April Garden

 

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Although the photo is from May 29, these cold weather plants were seeded in the raised bed soil on April 29.

What you're seeing is 30 days of growth starting from April 29.

The raised bed soil was a mixture of earth (from the raised bed) and compost (from the landfill's composting of grass and leaves).  The soil in the raised bed has been in the raised bed 2 years. 

The first year, I simply built the wooden frame, laid down four layers of newspaper, and dumped in 4 inches of compost from the landfill.

Our best growing pear tree is well over 25 feet tall and is a prolific producer of pears that ripen in early-to-mid August.

The photo below is from April when the blossoms were still pretty abundant.

Note the location of the small greenhouse in the background, and the location of the asparagus patch to the lower-right of the pear tree. 

To the lower-left of the pear tree is another raised bed garden that had previously been enclosed (in a prior year) inside the same small portable greenhouse as is shown in the background.

A few years ago, we bought a small greenhouse.  Yes, a portable greenhouse.  We used it one spring a few years back to cover a raised bed in the spring, and took it down for several years.

Last autumn I decided to see how long plants would grow into the winter, and how early plants could be planted in the ground in the spring inside such a small greenhouse.

In March I ventured out to the cold "greenhouse" that I hadn't visited since December 3rd or 4th. 

What you see in the photo below is the swiss chard and the radishes harvest in April.  The radishes were planted in March.  The swiss chard was planted in late autumn.

If you've seen the photos of inside the greenhouse, you'll know that there's a cold frame (roughly 4x6, lined with styrofoam and loosely covered with a sheet of plastic). you'll know it's not attached to the house and has no heat source.

April 16, 2010 - We started a couple batches of seeds indoors this spring.

One batch was Rutgers tomato variety and the other was Early Girl.

The Early Girl tomato seeds were planted on March 19, 2010.

We wanted two early varieties and since the Early Girl tomato plants are 50-55 days to harvest, we chose those it and Rutgers varieties.

We picked up the Early Girl tomato seeds (in an "Ferry Morse" seed package) at a big box hardware store (Lowe's or Home Depot) for about $1.99.

April 16, 2010 - We started a couple batches of seeds indoors this spring.

One batch was Rutgers tomato variety and the other was Early Girl.

The Rutgers tomato seeds were planted on March 15, 2010.

We wanted two early varieties and since the Rutgers tomato was 55-60 days to harvest and the Early Girl are 50-55 days to harvest, we chose those two types.

We picked up the Rutgers tomato seeds (in an "American Seed" package) at Dollar General for 33 cents and planted 60 seeds, seeing them germinate within the 15-20 day timeframe. 

April 14, 2010 - When you cross a black currant and a gooseberry you end up with a jostaberry plant.

Pronounced "yostaberry," the jostaberry plants were bred to:

1) not have thorns like gooseberries,

2) to have higher berry yields than currants,

3) be resistant to diseases common to gooseberries and currants, and

4) to provide a plant that produces a berry of good quality.

 

I'd read that these plants are self-fruitful, so they don't need another plant for pollination, so I only ordered one. 

April 14, 2010 - A few days after receiving our seaberry plants (more commonly known as sea buckthorn plants), I dug the holes while the bare-root plants were soaking in a pail of water.

The planting guide that came with these three seabuckthorn plants said to soak the roots for 1-2 hours before planting.

I probably took 1-2 hours to dig the hole, mixing compost with the sandy soil we have in the 1970's era neighborhood, and adding in a handful of peat moss.

April 12, 2010 - The Sea Buckthorn plants I'd ordered early 2010 arrived in early April in a long box that could easily hold a baseball bat.

 

We opened the box and inspected the contents, and saw that the three bare-root trees were well packed, with moist roots wrapped in wet shredded paper.

Sea Buckthorn Plants Ready to Transplant

After adding some water to the shredded paper and closed the box for 2 or 3 more days until we made time to plant them.

 

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