April 17, 2012 - The Garden Mid-April

My favorite part of the vegetable garden contains no vegetables! It has lilies, Sweet Williams, hollyhocks, Shasta daisies, purple cone flowers and zinnias. I did stick a couple of parsley plants under the ladder.


The North garden raised beds.


Spinach, beets and onions are under cover. I wasn't expecting leaf miners this early, but found eggs on the spinach so the cover went on too late. I'll have to be extra diligent in looking for the damage and removing the leaves before the entire bed gets infested. The turnips are growing well in front of the bed.


It won't be long before we're eating radishes. Both triangle beds have about an equal amount of them growing, planted two weeks apart. Peas will be climbing their tepee soon. Garlic is still showing the effects of transplanting, but I think all but one or two will soon show full recovery.


The earlier leaves of the celery suffered through the cold weather and had to be clipped off, but new growth is finally showing. The two darker areas of soil in the foreground are planted with carrots that are just now emerging. The center section is being reserved for a later planting. On the other side of the celery, nearer the fence, are several dwarf cabbages. The seedlings are still small, but look like they will survive. They were part of the flat of seedlings grown in the poor potting mix, and I do have backup seedlings that are growing larger and stronger. I'll manage to find room for all.


Strawberries aren't looking so happy about being transplanted. They looked better last week, but the leaves are suffering a lot of die back. The oregano in the pot is loving its new place in the sun. It was in a shadier area in the flower bed last year. Soon it will be joined by basil in the other two containers.


The raspberries are really beginning to green up, and I'll have to get out there soon to begin cutting out excess suckers or it will quickly become a jungle of plants. You can see the wire fencing I attached to the back fence for the pole beans. That is one of three sections I will plant in Fortex beans, and I might just plant it today. I normally don't plant them until April 25, but the weather man says it's going to be nice and warm all week.


The new bed of spinach, beets, carrots and radishes got its leaf miner cover on before germination had even taken place. I'm not taking any chances on this one! I noticed the radishes were already up, so it looks like we'll have a real glut of them this spring.


Sugar snap peas are almost ready to begin their climb up the strings and onto the chain link. In the foreground are the new strawberry plants from Jenny....not showing any green yet :-(


Lettuces are coming along nicely, protected from birds, in The Thing.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Brussels sprouts survive. They are also some of the earlier stunted seedlings. They weren't growing at all in the flat, so I figured they had a better chance of survival in the garden.


That's one of the future corn beds in the foreground, looking back at the rows of potatoes and onions. The barrel is on the outside of the garden fence, and will be the one that will hold the Honey Bear squash. Zinnias will also be planted nearby.


The potatoes are beginning to emerge. Yesterday there was one, today there are three. Hope springs eternal!


A view of the entire garden, except for the area behind the garden shed. In the foreground is where I'm working on a new flower garden. I'm trying to incorporate more flowers near the vegetables this year.


Young seedlings out for fresh air and sunshine include corn, peppers, squash, cucumbers and melons.


Larger plants of zinnias, tomatoes, basil......


peppers, and more zinnias........


and more zinnias and tomatoes.


The tomato jungle. Last night I counted 27 tomatoes on the plants, but still no ripe ones.


45 comments:

  1. You have a regular "farm" there! Things are coming along nicely-you certainly have a lot growing. And I'm loving the header photo--so bright and cheery-it won't be long now! (well, for YOU at any rate)

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    1. Sue, if I had half of your donkey poo, I'd really be growing! I can't hardly wait to see your new flower gardens.

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  2. You are definitely going to have the first ripe tomato this year! The gardens look great!

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    1. Erin, I'm beginning to think those tomatoes will never ripen! They're even slower than Mr. Granny ;-)

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  3. Nice Garden.. where did you get the netting?

    -VK

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    1. VK, it's 72" width nylon netting from Walmart's fabric department, under $1 per yard. I like it better than floating row cover, because I can actually see through it. Of course it offers no weather protection, just protects from birds and flying insects.

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    2. Thanks.. I will get one

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  4. Your garden is always so neat and green. I wish mine looked half as good!

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  5. Everythin looks great! Some day I'll be able to garden as good as you.

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    1. Ed, we must be members of a mutual admiration society. I strive to get my garden half as pretty as yours, but my flower growing abilities will never compare to yours.

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  6. I didn't sow any flowers indoors except some cosmos. I think I'm really hoping they just sprout up in the garden without all the fuss of indoor growing. I've got my fingers crossed.

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    1. Daphne, I'm getting ready to sow a flat of Ed's gorgeous salmon Four O' Clocks for around my patio. I really loved the ones I had there the last two years, so easy to take care of and self sowing, but I'd like to get the salmon color in there too. I've read that's a "clown pants" garden, with all the mixed colors.

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  7. Your garden is really taking off in stride! It's too bad that strawberries did not survive :( Hopefully everything else will be without any issues. I planted carrots via mats the same time, but so far no sign of any showing up. Another batch that I sowed directly already woke up and they were planted two weeks later so not sure what i did wrong. All your seedlings look beautiful! can't wait to see more when they're growing. :)

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    1. Jenny, did you do the wet and tear test on whatever you used for the seed mats? I remember when Toni made them she used Bounty paper towels, and the poor roots couldn't penetrate them! My first two plantings, made on cheap napkins, are just now coming up. I just planted more using narrow toilet tissue strips. Next I'm going to experiment using strips and then folding them over on themselves to cover both the top and bottom of the seed and making a stronger seed "tape".

