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April 2015 - N&C Midwest

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April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 4/2/2015, 8:16 pm

According to Month-By-Month Gardening in the Dakotas by Melinda Myers, Cool Springs Press, here is what we should be doing in the northern tier of our region. The info for timing is based on the average last frost dates of May (first half or second half), add a few extra weeks for the uppermost areas of North Dakota or if your garden is in a frost pocket.  For those of you in the southern part of the region, figure your frost date and adjust your indoor seed starting schedule accordingly - those of us in the north envy your extra month or so of gardening season!  And to REALLY throw a monkey wrench in the schedule, many of us are experiencing much warmer than average temps and a VERY early spring.  Take that into consideration when trying to figure out what to plant, when.  Personally, I started my peppers and tomatoes at the end of February!  If this weather keeps up, I may just be able to get them outdoors a month early.

April - To start indoors:

        Peppers (beginning)
        Tomatoes (mid)

         - To plant outdoors:

        Onion sets, potatoes, and cool crop seeds - beets, carrots, peas, lettuce,    
        radishes, spinach, turnips, parsnips, chard, kohlrabi, etc (as soon as you
        can work the ground)  This is also the time to put asparagus crowns in the
        ground

May - Put your onion and cole crop seedlings out in the garden (beginning)
        Plant late cabbages, snap beans, and sweet corn seeds in the ground (beginning)
        Start cantaloupe, pumpkins, and winter squash indoors (beginning)
        Plant cantaloupe, pumpkins, and winter squash starts outdoors (end of May, early June)
        Direct seed cucumbers, melons, and summer squash outdoors (end of May)

June - Set out tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and any melons and squash you may have held back because of the weather.
Start sowing any fall harvest crops (end of June)

July & August - Still time to put in some fall harvest crops, but they need to be SHORT season, and count back from your average first frost date to see how late you can squeak in the last few seeds
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 4/21/2015, 5:52 pm

And just a reminder that I live in South Dakota:

Rain, sleet, and snow for the last 2 days.  Not enough to leave any white stuff on the ground, and we certainly need the precip, but it is dang cold when that wind blows that stuff 30 mph!!!
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  CitizenKate on 4/22/2015, 11:04 pm

According to the planting calendar provided by the local nursery, in northern Kansas (zone 6a), at the end of April, we are coming to the end of planting season for:

  • collards
  • chard
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • onions and onion sets
  • peas
  • spinach
  • beets

If you plan to grow these and don't have them in, yet, get R done soon, like this coming weekend!

Coming up on planting season for:

  • 2nd round of lettuce
  • sweet corn
  • melons


In another couple of weeks, it will be planting time for the following:

  • beans (snap, lima, bush or pole)
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant
  • peppers
  • okra
  • pumpkins
  • squashes
  • TOMATOES - YEAH!


After being away for the last week, I'm scrambling to get seeds started for next week's plantings. 
I missed the boat with more cabbage, but maybe I can extend the growing season with some shade cloth.

This is such a happy time of year...   sunny
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  jessica_alinari on 4/23/2015, 5:09 am

Extending the growing season is a clever idea. Thank God I enjoy a milder climate and I've finished with growing my tomatoes from seed in March https://storify.com/jessie_alinari/8-home-grown-vegetables-you-should-plant-in-march. Now I notice that I've missed to sow okra. Last weekend I've planted Zucchini squash seeds in my home garden. They are so delicious and prolific!
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  Goosegirl on 4/23/2015, 8:10 am

welcome to the forum, Jessica!  I do sometimes miss my longer growing season from former days living in California but I don't miss the traffic, smog, cost of living, etc!
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  sanderson on 4/23/2015, 11:33 am

Jessica, Welcome to the Forum from California, US! glad you\'re here Please go to the Home page and "Introduce Yourself." It sounds like you have some gardening experience to share. Very Happy

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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  landarch on 4/23/2015, 3:43 pm

I read the other day that here in the KC area we've had frost/snow in early May the last two years...people get impatient and tricked with early spring warmth...planting peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, etc. way too early.
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  herblover on 4/25/2015, 10:46 am

I always find it amusing that big box garden centers have tomatoes and peppers as well as annual flowers for sale at this time of year.  My cynical side says they are counting on selling them twice....had below freezing temps with heavy frost yesterday am.
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  CitizenKate on 4/25/2015, 10:54 am

It seems there's a May Surprise more years than not.  I say surprise because the weather gurus almost never forecast them, they just happen out of the blue.  I usually put my tomatoes and peppers out the last week of April or first week of May, and am prepared with frost covers, just in case.  I know other gardeners in my area that just swear by those "walls of water" gadgets that allow them to put their tomatoes out weeks earlier and they get through those last few freezes just fine.
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  llama momma on 4/25/2015, 11:07 am

@herblover wrote:I always find it amusing that big box garden centers have tomatoes and peppers as well as annual flowers for sale at this time of year.  My cynical side says they are counting on selling them twice....had below freezing temps with heavy frost yesterday am.

I with you herblover.  They make Two sales from customers who can't wait and will surely fail..

 My notes from past years convinced me to start my tomato seedlings the middle of April to the third week and plant out safely the last week of May. I'm tired of fighting with and fretting over weak-looking long lanky plants while waiting for the stinking weather to fully cooperate. I'm not spending another cent to bring in walls of water or red plastic for the soil either, etc.  Hows that for a hopefully  funny and cranky opinion, lol !


Last edited by llama momma on 4/25/2015, 11:09 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  CitizenKate on 4/25/2015, 11:42 am

@llama momma wrote: My notes from past years convinced me to start my tomato seedlings the middle of April to the third week and plant out safely the last week of May. I'm tired of fighting with and fretting over weak-looking long lanky plants while waiting for the stinking weather to fully cooperate. I'm not spending another cent to bring in walls of water or red plastic for the soil either, etc.  Hows that for a hopefully  funny and cranky opinion, lol !
Sounds fine to me, momma.  Smile

I had the same problem last year, and started my seeds this year a couple of weeks later, too.

Another thing I tried differently this year with my tomato seedlings, was to start setting them outside on nicer days as soon as they sprouted, instead of waiting until a couple of weeks before transplanting them outdoors.  It's amazing how much stronger and more leafy they are this year.  The natural sunshine and breezes really make them stiffen up and spread out, my best batch of seedlings ever.  I'll definitely be doing this from now on.
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Re: April 2015 - N&C Midwest

Post  herblover on 5/8/2015, 7:22 am

Finally caught up on my planting!  I have 3 varieties of onions, 5 squares of salad greens, 3 radish, and 2 each of carrots, beets, kale, and chard.  All are doing well and our current summery temps will make them grow like crazy!
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