Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

Spring radishes grew the size of beets!
This is the BIG week!  It's time to plant our favorite seeds for the summer garden:  sunflowers, cantaloupe melons, honeydew melons, summer squash, zucchini, green beens, and if we are ambitious enough, the first batch of sweet corn.  Seeds of these veggies tend to rot in cool soil, and though we had six weeks of warm weather March into April, a hard freeze on the 12th would have been a major set-back if we had already planted.  Our highs have averaged only in the upper 60's F since then; but soil also absorbs radiant heat from sunshine and has sufficiently warmed enough to increase germination success.  If we don't have time to plant everything, we'll hold off on sweet corn since our hybrid variety is especially sensitive to soil temperature.
Seeds ready to plant.

We are still ahead of schedule since transplants went into the ground almost three weeks early, and they are doing great.  Bell peppers are already flowering - though we will pick these early buds off until they grow larger.  Tomato plants are ready to have their cages and stakes put on for support.  Broccoli is the big success this Spring.  We've had to water a little extra to supplement natural rainfall, and those big leaves are going to produce some whopping florets.  Maybe we'll see some 16-inchers this year.

Broccoli plants are growing large.
Spinach is still coming strong, though we're eating everything we harvest.  Peas are looking healthy; it's time to supplement with natural bone meal, which will encourage flowers and pod production.  We pulled radishes, which went a little too long in the ground.  Last year's parsley, a biennual, is sending up stalks now to bloom, and we will save these seeds to plant next Spring.  In the meantime, parsley seedlings started this year are still small but quickly gaining size.

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (