April 18, 2014

My Garden in April: Random Shots

We had frost the past two mornings. It was a surprise after all the lovely weather we've been having. Still, our last expected frost date isn't until next week, so I'm so glad I held off with warm weather planting! Here's how things look on the verge of that.

My strawberries are happy after a top dressing of compost and a good rain.

Fall planted garlic mulched with leaves

Fall planted parsnips just started to grow this spring. Variety - All American
The long skinny plant is a wild onion. Some of these I pull, some I let grow.
(See "Wild Foods: Onions & Sheep Sorrel" and "Wild Onions Revisited".)

Purple top turnips and Wando peas, both planted this spring.

I planted two beds of peas, one with turnips as companions, the other
with radishes. These are purple plum radishes, aren't they a lovely color?

Multiplier onions (fall planted) and lettuce, most spring planted except
for one plant you seen in the upper right corner, which was fall planted.

The Scarlet Nantes carrots I planted last fall were sporadic in germinating.

Horseradish, a volunteer. Last year I studied vitamins & minerals in plants
for growing & making my own herbal goat formula (see "DIY Vitamins &
Minerals for Goats
"). I learned that horseradish is rich in copper, a needed
mineral for goats. I'll dry the leaves for feeding in a winter herb mix. 

Jerusalem artichokes are beginning to grow.

A very sad shot, frost damaged potatoes. Our cooperative extension says we
can plant potatoes in March. These should have been covered, but with an
overnight forecast in the high 30s (F), who would have thought? My mistake.

Our small stand of winter wheat (left of the logs). Germination was fair.

Let's not forget seed saving. This is a cabbage-collards
plant. I mulched with leaves and am letting the violets
grow for a pretty ground cover and to feed the soil. 

When I walk out to the garden all I see is everything needing to be done. When I stop to photograph what's growing, I see it through different eyes and I'm happy.

How is everyone else doing with their gardens so far?


Michelle said...

Rick got our garden tilled last Sunday, but unfortunately the nasty "pop weed" had already gone to seed so he just succeeded in sowing a bump crop. I'm already having nightmares about trying to keep ahead of the weeds this year….

Chris said...

Is that what horseradish looks like? Thanks for the photo. I have that stuff coming up all over the place. I planted it once as it was a gift from a friend. But I didn't get to watch it close enough, so when it died I wasn't too sure if the leaves I saw popping up all over the place, was from seeds cast from the horseradish.

I'll got have a closer look. I know what horseradish smells like, so I should just go dig one up. It's growing feral around here, from just one plant that went to seed before it died. :)

Your place is looking lush at the moment and I can empathise with the garden chores. We're getting into our autumn/fall chores, which is like growing season for us (hot weather climate).

I hope the growing season is a productive one without too many dramas. :)

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Pity about your potatoes. Mine haven't gone in yet as the garden they are to go in isn't ready. I'm champing at the bit to plant some of the plants I have in the frames and greenhouse, but though it is sunny presently there is still a risk of frost right through until the end of May here.
I would have left the violets too.
I rather fancy those purple radish to look at. I shall peruse the seed catalogues and see what can be found
Happy Easter Leigh

Nina said...

My garlic is up but was covered in snow 3 days ago, when a freak storm blew through. It's fine now though. This weekend, I hope to get peas, spinach and chard planted as they'll withstand the frosts we'll risk until the end of May. My strawberries either didn't make it through the harsh winter, or were eaten by the bunnies. Winter came on so quickly this year that I didn't get my blueberries protected and they've been eaten almost to the ground. They've still got a bit of stem and branches left though, so I'm hopeful that they could still recover.

Woolly Bits said...

with all the building still going on I didn't do much in autumn this year - so in contrast to yours my garden looks pretty dreadful:) but we're planning to change over to raised beds in the new area anyway, so I am not too bothered about that.... found the first strawberry blossoms though - and a few veggie volunteers!

famousthecat said...

It's amazing to see what a difference there is over not too many miles! We are in central Indiana, and our garlic is just starting to come up. The strawberries are FAR from flowering! Thanks for sharing - things are looking good!

Lynda said...

Your garden is looking great. Sorry about the potatoes...and I had no idea about the copper in horseradish! I have plenty of the stuff...it's like a weed! I was gifted a root from a friend years ago and like the comfrey I have enough for myself and everyone else in the country!

Maura said...

I posted a garden update today too! We're in a different zone than you (at about 6,300' elevation)so we are probably about a month behind you.

I feel your pain for the frost damaged potatoes... Will they come back, do you think?


Laura said...

Thanks for the lettuce/onion shot. I have 2 4 x 8 beds (more to come), and one of them is 2/3 shallots. I can plant my mesclun and lettuce amongst them! Yay!

What I thought was dock (and maybe still is) might be horseradish. I'll have to dig up some to see what the root looks like. I don't like that it's infringing on my comfrey!

Sandy Livesay said...


Good afternoon!!! I'm sorry to see your potatoes froze. I had two that did the same thing but several days after, I noticed some green coming back in spots on my two that froze. You maybe able to get something out of them after all.

Your garden really does look good, and further along in growth than ours.

My straw bales are looking really good and productive. I will be posting soon on them with pictures.

Then the lettuce, and spinach have really taken off. The strawberry plants love the direct sun this year, there growing like crazy.