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    2. Yes, it disintegrated pretty easily in water so not sure what's going on. Maybe I put too much glue and they can't come out. :(

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    3. That shouldn't make any difference, as long as you used a water soluble glue like Elmer's School Glue. I'm thinking it's more likely it took more soil to cover the paper mats than you used over the regular seeded ones, so it will just take them longer to come up.

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    4. granny, i had trouble with carrots on seed mats, too, but i suspect my trouble was due to uneven moisture. i will try again & cover them with vermiculite (which i did not do) and cover with a small board or plexiglass panel

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    5. Donna, that's been my problem when I have poor germination...the soil just dries out too quickly. I cover mine with boards, but this year I got an infestation of millipedes under the boards so I removed them. It looks like I'm getting OK germination so far, but it's still early. I've been sprinkling the carrot beds for a few minutes a couple of times a day, unless it rains.

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  8. Wow. As always, just wow. I'm so impressed.

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    1. Stefaneener, you're pretty impressive yourself :-)

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  9. Hi! Is it okay to be envious of your gardens!!! So many yummy looking things! Nancy at Cozy Thyme Cottage

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    1. Nancy, you can be envious of my garden if I can be envious of yours. After all, you are already eating asparagus and salads! I did harvest a head of lettuce this week, and forgot to mention it in my blog, but i'm a long way from getting anything else (except maybe radishes & with luck a bit of spinach) to harvest.

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  10. Your garden is looking great! My 81-year-old aunt was here today, telling me about how she had just finished planting her garden. It's big -- she said an acre, but I doubt that. Surely not! A neighbor had given her 17 tomato plants. She lives alone, so I don't know who is going to eat all of the produce. You're both amazing workers, and you both love gardening, so I think about her often when I read your blog.

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    1. Dianefaith, I sure wouldn't doubt her. My grandmother gardened well into her 80s, and I'm quite sure hers was well over 1/2 acre. I am not quite THAT ambitious! I grow way more than we can use, but family, neighbors and the low income housing units in town appreciate the excess.

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  11. Just writing to let you know that you have a fan in Denmark :-)
    We bought a garden last year, so I love to read other people's tips..

    -Louise

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    1. Thank you, Louise! Good luck with your new garden....you'd better start blogging about it so we can watch your progress :-)

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  12. Lookin good as always Granny! You are way ahead of me!

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    1. Well, Robin, I don't have an entire back forty under construction like someone I know!

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  13. The yard and garden is like a food oasis. So much growing there and the addition of flowers makes it a retreat as well as a kitchen garden.

    I bet all 27 of those tomatoes ripen as soon as the day and nighttime temps get warmer.

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    1. Kitsap, I've decided to try to fill every square inch of the garden this year, just to see how much I can grow! If I last that long....I think my body died after that marathon of gardening chores over the weekend ;-)

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  14. Wonderful garden. As always it looks great..

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    1. Thank you, Sarada. It's growing, just slowly.

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  15. I am absolutely flabbergasted that you have so much happening already! Lol, my first tomatoes just popped out of their seeds yesterday, and yours are already producing green fruit. :D

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    1. AnywhereEden, the remaining tomato plants are "normal", but it looks as though I'll get the first ripe one in April!

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  16. Dave (http://www.ourhappyacres.com/) for some reason, your comment went into the spam folder. I saw it was from you, but didn't read it, just checked "not spam". I have no idea where it went! It's not in the spam folder any more, but it didn't go back to the comments either. Where, oh where did Dave's comment go?

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  17. Looking good Granny! Those tomatoes are huge. I just started mine yesterday.

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  18. I am in awe of your energy! Kudos to you. Keep it up in good health.

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  19. Darnit I wrote the best comment but lost it. I was asking why the mesh around the brussels sprouts. And those first tomatoes are huuuge! And I love the mesh on the fence for the bean trellis as a good wall of folliage AND ease of picking the beans. Also love the pea trellis strings going to the fence. Will they grab onto the fence? I guess so right?
    Then I was saying I love the big FIELD of space for corn, tatos and onions. I think you're going to be able to feed your whole family!!
    Cups in bins=good idea. No more bending and cracking or breaking plastic or soggy cardboard flats! Now we need to design a bin like an under the bed plastic bin with wheels on it to harden things off easily with a handle made from a rope or a wagon handle. The Thing part 2?
    Checked on my stuff today too. My peas are almost all up and some almost as tall as yours! (in Seattle area with no sun!:) We have a big giant piece of floating row cover over them all and they're all coming up beautifully!
    AND I wanted to say that I just love this blog and your effort for your family in trying to feed them all and save them on produce providing greatness for your family. Your hard work is noted here and I'm sure by each of them whether verbally or via being healthier and happier for less funds going to their grocery budget. I appreciate ALL of your photos, tips, descriptions and find it to be my fave bedtime story now! :) Wish I could see it in person! Your pics are incredible tho! Thanks Granny!

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    1. Amy T., That's some wire fencing around the sprouts, to keep me from stepping on them. I'll probably leave it there to help hold them up as well, as I do with my broccoli plants.

      Yes, the peas will grow up the fence, and hopefully the string will lead them in the right direction....but I think I got the string too far away from the base of the peas :-(

      Potatoes are popping up all over. I counted twenty of them yesterday, so we will have some this year!

      I saw a double decker wire push cart at Harbor Freight yesterday, and had to restrain myself. It would have been perfect for transporting plants in and out, but I'd have to buy two or three to handle all my plants!

      And thank you, I hope I can continue to to be your favorite bedtime story!

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  20. Does the town permit farming w/i city limits? Looks amazing. All that hard work will pay of in (dare I say it...) spades?

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    1. LOL, David, If they didn't, I'd move back out to the country!

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