Friday, April 22, 2016

Vegetable Garden Update April 2016

Good morning! It is iris time in Tennessee (early iris) and since my vegetable garden has a plethora of them surrounding it I thought I'd start with a pretty in this month's vegetable garden post.
Prior to next month's Vegetable Garden post though I really must get some good pictures of all of these irises. These were planted in the fall of 2014. None of these irises bloomed last year but this year promises to be a banner year looking at all of the buds.
Here is a long shot of the four beds and a bit of the outer iris garden.
The southeast bed has just been planted with a bunch of pepper and cherry tomato plants by Mr. Fix-it. I must say him working in the garden is a dream come true for me. I never ever thought I'd see the day he would be digging in the garden but he does. He planted almost all of our new tomato plants and pepper plants. This was because even though I had already planted the tomato plants last month, a frost came and took all but four. It really is my own fault for planting too soon but the bad part is that if I knew a frost was coming I could've covered the plants. I was overconfident and did not pay attention to the weather forecast. A few tomato and pepper plants did survive so it was not a bad frost, but a frost nonetheless. I was prepared to replant if needed, and it was needed. Good thing I've got Mr. Fix-it for that and our average last date of frost has passed so we are safe now! 

There are a few cabbage plants left in this bed that are beginning to go to seed. I am leaving them for the bees as these plants are not causing any issues. The far end also has a bunch of garlic growing that was planted last fall. Once it progresses and is ready for harvest you'll see it up close.
The northeast bed is pretty! The dark red plant is lettuce. We have picked some of it expecting a deliciously fresh salad. All we got was fresh because this lettuce is bitter. It is most likely a soil problem. I'll have to work on that issue. The four rows of potatoes finally showed up too so Mr. Fix-it is happy. Onions and broccoli are also doing well. The spinach we planted has done nothing at all though. That is one reason why I suspect a soil issue in this bed. Note to self, get a soil test ASAP!
There are a bunch of strawberries growing on the little plants; which are greening up nicely. By next month's post we should be picking these lovely strawberries. They were really good last year.
The herb bed is a delight. The pansies are beginning to shine and the herbs all came back.
The southwest bed has not been fully planted yet. It will be planted with vining crops such as cucumbers, watermelons, and gourds soon. The green foliage is left over carrots from last summer. I also added two eggplants to this bed.
The northwest bed is fully planted with tomatoes. We are short several tomato cages and need to fix that very soon. I prefer cages over staking as it is neater and does not require as much pruning of the tomato plants. The green in this bed is leftover carrots from last fall. I must say the cover crop I planted here did a wonderful job. Once it got hot it all died and made a good mulch where spring weeds could not germinate and grow. I will forever use cover crops when time permits. That's about it for the vegetable garden this month. I hope yours is doing well!
Lastly I had to share 'my boys' in the hood. Meet, Cloud (the gray tabby cat on bottom), Smoke (the dark gray cat in the front), and Tiger (the orange tabby that decided to plant himself on top of his two partners). As you can see they are all happy as a pile of cats can be....just like me....

in the garden.....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I can't wait to see all the different colors of iris in your garden. My old fashioned purple iris are blooming up a storm. They are always the first to bloom. Your veg garden is looking good. Too bad the dark lettuce is so bitter. That is a disappointment for sure. Good luck with everything else. I loved the last photo. If those were my cats I would frame that picture. It is so sweet. It made me smile this morning. :)

  2. You are so lucky to have all those beds to plant. Your season is way ahead of us here in Michigan. I am glad to have found your blog, I know I will enjoy it this year. Love your boys too.

  3. Iris down here seem to do better in a big pot.

  4. What did you use for the cover crop?

    1. Good morning Petra! I used Botanical Interests Peas and Oats Cover Crop. It really worked wonderfully. That half of the bed needed no weeding this spring and I just tilled in the cover crop that had died already. I really found this cover crop helpful.

  5. I love the kitty photo! So glad to see everyone getting along together...