Monthly Archives: April 2019

April Gardening Update

These blow-by-blow gardening posts will be boring if you aren’t into this sort of thing. I’m posting these mostly for myself so I can look back later and see progress. I’m also going to type in some basic instructions along the way in case someone web searching a gardening topic might be helped by some tips or how-tos.

We’ve had a wet spring here in Southwestern Idaho so far with quite a bit of drenching rain. But in between rains, I was able to till up a raised bed and plant some spinach, radishes, and carrots in it. I was also able to transplant some early broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage seedlings. Finally, I decided to buy and plant one of those rhubarb roots in a box that you get at the hardware store. They’re dry as a bone but after planting and watering, I can see a lively little crimson bud starting to grow already! I want at least 2 more rhubarb plants but I’m going to buy potted plants from the seed store for those.

Raised bed of early stuff

I love spinach. This raised bed has 3 varieties: Avon, Space, and Bloomingsdale. I plant mass quantities because any extra we don’t use for salads can be steamed and frozen. Since spinach really cooks down, it doesn’t hurt to have bags and bags of it. And we use that frozen spinach a lot for lasagna and other dishes. I also planted 3 varieties of radishes: Early Scarlet, Pink Beauty, and a random gift-packet one called Crunchy King. It’s time to succession-plant a few more of those already, but we don’t eat a ton of radish, so I’m going easy there. Finally, for carrots I planted Nantes Coreless and another one called Tendersweet. Berlin Seeds says Tendersweet is their No. 1 seller. We’ve never tried it. I’m saving my Berlin variety for a fall planting as I am told they are good keepers. Carrots are something I will succession-plant all season in these raised beds. We love them and they keep well. Storing them in a refrigerator crisper they will last 6 months. Storing them in a large cooler full of peat moss in the garage they will last all winter and beyond.

Early Broccoli
Lettuce (L) and cabbage (R) Transplants
More lettuce

In between rain showers, I was able to set out the broccoli, lettuce and cabbage transplants you see above. With wind after rain, it’s time to cultivate already and break up that upper wind-dried crust of soil.

I planted a few varieties of lettuce: buttercrunch, romaine, ithaca (head), igloo (head), and a leaf lettuce called Green Ice. The broccoli is always Coronado Crown Hybrid. I tried a local variety and it didn’t perform as well. The cabbage is Copenhagen Early Market but I’ll be trying some Late Flat Dutch later for Fall as well. Like Spinach, we can always find something to do with any extra cabbage such as fresh fermented and canned sauerkraut or kim chi.

Store bought rhubarb root

The little dry rhubarb root-in-a-box that I bought at the hardware store is showing signs of life already after only being planted a few days ago.

Peppers

Its time to transplant these pepper seedlings. Don’t ask me where I am going to find room for 72 pepper plants under lights, but that’s how many there will be. I planted Ace Bell, Yellow Belle II, Anaheim, Carmen, Garden Salsa, Poblano, Inferno, JalapeƱo, Serrano, Super Chili, and Sweet Banana. All of them will do well in the hot summer here.

More seedlings under lights

I have more broccoli, more onions, and some eggplant (just started) under lights yet.

Red Onions

This year I have two varieties of Red Onions started: Redwing, and Red Wethersfield.

These sweet onions and leeks are ready to transplant out this weekend.