Less Noise, More Green: My April Garden Chore List

Friday, April 10, 2015

My April Garden Chore List


April garden clean up
This is what was lurking under the snow.
The snow in my part of Rhode Island is gone. What a truly horrendous winter we just experienced. Mother Nature is amazing, though. Shoots are coming up and buds are forming, as if to say, "What winter?" The thick blanket of snow was actually a good thing for the perennials and an initial survey of the garden has revealed very few casualties. It is time to look forward and get on with this gardening thing!

Here are my zone 6b gardening plans for the rest of April:


April Garden Clean Up

April Garden Clean Up
Before....


April Garden Clean Up
.....after! Dead annuals pulled, perennials cut back, leaves removed and reseeded annuals weeded.

Looking in my journal, I am about a week behind where I was last year in terms of bed prep and outdoor seed planting, which is not too bad!

Signs of spring new growth on Rudbeckia
The snow helped to keep the rudbeckia alive, which is only supposed to be an annual in zone 6.

The weather has cooperated for the most part this week and I was able to get a lot of clean up and pruning done in my front edible landscape.

Aged horse manure on vegetable beds
Aged horse manure waiting to be turned in.
I was also able to get aged manure spread on my back vegetable beds, thanks to my friend Roda and her never ending pile of mature horse poo, which she generously shares with me each year. You can read about using manure on your beds, HERE.


Indoor Seed Starting

Starting indoors under grow lights this month are sorrel, blue fescue grass (for my hell strip), marigolds, African daisies, zinnias, cauliflower, calendula and tomatoes ( yellow pear and Roma) on a heat mat.

Alpine strawberry seedlings
Alpine strawberry seedlings- so cute!
Outdoor Seed Starting

Peas are planted and green onions, radishes, cress, carrots, beets, arugula, leaf and head lettuce, Swiss chard, sweet peas and potatoes will all be in the ground by the end of the month. I'll also be transplanting out broccoli, kale and cabbage.

Black Lace Elderberry bushes pruned back.
Black Lace Elderberry bushes pruned back to promote new bushy growth.

Black Lace Elderberry bushes pruned back to promote growth.
New shoots at the soil line will provide a more bushy silhouette.


Maintenance

I'll be adding compost to the front garden beds as well as fertilizing and mulching the rhododendrons and other perennials. The blueberries and lingonberries will need acidic mulch such as pine needles. I'll also be digging up the two hell strips I have in front of my house and adding compost in preparation for planting next month.

Victoria Rhubarb

Now that I can reach my compost bin, it is time to see what's going on in there and pull out and use any useable material. Lastly, I need to assess the condition of my containers and trellises.

Propagating lavender and rosemary
Propagating lavender and rosemary.
Bees
My bees arrive in May so I have to paint the outside of the hive in preparation for their arrival.

Growing sweet potato slips
Growing sweet potato slips - you can see the new roots starting to grow!


Worms

Now the weather has warmed up, I'm seeing more activity in the worm bin and have added a second tray. I'm hoping to be able to start harvesting worm compost very soon.

Water Cress
I'm growing water cress in a water bath. Once the chance of frost is over, I'll move the cress in it's bath outside on my deck.

How about you, has spring arrived where you are? Are you planting yet?

It feels good to be outside and getting dirty, doesn't it!

Sue

1 comment:

  1. Hurray for sunshine! Yes, I am in the garden today. Just popped in for a quick cup of coffee, then back to the dirt!

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