My asparagus is growing, we've been harvesting this right and left and enjoying it cooked and raw. The swiss chard is about 1 inch tall. My celery started looking pretty good in ground after planting them a couple of days ago. Now I initially started them from water in an attempt to grow roots.

My peas are popping out of the ground, tomatoes are about 4 to 5 inches tall. One plant already has flowers. I still have more to plant, along with my herbs.

Susan said...

We left turnips, carrots and beets in the ground all winter and they lasted well. Sowed broccoli last fall, our spring is late but it is starting to grow and it won't be long before we can cut some. The ground is still cold and wet, once it warms up we will be busy getting things in. Like you the work needing doing can be intimidating. I'll try the camera trick.

Mom at home said...

I loved the pictures. I wish we had some onions to eat! My husband really loves them from the garden. I was just able to plant lettuce and onion by seeds. I have never used the seed kind, so an experiment for me. The freeze this week got my lilac bush and I'm so sad about loosing the buds. My husband bought it for me 2 years ago and planted it right under a window so I could smell them even if I couldn't get outside to pick some:) Happy growing!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Feeling the same way about so much to do this time of year and having to wait for the weather and then all needing doing at once. So exciting to see things growing though! Nancy

Rosalyn said...

No garden yet here! The snow only just melted this week and everything is completely sodden. Soon though! Some sunny days have made me hopeful. :)

Felecia Cofield said...

Hi Leigh! I feel the same way! Then when I view the photos I think, "Wow"! But still, there is so much to do! Your strawberry plants and veggies are growing good! Thanks for sharing! Have a Blessed Easter! Felecia

Mark said...

Hi Leigh! Empty beds and plots here in NE Indiana. We don't do fall planting yet, although I my try this fall. Had snow and ice Monday, and heavy frost Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm thinking about getting peas and lettuce in, though. Winter's GOT to end sometime! :) And I do have a plots of asparagus and rhubarb I'm hoping will do well this year. My horseradish got "forgotten" last year so it's still in the ground. I'm guessing I'll have to wait til later this year now.

Bummer about your potatoes! I hope at least some of them recover.

Do have a blessed Easter!


M.E. Masterson said...

Hello Leigh,
Very Excited I planted my cauli, broccoli, kholarobi, cabbage plants, then planted more broccoli seeds, and added brussel seeds too. Beets, Carrots, peas seeds.....all planted yesterday.
Onions are showing themselves and still waiting on the potatoes yet but did peek in on them and they are growing under there.
Finished all the fencing and two gates with one to go (come later). Thrilled to be able to grow lots this year.....
After next Saturday (last frost date according to the "Holy Grail"-Farmers Almanac) will plant the remainder of my herbs, bush/pole beans using corn as their companion and all my melons(plants), squash(plants), tomatoes(30 plants grown myself)
and pepper plants. Gonna be a busy growing season here....thank goodness for a tiller to help keep the weeds down!

Anonymous said...

We have wild onion EVERYWHERE! I joked with the boys that we needed to mow simply to get it under control....I have more of that than I do grass.
You probably just helped me without even knowing it (you usually do that lol). I have been trying to identify a plant that is all over here, and after reading your post, I am pretty sure it's sheep sorrel. Do they have fuzzy leaves? There is some that is blooming with the flowers, so I will have to compare that to the one that is behind the house and not blooming yet.
Hoping your potatoes make a come back. We got ours in late, so no plant to get hit with the frost yet. I did have to cover my seedlings and strawberries though.


Jan said...

Beautiful beginnings - your garden is gorgeous! I hope you have a joyous and blessed Easter.

Cassandra said...

Wow, everything looks great, except the poor potatoes. Same thing happened to mine. We usually plant potatoes mid-March and they're fine. cold snap killed the few leaves that had poked up. (And my tomatoes! Even though they were covered.)

I hadn't thought about fall seeding lettuce and such. Yours looks great though- might have to try that next year, if I can get organized enough. :) Thanks!

Mama Pea said...

Ha! Give me another month and a half and I'll have pictures like yours to post. Maybe.

Leigh said...

Thank you for all the comments and updates! We had a lovely family Easter and this week promises to be a bit hectic, so please forgive me for not being more personal in my response to comments.

Of the frozen potato plants, I can only wait and see. It's funny because I usually want to plant late in hopes my stored potatoes will last long enough for me to plant the following spring. This year I said, "oh well." A mistake? Quite possibly!

Stephanie, the sheep sorrel doesn't have fuzzy leaves. The flower stalk shoots straight up and is covered with teeny red flowers so that a bunch of plants have a reddish cast at a distance. Get a plant ID book and check the leaf shape; quite distinctive, almost arrow-like. They have a definite lemony flavor! I need to dry some to add to soups and such.

Mom at home, I hope your lilac recovers. That was a favorite childhood flower. I lost my rosemary bush to freezing this year.

Laura, yes! They make good companions!

Sandy, lovely about the asparagus. Mine did kinda piddly this year, although I know it takes a few years to recover after transplanting.

I know I've forgotten to answer somebodies question!

Bag End Gardener said...

I had that happen to potatoes a few years back.

I earthed them up with a good mixture of soil and homemade compost, ensured they were covered with fleece if there was the slightest risk of it even getting a bit chilly and we had a good harvest later in the season.

Leigh said...

Jayne, thank you for that about the potatoes. That's encouraging. I'll give this a try myself and hope for the best!

Bag End Gardener said...

You're welcome, but no guarantees expressed or implied :}

Leigh said...

Understood! But a gardener has to try something!