bloom but I think they were quite at home in the cold. Thanks for the heads up on the MG programs. I think I’m going to try potatoes this year, too.

    Reply

    Linda reply on February 6th, 2010 4:11 pm:

    Yes, I got my pruners out today, too! It feels good to tidy up. I am leaving a lot of things for now, which is fine, because I’m already pooped!

    Reply

  6. By Bob Beyer on Feb 6, 2010

    Good God, the size of that flower stalk on the Agave victoria-reginae is unbelievable. I had an old and sizable one in Houston that was estimated to be 30-40 years old but it never bloomed nor did I realize the bloom stalk was so huge! That is a rare and captivating sight. Thanks for posting that remarkable picture.

    Reply

  7. By Cindy, MCOK on Feb 6, 2010

    That QV Agave is definitely regal. I had pruners in hand today, too … I hope you Austinites had as beautiful a day as we did here.

    Reply

  8. By Dirty Girl Gardening on Feb 9, 2010

    Love the new shoots of bamboo… very pretty.

    Reply

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