Garden News – April 2018
Oh Joy! The spring season is finally opening! Did you hear that April 2018 may go down as the coldest April in the USA… ever? Amazingly, vast portions of the Northeast and northern plains saw colder conditions during the first two weeks of April than those way up in Anchorage Alaska. 1)https://www.nationalreview.com/news/meteorologists-expect-coldest-april-on-record/
So, this week we literally got to open up. Our “cloth house” covering was rolled up-yes, and still able to drop the cover if need be. We sowed the first batch of lettuces in there: Tom Thumb, Paris Island Cos (Romaine) and Le Rouge d’Hiver, a red colored romaine.
Our conditioned straw bales have been planted with herbs: basil, parsley, thyme, and dill. Several varieties of winter squash seedlings were installed under our cattle panel arches. We selected these partly on the basis of how the “gourds” will look as they hang down from the tall archway which we partly achieved last year (see photo). We have several straw bale articles and videos you can peruse here.
We stuck beans in the ground. Some will mix with the squash to make up ⅔’s of the three sisters (sorry we don’t have room for sister #3-corn).One unique pole variety for 2018 will be the Red Chinese Noodle beans that are brilliant red and grow 18 inches long. We planted some standard pole beans, and some bushies like Calima and Dragon Tongue. More radishes (deep purple Malaga) were seeded in a long row.
The BIG project this week involved building a raised bed from old pallets. Two pallets were trimmed to fit over an existing bed. More garden soil/compost mix was required than anticipated and more time taken to set the pallets level over a slightly narrower existing bed. These were seeded with bush beans, lettuce, and some store-boughts (as illustration). The area is slightly shaded at times and should be well suited for the lettuces.
We added two other pallets to a different section of the garden since filming this video. The difference being we added weed barrier fabric under the pallets since they were resting directly on the flat ground.
We’ve had mega mole and vole problems and want to nip that issue before it becomes bigger. The pallet garden in the video was placed ontop of a rasied bed, and we’ve yet to have pest issues with that. Here’s an article with various methods of keeping the voles and moles out.
The moon waxes full @ 8 pm tonight, so we’re planting many more of the above ground edibles. Conversely, the almanacs say when the moon wanes is the time to plant the underground crops like potatoes and carrots. We like to synchronize with the signs-though it’s not always practical.
So how are you all faring? Have your spring garden options also opened up? Are you experimenting with any new varieties or methods this year? We so enjoy hearing from you and sharing the wealth of wisdom with our fellow garden enthusiasts.
You can comment here or up on our Facebook page. Till then, may your gardens flourish, and your harvest be bountiful!
~ Coleman for GardensAll
Articles of the Week:
- Olla Pots – Clay Water Jug Garden Irrigation System
- Best Compost Tumblers and DIY Compost Bins
- How to Get rid of VOLES in the Yard and Garden
G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson
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