Of all the new annuals in our trials this year one stands out as a favorite. A recent introduction from Bolivia, this Angel Wing Begonia has an unusual cascading growth habit. The three inch long leaves are narrow and give the impression of branches softly landing on dozens of wings. This is the backdrop for a stunning display of flowers. One-inch long flame-shaped flowers hang down from the branches creating a blazing mass of orange. The Bonfire Begonia flowers best in a sunny site and is happy in a hanging basket or on the edge of a mixed planter.
Bean There, Grown That
For anyone who cultivated a vegetable garden, it was a delicious year. Abundant rains and sunny days resulted in productive plots and bumper crops. If your garden didn’t float away (we noticed some tomato plants grew oars), you are probably eating well this summer. So with a tip of the straw hat to local storytellers, here is a tribute to growing beans in the Ozarks.
Growing beans this year was so easy, we just tossed some seeds at the soil and got out of the way. They grew so fast, they were six inches tall that afternoon and ready for picking the next day. While we were picking, they were growing so fast that by the time we got to the end of the row, we had to start at the beginning again. We made the mistake of planting too many: two rows, one of them two feet long and the other three feet long. We picked morning, noon and evening. At night we picked by moonlight.
There were beans everywhere. They were in the dining room, in the living room and in the den. We froze ‘em, canned ‘em, pickled ‘em and strung them up for Labor Day decorations. We made bean bag chairs with the extras. There were bean tunnels in the kitchen, through the dining room and into the pantry. We got rid of them any way we could. We gave so many to friends that we don’t have friends anymore. We had to leave them on porches in the dark of night. One neighbor lost their two youngest for three days in a heap of beans. Those beans were BIG- it only took six to make a dozen.
Finally the sheriff came and hauled us away. We were charged with overcropping. After a day in jail we picked 36 more bushels. Bean futures collapsed and many growers had to forfeit their farms. Three corporations declared bankruptcy. Next year we’re thinking of planting fewer seeds. Maybe we’ll only put in 10 seeds, instead of the 24 we planted this year.
Growing Garlic in the Fall
The cool nights and warm days of fall provide excellent conditions for fall crops. Lettuce, spinach, chard, radishes, carrots and peas all prosper in the late season garden. A few will grow through the winter and produce greens in the mild Ozark winter. Although most fall crops should be started by now, lettuce & spinach sneer at the cold and can still be seeded. A simple structure covered with clear plastic can extend the season another month or more.
Garlic is an easy and satisfying crop that should be planted in the fall. To start garlic, dig compost or old manure into an unused part of the garden. A sunny spot with nitrogen-rich, well-drained soil is an ideal location.
Break apart a garlic bulb into individual cloves and push cloves, point up, into the soil about 3 inches deep. The area can be lightly mulched after planting.
Your garlic will sprout almost immediately, the tops standing tall through the winter. In the spring, top dress with blood meal or more manure and mulch again to keep down weeds. Garlic should be harvested in June when the first tops start falling over. Allow bulbs to sit in a well ventilated area out of direct sun before storing in a cool, dry location.
AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS…
To aide with your gardening endeavors,
Bear Creek Nursery offers Top Quality Garden Soil custom made from fluffy sifted topsoil mixed generously with rich dark compost. Seeds have never been more anxious to grow in this lovely mixture. Did I mention that there aren‟t any rocks?
Also, an extensive line of Nitron Organics is now available with new items targeted for fall planting and garden rejuvenation. These items make sure the fresh healthy food you grow receives all the yummy chemical-free nutrients they crave for over the top production.
Bear Creek Nursery
“ Along with a selection of new annuals, perennials, herbs and grasses, the Bear offers many native trees and shrubs as well as a number of aquatic plants to enhance the pond. Landscape materials and a comprehensive selection of glazed & terra cotta pots round out the products available at your friendly neighborhood garden center. Sound advice is always available from the well informed staff, who will be happy to help you find just the right plant to compliment your garden. Landscape services are available year round.”