April always feels like the busiest gardening month of the year for us. We are harvesting the last of cool season vegetable. The kids are each eating a small handful of snow peas, a couple strawberries, and a carrot out of our garden each day. Although they are my daily "helpers," as I look back on the pictures I have taken, they are all of the plants! You will just have to use your imaginations on how a 2 year old gently pull the peas of the plants by himself (NOT) A few entire plants have been uprooted with his eagerness to eat his "prize." I really can't complain as both kids do eat so healthy!
In the last couple of weeks, we have planted green pole beans, bush beans, cow peas, and Lima beans. Yes, Lima beans. My kids and I just ADORE fresh Lima beans right out of their pods. Please don't think we are crazy! Last year, my tot was only 1 1/2 and he would check the plants every day for the Lima beans and did not want to share. I promise you, fresh Lima beans taste completely different than anything you can buy in the store. I will thumb wrestle any family member for the chance to eat fresh Lima beans!!! We don't have a ton of space, but planted a small 2'x5' section and hope to eat a few! The cow peas were not as big of a hit as the Limas last year. They were the plant we tried for the first time! But, it was fun to compare and contrast the differences in tastes, amount of beans in each pod and colors - so we planted them again. I wanted to get some sweet potato slips in the ground this week, but didn't make it to the store for them. We haven't grown these yet and chose them as our "new plant" of the year. Next week!potatoes are growing well. The nice thing about planting on Valentine's Day is that we always can figure out when they have been growing for 80 days. They still have a month yet. We planted 4 containers this year instead of just one and 3 are doing really well. The fourth is sitting just out of reach of my hose and looked very sad today. Guess watering your plants really does make a difference =) I gave it a good drink and will have to make sure it gets more water in the next month!
Borscht! Their leaves were attacked by caterpillars last month - check the leaves out in "the bad" section of this post. They surprisingly bounced back after a quick spray of organic insecticide and the new leaves are beautiful!
carrots are ready to harvest! If you missed the carrot post a while back, we love growing carrots, but they take FOREVER to grow. Planting in succession really helps. I also limit the kids to 1-2 carrots per day. This keeps the crop available to them for a long time AND for some reason, setting a limit increases their desire to harvest them =)
As for fruit - we added blueberry bushes to our yard 2 years ago. Last year, we harvested a couple handfuls. This year, it looks like we have doubled our crop. My 2 year old has reduced it back to a couple handfuls. He keeps picking the "green balls." ARGH! I just have to tell myself that he is learning about the world and that they are just blueberries, but my plants are kind-of-like my temporary children. I love and care for them daily and would REALLY like them to fruit for us! Maybe next year.
And last, but not least, the cow peas. Last fall, I posted some pictures and a video of the plant. They grew taller than I thought they would with long pods. This year, I was surprised at how pretty the new plants are as I was only remembering the end of the season from last year. It will be interesting to see how these do!
What is in your garden this month?
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