April Showers …

April showered rain, snow, sleet, frost, and a little bit of sunshine onto my garden. Despite the cold, the strawberry plants and apricot trees are trying on a few tentative blooms.

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Strawberry

Asparagus emerged during a warm week in March, only to hesitate a few inches above the ground. I’m keeping a careful eye on it, but I’m starting to wonder whether watched asparagus never grows?

The peas, arugula, spinach, and radishes that I planted this spring are up and growing, while the kale and spinach that survived the winter underneath a layer of straw are stretching out new leaves.

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Kale

The garlic also spent the winter under straw, and it is adding welcome green to a mostly-brown garden. Our basement is still stocked with garlic from last summer, which will likely last until this July’s harvest.

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Garlic

The hoop house is transitioning to summer plants. I’ve harvested all the kale, arugula, and bok choy that spent the winter tucked under row covers inside the hoop house. The spinach thinks it’s warm enough to send up flower stalks, and I’m harvesting whole plants as fast as we can eat them.

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Spinach ‘bolting’, or sending up flower stalks

An experiment with carrots has been worthwhile: the carrots I planted in the hoop house in November will be ready to eat soon, and samples suggest that they didn’t develop the tough, woody texture of older carrots allowed to overwinter and start to grow again in the spring.1492829722941.jpg

Six of the windowsill tomatoes are adjusting to life in the hoop house, surrounded by insulating water walls. The five remaining tomato plants are outgrowing their pots; I’ve covered their designated soil with clear plastic to warm it up and I’ll transplant those tomatoes and their water walls soon.

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Tomatoes in water walls

Even the hoop house weeds are ahead of the rest of the garden: the kids delighted in finding the first dandelion seed-heads to play with today.

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Dandelion and parsley in the hoop house

While I appreciate the precipitation, the garden could use a bit more sun in May, or at least a little less snow…

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Slate Mountain in April

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