April 27, 2024

Garden Notes: April 2024

April is tree leafing month


    • 3rd: 0.75"
    • 9th: 0.58"
    • 10th: 0.13"
    • 11th: 0.28"
    • 21st: 0.47"
    • Total: 2.21  inches

    • range of nighttime lows: 33 to 63°F (0.5 to 17°C)
    • range of daytime highs: 59 to 87°F (15 to 30.5 °C)

    Weather Notes
    • We've gotten a little bit of everything - except snow! We've had rain, scattered frost, and hot summery days. Typical April!
    • We've had several days of drizzle with no accumulation. I didn't include these in my rain totals.
    • My daily schedule has switched to summer mode: I work outside in the morning and inside during the afternoon. 
    • Spring always seems to be shorter than autumn! Why is that???

    Greenhouse Notes
    • The greenhouse is getting pretty warm on our sunniest days. The cool weather plants are finishing up, but my volunteer tomato is thriving!
    • This summer I'll experiment with keeping the heat out of the house.

    Planted (direct sow)
    • okra: saved seed Clemson Spineless
    • sunflowers: Russian Mammoth
    • Swiss chard: Fordhook and Rainbow
    • black turtle beans, saved seeds
    • potatoes (last year's sprouting)
    • calendula: 
    • cucumbers: landrace F2 and F3
    • dill: Long Island Mammoth and Bouquet
    • corn: Trucker's Favorite from saved seed
    • cantaloupe: Hale's Best from saved seed 
    • black turtle beans, saved seed

    Transplanted (from greenhouse seed starts)
    • tomatoes: saved seed
    • winter squash: sweet potato squash
    • Swiss chard: Fordhook and Rainbow
    • basil plant (purchased)

    • lettuce
    • radishes
    • broccoli
    • kale
    • asparagus
    • chickweed
    • wild lettuce
    • chicory leaves
    • oregano
    • thyme
    • peppermint
    • hopniss
    • strawberries
    • lambs quarter
    • snow peas

    Garden Shots

    Bed with radishes in front, snow peas & lettuce behind

    cherry belle radishes

    looseleaf lettuce

    I've been concerned our lettuce might get bitter or start to bolt due to our hot days. Fortunately, these are followed by cool days, so the lettuce remains sweet. Even so, I'm certainly glad to have my "Fresh Keeper."

    Lots of lettuce = lots of salads. This one includes lettuce, kale, chickweed,
    asparagus, radish, hard-boiled duck egg, and grated goat feta cheese.

    fresh peppermint

    first strawberries

    snow pea vines in flower

    Volunteer cherry tomato plant in the greenhouse

    Apparently, we've had a peony all these years. It's in a bad spot though, 
    and always got cut down because of where it was growing, poor thing!

    Parting Shot

    Homegrown meal: Scrambled eggs with asparagus
    and potatoes. Dish of canned figs and goat milk kefir.

    Anyone else busy in their gardens?


    Rosalea said...

    Looking luscious, Leigh!
    Starting to get some spring stuff done. Cleared off the asparagus patch yesterday, and found a couple of stalks barely starting..soon! Winter sowing jugs are showing life. May is our leafing out month.

    daisy g said...

    A noticeable difference in the amount of rainfall. I am still in spring mode, staying outside as much as possible! Soon the afternoons will find me inside reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, and the like.

    That peony just wants to grow! Nature is truly amazing.

    You are so good at saving your seed. I'm working on that.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Leigh said...

    Rosalea, I'd forgotten about winter sowing jugs. Daisy's seed starting has worked really well for me, and I think the sowing jugs would be a great addition!

    Love that you have time for reading and jigsaw puzzles. Enjoy that time before the spring planting rush begins!

    Daisy, yes! Much less rainfall than the past several months. With that, I'm seeing the shift in our seasonal weather patterns. There's still a lot of rain in the region, but because of the mountains we typically get a lot less in our summer pattern.

    CK said...

    Your garden looks lovely as it's starting to wake up. All those promising plants, waiting to fruit in earnest. It's autumn here and I was doing some yard work today. Noticed the old mulberry has some dying branches and needs a good prune. I had a great time! With your garden waking up, I know you will be too.

    Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

    Wow! Radishes already? Yum. I love you updates today. I just posted mine, today too, but my post does not look as orderly as yours.

    Leigh said...

    Chris, nature here is waking up and just settling in for its winter's rest for you. I hope your mulberry thrives on the pruning. Mine is fairly young and loaded with little green mulberries!

