Monday, April 30, 2018

April's Garden (2018)

This horrible sight is my garden!  The one word which describes this month's garden would be "failure".  The sun has failed to shine, the rain has failed to stop falling, the temperature has failed to rise, and my seeds have failed to sprout. It has been too cold and wet to do anything. A typical month of April. It isn't just me but none of the other gardeners in my neighborhood have anything out either.  A few have tried to plow but regretted it when they realized the ground was too muddy.

There is some good news. The plants which were in the winter garden are still producing more than we can eat.

The spinach began bolting last week so we are working hard trying to get it quickly eaten.  Winter grown (Bloomsdale) spinach is one of my favorite greens because the flavor is much different when it grows in cold weather.

We still have a good variety of vegetables but they are quickly disappearing.  The following are still growing in the garden: collard greens, kale, onions, beets, mustard greens, cabbage, spinach, sorrel, lettuce, swiss chard, carrots, parsnips, chives, and garlic.

The elephant garlic has been growing in this same spot for a few years.  It will produce side shoots of little garlic bulbs and at least one is always left in the ground when it is pulled up.  This year it will not be any different since there is another small shoot sprouting.

The Superschmelz kohlrabi along with many other things are bolting and going to seed. I will be saving them as soon as they are ready and I am going to do a better job keeping track of the names. I am REALLY going to try to do better.

The strawberries are just beginning to form the berries.  It's time to put netting over them or everything will disappear. The hoop house wires are up but untangling the net will take a bit of time.

My biggest failure has been being unable to get anything to sprout. Early in March, I started my seedlings as normal but nothing sprouted so I assumed the laundry room was too cold. I tossed everything then tried again and this time I used a heating mat and a grow light.  Nothing sprouted again but this time hundreds of fungal gnats hatched and flew all over the room. Their larvae were in the potting soil, ate the seed roots and then hatched. The soil was leftover from last year and had been stored in the shed. I suppose that is what caused the problem because it has never happened before. Once again I have started all over but now I am out of some of my seeds. This is the end of April and everything should be the size of the one tomato plant in the lower corner. 

I am very frustrated.  It is possible to go to the garden center and purchase seedlings but that is not what I want. It is the great tasting heirlooms and the unusual varieties that I love to eat.  The plants at the garden center will not be the ones I love. I know I am only one month behind but to me, it seems forever.  NOTHING has sprouted yet!

"Mother," said Scooter.  "They are only green plants, not something delicious like a hambone or a hot dog.  What really matters is if you have someone who loves you and needs you to protect them during naptime."

Links mentioned above:

Last Year's April Garden (2017)


  1. Oh no, please do not be frustrated! There is still enough time for sowing and planting all
    sorts of vegetables: Cucumbers, zucchinis, potatoes, carrots, onions and much more.
    On the pictures I see beautiful swiss chard, healthy onions, even a nice lettuce. And so many
    strawberry blossoms. Cheer up! Everything will be fine.

    1. I am frustrated and to cheer myself up I went to a garden center and saw something for the first time. Plants on clearance at the beginning of the season! They had been damaged by frost so the store was trying to sell them quickly before the other shipments arrived. (I awoke to another frost on the ground this morning.) I found two hanging plants in decent shape and splurged $5 for each of them, SO CHEAP!!! It did make me feel better. Tonight I will order more seeds and try again. Spending money on flowers always makes me feel better.

  2. Oh, dear, I do hope you haven't lost all hope for your garden! I have found that sometimes I have to regroup and change the way I look at my garden because then I can look at options that I never considered before. Hang in there!!

    1. I did consider giving up and just not planting a garden this year...but I enjoy the food so much and I can't buy it anywhere else. I do need to regroup. (Dustin just looked over my shoulder, read the post and said, "Regroup and grow a grass garden." He is not a gardener.)

      Anyway, I will keep trying and it can just be a later garden. We won't starve, there is a grocery store in town, after all. I will just follow my own advice and "keep planting more seeds."

      Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. It is so frustrating that your seeds won't come up!!! How annoying. I had to buy seedlings for the past 2 years, and really, really enjoyed growing my own this year. In fact, I think I'm about ready to try to do another batch of some zinnias, a watermelon (I guess I let the success last year go to my head, since they really don't grow well here), and some corn plants. I saw where someone else did that, and they grew. Makes sense, since I often transplant my thinnings and they grow corn just fine.

    I hope you have some luck soon!

    1. Thank you for giving me hope. A month does not look like much in the beginning but it makes a world of difference as to the amount of harvest at the end of the season.

      Yes, do try a watermelon! You had so much success last year it was amazing. I can't grow corn either. I tried for years but it only got a few feet tall. Reese planted the same seeds a few feet from mine and his grew 16 feet tall. He got his picture in the paper standing along side his corn (Trucker's favorite, heirloom). Not me. I hid my face and refused to stand beside what I had grown.

  4. Hi Jeannie, I'm always so impressed with all the food you grow! And, I'm pretty perplexed that you're having such a hard time growing from seed. Scooter is so smart.....I think he should write a book.

    1. I am perplexed also! It seems I am always having problems and every year it is different problems. When I get one solved, it seems another one arrives.

      I will tell Scooter what you said. Right now he is sitting beside Dustin begging for a bite of chips and hot sauce. He won't get it because he hates it, but that doesn't stop him from begging anyway.

  5. Scooter! Yay! I love Scooter's comments!

    I totally understand about the growing. But you're about the same as me in terms of the growing season! I just planted seeds last week. Prior to that we were still having ice storms and freezing temps. Hopefully plants sprout soon, for both you and me! At least my blueberry plant (purchased after the ice storm) is happily budding! It's a pretty cool plant -- three varieties in one (large) pot! My plan is that if it gets too big for the pot on my balcony, I'll transplant it to my parent's garden. I have yet to tell them, but I have confidence that I can convince them!

    1. Three blueberries on one pot! What will they think of next? No one in their right mind would turn down a blueberry plant.

      I hope both of our seeds sprout. It is driving me crazy. I keep walking by looking and even got out a magnifying glass to look closer. Tomorrow I plan on buying new seed starting soil and trying again. The ground in the garden is drying up and Bill might be able to plow this weekend, but I don't have anything ready to plant!