Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mid April Garden

GrafixMuse was talking about her seedling shuffle. It is a term I've heard before, but to me it isn't moving the plants and getting them outside and into the ground. It is moving the soil blocks around so that they are near more appropriate plants. I had two flats that had been up and growing for a while. But some plants were bigger and some I wanted to start hardening off outside. So all the blocks got moved around. I pruned a few roots that were growing out the bottom of their screens.

One flat went outside this morning and one stayed inside with plants that aren't quite as hardy. From left to right we have Achillea Cerise Queen, Krausa Parsley, two rows of cosmos, nasturtium (saved seed), borage (saved seed), forget-me-nots, Redventure celery, Bodegold chamomile with a couple of ground control marigolds in the corner.

I also have another flat that has been out for weeks now. Part of it is leftovers from planting the brassicas the rest are my bunching onions, leeks, and sweet alyssum. I tend to put the flats out by the lettuce as it is right outside the back door and in full sun. I can bring them in every night that frost is predicted. In fact a freeze was predicted last night, but we didn't even get a frost. The long range forecast is for highs in the 50Fs mostly with a couple of 60Fs thrown in. And lows in the 40Fs. It will be very strange if April 9th ends up being our last frost date. But if the long range forecast holds up it is certainly possible. I just don't believe it though. We have had such cold weather this spring.

The brassicas are doing very well. All except the only cabbage I'm growing - Ruby Perfection. It hasn't grown at all. I expect a thinning out harvest in about a week or two.

My Golden Sweet peas are all up. The other peas are up in scattered places. I'm wondering if the different way of soaking the peas made a difference in the speed that they germinated or if it is just varietal differences. The Golden Sweets were soaked in a puddle of water. The others were put between wet paper towels.

The spinach is coming up well this year. I'm very happy about that. I have a little over 3/4 of the 4'x16' bed seeded in spinach. The rest is in radish which is also coming up. These all have to be pulled when the beans, corn and squash go in, but I think they will produce before then. Usually spinach starts to bolt in mid to late May so they will have to be pulled about then anyway.

Areas of the turnips are germinating. Interestingly enough it is all the areas that get more shade than the others. I probably have to water more to get the rest up. These are under the row cover so I don't water every day like I did for the spinach and the carrots. And no the carrots are not yet up. As usual they are taking their own sweet time.


  1. Everything looks great Daphne! Wouldn't that be wonderful if our last frost was at the end of this month??

  2. The curved bed of alliums and lettuces is really starting to fill out - already very pretty to look at but getting prettier by the day. I do the same thing with my trays of seedlings - set out in a near to the door sunny location in the garden and brought in at night until they are in the final stages of hardening off.

    Your young plants are looking good. Our pea patches are at exactly the same point in growth. My peas took a good while to germinate because our temps have been down right cold. But the night time temps came up a bit and off they went!

  3. Beautiful! This new garden has given you so much space! I love how pretty that lettuce looks in the rounded bed!

  4. Darn it, Daphne, now you made me sad. In your first photo, the forget-me-nots. Those are the "weeds" I've been hoeing out of my kennel garden! There were an awful lot of them, and I hadn't ever noticed that "weed" in prior years. I wish you'd shown that picture about two weeks ago, so I'd have recognized my volunteers ;-) Oh well, maybe there's still a few of the seeds left to germinate.

    I am tired of flats of seedlings. I want them all in the ground NOW!

    I keep watching for my carrots, which are not yet showing. I checked prior spring plantings, and they took about 20 days, so I'm not expecting to see them for about five days.

  5. The garden looks great...especially the hoop house one! I love your curved beds.

  6. Robin, my last frost usually is at the end of the month. Typically at least. Or it was at my last house, but we were on the top of a slope so often missed the later frosts. I rarely plant the warm weather transplants out until mid May though. Unless the long range forecast looks really good. Last year the last frost was on April hmm 17th maybe. I was shocked. I'd never had a last frost date that early before.

    Laura, I leave them outside day and night unless unless it is cold. Though I will leave them out even in the rain. I take the bottom flat off so they can drain. I figure the rain water is good for them.

    Megan, I love the look too. I just wish I could see the brassica bed better. It is hard to see them under the row cover.

    Granny, Oh no. I hear they self seed readily which is good since they are biennials. I'm hoping my little patch will spread. I'm thinking of putting them under the mint pots in the herb garden. My carrots usually take 2-3 weeks to germinate outside. So I don't expect any action yet. I've got another week before they ought to germinate, but I'm still checking every day.

    Katrina, thanks

  7. Last year was my first year for the forget-me-nots, didn't realize they were biennial. They did blossom in their first year, but hadn't gone to seed yet when we left for AZ. The original plants did not overwinter, but the volunteers were prolific. That's why I assumed they were weeds!

    I saw a few carrots emerging today! They were planted on 4/1, so just a day over 2 weeks.

  8. LOL! I find myself doing the soil block shuffle often as well. I love how everything is sprouting and filling in. The brassica seedlings are looking very happy beneath their row cover.

  9. Wow, things are really looking good. I find myself an agressive harden offer. I put them out all day from day one when I think they're about ready to plant. I may do something more limited with the tomatoes this year, but salad greens and brassicas are hardy enough to handle it.

    Very nice!

  10. You have some nice crops growing already! The cold this spring has been a real downer. Snow/rain mix is possible here tomorrow :(

  11. Your flats of seedlings look amazing!

  12. Wow, everything seems to be growing so fast in your garden.

  13. GrafixMuse, I love looking under the cover to see the brassicas. I'm really sad I can't just look in and see them all.

    Sinfonian, I often do that with the really hardy ones that get hardened off early. The sun is very mild that time of the year. But I never do it for tomatoes and peppers. The sun is so strong in May they would all burn. Since I hate moving them around I have a spot by the back door that gets good morning sun, but no afternoon sun. I start by putting them there, hopefully on a partially cloudy day. Then in a few days I move them to full sun.

    Dan, yeah it has. The weird thing is that my plants aren't that far behind last year. This garden defrosts faster than my last garden. I have friends that lived near me and I was planting and their garden was still frozen. So I'm much warmer in the city.

    meemsnyc, thanks

    Diana, thanks

  14. Your bok choy looks really good. Mine have already sown signs of slug damage. The sluggo is already being put to good use!