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.
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.
One of the three grape vines has already fruited and the fruit is growing well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I just love seeing ladybugs and other beneficial insects in our garden. This one is one our comfrey.
So, what’s happening in your April garden?