Saturday, April 5, 2014

April Garden Update

I know, I know.  It's April.  In Nebraska.  What sort of update can I possibly have?  Well, let me tell you that I managed to do some things outside today and I'm pretty happy about it.  It wasn't what I'd call a gorgeous spring day. But, it was rather pleasant for most of the afternoon.

I planted some stuff today: 
  • Peas (Sugar Snap).  
  • Carrots (Nantes...something).  
  • Beets (Detroit Dark Red...I wanted Bull's Blood but I couldn't find any seed) 
  • Swiss chard (Bright Lights) 
  • Leaf lettuce (Black Seeded Simpson) 
  • Radishes (Giant Globe...mostly because they grow quickly and give some speedy gardening gratification) 
If I hadn't left my camera in the city when I came home yesterday, I'd have some pictures of the seeds being planted or something.

But I don't.  I might even have uploaded a nice picture of my rhododendron that looks fantastic already this year. 


I also raked and raked and raked leaves.  I raked until my shoulder and the wind decided I shouldn't rake anymore and then I called for a cease-rake and put it all away.  Three huge bags went into the big pile o' bags in the back garden.

Mulch and compost in potentia.

Actually, it was no mean feat this leaf gathering.  After the spate of wet snow we had earlier this week, all those leaves were wet enough to clog up the mower chute and some of the piles were still frozen in places.  But that's okay.  They'll rot a little faster with some moisture in those bags.

I also started some marigold seeds and some more hot peppers (okay, admittedly that was last week, but it's too late to do a March garden update).  The first batch of pepper seeds I planted didn't germinate.  Every year it seems there is one thing or another that just won't grow for me.  Last year it was beans.  This year it seems it could be peppers.  At least I could go buy pepper seedlings if I wanted to.

The tomatoes I started a couple weeks ago haven't sprouted yet either.  The sad thing is I will have roughly 5,000,000 volunteer tomatoes in the garden once spring is well and truly underway.  I'll be uprooting and discarding them all summer long.

I also uprooted and transplanted, to pots this time, a fair whack of yarrow plants.  They didn't really seem to actually be rooted to anything.  They were more or less just sitting on top of the soil like they knew I was coming to take them away and they wanted to be ready.  I can't begin to fool myself into thinking that I got all of them and that bed will be yarrow-free anytime soon. 

Some people have complained to me that mint is the most invasive and difficult to eradicate plant they've ever grown.  Clearly they've never grown yarrow.  Or comfrey.  I thought I'd never get it out!  I do wish comfrey was more attractive.  I hear it has some interesting qualities in the garden and that some gardeners grow it to make comfrey tea to put on their plants and beds.  Here's a link to an article about comfrey in the garden.  After reading that again, I may have to find an out-of-the-way spot for more comfrey.

We've been monitoring the temperature in the greenhouse with a remote thermometer for several weeks now.  A few weeks ago, we put a small, oil-filled heater in the greenhouse and I've determined that it seems to keep things above freezing at least.  So, I moved my seedlings from the kitchen window where they were starting to get leggy and light-starved to the table in the greenhouse where they will receive ample sunlight.  Keeping fingers crossed that all goes well there.  The tomatoes I started are out in the greenhouse and I'm wondering if maybe the temperature just isn't consistent enough for germination.  They may have to come inside for a few days to get going.

I just don't know.

I do know that I'm fixing to run out of planting room in a hurry.  So much growing, so little space...

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