Saturday, April 18, 2015

April Garden Plans

March didn't feel much like spring in this part of the country - but April has given us spring sunshine. I find it hard to stay indoors on a sunny day in April and it has been rather easy for my children to twist my arm and ask for a little time outdoors before they started their math.

Every spring, I think of the pioneer families who, before the days of super markets, glass canning jars, and freezers, subsisted on the wrinkled root crops from the cellar and stored grain during the winter. I can imagine the joy in finding that first spear of asparagus or dandelion greens and know that my family has survived another winter.

Today we can buy fresh lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes all year long—but there is still something special about the herald of spring and the promise of food from my own garden. I love to see the new green shoots, like this rhubarb plant, poke out of the soil.

I know that we are already halfway through April. But I was spending my time outside enjoying April instead of writing about it. I have accomplished many of my April goals, as well as all the things from my March list that I had not completed earlier.

These are the tasks on my April Gardening List for my zone 6 garden.

1. Clean up the perennial beds and top-dress with compost and lime.

Ed mulched my flower beds with chopped leaves in the fall but there is a few weeds that managed to squeeze in anyway. I'd like to put some more mulch down and hopefully have no more weeding this summer. Last year my flower beds were totally neglected. We'll just say it was the baby's fault.

2. Divide any crowded perennials and prune the roses that I missed last fall.

3. Plant beets, carrots, onions, sugar peas, lettuce, spinach, and potatoes in the garden.

Often we are the last to get our garden planted since it is located in a low area and often stays wet for a long time in the spring. But this spring has been dry, too dry, and we were able to get all of the early spring things planted in the first week of April.

4. Set out broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower plants in the garden and cover with rowcover.

For now, I have the plants covered with milk jugs. I cut the bottom out of the jug and push it into the soil and have a mini green house. When it gets warmer and the cabbage butterflies appear, I will remove the milk jugs and cover with row cover.

5. Uncover the strawberry plants from their winter mulch of straw and plant a new row of strawberries to replace the row that is being smothered in Canadian thistles.

6. Relish fresh asparagus and the first spring salad.

What are you doing in your garden this month?

And if you are from Georgia or southern California and relishing freshly picked strawberries—I don't want to know.


  1. Would you rather hear from a canadian who hasn't done a thing in her garden? Or of snow flurries mid April?!?
    Spring IS coming here too...
    Next week I'll tackle march and april lists.

  2. Family responsibilities in So. California have kept me out of my garden at home in NC. My neighbors are enjoying the asparagus and my chickens are enjoying scratching in the tilled earth that is awaiting my return. I'll be playing "catch up" next week!

  3. I'm so thrilled to be picking spinach which has grown up from last fall's crop! Woohoo!

  4. Still a fair amount of snow to melt here and ice on lakes. We've spotted some robins and Canada geese this past week!

  5. Like you I am spending a lot of time preparing my gardens and working on the yard. We live in zone 4 so no vegetables can be planted until the end of May. The greenhouse and sun porch are full of starter plants waiting for the last frost day to pass. Most of the snow is gone so the buds on the fruit trees have started to burst and the plants in the flower beds have started pushing through the ground. This weekend we did a deep cleaning of the chicken coop which provided so nice waste for the berry bushes. It was so lovely this weekend that I was even able to hang laundry outside.

    The humming birds (at least the males) so the feeders are out, and I he deer and wild turkeys are comming out of the woods into the cleared portions of the yard.... It is just about time to get the fields plowed and the fencing back up in the fields.

    Hope that you have some nice weather for working in the yard for the balance of the month.

  6. It's been very rainy here in the Florida Panhandle. Rains can be torrential! When there was a break in the rain this weekend, I managed to get the veggie beds worked and planted potatoes, squash and turnips. I'm trying out a few things I found online that are supposed to 'thrive on neglect'! Supposed to be native to the Americas and 'will grow anywhere' Well we shall see!! Walking Onions and Sunchokes.

  7. We have a tiny city backyard garden (I dream of some day having a much larger garden!), but since we come from the country, it is so, so good to have a bit of dirt to grow something in. The children and I planted some peas, spinach, lettuce, mesclun greens and swiss chard, and it's refreshing to see them coming up. We have red raspberries that are starting to leaf as well. I love this time of year!

  8. We have broccoli, onions, cabbages, beets, green peas, kale, turnips, kohlrabi, spinach, and lettuce in the ground. Strawberries are in bloom with a few small ones already formed. We usually have a cold spell at the end of April so we normally don't set out anything that might be hurt until May 1. Checked the 10 day forecast this morning and warm weather is forecasted so, hopefully I will be planting beans, squash seed, and potatoes today or tomorrow. Maybe the rest of the garden this weekend. I am so ready for a garden again after the dreary winter. Funny story-yesterday my son was reading in a book about mini greenhouses using milk jugs. He showed me and I said hey I know someone who does that and pulled up this page. I was able to show him exactly how they worked and looked in a garden. Great idea!


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