April Garden Tour

Things are starting to bloom and grow around here, and I have managed to get a few things planted in between the rain showers. We have already had 24 inches of rain so far this year, even more that the 22 inches we had by this time last year. That has made working the soil and planting things a challenge to say the least. I have finally gotten the cold frame beds planted, starting with kale I set out in late March. I have Prizm, Starbor, Darkibor and White Russian planted there, and it is time to weed and mulch with straw. Other than White Russian these are all fairly short curly types.

cold frame bed with kale

cold frame bed with kale

A few days later I made a new cold frame bottom and situated it on the south side of the greenhouse where it would warm up quickly. I planted it in kohlrabi, including favorites like Konan and Kolibri plus test varieties like Beas, Korist and Terek. They have made a lot of growth since then but aren’t starting to bulb up just yet. I haven’t made a lid for the frame yet, and covered it with bird netting to keep the deer and other mammals from getting to the plants.

bed with kohlrabi

bed with kohlrabi

I planted another cold frame bed just two weeks ago, and those plants are taking off quickly. It’s a mix of greens including Senposai, Komatsuna, Spigariello, mizuna and mild mustard greens. And I planted the last bed in lettuce just yesterday, but didn’t get a photo.

bed with mixed greens

bed with mixed greens

Red Kingdom is a beautiful red mizuna with broad, mild tasting leaves. It’s a 2016 AAS Winner and is slow to flower in my spring garden when many Asian greens are prone to bolting.

mizuna Red Kingdom

mizuna Red Kingdom

In the main garden, all I have planted so far is one bed of brassicas and the alliums I planted last fall. I have mulched the brassicas with shredded paper and I will cover that with straw soon. I find the paper/straw combination works well in spring when there are a lot of annual weeds popping up. I got the bed worked up and those plants set out on April 9th, just in time before more rain came.

Piracicaba broccoli seedling

Piracicaba broccoli seedling

The greenhouse is starting to fill up with seedlings. I still have one bed planted in kale plants that overwintered and are giving us lots of rapini. And I have lettuce coming along nicely in there in containers that should keep us supplied until that I just planted outside is ready to start cutting.

greenhouse in April

greenhouse in April

And speaking of growing, the baby bluebirds are growing up fast in the PVC nest box! Four of six eggs hatched, and the parents have been busy keeping them fed. I managed to sneak a peek the other day when they were away.

baby bluebirds

baby bluebirds

I’ll close with a pic of our azaleas blooming. This is probably the best show they have put on since we planted them back in 2010. Hopefully the rain won’t beat them back too badly while they are in their prime.

azaleas in bloom

azaleas in bloom

I hope you have enjoyed this quick tour of what’s growing around here in late April. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!

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5 Responses to April Garden Tour

  1. Kathleen Cook says:

    You are such an inspiration to me. Here in Maine we’re a couple weeks behind you, but I’ll be putting out my spinach plants this week. Thanks for all the info.

  2. Sue Garrett says:

    We have had a little rain now but not neatly enough, I’m always amazed how squashed chicks are in the nest. I hope any under the pile survive.

  3. Michelle says:

    It’s hard to believe that you can be getting even more rain this year than last year. Our rainy season has pretty much come to an end now. That’s good and bad, it’s easier to work in the garden but it means fire season will be starting soon. Love the shot of the bluebird chicks!

  4. I like the coldframe beds… definitely something to think about for me here. Are they all outside?

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      Yes, I have them sitting on the east and south sides of the greenhouse where they are more protected than if they were out in the open.

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