Finally, peas to harvest! My husband prefers the shelling kind, on the right and the bush (Iona). I go for the edible-pod peas so I get the most food value from my efforts. Super Snap is still my winner, both in quantity of harvest and flavor. A quart every day makes for great snacking to keep up with the day-after-next's harvest!
Wow, all that glorious winter rain, nice and sporatic so the soil could absorb it well (with apologies to those of you who suffered from the downpours) has resulted in glorious blooms of native plants.
On the edibles front, most lettuces and bok choy, broccoli raab, spinach, tatsoi, and cilantro have bolted - put up their seed stalks - and are no longer edible. So, into the compost pile for them! And, resowing and transplanting more of the same for eating through the Spring.
Into newly-amended beds go several varieties of beans, cucumbers, squashes, peppers, and the last plantings of tomatoes – more Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, and Celebrity.
Tomatoes transplanted last weekend are now a foot tall (I buried the stems about 5" deep along with the 4" root system).
I'm plucking off any tomato blossoms until the plants are at least two feet tall, to ensure that all the plant's energies go into establishing excellent root systems.
If I'd let the blossoms set, diverting the plant's energy to fruit, I'll sacrifice later quantity.
Carrots are shaping up nicely. I’m keeping them well watered to keep them succulent so the sweetness predominates over any bitterness.
Even celery is starting to send up its bloomstalks, but I’m snapping them off immediately and keeping the plants well watered so their succulent, just like the carrots.
Chard is still doing fine. But then, in the past, plants have continued bearing nicely through the summers, so I’m expecting that again.
Same goes for the Lacilanta kale.
I’ll transplant more of the purple sprouting broccoli and Romanesco broccoflower.
Some of the artichokes have already sent up their branches of fruits. I’ll keep my eye on them to make sure they’re as large as they’ll get before the individual leaflets start veering outward – that’s the perfect time to harvest.
Don’t be concerned if the second and third tiers of artichokes are progressively smaller than the first ones. It doesn’t mean that you haven’t fertilized or watered enough. It’s just what they do.
Time to start thinning excess fruit set on trees so remaining fruit will grow larger and without interference from other too-near-by fruits. This is especially important for trees bearing fruit for the first or second time. Allow a spacing of five inches between peaches on opposite sides of the branch, and three inches between plums and apricots. Thin peaches before the fruit reaches almond-size for the greatest benefit in size and flavor of the remaining fruit.
Weed, Weed, Weed
As unexciting as weeding is, it’s critical to get them out of the garden before they start forming their seedheads. And don’t put them into the compost pile – the seedheads may indeed ripen and spread their seeds in the compost pile before the plants decay. This is the kind of recycling you DON’T want!
More April To-Dos
See Monthly Tips.