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March-April Garden update (Greens, herbs, & Root vegetables)

1818 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  LedBoots
If you have been following the garden updates, you may know I began planting in mid-March. We transplanted Cauliflower, Brussels, Broccoli, Garlic, Shallots, Onions, and Cabbage to the garden about a month ago. At the end of March, we planted Spinach, Lettuce, Collards, Radish, Kohlrabi, Turnip, Kale, and Arugula from seed. The Radicchio was transplanted a week and or so ago. Now that it is mid-April, the vegetables planted by seed have established their second set of leaves and have grown almost 2 inches tall and wide.

As mentioned in a previous post, we have been growing and transplanting fruit trees, fruit bushes, and vegetables by the Farmer's Almanac. I posted pictures of the fruit tree additions here: Blooming fruit trees in the food forest. On days that are 'favorable for planting root crops, greens, and flowers', we transplanted the Nectarine trees, plum tree, paw paw trees, blueberry and raspberry bushes. Of course on those days we would directly sow root vegetables and greens.

There has been a rain shower daily for the last week and a half in Kentucky, which has been perfect growing conditions for greens and root vegetables. As you can see from the photo above, water is retaining in between the Hugelkultur mounds. Many root vegetables will rot in wet soil, so be sure to provide plenty of drainage. I highly advocate tall Hugelkultur mounds which allow for good drainage during rainy season in the Spring months, while retaining water in the wood-- which releases during times of drought in the Summer months.

James and I wanted to experiment throwing out seeds in the compost bed. We were excited to find that nearly all the tomato seeds we scattered came up. During their germination period we kept a sheet of transparent plastic over top of the raised bed and weighed it down with rocks. This helped the tomatoes within a couple of days to a week during the month of April.

compost raised bed growing tomato starters

All the plants continue to grow quickly. Here are some of the photos I have taken in the last couple of days of the Spring garden:

pineapple sage growing in herb & flower bed

French Lavender growing in herb & flower bed

Peas growing around trellis circle

The last couple of days have been favorable for planting above-ground and vining crops, I transplanted the Pumpkins and directly sowed Pumpkin seed within the first Hugelkultur mound I made (in front of the house). Where I am growing Pumpkins, the powdery brown mix you see in the picture below is wood ashes on top of the Hugelkultur mound.

Also on the days favoring vine crops, I directly sowed (from seed) Acorn squash and Butternut Squash, and transplanted Tomatoes. James added a trellis to the set of tomato plants on top of the Hugelkultur mounds.

Yesterday I noticed the seeds sprouting in the flat area of the garden. We're not exactly sure what's sprouting, but radish, turnip, beet seeds were planted in the flat. In the photo below you'll notice a the flat area in between the Spring garden (four mounds in the background) and Summer garden (three mounds in the foreground of the picture).

Yesterday on the 15th, we transplanted two Red bell pepper plants and basil plant, because it was a favorable day for planting above-ground crops. I was a little apprehensive buying and transplanting tomatoes and peppers so early in the season. But to take precaution in the event of a late frost, I am watching the weather forecast daily.

Today and Friday (Thursday&Friday, 16-17th) will be "poor planting days" according to the Farmer's Almanac, so I will not be transplanting anything, but may directly sow Swiss chard. I'll be finished planting greens and vegetables and fruit trees on this property soon, and in about a month, James and I will be planting potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans, corn, and other things at my grandparents' property.

Original post @ March-April Garden update (Greens, herbs, & Root vegetables)

-cassie kinney
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Wow, thanks for taking the time to share all of this! This gives me some great ideas for our own garden this year. I have had a small garden and herb pots for four years, and each year has been a learning experience. I live in NE Minnesota so I can't even begin to plant until late May. This year I plan to plant collards, tomatoes, onions, and beets in the gardens (we keep our tomatoes in a small seperate space from the garden itself), and in our herb pots in our porch, basil, curly parsley, stevia leaf, and maybe oregano.

I have room for a few more plants in the garden. I really need to research plants that do not take up too much space. Any ideas? I have planted stuff like cucumbers, squashes, and beans in the past and had a heck of a time keeping them from overtaking everything else. I was practically out there daily trimming them back lol. Would cauliflower take up a lot of room? What about broccoli? I have had very little success with bell peppers up here. Everything else has grown well. We do not live in an area with rich soil (it is slightly sandy here) but have been successful using our own built up homemade compost bin/pile and dirt from our yard. We don't use fertilizer. Our garden is all veganic, no animal matter other than the wild critters that make their home there. For the most part it has done well save the bell pepper plants. It gets full sunlight. We have a tall mesh fence around the garden and down into the ground and it has kept out the squirrels, deer, raccoons, skunks, and other animals. Birds still go in there on occasion but they don't do any damage. Last year, now that I think of it, I was getting little holes in my collard greens. I wasn't sure if it was from some bug eating them or something else. They survived very well and grew all the way into November. but the holes were a problem.
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I'm in the UK (mild climate but not exactly sunny) - so I start as much as I can inside on window sills and then plant out the plants in April. It means everything has a head start and I'm (fingers crossed) avoiding any frosts. I have family in Sweden and they do the same ... start the seeds inside, harden off and then plant.

Little holes could be caterpillars. Did you have a lot of white butterflies? They lay little yellowish eggs on the underside of any brassica.
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Maybe lettuce, or green peas. Broccoli grew fine in Connecticut, but your growing season is shorter...

I never grow here in Florida except a container tomato plant sometimes with butter lettuce planted around the base of the plant. And the fruit trees.
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