Avant Gardener – 022513

Derek and Carolyn discuss the differences between growing cool season crops and warm season crops. Among vegetables the cool season crops would be lettuce, spinach, onions, broccoli, radish and peas the cool conditions of spring and need to mature before days get hot and humid. Most even tolerate a mild frost and so they can be planted out four weeks before the last expected frost date. Among flowers Derek recommends the series of hardy violas known as ‘Sorbet’ since they are everblooming, and will even tolerate the high heat of summer if watered and fed. The expert this time is Lloyd Tavern, owner of Peace Tree farms, Pennsylvania. He discusses a new hardy lavender that his company has released called ‘Phenomenal’. It produces a better floral display than the two old time favorites, ‘Munstead’ and ‘Hidcote’ and is proving hardier than both. It is even proving popular in Europe where traditionally, lavender breeding has been concentrated. During the email segment Derek explains the difference between various varieties of sugar snap peas, and names the variety he likes for productivity and good flavor. He also explains the difference between Irish potatoes and so-called Fingerling potatoes, and how best to plant them for bumper yields.