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April in the Middle South garden...

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April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dizzygardener on 4/4/2011, 3:46 pm

Hello all. I thought it might be fun for us all to share what we are doing in the garden this month.

I'll start out with some preliminary advice as far as what I'm thinking about and what I'm doing in my garden and then you all chime in with what you all are doing. Sound like a plan?

April is going to be quite a busy month for our region. Our region consists of folks in zones 6-8, which means that most of us have our last frost dates this month!! Unless you are in the mountains like I am, in that case your last frost is in May. Nevertheless, it's not to early to start planning. Wink

PLANTING:

This month is your last chance to get your cold crops going otherwise it is going to be a bit too warm for them to thrive. You can continue planting your peas, brassicas, onions, potatoes, radishes, turnips, beets, lettuces, etc. Around your last frost date you can start transplanting and sowing your warm season crops such as TOMATOES and PEPPERS ( ), beans, corn, cucumbers, squash, melons, pumpkins, okra, carrots, eggplants, and more! If you are feeling impatient and if you have an adventurous spirit you can get your hoop houses and green houses up so you can sow and transplant your warm crops even before your frost date.

Also, DON'T FORGET ABOUT CARROT WEEK!!! Save a square for Nantes carrots and plant them on April 15th!

CLIMATE:

Most of our region is into the rain and storm season. Just today we are expecting torrential down pours, severe thunderstorms and hail all across our region. At the same time, we are also seeing wild temperature swings. It might be 80 today, but just the other day we had temperatures in the 20s. In the midst of all this, don't forget to protect your young tender plants and transplants. Remember to harden off your transplants. Keep an eye on the weather. If you've already got some plants in the ground keep your plastic sheeting and row covers at the ready. Remember that even if you are past your last frost date you can still get a late frost. Don't forget to protect our babies!

PESTS:

Now is the time to think seriously about pest prevention. Here are a few things you can do now:

  • Rodent proof your boxes with hardware cloth stapled to the bottom.
  • Put up a garden fence to deter rabbits, cats, playful young puppies, etc. Make sure to bury a little bit of the fence (especially if rabbits are an issue).
  • Use row cover to protect against early insect infestations.
  • Use bird netting to keep the birds out of your berries and the squirrels out of your boxes.
Inspect your boxes, if you have insect infestations take care of them before you plant. FarmerValerie has started a great thread in the Pest Forum called An Ounce of Insect Prevention check it out. Also, use the search function to find tips on dealing with other pest, or ask your question here. We will be glad to help.

So, what's going on in your gardens? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? If so, please do. Also, please post pictures if you can. We all LOVE pictures!

Speaking of, I might as well post up some pictures of my SFG.

Here is my little SFG in the mountains:



My garden is on a slope, so I had to terrace my beds in and level them out. It was a lot of work, but well worth the effort! I have two 4x4 beds and one 4x8.

For the spring I've only got the 4x8 planted up. Here's a pic:



Please excuse the row cover. It's pretty windy up here today, so I just pulled it back to take a quick picture.

And here is the plan for that 4x8 box. I have got to get my trellis up!



Take care and happy gardening!


Last edited by dizzygardener on 4/4/2011, 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/4/2011, 3:53 pm

Perfect post. Great job, dizzy!! Happy April.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dizzygardener on 4/4/2011, 4:58 pm

Thanks BBG! Embarassed

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  staf74 on 4/4/2011, 5:47 pm

Ditto on the post Dizzy !!!

Great advice. I'll get some pics up soon.

Go ahead and follow the advice on insect prevention folks. I've now lost nearly all my onion sets in one of the two ROWS that I planted to onion maggots.

60 plants and counting....

You see....don't go for rows...SFG all the way.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/4/2011, 6:38 pm

WAY COOL POST, I'm gonna mention it in the Lower South and link to it, half of us are pretty close to your climate.

PS. I'm not really asking for permission, just letting you know what I'm doing, no sense re-inventing the wheel.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  staf74 on 4/4/2011, 8:04 pm

Here's the update....

Broccoli bed. The biggest ones were the first planted in the NW corner of this bed so they didn't shade the later transplants. They should start heading up real soon now I think. There are two other plantings with the smaller ones a couple of weeks behind them to stagger the harvest.



Lettuce bed coming along nicely. Daily salads now for myself, the wife and boy.



Simpson Elite.....my favorite !!!



Super large spinach, as big as my hand. I'm loving these. Please don't bolt. Please don't bolt !!!!



