April 21, 2017

We are now halfway through April and Spring is in full swing. Things are coming to life and you can definitely tell the season is here to stay. Being that I am in Zone 5b however, it isn’t uncommon to get a late snowfall in May, so not everything can be planted such as tomatoes and peppers.

Here is a little incite into what has started to come up and what I’ve planted in the garden so far.

Raspberries were one of the first plants to start showing life. All twelve plants have come back from last year and in my eyes, they look incredibly healthy. One row has a variety called Caroline, and the other is called Purdue. I will admit that I had one plant fail last year, so there is a single variety in the way back called Jewel. These plants are ever-bearing, meaning that they will fruit in the late spring/early summer on the lower 2/3 of the canes from last season, and will produce a second crop on the top half of the brand new canes that came up this year. Two crops in on season… Yes! That is as long as I prune them correctly. The deer were kind enough this winter to help with that a bit and chewed off the tops of the existing canes. All I had to do was clean them up slightly. The new fence should hopefully prevent this next year.

Another early grower happens to be my bed of strawberries. These looked pretty green most of the year to be honest. Very few leaves decided to turn brown and die. My mulch of leaves unfortunately blew away and the bed is somewhat plagued by grasses and dandelions, but the plants look good nonetheless. They probably should be in nice orderly rows. As you can see they are sort of all over the place. As long as they are in the 6’x8′ bed, I don’t think I will fight with it and see what happens.

Asparagus is coming up quick and large this year. I’ve already had a spear in an omelet (I just couldn’t wait). This is actually the first year that I can eat on my original three plants. The other six plants are only a year old and will need to be passed on to build strength. I expect to get a decent amount from the plants currently producing, but not enough to “live on” if I were forced to eat out of the garden only. Three different varieties, Jersey Knight, Purple Passion, and Martha Washington.


Small mention of the black berries and black raspberries. Like the Raspberries, these are starting to leaf out as well, but not nearly as heavy at this point.

What I have planted from seed directly in the garden to date:

– Arugula (left photo)
– Mizuna (left photo)
– Yukon Potatoes
– Lettuce
– Pok Choy Hong Tae
– Radicchio Rossa di Verona Dragon
– Radish French Breakfast (right photo)
– Parsnip Hollow Crown
– Cosmic Purple Carrots
– Pea Little Marvel Garden
– Pea Oregon Sugar Snap


I will go into details on the plants that I started from seed indoors and how they are doing in the next update when they get planted out in the garden. I will be starting their hardening period this week.

As far as the herb garden goes, I’m admittedly a little behind. The chives came up super early and I have been using them extensively for the last few weeks. This is their second year and I’m hoping to keep them returning for years to come.

The sage did not come to the same fate however. I’m not sure what is going on with this plant. I decided to cut it back to remove a bunch of the dead foliage, and it seems that there are some parts of the plant that are looking to return. My thought is that my dog may have decided to “mark his territory” on this plant a few dozen times over the winter without me knowing and instead killed the plant. I have since dealt with the dog getting in, but I’m not sure the plant is going to make a full recovery or not. More plants will be planted after I get the new compost down.

Cherry trees are looking like they are ready to pop. Maybe I’ll be able to get more than six cherries from the birds this year!

The two apple trees are a little worse for wear. It looks as if my Wolf River has acquired Canker Rot and it is spreading. I unknowingly missed this and may have accidentally used the pruners on my Honeycrisp as well. I’m hoping that this does not spread. If both of these trees fail to make it through the year, or if their symptoms worsen, I will remove them so as not to continue to spread the disease.

As you can see there is lots going on! The new fence is nearly complete. I will talk about this in another post.

Until next time!

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About the Author

Geoff has been growing plants and vegetables consistently for the last 6 years and actively experiments with, and writes about, all aspects of gardening.

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