April is always one of the busiest times in the spring garden season. If perennials didn’t go in during March, they will definitely need to be planted during April.
Getting the earliest crops of the vegetable patch planted, whatever new trees are to be planted, garden cleanup of beds, sowing half hardy seeds in situ, and many more jobs get crammed into my April, between the normal showers and the less normal snow squalls or freezing temperature drops.
It is kind of a crazy time for a gardener.
This year we had some very cold weather with bits of snow and hard freezes, further north you go, the more snow. For me, it might have been sad to see the frost blasted magnolia, but I was grateful for an otherwise early spring that allowed the early bulbs, daffodils, and many of the shrubs their full display of color.
The cold and wet has held up my spring planting, however.
The good news for my garden prep is that my husband has made me the new raised bed boxes he promised! One is a replacement for the old barn wood box that finally disintegrated and the other is new, both made of cedar.
I like raised beds because they warm up and dry out more quickly in spring.
Now that they are built… we just need them to be installed in the garden!
It is also a good time for dividing perennials since they will have time to root and start to get established before the heat of the summer kicks in. I found a source for a plant that I found out later is short lived. I want more of it.
Now I know to get divisions going before the plant looks to be running out. (That is the answer to keeping short lived perennials in your garden).
Blue Mist Flower (Conoclinium coelestinum)
The Blue Mist flower in my garden was originally given me by my father many years ago (he has passed on since then). It persisted for a number of years, but was shaded by a large maple which is not an ideal situation. It is also at its northern edge of the hardiness requirements.
I loved that it was one of those fairly rare plants that bloom late in summer. More rare that it was a soft blue color. Which created my desire to find a source for plants, so that I might try again to create a spot for it.
If you also have certain perennials to add for the first time, or renew acquaintance with, this month is a good window. May is possible, but might require more cosseting through the summer, especially if we have lots of heat or drought.
Getting Seeds Sown
I’ve given one of my friends a garden plot in my large vegetable garden space. She already has sown her beets, lettuce, and peas.
I haven’t sown anything and was just cleaning up my beds when the rain, snow, and hard frosts hit. That will teach me! Now I’m waiting for the ground to dry out a little again…
Most half hardy types of flowers and early vegetables are fine with some frosts if sown early. Peas do especially well under those circumstances, but radishes and lettuce are two early crops that seems okay with the cold.
I try not to pressure myself so much when it comes to gardening. I used to get very overworked in the spring, but not am almost laissez faire: what will be, will be. I decided I wanted to enjoy the process more.
Everyone has their priorities and goals, and for me a garden is a source of connecting, not so much a competition or a production.
How are you faring this season so far?