Veggie Garden Update: April

by Tammy Taylor

 

Well spring has finally sprung!!  I’ve always heard in our area of NE Texas (planting zone 7b) that you don’t dare plant until after Easter because a rogue frost can still swing by & kill your plants.  Oh my goodness it was so hard for me to wait!  So to pacify my need to garden I planted up my Indoor Greenhouse in February and as I watched those tiny seedlings sprout I just got more excited.  Then I decided this year I wanted to try something different – I wanted to Deep Mulch the entire garden surface to reduce the maintenance and hopefully quit fighting that dang Bermuda grass in my raised beds all year.  So I had RancherMan drop a 1,000-lb round bale of winter grass into my garden area & I started spreading it thickly over the entire surface.  When the garden was prepped I sat back & waited (im)patiently for Easter.  Then the big day arrived, FINALLY I was able to plant – woo-hoo!  Here is my April veggie garden update:

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

It had been a long hard winter and as it approached planting day it was dreary, cloudy & rainy for weeks, but even then I was planning from inside.  I have a cheater um, easy way to plan what I’m going to plant and where using a Garden-Planning Spreadsheet.  Using this information I can see what I planted last year for proper rotation, read companion planting info for veggies I typically plant and see what crops did well & which ones performed poorly in prior years.  So I carefully planned out my raised-bed veggie garden layout.  A few days before I was ready to plant I brought out the tender seedlings from my indoor greenhouse and started hardening them off to prepare them for their life outside.  I always have such a hard time with this step – seedlings often die immediately after being planted!  C’mon, someone please tell me what I’m doing wrong.  Do I need to sing to them?  Tell them funny stories?  Do a little tap dance?

One plant I was able to plunk right down into the garden was my jalapeno.  You see, back in 2013 several wonderful volunteers came & planted my garden for me as I was going through medical issues – what a joy that gift of love was!  One of the plants they planted that year was a jalapeno seedling but surgeries & doctors appointments as well as yet another drought that year kept that plant from producing until fall.  Just as it began producing a killing frost was predicted so RancherMan & I dug it up & overwintered it in our garage, replanting it in the garden last spring.  It produced well last year but when fall arrived we wondered if we could overwinter this big beast again and plant it for a THIRD time this spring.  But the mammoth plant went into shock as soon as we dug it up last fall & before long it was just bare sticks & crunchy curled leaves.  I gave up the ghost on it back in December, waiting for nicer weather to haul the huge tub outside & dump the soil back in the garden. But then last month I saw this:

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

NO WAY!!  This plant was still alive!  So RancherMan & I brought it out to the garden and plunked it into a raised bed.  It’s really beginning to flourish,  looks like we’re gonna get three years out of that one tiny seedling!

Other than my amazing jalapeno plant, my concord grapevine is doing well.  These grapes are amazingly flavorful but they’re not seedless. Last year was the first season it gave me a tiny crop.  I really need to research & find out how to process seeded grapes, I’d love to put these delicious orbs to use!

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

And I transferred a blackberry vine to my garden area a couple of years ago.  I tie the vines along my fence so they don’t touch the ground, otherwise they’d go crazy and take over.   Last year it gave me a marginal harvest, although right before the berries were ready to pick a nasty berry-stealer marauded my garden and stole most of them.  Grrrrr…  It’s blooming up nicely now though & I’ll be sure to keep an eye on it in a few weeks for those juicy berries.

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

Of course I planted garlic & onion several weeks ago, they’re chugging along just great.  Especially nice since we eat lots of onions & garlic, it’s the healthy way to jazz up the taste of food.

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

Other than that there’s not too much to show yet – I’ve planted lots of tender seedlings & I’m hoping they don’t succumb to my clumsy attempts at hardening off.  I’ve planted heirloom tomatoes, spaghetti squash, summer squash, zucchini, bell peppers, watermelon, pickling cucumbers, luffa, cantaloup, green beans, carrots, spinach, sage, oregano & thyme.  Most of my transplanted seedlings are looking kinda tough (again, someone PLEASE tell me what I’m doing wrong!!)  There is one ray of hope, I apparently can’t kill my summer squash seedling & it seems to be giving it a run. (chants softly: go, Go, GO!!)

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

And winning the award for the most fun crop in the garden this year:  Peanuts (applause from crowd…)  For the very first time ever I’ve planted peanuts this year.  I’ve read up on this crop’s planting & care.  I’m reading that you just crack the peanut shells open being careful not to remove the red papery coating of the peanuts themselves and those are what you plant in the ground.  I got these planting peanuts at a feed store in a nearby town, I can’t wait to see how they do!

