Photo Friday: April Garden Tour

Lots of good things are happening here as a late Spring has everything kicking into overdrive right about now, making up for lost time. Like the hostas out by the front porch. Just a few days ago they were barely poking out of the ground. Now the leaves are unfolding and they are starting to look like hosta! They also look like deer food, so I sprayed some deer repellent in the area for protection. Our hungry deer would eat them up overnight if we didn’t use the repellent.

variegated hostas by front porch

variegated hostas by front porch

The asparagus is going nuts too. We have harvested around 3-1/2 pounds since the first harvest. We are experimenting this year with using cardboard as mulch between the rows. We have used newspaper in the past, but the broken down cardboard boxes should provide a thicker layer to keep down weeds and conserve moisture. I am bringing the boxes home from the kitchen where I volunteer, where they would otherwise wind up in the dumpster. We will cover the cardboard with straw later on.

cardboard mulch for asparagus

cardboard mulch for asparagus

I saw the first open azalea bloom yesterday, while I was out giving them a shot of organic fertilizer (Espoma Holly-tone).

first azalea bloom of 2013

first azalea bloom of 2013

While I was fertilizing, I fed the blueberry bushes with the same stuff. They are blooming now too, and if all the blooms turn into blueberries we will be happy campers. Fresh blueberries are a treat I am really looking forward to eating! We haven’t had fresh ones since last July, since we generally do not buy them out of season.

cluster of blueberry blossoms

cluster of blueberry blossoms

And speaking of fertilizing, the garlic is looking good after I applied the blood meal to it two weeks ago. I still need to mulch the one bed in the main garden. I was waiting for the soil to dry out a bit but the weeds are sprouting and the straw should help keep them under control. I would rather spend my time mulching than weeding any day!

garlic after fertilizing

garlic after fertilizing

The Golden Sweet snow peas are starting to climb up. These came from seeds I got from a swap with reader KJ. I pre-sprouted these seeds indoors, then carefully put them in a shallow trench and covered with potting soil. I got 100% germination, and it was a good way to keep from losing seeds in the soggy March garden soil conditions we had this year. I will put up a trellis for these peas soon. They are at one end of the row where I will plant pole beans in a few weeks, once the soil has warmed up thoroughly. I am also looking forward to trying these peas, which I have never grown before.

Golden Sweet snow peas

Golden Sweet snow peas

The lettuce I set out in a cold frame bed about 3 weeks ago is almost ready to start harvesting. The two bigger plants in the right corner are a butterhead variety that overwintered from last year (Kweik). If it tastes good I will have to grow this one again, if for no other reason than it is hardy!

cold frame lettuces

cold frame lettuces

The Red Ursa kale is ready to harvest now. It was planted in November and overwintered nicely, protected by the cold frame. I see kale chips in my future! This is a Frank Morton introduction that is a cross between a frilly Siberian and Red Russian. The purple flower stalks are another bonus from this variety. I can see it will back here again too.

Red Ursa kale

Red Ursa kale

And speaking of hardy kale, I have a little stand of Beedy’s Camden that volunteered last year near the steps to our deck. That was where I processed the seed that I saved last summer, and when some plants sprouted up last fall I let them grow. They survived the winter, unprotected and uncovered. That’s a tough plant in my book!

volunteer Beedy's Camden kale

volunteer Beedy’s Camden kale

We already have the first bolting spinach. This was a new variety, Merlo Nero, that overwintered from an October planting. Aside from being the first to bolt, the dark green savoyed leaves are a little tough for my tastes. It would be a good spinach for cooking, but I prefer a spinach that is good for eating in salads and for cooking.

bolting spinach

bolting spinach

I harvested a giant leaf from the Giant Winter spinach to show that it does get as big as my hand. And it is still tender at that size, unlike the Merlo Nero, which is outta here!

leaf of Giant Winter spinach

leaf of Giant Winter spinach

Also popping up about now are the Cherry Pop irises. My wife planted a bed of dwarf
varieties out near the driveway, where we can see and enjoy them. Cherry Pop is usually the first one to show, which I guess makes it #1 in her iris count – if she’s counting them this year.

Dwarf iris Cherry Pop

Dwarf iris Cherry Pop

I’ll close with one last photo of the little daffodils blooming right next door to the dwarf irises. These are a late blooming variety (for daffodils) that was here when we arrived. They always provide a little cherry yellow color when all the other spring bulbs are done for.

late blooming daffodils

late blooming daffodils

That’s all for now. I hope you have enjoyed this little photo tour of Happy Acres in April!

 

 

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8 Responses to Photo Friday: April Garden Tour

  1. Daphne says:

    It looks like you are a ways ahead of me. I’ll get there soon though. I keep waiting for the asparagus to come up.

  2. Robin says:

    Looks great Dave! You are a few weeks ahead of me. Lucky you to have a nice big asparagus bed. I harvested some asparagus this week, what a treat!
    Robin recently posted…What’s Growing On at The Plots mid-AprilMy Profile

  3. Norma Chang says:

    My Beedy’s Camden kale did not make it through the winter. Trying again this year.

  4. Liz says:

    Lovely tour and I’m grateful for it reminding me I really should be planting out some lettuces as my last batch have started to bolt.
    Liz recently posted…Saturday Spotlight on Sunday – “Italian Plain Leaf” ParsleyMy Profile

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