Enough With The April Showers

Here’s a picture of my garden beds that I took this afternoon.  Had I taken it early in the morning there would have been a light layer of snow over the whole area.  April has been most cruel, so far.  Cold and rain are the norm and it is not expected to be any nicer in the week ahead, in fact it will probably be worse.

In most years I could be planting already.  April 15th is the recommended date in this area for seeding peas, a lot of root crops, salad greens, potatoes, and more.  Not that I’m ever on time, but at least this year I can blame it on the weather.  The good thing is that if you are late, it really doesn’t matter.  To a point, that is.  The vegetables do need enough time in the ground to develop mature fruit, but I’ve often planted way beyond the recommended date limit and mostly gotten away with it.

We are looking north from the southwest corner of the garden.  These south beds contain 18 relatively equal sized beds, each about 21 feet long, 3 feet across the tops and about 5 feet 3 inches from the center of one long path to center of the next.  The bed right in front is rhubarb, which is just sprouting out and beyond that in the same bed, raspberries, which I cleaned out and trimmed back a couple weeks ago, when it was actually a lot warmer.

I’m having to do a lot more weeding this spring because I was negligent last fall in not totally covering the beds with leaves raked up from the yard.  It was a big mistake in not doing the leaf cover.  I’ve been very good about bringing in leaves for the last six years, but last fall bad weather and a bad work schedule found me with snow on the ground before I had completed my leaf harvest.  The leaf cover significantly reduces spring weed emergence and the added organic matter from the leaves is a huge plus, too.  I promise to be more diligent next fall, as I have added a lot of unnecessary work because of the lack of leaves.

I do have a plan for planting and next to the rhubarb will go the peas, next to that a bed of potatoes, next to that a new bed of strawberries with starts gleaned from an almost exhausted old bed just north of where Boss Cat is standing.  It’s all planned out.  Now I just have to do it.

The golden bed of straw is where I have my garlic planted.  The flags of the new plants are  already poking through.  As it gets warmer, I’ll pull back the straw and plant greens in between the garlic rows and on the sides of the bed.

Beyond a strip of grass are the north beds.  That’s where I have my asparagus.  The first spears are just now emerging.  To the right are my compost piles, blue compost barrels, and my new cold frame.  I’ve added a couple new smaller beds in front of the compost piles and they are ready to plant.  All I need now is some decent weather.

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