Wednesday, 18 April 2012

April Ramblings...

Wow, April already, and going by fast...

This month, besides all the spring yard chores, I have been working busily in the greenhouse and the hoop-house, trying to get everything transplanted and ready for spring opening.


Once again, this year, we are a few weeks behind the norms with our temps and sunshine, and so the gardens and trees are coming to life a wee bit later than usual..

However, as nature begins to awake and unfold, it is truly a sight to behold...

The daffodils...

Although, I think this morning's chilly +3C had the poor bees in a bit of a stupor.



Ornamental Cherry trees are abloom too...

The edible sweet cherries... not quite yet... soon though!

Muscari naturalises...




More tulips...



The hummers are back :) 

These were my winter planters...
When I planted them up in fall, with Christmas in mind
 I popped some tulips bulbs under the Heather and red-berried Holly...

Those tulips are almost ready to open..
The planters look re-newed and fresh, though I haven't done a thing...
and, thankfully, will get me through till the tender plants are available for summer planters.  


Back In The Potager...

All the potatoes are in... planted 5 different varieties, so there will be an abundance of spuds ...
Okay, so, I admit, I may have gone a wee bit overboard... a fairly common occurrence around here ;)

This year, I am trialing two early varieties... Sieglinde is a smooth, thin skinned potato, making it great for those early baby spuds, resistant to wilts, scabs, etc... and a great keeper. Russet Norkotah is a great baking potato and a really good keeper.
The mid-season selection is Red Chieftan, perfect for boiling, baking and making fries, also a good keeper. We have grown this one before and found it pretty tasty, producing a great yield of fair sized, round-ish spuds.
Kennebec is my mid to late trial, a white heirloom, great for fries, and it also stores well, if kept in the dark to prevent greening.
Followed by the Russian Banana Fingerling's.. a tasty, waxy, little yellow heirloom, perfect for salads, our family favourite...  always the last to mature.

For the first time in years, I am not growing the Norland, a nice, sweet, round red spud.... not a good keeper though. It was not available at the time of my spud hunt :( or I would have had 6 varieties!



I use the trenching method for my spuds...
Dig a deep trench... pop in the spuds, about 8 to 12 inches apart... cover them lightly with soil...
Then just keep adding soil into the trenches, onto the spuds, as the green tops grow.
Until the trenches have become the 'hills' and these 'hilled' rows you see in the pic, have become the trenches.


My markers :).... The variety/name of the spud is marked on the front and the type of spud in back... Early, Mid or Late.
Just in case I forget.... I always think I will remember everything but you know how that goes in reality ;)



Mammoth Red Rock and Golden Acre Cabbages, have been transplanted into the raised beds... amongst the spinach, lettuces and winter onions.
Rhubarb is coming along really nicely this year...
As it is now going into it's 3rd year, I am hopeful
perhaps enough to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie..  or two?

Radishes and greens with the peas...
The lettuce is in the middle and the spinach at the back, as they like cool weather... this way, as the weather warms up, the peas will be tall enough to provide them with some relief from the sun and heat
Peas, radishes, lettuces... and a whole lot of thinning out to do...


Hmmm, I had best get at it pretty quick! (spinach)

Scallions amid the strawberries.... 


Oreo kitty and the garlic....


The new Purple Asparagus shoots, planted just last spring, are pushing through..Yay!

 
The herb bed coming alive.....


This year, I am using this really amazing Companion Planting Chart that I found on Farmer's Pal

I carry it on my clipboard as I head to the potager, along with my seeds, plants, and garden plan.



I have always practised companion planting and find this chart so easy to use...
It's easy to carry along, too, so that if I were to change my mind about a planting combo ( happens often, lol)
while I am knee deep in soil and seeds...
I can quickly check to see if my new idea is compatible... without having to run inside to check the computer, my go-to source ;)


Happy April Everyone!