    Kristina, I'll come take a look! I always love these spring gardening posts. My post is the result of a lot of tweaking that I now use as a monthly template. Helps me keep organized!

    Ed said...

    We haven't been terribly busy because with the colder temps, everything is coming up slowly. I think just about everything we planted three weeks ago is now up. We were planning to put warm season stuff in this weekend but rain is here and will most likely set that back for a few more days. I'm not complaining. Right now we are mostly just waiting for things to get tall enough so we can reasonably mulch everything and help retain moisture in this third year after two years of severe drought.

    Now that we have a greenhouse and are starting to figure things out, I need to start saving my own seeds as well, especially tomato seeds. The ones I planted from store bought seeds are thriving and getting close to six inches tall at this point.

    Leigh said...

    Ed, one huge advantage you have this year is having your garden so much closer to home. That should help tremendously.

    Rain said...

    I wish I were more busy in my garden Leigh! We're still having frosty nights. You have a nice harvest so far! ♥

    Leigh said...

    Rain, thanks! When your garden is in full swing, it will be too hot for mine. Such is the way with location!

    Nina said...

    It's been a real mixed bag of weather here, with snow, frosts, lots of rain, wind and a couple of sunny days. I've gotten all the beds and pots cleaned up, ready to add compost and manure when it gets a bit warmer. I did put some spring greens mix into a planter. It will be another month before we can safely put most of our garden in.

    Leigh said...

    Nina, sounds like you are well prepared. I think that's one advantage of having a later planting season. I find I'm always behind the power curve here, because it starts so early.

    Boud said...

    Strawberries already?? Whoa, reminder that you're well south of me.

    Leigh said...

    Boud, yes, strawberries! But then, by the time everyone else's are producing, ours are done. Gotta enjoy where we are for what it is. :)

    Shug said...

    This is all amazing. I sure admire those that produce their own foods. I see healthy foods coming your way and this is awesome. Lots of rain around here as well.

    Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

    I have just now found out the balcony space I will have available. I think it is likely too early to start here, but at least I know the space I will have to work with. Seems likely it will only be some herbs and garlic this year (garlic having never failed me).

    Leigh said...

    Shug, there's something immensely satisfying about making a meal with food we grow for ourselves. It makes gardening a great hobby!

    TB, that's great! People grow a lot on balconies. I know you've got a lot going on this year, but even a couple of herbs and some garlic would be a welcome start.

    Goatldi said...

    Nice blog post and photos! Love the radishes and greens. I finally got nice weather for pulling up all the broccoli and Brussels sprouts . This year my winter garden was a flop. We got some broccoli but the sprouts just wouldn't have any of it. I believe that there were not enough consistent cold days without warmer ones. So I let it go to seed and the bees had a field day. We didn't have the snow we had last year and we went up and down with the temps three days of hard freeze and then up into the 50 and 60 range. We did end up with two snow days and the second was around for a few days. And we have had a generous amount of rain. We had a hard freeze last week and then more rain with warmer highs and lows.
    My garlic patches made it through it all and I will harvest later in May. It will be interesting to see what it gives up.

    I can only do one half of my larger raised bed as the other half is full of garlic. I have year two asparagus but the down side is it decides that with temps in the 50's day time it becomes confusing when a few days of both highs and lows in the 40's and 20's. But at least it was only the second year so it wasn't a total loss. I hope next year #3 will be a bumper crop!Also I have two old water troughs that I planted a few weeks back now we have green patches coming up hoping for a nice crop of German Butterball's.

    I do have some berry bushes to plant and some veggies also. I am hoping we don't get any hard freezes as we can have them up to the end of May.

    For the bummer of the gardens the fig tree is busting forth and looks like I will get a nice crop this year. The peach tree is not so much but maybe a bit more. The chickens have made up for a dismal end of winter garden and not so promising Spring garden. My young chicks began laying in November and we averaged 12 to 18 eggs daily and they benefited from the warmer temps.

    Hopefully I will have a brighter report at the end of May.

    Leigh said...

    Goatldi, winter is such an iffy gardening season anyway, and I think you're right about yoyo temps. Plants don't like them. But 12 to 18 eggs a day! That's a wow. I reckon we just have to take the bad with the good and keep on trying. (Although sometimes I think gardeners are gluttons for punishment.)

    Goatldi said...

    Amen to that!