I have to admit, I am happy to see April behind us. If April showers truly bring May flowers, then we ought to be up to our ears in flowers this May, because we got a whopping 12.73 inches of rain in April here at Happy Acres. While folks in California are dealing with historic drought conditions, the weather pattern here in the eastern and southern U.S. has been wet and soggy lately to say the least. With all that moisture the shade garden is especially lovely right about now, with azaleas and brunnera blooming and the ferns and hostas emerging with lush new growth.
Of course, April showers also make the asparagus grow, especially when the weather warms up a bit. My wife is in charge of asparagus, and she has been harvesting it almost daily. The spears can grow several inches between morning and evening, so she sometimes checks it more than once every day. It’s been coming on faster than we can eat it, and we have already frozen some.
One of my favorite ways to cook it is to grill it. Sometimes we eat it that way as a side dish, and sometimes it makes its way onto a pizza. Grilling really brings out the flavor of asparagus, and other vegetables too for that matter. We’ve been enjoying lettuce as well. I cut some Simpson lettuce that we made into a wilted lettuce salad. We enjoyed Radichetta and Red Sails in other salads.
Spinach is still growing strong too. Most of the over-wintered plants have bolted, but the ones planted in spring are just now ready for harvest. I’ve been freezing a lot of it too for later use. It has wound up in salads, pizza and frittatas.
I cut some of the Asian greens last week for a stir fry. There’s mizuna, Yukina Savoy and komatsuna in the below photo. I’ve got more plants growing for succession planting. Spring planted kale is almost ready to start harvesting.
The potatoes I planted a little over three weeks ago are finally coming up. The weeds have come up even faster! I need to do some weeding in the bed before they take over. All that rain has compacted the soil too. You can see cracks where the potatoes have broken through.
It’s about time to set out cucumber plants in the greenhouse bed. I’m growing my usual favorites, Tasty Jade and Manny, plus trying Corinto this year. Last year the greenhouse cukes kept on producing well into summer. Hopefully it won’t get too hot too quick as things can also burn up in there in summer. That happened in 2012 and the cukes did not do well under those conditions.
The greenhouse shelves are loaded with plants right about now. Hopefully I will be planting some tomatoes this week, which will make a few of them disappear. I believe the soil will be dry enough by them.
Chives are getting ready to bloom. It looks like I will be making chive blossom vinegar soon. It’s always nice to have this seasonal treat.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few things going on here in early May. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from HA!
Grilled asparagus looks so yummy. That is a lot of rain. Glad your potatoes sprouted through the wet ground.
Very lovely asparagus and greens! And hope your garden dries out before too long. It’s been too cold for cucurbits, but I started them inside last week so hope they’ll be ok to transplant by end of May. Yours look really nice and healthy!
Nice harvest! I’m looking forward to planting my asparagus crown. noticed that you have two cukes in the pot. Out of curiosity, do you thin down to one or keep them doubled when you plant?
In this case I will thin down to one. I’m using a small cage (12″ dia.) in the greenhouse. When I plant them in larger cages (20-22″) I will set two plants per cage.
I can’t even imagine what it would be like to get 12.73 inches of rain in a month. We’ve had 8.86 inches total in the last 10 months. Grilled asparagus – fabulous. Wilted lettuce salad – yum. Have you tried grilled lettuce? Hearts of romaine are really good grilled.
I haven’t tried grilled lettuce! I’ll have to sometime soon. I have grilled radicchio before, and that was nice.
I checked my log and it rained 16 days in April. For us, 12 inches of rain would be normal for maybe three months in spring, but not one!
I wish my spring spinach was almost ready. It is still very very tiny right now. Everything seems a couple of weeks behind and for spinach that can mean a bad harvest this year. I’ve got my fingers crossed still.
You are so right. The window for spring spinach is so short, any delay is not good.
Beautiful Brunnera macrophyla ‘Jack Frost’.
I am hoping to harvest some greens, even if it is just some outer leaves, soon. Do you grill your garlic greens too?
I love the garlic greens grilled. I’ve grilled the scapes too. The brunnera is deer-resistant – just the thing for those of us with lots of hungry deer!
My chives are just on the verge of blooming! I hadn’t heard of chive blossom vinegar before, but I love vinegar so am thrilled to see this in time to try it. Thanks!
It’s so easy to make the chive blossom vinegar. And I love it drizzled on potatoes or in potato salad.
I don’t really know very much about flowers but I do know what I like & I keep a running list of interesting plants that I come across so that I can one day add these to our beds. “Brunnera macrophyla”? Bam – on the list!
You’re harvests look amazing – we are still a ways off from any kind of harvest, I’m afraid. It’s JUST starting to warm up around here.
Brunnera is fairly new to me but it has been outstanding in our shade garden. It is deer-resistant and early blooming, and the variegated foliage really lights up an area.
That’s a ton of rain! Looks like you are having a productive spring with lots of harvest. That chive blossom vinegar sounds delicious.