A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

End of the Month Roundup-- April, 2014

April passed quickly and the change from last month is nothing short of miraculous.  Despite heavy snow this year (over 150 inches), the melt-off was so slow that we had the least amount of water problems in our basement than we've had in the seven years we've lived here.

We've had rain , rain, and more rain this week--and I'm not complaining.  We typically come out of our winter under "Extreme Fire Danger" warnings.  Not so this year.  Our abundant snows and plentiful rains have taken care of that problem.  The lawn has started to "green-up".  Color--what a delight when one hasn't seen it in 6 months.

The below normal temps continue---we are still running 10 degrees below normal.  I don't mind. I'd much rather have it too cool than too warm.  It's part of the reason I moved to Michigan.

The first garden task on April 9  was cutting down and grinding up the remaining corn and sunflower stalks that I left standing all winter for the birds.  I spread the mulch it produced back onto the beds.

Coldframes are .....there.  That's about all I can say.   Only one has germinated ---the one planted April 11 (which is 11 days later than normal!)  That contains radish, mesclun, spinach, kohlrabi and bunching onions.

Coldframe #1 finally starting to germinate

Coldframe 2--Sown April 18--is nothing but spinach.  Oh, and scallions--my first attempt at those.
                         I also sowed my first row of Sugar Snap Peas on that date.  No sign of them, either.

April 19 I set up the water tanks to start collecting rainwater.

It's too early to tell what did or did not make it through the winter.

I spent April 20 prepping the Blueberry patch.  Copious amounts of compost and coffee grounds added to the base of each bush and then a fresh topping of pine needles in each row.  Tidy, or as DH would say---German Tidy!!

Fifteen very happy Blueberry bushes
April 25  I sowed a third coldframe (just covered with fabric) with radish/mesclun/beets/bunching onions and another "new to me"--Swiss Chard "Bright Lights".

Also for my records and because I am intrigued by Phenology-- this final week in April is when the Maple seedlings germinate.......all 27,459,999,835 of them.   Sigh.   But, I'd rather deal with that in my flowerbeds than to miss all that glorious shade in the summer.
ALL my flowerbeds and pathways look like this---Maple seedlings---EVERYWHERE

So while it appears nothing much is going on out there, all you northern gardeners know this is the time when the real work gets done--lots of preparations with not much visual reward.  We have to be satisfied with just that fresh air, exercise,  sunshine (?? where??) and birdsong. Not a bad deal at all.

Have a wonderful week