Garden Update – April Edition

Oh Happy Day!  It’s spring!  It’s time to play in the garden!  Happy, Happy me!

In Kentucky, the standard rule is to plant your summer varieties AFTER Derby.  Derby is always the first Saturday in May (this coming Saturday ), so I’ll be busy this weekend getting all my summer seeds and plants in the ground.

OH WHAT FUN!

Even though I haven’t planted any summer crops, I have plenty going on in the garden right now.  Spring is a great time to grow cool-season crops around here.

april garden1This is the “salad” bed.  The front row is radishes, the middle 2 rows are Buttercrunch lettuce, the back row is spinach.  To see the planting go here.

april garden 2Buttercrunch lettuce is my very favorite.  It is easy to grow, grows quick and has just enough crunch for a great salad.  It is also very forgiving.  I can rip off 90% of the outer leaves and the center will keep making me food.  It also seems to behave even when it gets hot out.

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This may not look like much.  It is 2 rows of turnips.  WHAT?  Turnips?  What is this WW2?  Who eats turnips?

Here in the South we like to eat turnip greens.  They are absolutely divine when prepared correctly.  The green tops are what we want here in the Bluegrass State – the pigs can have the turnips.  I want the greens.  april garden 5

Chives.  Welcome to the “herb” bed.  Chives make my salads, tomatoes, and baked potatoes happy.

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Cilantro.  My only complaint with cilantro is that it peaks too soon.  When all the tomatoes, basil and onions are ready for some cilantro – it’s dead.  Cilantro is wonderful in spring and early summer, but when it gets smokin’ hot and humid around here the cilantro fries.  It just can’t take the heat.

When salsa time comes around, I usually have to (shutter) buy cilantro from the store.  (Gasp)

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Thyme – plant this once and you will eat it forever.

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Oregano.  Plant this once and you can start an Oregano farm.  You can eat it, dry it, give it to everyone you know, and still have more of it than you’ll know what to do with.

It starts with one tiny, adorable, baby Oregano plant from the local nursery.  It will be barely tall enough to reach above the cow manure – BUT just wait.  It will turn on you (and most of your garden real-estate).  In 2 years you will have a 6 foot by 6 foot Oregano Land.

Oregano is my enemy.  So is Lemon Balm.  So is mint.  They are trying to take over the universe.

I have dug it up, torched it, even sprayed it with week killer.  It won’t go away.  Be sure you really want oregano before you plant it.  Also be sure where you plant it is where you want it – because no matter what you do to it, it will continue to grow there (6 feet in every direction) for the next 25 generations.

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Rosemary.  Rosemary is one of those perennial plants that is supposed to live for 15 years and keep on coming back.  Someone forgot to tell this to the last 4 rosemary plants I’ve put in my garden.  I have never had Rosemary survive the winter.

I suppose it could be worse…….. it could be Oregano.  april garden 9

Sugar Snap Peas.  Sweet, crisp perfection.  They are really taking off and getting big!  To see how I plant it go here.april garden 10

Garlic.  I love garlic.  It completes me, and most things I cook.

Garlic is usually planted in the fall/ early winter.  I was late getting mine in, but it doesn’t seem to care.  Go here to see the planting.  april garden 11

Onions. Here’s the onions I planted with a rake handle.  There are still some yet to come forth from the ground.  My hunch is the small child helping didn’t get all the onion sets placed in the hole “root side down.”  This is not a big deal, it just takes the plant longer to emerge from it’s hole.  It has to do a somersault first.

To see how we planted the onion sets go here.

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Kale.  I think if we were all honest we have to admit that none of us like kale.  BUT we eat it and we love it because it is so good for us and it makes us feel like superhero’s.

Bring on the Kale – I want to be IronMan.  april garden 13

Asparagus.  We have been eating asparagus out of our garden.  I love fresh Asparagus. This one is also a perennial.  Once you plant the crowns in your garden it will yield fresh spears every spring for 15-25 years.

It is such a funny plant.  I had NO idea it just shot out of the ground like this until I grew it.  Did you?  Hysterical. Giant, edible, green thumbs coming out of the ground.

May is around the corner & we’ll be into all the summer varieties like:  Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Beans, Peppers, Squash, Zucchini, Potatoes, Corn, Pumpkins, Cantaloupes, and Watermelons.  Oh my!

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