Garden, End of April

6

April 27, 2011 by Leah

I dug out a new garden bed yesterday. Though it probably only took about 90 minutes, it was blisteringly hard work, and I’m proud. I’d left plastic over most of this area for almost three weeks, but digging out mostly dead grass didn’t end up being any different than digging out live grass. I got three wheelbarrow-loads full of sod out of a space that is probably somewhere around 4′ x 8′. Cubic measurements are always surprisingly large.

Look at our beautiful wheelbarrow!

Installing edging is by far the worst part, but I’m having so much trouble with grass coming into my raised beds it was worth it to dig and edge this new bed. (For edging the raised beds, I’ve been told railroad ties work well. If one has a ready source of railroad ties, anyway. I’m going to try to turn shipping pallets into edging later this week.)

Edging. Shudder.

I planted some of the seedlings I’ve been cultivating in toilet paper tubes on a cookie sheet in the living room, along with a few other seedlings that managed to sprout in the various small seed pots I left scattered around the patio. I’m not entirely sure what all of them are, but I think all the as-yet-unrecognized sprouts are tomatoes.

New plants!

The rest of the garden is still growing like crazy. (Here’s the last update for comparison.) I’ve discovered some slugs on the broccoli, so I’m going to bury a couple of small mason jars of beer in the garden. (Theoretically the beer lures the slugs and then they drown. They probably die happy, though.)

Spot the squash, broccoli, beans, corn, tomatoes, onions... Never mind.

My broccoli and squash were supposed to be mature by now, but neither crop has produced anything except for many, many giant leaves. (This reminds me of the problem with the fava beans in the winter garden: I had something like a dozen plants and exactly three bean pods.) The plan was to harvest the squash, broccoli, and collards to let some light shine onto the currently-overshadowed aubergine and watermelon plants.

The lettuce is still a pretty light green.

Currently, there’s such an explosion of foliage it’s hard to tell what’s what, but I like looking at the garden anyway. Oh, and here are the beautiful potato plants:

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes!

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6 thoughts on “Garden, End of April

  1. David G says:

    Looks great! The harvest times on packages are for “ideal” conditions. If you plant in the perfect weather and at the right soil you will get harvest. The squash will start producing soon, and then you will be up to your ears in squash for months. If you want to let more light in you can trim a few leaves off of the squash without hurting the plant.

    I planted my potatoes, deep, in the ground. They finally came up last week, and I have started adding mulch because they jumped to 1′ tall in a weeks time. I also added more a few weeks ago.

    What do you do with your chives? I know they are supposed to be easy, but I have not had success with them. They produce thin greens, but never seem to fill out, thicken, or bloom.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. leahkathlyn says:

    Erm, I planted the chives last summer and then did nothing with them. Except for occasional harvesting of non-blooming stalks and admiring the pretty purple flowers. They apparently died over the winter but came back with a vengeance and are crowding the rosemary out of their shared pot. My mom has had chives coming up in her front garden in AK literally for years now

  3. David G says:

    Maybe, I expect them to be like other onions and grow faster. Hopefully mine will do fine then.

  4. David G says:

    http://permaculture.org.au/2011/04/13/lessons-from-an-urban-back-yard-food-forest-experiment/

    The link goes to an excellent permaculture garden in Melbourne Australia. This guy is a renter and has worked out a deal with his landlord to do extensive plantings. He has reduced his lawn from half his back yard to about 1/6 of his back yard ( his land lord required him to keep some lawn).

  5. Andie says:

    I’ve never heard of beer for slugs – I am having problems with them myself. I was searching online for a way to get rid of them and came across this video, though… It’s hilarious! http://youtu.be/cMssG-66oTE. Watch it – it’ll make you forget about your slugs for a while! It even mentions the beer πŸ™‚ Best of luck to you with the veggies!

    • leahkathlyn says:

      Great video – now I’ll think about the slugs partying in the garden after dark. πŸ™‚ I haven’t seen any slugs lately, but since the beer is usually covered by a thin film of insects (also partying?) I don’t know if it’s luck or if the beer is working.

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