Garden Tour, End of April

We have had far more rainy, cloudy days this month than sun, and it shows. The garden is getting off to a slow start, but it is growing. I didn’t count the number of sunny days compared to the cloudy ones, but this year, it would have been an interesting statistic. There are still many folks around that are just now trying to get things planted, and it is still very, very wet. The weeds are starting to get a foothold, just like the vegetables, and with the sunny weather we are having this week, everything should take off. Our garden is no longer all dirt, God’s masterpiece has begun again. Here is the tour.


Store bought cabbage

Green cabbage

Michilli cabbage

Cabbage leaf with green lacewing eggs mixed in bran sprinkled on it

And I have to tell you. I think the green lacewings eggs that I sprinkled on all of the garden plants are really making a difference. They are too small to see, but the directions said the evidence would be a decrease in insect damage to the plants, and I think that is the case. We just might have our first ever cabbage crop this year. I am very hopeful. I will do a more in depth article on my beneficial insect experiment later on.

The new Comfrey bed is doing great. I harvest here almost daily.
Cowpeas are trying to make an appearance

Okra does not like cool wet weather and is not very happy….yet

Cushaw squash with nasturtiums

Yellow squash with nasturtiums

The tomatoes got off to a hard start with lots of flea beetle holes. I think the green lacewings have made a difference there, too. But the tomatoes don’t like the cool, wet weather any more than the okra. It’s been in the 40’s the last few nights with highs in the 70’s. Today was the first day of sunshine in about a week.

One of the apple trees has a surprise this year for the first time

We each had a strawberry for breakfast this morning. The first of the year.

More on the way

The new strawberry bed is growing despite all of the slugs I pick here every morning.

We have beets planted in several places that are just starting to grow well.

The carrots are happy.

We’re trying collard greens for the first time.

Cucumbers are just getting started.

Onions are finally putting on some growth.

In just a few days, these turnips have just about doubled in size.

And the Clematis is just beautiful.

It won’t be long before the garden will be in full swing and need much more tending than it does right now. That means we need to get a few more projects completed while we still have a little more time. You know the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, with all of the April showers we’ve had, the wild and tame blackberries are blooming in profusion.

And the honeysuckle won’t be far behind. I pick it almost daily for the goats. It’s good for expelling worms.

We watch the garden grow with great anticipation for that first fresh squash, that first pan of turnip greens, that first red, ripe tomato and much, much more. So, tell me, how is your garden doing this year?

Today we drove about 100 miles to the east to visit one of Frank’s family, which took us through rural eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. We noticed along that way that there weren’t many gardens planted. This is sad. Why aren’t people raising their own food? Sad.

Until next time – Fern

18 thoughts on “Garden Tour, End of April

  1. I was so pleased to read the comment about the person who lives in an apartment who valued their community garden plot as much as they do. And, that there is a waiting list to get one! Wow. That's great!Just Me

  2. Sounds like your garden is well underway, Goodwife. Our turnip greens are just about big enough for a batch, and we look forward to that. Now if I can just get the weeds and grass out of the way…. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  3. It's good to know your community gardens are being used so well. Sounds like they may need to start up another one since there are people on a waiting list. Thank you for sharing another way to grow food, for yourself and others, SJ.Fern

  4. I just pull a big handful of the vines, Deb. For the most part, the goats eat the leaves off of the vine, but they will eat the tender growing ends as well. Our chickens love honeysuckle, too, but I don't know about any other animals. Before you offer it to another animal, I recommend reading up on it first.Yes, I read and commented on Patrice's article about coffee grounds. I have been putting coffee grounds and eggshells out in the strawberry bed to see if I can get the slugs to leave them alone. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  5. Sounds like you are doing some serious gardening, Steve. That's nice to hear. Sharecropping? I haven't heard that term used in the present tense, only in the past. Great idea, and apparently it's working well for you. Thank you very much for sharing.Fern

