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Monday, April 27, 2015

Garden Update: April


Things are coming along very nicely in our garden and the kids are so excited.. We went out this weekend to put cages around our tomatoes and to everyone's surprise, we have several plants starting to actually produce.

The first thing we noticed was that there are a number of tomatoes starting on each of our tomato plants. We currently have three varieties of tomato plants in our garden: 1 Big Boy, 1 Solar Fire, and 2 Purple Cherokees. We've left room to add 4 more plants and have seedlings still indoors for Pink Accordians, Carbon and more Purple Cherokees. We have not moved these particular seedings out to ground just yet because of the high winds we experience - the last few days we've been having 70 mile per hour gusts so we wanted to allow the stems on our plants to get stronger.   Of the 4 tomato plants currently in the ground, all but the Solar Fire is producing.  The kids really enjoyed looking at how the fruit looks different between the two different varieties currently growing tomatoes. The Purple Cherokee is more of a striped green where the Big Boy is just a solid green fruit at this point.  The Big Boy is also much more round in shape then the PC which is a big flatter.

Big Boy Variety
Purple Cherokee


The next thing the kids got excited about is that we're producing strawberries.. We've been watching the plants making flowers over the last week and now we are beginning to see the development of the fruit in the center of the buds.  


Our Onions are almost ready for harvest.. We're noticing that the tips are starting to turn brown and now we're just waiting for the greens to start falling over..


 We weren't sure how well the Kohlrabi was going to grow as we found out that we planted it at the absolute wrong time, but it is looking pretty amazing.. 


Garrett is super excited about the carrots.. They should be ready for harvesting sometime in the middle of next month..   I need to get some jars ready so that I can clean and can them for storage once they are ready :)

Our jalapeno plant has some VERY small peppers starting to grow. 


Our Loose leaf lettus is just about ready and looks absolutely amazing.. I think sometime this week we might go ahead and harvest some of it to try in a salad..  I've already started looking into buying some butter lettuce for our fall harvests. 


Our crisp head lettuce is looking equally as nice..   And one of our ladybugs decided to make an appearance while I was taking pictures.. lol


Our Brussels Sprouts are finally starting to make the stalk that will start lifting them off the ground and hopefully will start making some sprouts (these were another "mistake" we made as these were planted way too early). 

And my lone artichoke plant is doing great as well.. LOL


And here's our second round of radishes which are just about ready for harvest.. We will put another round in the ground once these are up (this particular type of radishes take about 22 days from seed to harvest). 


Things are also advancing inside the house with the Aerogarden as well as all the seeds that were started indoors in the hotbox.    When I first started the tomato seedlings, I honestly did not expect any of them to grow.  Tomato seeds are so tiny and fragile and I have typically don't have much luck with growing indoors.. But all have done really well and we have had to thin out our seedlings twice now as well as transplant to much bigger pots.. We're down to 2-4 seedings per pot and will most likely be thinning them out again in the next week or so.

Purple Cherokee


Purple Cherokees
Carbon seedlings

Seedlings in the hotbox
Okra seedlings in the hotbox

I have already had to harvest and thin out the Aerogarden on numerous occasions and it just keeps growing like crazy.  Last night we had tacos and used handfuls of cilantro that today I think it all grew back. LOL    We have potted the coleus that we had growing and now have two new coleus pods staring in the back.


Potted Coleus





The indoor tomatoes are in overload.. The aerogarden plant has grown much bigger and has a lot more tomatoes on it then the sunny window version which really hasn't changed since the last posting.   However, this plant is going crazy nuts with growth..  This is a view from the back of the aerogarden. The plant actually wrapped around the back edge of the unit and started growing downward. 


And here's a look at my counter in its current state.. LOL  Eventually I hope to transplant most of these plants outdoors into planters or into our garden itself. 


My husband and I have been talking over the last few days about actually renting a tiller and explanding the garden for the fall season.  The ground here is so hard and rocky that it just seems like a smarter move then trying to break it up ourselves..  Also, sometime next month, we will be planting some pumpkins which we hope will be ready by Halloween :)

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