Tilling, Fertilizing, Transplanting and Planting – April Garden Update

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on April 16, 2011

Tilling

See those roots?!  Those are the reason that my hamstring muscles were sore from Monday through Thursday.  Those were the reason I was walking a little slower than usual on Tuesday. Those were the reason I could barely get through my 4 mile run on Friday morning…my legs still felt like lead!

As I started tilling the garden on Sunday, I quickly realized that I was in for it.  I pulled up quite a few “root systems” and they were tough…I ended up asking Steve to get some scissors to cut out some of them!  I’m glad to have pulled them out, as the soil is now nice and loose…ready for fertilizing!

I plan to till the other 4×4 planter this weekend, weather permitting.  And I plan to spend the rest of next week walking funny again!

Fertilizing

I have a new fertilizing plan this year!  I’m following Mel’s advice in his book Square Foot Gardening. I’m going to apply a strong fertilizer at the start of the season, and then apply a basic balanced fertilizer once a month throughout the summer. I’m excited about this plan and hope that it helps my veggies grow, grow, grow!

(No, I don’t have a compost. Yet. I hope to start one soon…it’s next on my “garden project” list!)

Planting

I have 3 kale plants (the funny spiky leaves) in the garden, along with 3 cabbage plants (forefront of the picture). I also planted some Buttercrisp lettuce, Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce, and spinach seeds. The seeds should be sprouting middle of next week and I hope that the warm weather doesn’t set in too quickly and kill them (like it did last year!).

And here we have the Brussels sprouts plants. I got 3. Because I am a “mean” mom and make my kids eat Brussels sprouts! I’ve never grown Brussels sprouts before, but I love how they grow and I’m hoping they turn out in the garden!

I also planted 3 new pollinator plants for my “squash garden,” which is in a small in ground patch next to our patio.  I planted yellow squash and zucchini seeds as well.

Square Foot Gardening

I follow the Square Foot Gardening method and have devoured the book from cover to cover a number of times!  The reason I chose SFG is because I have very limited sun space in my backyard and have had to build 2 planters that sit out our back patio.  We have 48 trees on about a half acre lot, so there any “in ground” space on our property that gets full sun.  So planters on the patio it is!

Gardening Expenses for 2011

  • Bonemeal ~$10
  • Bloodmeal ~$10
  • Veggie plants and herbs ~$35 (thus far, I still need to get tomatoes)
  • Critter Ridder ~$10
  • 3 Pollinator Plants – $12

So how is your garden shaping up?!  Have you planted any cold weather veggies…or any and all veggies for those southern friends?!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Christie April 16, 2011 at 11:28 am

Been eating the first of my tomatoes down here in south Texas this week! Plenty of squash, too, and the cucumbers are starting to come on. Peppers are coming along much better than last year, so I’m excited about that. I even have my first baby watermelon on a trellis! I follow Mel’s newer book, All New Square Foot Gardening, so no fertilizer for me, just compost.

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Candi April 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm

We planted spinach, Swiss chard, lettuces and carrots a few weeks ago. They are coming up nicely. We’ll plant the rest of our veggies next Friday. My great-grandaddy always said to plant after Good Friday. You know old people know everything…

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Tiffany (As For My House) April 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I’ve been following you for a while, but didn’t realize we were doing the same gardening strategy!

This is my first year growing food, and we’re using Square Foot Gardening, as well. You can see what where’s up to on our blog: http://www.as-for-my-house.com/category/homesteading/gardening/

…and I’ll be excited to watch your progress, too! :)

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Jessica April 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm

What “critter ridder” do you use?

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Lucy Chapman April 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Good luck! It sounds like you are off to a great start! Word of warning – it may be a little early for the squashes. They like the soil to be nice and warm. It’s still getting cold at night. Rule of thumb for those is direct seeding those after the frost – Mid May here (generally Mothers Day or a little later for the warm season crops). And wait for those tomatoes too – they like it warm as well.

We’ve got the garden tilled – more than last year. Much more. Spinach, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, beets, and peas in. Sweet peas (flowers), pansies, larkspur, and snapdragons (seeds for the dragons) in. It’s been hard getting things in due to rain. Still need to get the kale, collards, and chard in. The garlic is up and growing. So are some of the herbs – parsley, chives, sage. Lots of seeds started and thriving. Tons of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant and assorted flowers. Let me know if you want some organically grown pepper (sweet and hot) or heirloom tomato plants. We’re selling at a farmers market this year.

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Michelle April 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm

You inspired me to plant a garden this year! I’m using the new SFG method, so no fertilizer needed.

I’m in SE Texas, so everything has been in the ground since the beginning of March. My tomato plants have lots of green tomatoes, and my daughter has already eaten a few strawberries. I built a 2x2x2 potato box, and the plants are already growing higher than the box (the box is completely full of compost now.) I did plant some cold weather veggies – lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower. I don’t know if they’ll produce anything for us to eat before it gets too hot for them, but this first year of gardening is mainly an experiment anyway.

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Barbara B. April 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm

No way we are planting anything. My Husband tilled garden and it rained 3 or 4 times since and we had a storm come through last night. Ours is soaked and more rain all week to come.
So we will have to wait and it’s 44 today and windy.
I’ll be glad when we can start a garden,out neighbors have spring veg.coming in ,like lettuce,radishes and green onions.
Glad all of you are doing so good and I can’t wait for first fresh tomato !

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Irene D. April 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Hi, I’m starting to get the gardening itch too! What kind of pollinator plants do you use. Last year I planted sunflowers in pots and they grew. Maybe this year they will get planted in the ground. I wanted to harvest the seeds, but they were too small in the pots.

This is my 3rd year following your gardening. You really do inspire all of us.

Irene

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Becky L. April 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Still a bit early to be planting in Oregon yet. But am thinking about what I’m gonna do this year. Hopefully hubby can figure out a different way for top to come off instead of how we did it last year. Will do some more thinking on that. Hope you are less achy now. Hugs!

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LisaE April 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Ugh….Brussel Sprouts, eh.

It is too cold here yet for a garden but planning to start garden herb containers soon.

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Cheryl M April 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Not sure if you want to spend money or DIY But. Sam’s Club has a tumbler composter for I think around $75. I checked online & it says $99–but I know I just saw an ad @ the IL’s house & I cringed when I saw how cheap it is. We need to move again this year, so no garden for me & I need to tear down the 3 SFG I set up last yr & all 3 have Mel’s mix in them ): otherwise I would jump at that price.

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Gail Becker April 17, 2011 at 4:06 am

I live in PA, so nothing planted yet. This year bought raised gardens to grow my veggies & yes flowers in. I’m tired of feeding the rabbits & other critters! With the raised gardens I’ll have a fence on them, hopefully to let my stuff grow & the rabbits go somewhere else to eat,LOL! I do a compost throughout the year & have dispursed what I had in my gardens. My boys will have their own garden,too! Hopefully the weather will be nice & then I can start adding garden soil & then my seeds. Feels rewarding when what you plant grows & you know exactly what your family is eating.

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