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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mid-April Garden update

The spring has been rainier than our last two or three years.  Which is not to say we are out of the drought, but it hasn't been quite as dry as it was in previous years.

I have been so busy putting together the new front yard flower bed, that I haven't had time to get in and mulch and prepare this bed.  



Today I finally took a whole day.  I harvested the spinach, pulled up the old cabbage plant, tied up the asparagus plants, put more dirt on the potatoes, weeded and put down eight bags of mulch.

Before


As a note for the future, it was a lot harder putting mulch down this late in the season.  With the warmer weather, the weeds had already started sprouting, and many of the plants were bigger.  I also think I have more planted this year, so it was harder to move around.  

Last year - April 4, 2014
Looking back at last year's journal, I put the mulch down on April 4. Look how much less grown the garden is at that time!




● Currently Harvesting

Cilantro
There are still a few cilantro plants that haven't bolted, but for the most part, I am just waiting for the flowers to turn to seeds, so the plants can re-seed for next year.  I will then pull the plants up.

Lettuce
Transplanted: October 20th and January 20th 


I pulled the red leaf lettuce up today (finally - it has been done for a couple of weeks).  At least one of the other plants looks like it might bolt soon.  The oak leaf looking one seems to still be going strong, though!

I really love being able to walk out to the garden to pick a few leaves for a salad or to go on a sandwich.  Of all the things I have grown, the lettuce may just be the most rewarding.




Radishes
Crimson Giant
Planted from seed: Jan 20
Days to harvest: 30 days (February 20)

Okay, I really, really need to thin these plants out next year.  I noticed in my notes from last year, I said this same thing.  This year I took a picture to remind myself...



These are all of the radishes I had to throw away, because they were spaced too close together.  I probably only harvested about a dozen total radishes, and had to throw away at least two dozen.

Next year:  THIN!

Cabbage
Transplanted: January 20th
Days to harvest:  60 - 105 days (March 21 - May 5th)
Harvested:  April 4

We pulled him up on April 4th, and turned him into egg rolls.  It was awesome. Next year, I think I'd like to plant at least two.

Strawberries
Planted:  February 8
Days to harvest:  No idea, but I am expecting mid-April, based on when strawberries produce around here.  Actual date:  Early April


I have pulled about a ten strawberries of the plants in the last two weeks or so.  Most of them have been onsie, twosies.  Today I managed to pick the largest harvest of seven strawberries.  Unfortunately, I don't think I have that many more to come.  The five strawberries in the garden bed have done well, but the new sandbox bed had ten plants, and I have only gotten one strawberry off of them.  This is mostly due to the thief below.  Next year, I will plant my strawberries in the garden bed, and the less desirable (at least to bunnies) onions and garlic in the sandbox bed.






● Hoping to harvest this month


● Planted since last update

Tomatillo
Toma Verde from Botanical Interests
Planted: March 20
Days to emerge: 10 days (March 30)
Days to harvest:  65 days (May 24)

No sign of the seeds :o(  If I recall correctly, last year they didn't show either. Or maybe one did, but very late.

I went out and purchased two plants from Home Depot and planted them today.




Crimson Sweet Watermelon and Honeydew
Purchased from Home Depot.  I have never had much luck with any of hte melons.  Sometimes I will get one or two fruits.  I did learn last year that you are supposed to trim the vines when they get really long.  This is supposed to cause them to fork, and thus produce more fruit.  I'll give it a shot.





● Hoping to plant soon
I am still looking for an eggplant plant.  No one seems to have them in stock

And the Natural Gardener said that they will have sweet potato slips at the end of April.

● Hoping to harvest in May


Carrots
Snacking Carrots "Rotild" from Renee's Garden
Planted from seed:  Jan 20

Days to germinate: 10-20 (Actual:19 days February 8)
Days to Harvest:  70 (April 19)

Sunshine Carrots (Yellow and Orange mix)
Planted from seed:  Jan 20
Days to Germinate: 10 - 20 days  (Actual: 19 days February 8th)
Days to Harvest:  88  (May 7th based on germination)

These carrots are still a ways away from being ready to harvest.  I did thin them to 1 to 1 1/2 inches last week.  But after seeing my sad radishes, I might have trimmed them more.  I did pull out a few today to thin some of the really close ones - and you can see that they are starting to look like carrots... just very small ones!  I might get a few carrots before the end of April, but definitely not by the April 19th date given on the seed packet!




● Hoping to harvest in May


Cucumber
Homemade Pickles from Botanical Interests

Planted:  March 20
Days to emerge: 5 - 10 days (March 25 - March 30)  Actual date:  March 25
Days to Harvest: 55 days (May 14)

The cucumbers are really starting to take off.  They have not gotten large enough to vine yet, so definitely no flowers.  But they did make it past the seedling stage.  I have a total of seven mounds.  Most mounds have two to three cucumbers. The one on the end (below) only has one.






Peppers - Sweet and Jalapeno
Jalapeno Hot
Planted: March 20
Matures in 65 - 80 days (May 24 - June 8)

Sweet Bell Pepper
Planted:  March 20
Matures in 75 days (June 3)

The peppers are piping right along.  It looks like we might get a few blooms soon.



Zucchini
Black Beauty Zucchini from Botanical Interests
Days to emerge: 5 - 10 days (March 25 - March 30) (Actual:  March 29)
Days to Harvest: 55 days (May 14)

The zucchini are growing and doing well.

Potatoes
Seed potatoes planted: February 19
Yukon, Ratte and Red

Days to harvest:  Early May to mid-May, guessing from last year

I have oodles of potatoes growing.  I think I counted at least 21 plants.  I had covered them up with dirt a week or so ago, and then put some more dirt on top of them again yesterday.

Onions
Planted from sets: Jan 20
Days to harvest:  4 months - based on last year's experience (May 20)

The onions seem to be growing very well.  In putting down the mulch, I knocked over a bunch of stems of the back ones :o(  I am not sure how that will effect their growth.  I think we are on target to get some onions by May 20th, if everything continues as it is.




Garlic
Planted from sets:  I can't remember, sometime in the fall?
Months to harvest: I am thinking May. I will wait until the bottom leaves start to turn brown

Huge disappointment here.  The bottom leaves of the garlic started to turn brown, so I eagerly dug one up.  Only to find the bulb had not grown at all!  These buggers have been in the ground since November or so. I did put down some fertilizer and more water. I'll give them another month, but  I think they are a total bust. :o(

Tomatoes
Plants planted March 7th
Days to harvest: 55 - 75 days (May 2 - May 22)

Celebrity, Firework, Yellow Pear, Roma

I am almost afraid to say it, but my tomatoes look beautiful.  I think at least three of the plants already have tomatoes on them.  In total I have at least six tomatoes started, with lots of flowers promising the potential for more. Again, if things keep rolling along, I think I might actually get a tomato by May 2nd..




Leeks
Planted: March 8th
Days to mature: 75 - 120 days (Mid may)


They continue to grow, but are very small.

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