I'm deep mulching in the veggie garden - I waited (im)patiently for Easter so I could finally plant. Here is my April veggie garden update! #TaylorMadeRanch

So there ya go, a quick tour of my April veggie garden.  Well, as much of a tour as I can do this early in the game anyway.  How’s your garden growing – are you able to plant yet?  What will be the star of the show in YOUR garden??

~TMR~

It's Easy To Subscribe To #TaylorMadeRanch Blog just click the email icon!  http://taylormadehomestead.com/

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

17 thoughts on “Veggie Garden Update: April

  1. lisa M

    Everything is looking great! Good luck with your berries this year. Last year something got my wild black raspberries too! It was so disappointing because it was the first year I actually took care of them and they were twice the size of previous years…then *poof* gone. So sad. Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday! I hope you’ll join us again this week! ~Lisa

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      *poof* gone is the WORST, Lisa. Hoping for a bumper crop for you this year to make up for it. ~TMR~

      Reply
  2. Terri Presser

    Great post and update. Wow peanuts, that sounds fascinating. We always find after transplanting seedlings that they look a little “sad” for a period and then they pick up as the roots establish themselves. We are at the end of our growing season and just picking a few tomatoes still, but our aquaponics is just kicking off. Hope you vegie patch goes well and produces heaps. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I was hoping the seedlings would pep up too Terri, but this spring has been abnormally wet for us with no sunshine for days and even weeks on end. I’m afraid to peek for fear of what I might find. I’m hoping the rain will stop today and I’ll be able to survey the damage. ~TMR~

      Reply
  3. Christina

    Your garden looks great! I am the worst at transplanting as I somehow manage to kill most of the plants. I am so envious of your early planting time though! I did a post on my bog here about our garden- check it out. http://www.fromonemommatoanother2.blogspot.ca/2015/03/our-2015-garden-update-1-march.html

    Reply
  4. Crystal

    I am starting a new garden this year and I really appreciate being able to see how others are coming along, thank you for sharing! I am glad I saw this linked up at Thrifty Thursday!

    Reply
  5. Erin Blegen

    We’re not ready for planting outdoors here in Minnesota, so it’s refreshing to see others getting to garden! I love your big jalpeno- how awesome is that! Best of luck to you with the garden this year 🙂 Erin http://www.yellowbirchhobbyfarm.com

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I will not complain about the rain Erin, but dang it’s been wet & cloudy so long that the garden’s pretty dormant. I’m looking forward to seeing it pop soon! ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Cyndi

    Your garden is doing so well and I didn’t know that a jalapeno plant could over winter. That’s fabulous and I might have to give it a try. The methods you are using are great for the soil. On my blog this month we’ve been celebrating the year of the soil and finding ways to preserve it. Mulching is one of the top ways to do so as is planting legumes (peanuts). So not only are you doing a great job and growing food, you’re helping the soil in the process. Fabulous! Thank for sharing your update!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve never planted peanuts before Cyndi, but I figured even if they don’t make me a crop, they’re good for the soil so I really have nothing to lose. I’m really, really hoping they do give me a crop though! ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Cecily

    I didn’t see any details on how long you are hardening off for but in my zone 7b garden (how crazy is it that my zone is the same as yours up here in western Washington) I harden off for at least a week. I place my seedlings out for an hour on the first day, two on the second….etc. I also reduce the amount of water they get, only watering when they start to wilt slightly. Hope this helps.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I use about the same hardening-off time Cecily but I’ve not adjusted the water. Maybe that’s the secret? Thanks so much for your tips! ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. ColleenB.

    Looks like everything is coming along pretty good. Hope you didn’t get the winds the other evening like we received. Had some shingles blow off the house and storage sheds and debris blew all over the place so did have a little clean up the next day

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      OMGoodness Colleen, stay safe girlie! Those storms missed us but our opportunity hits tomorrow, you know, when we HAVE to be out in it performing A.I. on our cattle two separate times tomorrow! Praying for no lightening since we’ll be working with metal chutes, alleys and pens. (ssssshudder!) ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. LindaG

    Your transplants are just getting used to all the room. Not that I’m an expert, but mine did the same thing. Most of them recovered. Plant a couple more than you think you’ll need, or plant a few extra in your greenhouse just in case. With all your hard work, I’m sure you’ll be fine. God bless.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Some of the transplants just looked sad and are starting to very slowly recover, some have kinda disappeared. I planted a couple of seeds next to some of the transplants that I didn’t think would make it, so I’ll either have a plant started or if both of them make a run for it I’ll thin, leaving the strongest plant. (smh) Wish I knew the secret! ~TMR~

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Please enter the Biggest Number