April in rearview mirror

Allotment in april

Sometimes it’s really good to look back. I looked up the pictures of our allotment in April last year and when I put them side to side with this month’s pics…wow! We’ve come a long way!

april 2013

april 2014

At this point we have 10 raised beds in place, all of them growing something. All the paths are already mulched with wood chips and I even washed the edging so that the pretty color is (almost) as good as new. Definitely not my favorite job but it makes all the difference in pictures 🙂

We are actually so ahead of the game this year that we’re going to do something we never ever do in May: go away for 6 days next week.

red beets in soil blocks

This month the weather was rather nice, with many warm days and plenty of sunshine. So warm that we could eat dinner outside and enjoy it. There’s been enough rain too, so I did not have to water much. I have planted out the beets grown in soil blocks, varieties “Boltardy” (does not bolt so ideal for early sowings) and “Chioggia” (the pretty striped beets).

planting out lettuce

I have also planted out lots of lettuce: iceberg, Romain and butterhead, mainly because the kids asked for them. Normally I harvest lettuce mostly as cut-and-come-again or as loose leaves which are more productive growing methods, but Esther and Sebastiaan prefer hearting lettuces. Obviously, I am glad they want to eat lettuce at all.


radishes and leaf mustard under fleece

Last week, we enjoyed the first harvests, radishes and some leaf mustard, from the bed protected with fleece. And even though this year I am planning to weigh and record all my harvest, we could not resist eating the radishes immediately , before any weighing took place.

perennial cut flower border

We have also picked several beautiful bouquets of scented narcissi and some from the perennial cut flower border.

tomatoes on the windowsill

At home, the windowsill was getting awfully crowded, so after repotting the tomatoes once more because the weather is quite warm, I have started the process of hardening them off. During the day, I put them outside in a sheltered spot and than bring them inside when it gets colder.


edible forest garden in april

In our edible forest garden everything was flowering this month: fruit trees and fruit bushes, and spring bulbs too. I planted tulips and narcissi in containers last year and now this beautiful display is what greets me when I step out the door:

narcissi and tulips in containers

The mirabelle tree has set so many fruits that I’m afraid the weight of the fruit might brake the branches when they ripen. Our two figs that we grow in containers and normally bring inside to protect them from sever frosts, spent the last winter outside since it never really got cold. One of them called “Petit Negri” is doing especially well: Remco counted 45 small figs! If all of them ripen, it will be a record harvest.

 mirabelle & fig

And lastly, I want to share a picture from our community garden. There, too, all beds are planted and tulips are flowering. Next month is our annual plant fair so hopefully it will look even better then. We have another narrow plot next to the parking lot where I want to experiment with annual vegetable polyculture. So far we built teepees from bamboo canes to give it some structure, but since most of the plants I plan to put there are not hardy (tomatoes, zucchini, squash, beans…), it will be two more weeks before it can be planted.

community garden in april

  Happy gardening to you all and if you would like to see more of our garden in April last year, look here.





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