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Gardening in April

In Southern Ontario we have had a very warm spring this year.  No snow in Toronto in March (though a bit in April) and temperatures over 20°C on more than a couple days.  This is what May is meant to feel like–in good years.  Last year we had accumulated snow on the ground in the second week of April and I wrote a useful (I think) post discussing the concept of degree growing days.

Garden dug, compost spread, and surface raked: A blank garden canvas

From a vegetable gardening perspective the warm weather has caused a strong desire to start planting.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac site puts the average last frost date for Barrie–the city closest to our garden at the cottage–at May 26.  In my three years of vegetable gardening I have not experienced a frost this late and I’m willing to gamble that all the heat and sunshine we have has warmed the water and soil enough to protect hardier seedlings from any freak May frosts.

Only slightly less blank canvas

Team legume features three players this year.  I’m growing broad beans (Witkiem) and pole beans (Conio) for the first time.  Peas are returning for the third year–last year’s saved peas germinated and sprouted but disappeared after being consumed by a pest or disease.

After the surprising success of carrots in the last year’s tomato bed I have sown more of these seeds. Nelson orange carrots are in the ground and Purple Haze will soon follow.

Markers in the "everything else" bed

The “everything else” bed has four types of beets (Detroit Dark Red, Touchstone Gold, Detroit Gold, and Chiogga Guardsmark), onions (Mini Purple), and swiss chard (Rainbow Lights).  I’ve left some room in this bed for arugula and maybe some spinach or other leafy green.  The outside three edges of this bed will have marigolds to control pests and create some material.

One of the leading tomato seedlings

After a very poor rate of germination in the first round of tomato seeding–though three seedlings (two Black Krim and one Red Currant) did grow big enough to need potting-up–I’ve had much better success starting another round in a non-soil potting mix.  Seems this is one of those steps where all-natural all-organic can be very difficult to manage.

Brussels Sprouts (Jade), zucchini (mixed), pumpkims (Jamboree hybrid), and cucumbers (Mathilde) are still to be started inside.  I’m getting mixed messages on how well cucumbers tolerate the move from a four-inch pot to the garden and would appreciate any input in the comments section.

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Posted in: Seed Starting, Weather.

One Comment

  1. Kat says:

    Please plant taters so Abbey and I can dig them up.

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