  6. Me neither, Donna. You describe the heart of a gardener very well. Sounds like you will have many a feast from the 'fruit' of your labors. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  7. We have already replanted our pinto beans with regular pole green beans, Sandy, because only three or four came up. I don't know if it was the weather or old seeds, but either way, no beans. I also need to replant okra. There are a few, but I know they don't like wet feet and the cool weather we have been having. I also think some of our carrot seed washed away in some of the heavy rains we had. There are places with a thick patch of carrots coming up next to an empty area. Time for a few more seeds. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  8. Our upper garden is doing well, all the beets, lettuces, turnip greens, kale, and green onions are up and thriving. We'll be eating on them soon. The lower garden, all the potatoes are up about a foot, and the summer and winter squash is up. Only a few of the beans have poked their heads above ground and I think we are going to have to replant our corn, but growing season is for sure getting into swing! 🙂 Yours all looks good!

  9. Great to see your photos and read your posts. If it is any encouragement, in my area the community gardens have wait lists that are years long. I am so fortunate to have a plot now that I am in an apartment. I also grow what I can in containers. Unfortunately, my little side yard at the apartment is mostly shade and gets very little direct sun.I love my community garden not just for the plants but also for connecting with people. I am also part of a little committee that tends a few plots used for donations to the food bank. Keep up the good work! SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

  10. hi.what part of the honeysuckle do you feed the goats?is it safe for other animals, too?just read today on 'rural revolution', patrice lewis' site, that coffee grounds sprinkled around plants discourage snails.deb h.

  11. It's fun to see what people in other parts of the country are growing. Here in Central CA we have had little rain, so the growing season started early. I also envy your room to plant. We have no grass and almost every potential inch of ground is planted, as well as the neighbor's back yard that we sharecrop with the family. Thanks for the sights.

  12. I can't imagine not having a garden. Besides the food that we eat fresh and can, it is very fulfilling to the soul to see things growing and thriving. Our garden is doing great. Tomatoes, pole beans, zucchini, potatoes and cucumbers are jumping up. Broccoli and cauliflower not so good. Asparagus is being harvested this year. Onions and bell peppers are doing good as well as jalapenos. Can't wait to start pickin'! Jim and Donna in Texas

  13. Fern and Frank,Your garden is looking really nice, it's starting to really grow. All that rain does helps but I worry sometimes because several years back a good chunk my garden ended up with root rot because of the excessive amount of rain. This year my garden is doing really good. I still have a few more things to plant, and can't wait to make a meal out of a nice harvest. You mentioned not seeing many gardens planted this year in your travels to visit family. I've seen the same when going past neighbors on the way into town.

  14. Great thought your father had, CQ. Too bad it didn't catch on back then, it might have helped the situation we are in now. Thank you for sharing. It gives us some insight into why you always produce much of your own food, which is a great example to me.Fern

  15. Thank you, Just Me. It's interesting to find that more and more people are expecting some sort of break down, or collapse of society or the economy, or war. Over the past few months we have had conversations with a variety of people that indicate they just can't see how the world can continue on the trajectory it is on. Some of these folks are trying to prepare a few things, but many are not. I just don't understand. Who knows how long any of us will make it if there is a total collapse, but we have to try to do all we can and not just sit in the wings waiting to see what might happen to us, or wonder who will take care of us. We just can't do that. It's just not in us to do so. Yes, I wish everyone that can, would plant something. Thank you for your thoughts.Fern

  16. Looks like your garden is off to a good start. I remember many decades ago my father was interviewed by the New Orleans newspaper ( The Times Picayune) and in that interview he made the statement that he believed that many people on assistance unless sick or disabled should be provided a small plot seeds and tools along with their food stamps and required to produce on it. Obviously that wasn't the most popular interview he ever gave but food for thought : )

  17. I wish everyone who's able would plant a garden of some kind, too. There was a walk I used to go on that took me past a community garden, with plots of different sizes. It was always so cool to see how each person would use the space they paid for.Then, I would walk through another neighborhood with spacious yards, and not see one square foot put to veggies or even flowers.Your garden looks like it's doing great!Just Me

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