Bok Choy......



Bees found the blueberry bells .... YEA for pollination ....



The whole garden....



That's my little update for now Very Happy

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/4/2011, 8:10 pm

Staf74

It is doing so well. I wish my lettuce was that far along, and my poor spinach is just now getting it's first true leaves.

Beautiful and thanks for sharing,

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/4/2011, 8:17 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Staf74

It is doing so well. I wish my lettuce was that far along, and my poor spinach is just now getting it's first true leaves.

Beautiful and thanks for sharing,

Mine isn't much farther along than yours, FM.

Staf, amazing garden as always. Your salad garden is making me salivate. Simpson Elite is my favorite, BY FAR! It's so slow to bolt and easy to grow with minimal maintanence. And, I just like saying....Bok CHOI!! I randomly spit it out while walking around sometimes....I'll just pop off with either Bok---CHOI.......or the recent Black-eyed Peas song......Dirty Bit. I get some strange looks from people...lol.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  Weatherkid on 4/4/2011, 8:46 pm

To Staf74 and Dizzygardener: your gardens look wonderful!!

I have a question, I planted sweet sugar snap peas in the middle of march, and I'm finding a few broken dried peas on top of the soil. What does this mean? I think some have germinated, but I'm not sure.

Thanks,

Weatherkid

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  mcddeb on 4/4/2011, 9:18 pm

wow! you two are so inspiring!

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dizzygardener on 4/4/2011, 10:07 pm

Staf,

I LOVE your garden! I wish mine were that far along, but I got a bit of a late start this year. Most things in my box are only a couple weeks old (except for the mesclun mix).

The biggest plants I have are my Siberian Tomatoes and my Romanian Sweet peppers. There are both still in the house.



I'm trying to convince myself to send my Siberian tomatoes outside, but I'm afraid they will die. I know they are resistant to a light frost etc, but I'm kind of attached to them. I'll be so sad if they keel over before they even start to bare fruit.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dizzygardener on 4/4/2011, 10:11 pm

@Weatherkid wrote:To Staf74 and Dizzygardener: your gardens look wonderful!!

I have a question, I planted sweet sugar snap peas in the middle of march, and I'm finding a few broken dried peas on top of the soil. What does this mean? I think some have germinated, but I'm not sure.

Thanks,

Weatherkid

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Are you saying that you think the pea seeds you planted are starting to work themselves to the top? If so, my guess is you didn't sow them quite deep enough and/or you're flooding them with water. If neither of those is true, then I'd say you have a little garden helper (read: pest) pushing them up.

Those are just guesses though. Doesn't anyone else have any ideas?

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  staf74 on 4/4/2011, 10:20 pm

Thanks for the nice comments y'all but let's be honest, Mel's done most of the hard work. I'm just following a book (more like my bible) and with a little elbow grease....ABRACADABRA....I'm eating veggies. Gotta love SFG..."We ALL can do that"

Dizzy, love your plan. You know those babies are about to take off. I TOTALLY forgot to do Russian Red Kale this spring..... Mad I had great success in the fall with Kale but just didn't get around to it. Kickin myself.

Those peppers and tomatoes look FLAWLESS. Great inside rearing cheers . I'd baby them and would not risk the frost. Next week is supposed to be gorgeous weather. Perfect to harden them off. High nighttime temps too, perfect for weaning from mother. I've actually had transplants by my bed once at night. Did I say I was attached to my SFG....hehe.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/5/2011, 8:31 am

staf74, you need to share that last bit of info on your post on the "You Know You're a SFG When" thread.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5647-you-know-you-re-a-square-foot-gardener-when

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  Goosegirl on 4/5/2011, 9:51 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:staf74, you need to share that last bit of info on your post on the "You Know You're a SFG When" thread.
[url=http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5647-you-know-you-re-a-square-foot-gardener-when
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5647-you-know-you-re-a-square-foot-gardener-when[/quote[/url]]

+1 Good One!

____________________________

GG   geek 






COMPOSTING:  The only time 'Garbage In' does not equal 'Garbage Out'!

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dizzygardener on 4/5/2011, 10:46 am

LMAO @ Staf!

+1 on adding that last line to YKYASFGW!

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/5/2011, 10:48 am

Dizzy-you should add that you came through a storm and went to a coffee shop in town to update us on the survival of your SFG to that thread too.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dizzygardener on 4/5/2011, 10:53 am

Ha! I didn't even think of that... Embarassed

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/5/2011, 2:39 pm

@Weatherkid wrote:To Staf74 and Dizzygardener: your gardens look wonderful!!

