Thursday, April 29, 2021

April's Garden (2021)


The best words to explain this month's garden would be "I was going to...."  I realize I haven't made a post in a whole month but, gosh, "I was going to...." The weather has been awesome.  Coming inside to look at a computer was unthinkable.  The only reason I am inside now is that it is raining outside. 

The garden is sitting in cups on the front porch waiting to be transplanted.  After listening to the old farmer's weather reports, I intentionally waited until later this year to plant.  For a few years now, many volcanos have been erupting around the world.  Historically, (according to tree rings and old records) whenever that happens, the ash in the atmosphere causes climate change, blocks the sun's warmth, and lowers the world's temperatures. Normally our last hard frost in my area is about April 15th, but this year we had a hard freeze less than a week ago.  It's a good thing I waited.

In the garden, only cool weather plants were out and they did fine.  However, the potatoes in the newly created potato patch took a hit.

They all died back but today a few have sprouted.  It appears they will survive.

The first two fence rows for tomatoes are now up.  A few were planted yesterday and when the rain stops, more will go out. The paths are marked with hay and it helps me visualize what to put where.  The area on the right is tilled and ready.  The area to the left is not.  We put a load of fresh manure on the left side so it must be tilled a couple of times before anything can be planted. However, the tiller broke and must be repaired first.  

This is the last bit of the winter garden. The Swiss Chards are bolting but their flavor is still not bitter.  It will have to hold us until the rest of the garden begins producing.

Standing with my back to the fence and turning towards the house is the new spot Bill plowed.  It adds about two more feet at the end of the garden.  As he expected, it was full of rocks and was hard on the tiller.  A twenty-five by two-foot row may not sound like much, but it makes a difference in the growing area.

The back right corner in front of the shed was the location of the crazy trellis that collapsed last summer under the weight of Lima Beans.  We tore the twisted fencing down and left a piece in the corner. It will hold a Sugar Baby Watermelon and cucumbers. Detroit Red beets and a few cabbages are in the patch in the center.  Okra will grow right up against the short fences on either side.

Everything was started in cups on the front porch and was transplanted yesterday.

The okra will be trimmed to lean over the short fence into the lawn to not waste any space in the garden. We will have to dodge it when walking around the corner but I would rather save the garden area for more things.  After the okras are established, a vining bean will be put under each one to see if they could be supported by the okra.  

Standing with my back against the okra corner and looking toward the field will be the new winter hoop houses for this year. One bed has all broccoli and the other has collard greens.  Since I never seem to have enough of those two vegetables, that's what I planted.  I am tired of winter vegetables and ready to experiment with the new seeds I purchased.

At the end of the new winter beds are the onion, leek, spinach, endive, snow pea, and English peas. No decision yet as to what will run up the supports.

It does require careful balancing on the stepping stones when harvesting but this wasted space is well utilized now. 

On the back short fence, the snow peas haven't bloomed yet.

The horse trainers gave me their empty feed tubs to recycle.  These were pink so I painted them black.  The plan is to move all of my herbs into them since nothing else will grow in the shade under the tall trees.  The horses can reach over the fence but have never shown any interest in strong-smelling plants.  Filling them up with compost and digging up my herbs is on my "I'm going to-do list."

Getting as much as possible out of every inch and trying new vegetables are my goals for this year.  That means everything is on my list, well, everything except for going inside to look at the computer to read the news.  Nope.  If the sun is shining, I am outside.