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The April Garden in Zone 9

Our April garden is truly delightful! We’ve had quite a bit of rain so we haven’t had to water very often. The plants are growing and fruiting, and the heat isn’t too bad just yet. 

Citrus in the April garden

On a sad note, it appears we won’t have a citrus harvest this year. In January we had temps that dipped into the teens for a couple of nights and killed about half of our citrus trees. The ones that did survive have not bloomed and I’m guessing they won’t bloom this year. We replaced one of the orange trees that died but haven’t replaced the others yet.

Grapes in the April garden

One of the three grape vines has already fruited and the fruit is growing well.

Pomegranate in the April garden

And look at that pomegranate. For all the bloom we had last month, it looks like we’ll end up with just few fruit. But that’s fine, the tree is only about five years old and is just beginning to produce.

Herbs in the April garden

Last year, I planted milkweed for the first time for the monarchs. This year, it’s coming up all over the garden. I’ve been relocating some of to other areas on the  property. I’m so happy about the milkweed and have seen several monarch caterpillars enjoying them already. We really want our property to be a wildlife refuge as much as possible while at the same time producing food for us.

Zucchini and onions in the April garden.

It’s hard to believe these zucchinis were just seedlings a month ago. We picked the first zucchini and summer squash last weekend. Since we try to eat seasonally, it’s been about 8 months since we’ve had fresh summer squash. We’ve had it frozen, in muffins and patties but not fresh. I’ve been on the look out for vine borers. Each year we seem to get hit with them and I’m hoping that this year we can limit the damage by catching them early.

Green beans in the April garden.

We didn’t get the green beans started as early as we normally do but they’re growing well and we should be eating fresh green beans in a few weeks.

Melons growing in April garden.

We planted several melon varieties and they all seem to be doing well. We planted some as transplants and some we direct seeded. I’m hoping this succession planting will extend our harvest time since melons don’t store very well.

long view of the April garden

This is a long view of our garden. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re laying cardboard in all the walk ways and covering it with wood chips. Carl helped the neighbor take down a tree that was rotting and hanging over our garden. We have a lot of the branches to chip and eventually the cardboard will all be covered up.

This brings up something I was talking about with a friend recently. I know the long view of my garden looks bad right now and I bet some of  you are horrified that I’m actually showing this part of my garden. But the goal of these updates is not to dazzle you with lovely photos of my garden, although I do hope you enjoy seeing them. The goal of these updates it to be honest about the state of the garden, for my benefit and for yours. I want these posts to encourage and inspire you and the only way to really do that is to show the good and the not-so-good. We all have the not-so-good in our garden and that’s okay. In fact, sometimes we learn more from the not-so-good than we do from the good.

Pumpkin and flowering cilantro in the April garden

Esther planted sever pumpkins in our co-op class. We’re reading through the Little House series and she wanted to try to grow a milk fed pumpkin like Almanzo did. We tucked them with some flowering chinese cabbage and flowering cilantro. Once we collect the seeds, we’ll pull up the cabbage and cilantro to make more room for the growing vines.

Tomatoes ripening in the April garden.

The tomatoes are doing fabulous. I had decided that this year I was going to scale back and only plant three varieties this year. I started some homestead seeds and then bought some celebrity transplants and a sunburst transplants from the feed store. Unfortunately, 7 plants didn’t survive the transplanting so we decided to get replacements. I took Carl with me and we ended up with 11 transplants in 4 different varieties! So much for scaling back.

Lettuce going to seed in the April garden

The bed of lettuce has gone to seed. We’ve left it up for the bees but will be clearing it out this week and planting sweet potatoes.

Lady bug on comfrey leaf in April garden

I just love seeing ladybugs and other beneficial insects in our garden. This one is one our comfrey.

The April garden in zone 9 is truly delightful. The plants are just beginning to produce, the heat hasn't come yet and neither have the pests. Enjoy the tour of summer squash, tomatoes, green beans, herbs and more!

So, what’s happening in your April garden?

Thanks for sharing with your friends!

Rachel Espino

Saturday 6th of May 2017

I always enjoy your garden updates. No matter what, your plants seem to do well. I certainly don't think a messy and disorderly garden makes for poor gardening. Nor do I see it as horrifying.

My goal this year was no till - but that didn't work out quite as I planned. I aim for it, though. I am mowing the walkways instead of keeping weeds pulled. I only pull where the food grows.

Stop on by...I just put a blog update on my garden and homestead.

Angi Schneider

Tuesday 9th of May 2017

Our goal is no till, too, but I really believe that when you're first putting in a garden that tilling helps get it in. Mowing the just the walkways is a great idea. That's what we have done, and will do some this year until we get them all covered with cardboard and wood chips. Because I can garden year round, I usually have something growing well all the time, but not everything does well. This morning I found signs of vine borers so we'll be dealing with those again this summer. It's certainly a journey!


Saturday 29th of April 2017

Your garden looks so good! I am just itching to get my hands in some soil and start planting, but in my zone 2/3 yard my garden is not yet dry enough to plant. We have had a cold Spring and the snow has taken a while to disappear. So right now my April garden is just a dormant field of soil. Hopefully in a week or two I will start to see some volunteer seeds germinating and in about 2-3 weeks get my garden planted.

Angi Schneider

Saturday 29th of April 2017

Hi Miranda, I'm always so amazed at how diligent gardeners are in zones 2/3! It's a lot more work than in our climate. I hope you get to dig in the dirt soon!