I have a question, I planted sweet sugar snap peas in the middle of march, and I'm finding a few broken dried peas on top of the soil. What does this mean? I think some have germinated, but I'm not sure.

Thanks,

Weatherkid

Weatherkid

I agree with BBG

I planted super sugar snap peas just Sunday, 4/3/11 and when I went out this morning, 4/5/11 several of the peas had swollen and for some reason lifted up until they were laying on top of the Mel's Mix. We had a good bit of rain Sun evening as well as most of yesterday, so the only exdplaination I can come up with is those few were either not planted deep enough (should be 1 to 2 inches) or the rain just kind of floated them up. Mine were still moist so I just pushed them back down and covered them up again.

If you planted your peas mid March, and some have not yet germinated, just push a few new seeds into those empty spots.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dizzygardener on 4/5/2011, 11:34 pm

BUMP!!!!!!!!

Would anyone else like to share their April garden update? We'd love to hear about what you have going on.

You don't have to be very far along. Even if you are still trying to get your boxes set up we'd love to hear about that you have planned for the month.

Of course, pictures are more than welcome! Wink

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  Weatherkid on 4/6/2011, 12:36 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:
@Weatherkid wrote:To Staf74 and Dizzygardener: your gardens look wonderful!!

I have a question, I planted sweet sugar snap peas in the middle of march, and I'm finding a few broken dried peas on top of the soil. What does this mean? I think some have germinated, but I'm not sure.

Thanks,

Weatherkid

Weatherkid

I agree with BBG

I planted super sugar snap peas just Sunday, 4/3/11 and when I went out this morning, 4/5/11 several of the peas had swollen and for some reason lifted up until they were laying on top of the Mel's Mix. We had a good bit of rain Sun evening as well as most of yesterday, so the only exdplaination I can come up with is those few were either not planted deep enough (should be 1 to 2 inches) or the rain just kind of floated them up. Mine were still moist so I just pushed them back down and covered them up again.

If you planted your peas mid March, and some have not yet germinated, just push a few new seeds into those empty spots.

Thanks for the advice. We did get some pretty heavy rain in the end of March. I guess I'll just plant some more peas.... even though they'll be a little late :/ . Everything else seems to be doing fine.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  dmsandlin on 4/6/2011, 4:02 pm

Had my first english pea flower yesterday. Strawberries are small, green, and full of promise. We've already had omelets with spinach, chives, and herbs from the garden. The chard is lush and beautiful but I have no clue what to do with it! Onions & carrots are coming up. Potatoes are coming up but got nipped by frost the other night. Green beans are up and have their first set of true leaves. Blueberries and blackberries are about to bloom. And the asiatic lilies are coming up as are the flower seeds I planted 2 wks ago.
I need to get out and take a few picts, then figure out how to upload them in a post.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/6/2011, 8:03 pm

Don't let that chard go to waste. In general, you can use it like spinach. I do prefer to pick the leaves when they are still small and tender.

Recently I made chicken and vegetable soup and just rinsed the leaves, sliced them thinly, and dropped them into the soup for a few minutes before serving the soup.

I have also rinsed the leaves, sliced them thinly, and sauteed them in a little oilive oil with garlic and finely chopped onions.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  mimi1 on 4/11/2011, 11:37 am

After reviewing all the photos and comments, I feel like I waited way to long to start SFG. This is my first attempt at SFG. Would yall mind sharing when you started planting what you have so that next year I can be ready and what you are going to do next so I don't mess up and miss a chance to plant something? I am in zone 7b. I have 2 4x8 boxes, one is TT. I have planted my green onions and mixed greens for salad(hasn't come up yet), sweet banana peppers, and some bush green beans. Also put some tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets with tomatoe cages. I have no clue to what I am doing. Reading everything and trial and error so far. Any tips and hints would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/11/2011, 3:54 pm

Mimi

One of the first things to do is find your average last frost date for Spring and your average first frost date for Fall. Then check this link Frost Dates

Once you have that go to ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING book, Mel's Final Summary, pages 253 thru 259 for Mel's instructions on Indoor Seed planting dates, outdoor seed and transplant dates and continuous harvesting as well as planting for a Fall harvest.

It will help you plan dates that are correct for your area. Hope this helps.

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Re: April in the Middle South garden...

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