The weather is lovely this time of the year. In my part of the world, we are starting to get the cold mornings but the days are sunny and warm. April has drifted by and I have enjoyed just pottering in my veggie patch – Nothing too intense.
My lettuce loves the cooler weather. I love watching the different varieties grow. Often when I plant the seedlings, I will try to arrange them by different colours and leaf shapes. Because we eat a lot of lettuce I try to sow seeds or plant seedlings every two to three weeks so we always have some to nibble on.
Last month I read a blog post on growing microgreens and became fascinated by the concept of growing microgreens myself. I used a bamboo steamer and popped in some mizuna seed that turned out quite delicious. However, I did not have the same tasty luck with wild rocket seed!
Going off of my microgreen kick, I thought it would be a great garden project for the kids to grow their own microgreens this month. Last weekend we filled some strawberry punnets with potting mix, sprinkled in salad mix seed with some more potting mix over the top and give it a gentle spray with the hose.
This sounds easy… and it sort of was. However, if you have a younger child (2 years old) who likes to dump her handful of seed in the corner of the punnet, you may need to help with the ‘sprinkle’ part. But because it was the kids’ project, I tried to let them do their own thing. Having the watering mist option on the hose saved those seeds from being blasted out of the punnets!
This time of the year, the ceylon spinach is starting to die back. It produces seeds which turn purple. The kids love squishing these and using the juice as a body ‘paint’. When they first did this a few years ago, I was a bit concerned that it would permanently stain them. It was in their hair and all over their bodies! Luckily, it was all good and did come out when they had a bath.
The cooler weather this month hasn’t done my climbing beans any favours and they have shriveled up and died. I thought I might be able to get one more crop in, but a few frosty mornings prevented this from happening. My bush beans are a bit more durable and are still ok despite the frost.
I have also planted some snowpeas seeds this month. Snowpeas do well in the cooler weather and are a prolific producer.
I have never successfully grown kale from seed before but I’m giving it a go this month! Last time I planted kale seedlings, they grew a bit but were then demolished by insects. This time, I have sowed a row of kale and on either side I have also sowed a row of marigolds seeds. I will keep you updated on their progress!
I also bought 3 kale seedlings from our local growers market that are protected under a micromesh tunnel. Underneath this tunnel are my broccoli, which I have been feeding worm juice weekly.. it’s a hungry plant!
The tunnel is also protecting the kale and broccoli against pesky (and determined) white moths. The moths continually hover around the top of the tunnel, as if they can smell the broccoli underneath.
Last month I wrote about my mandarin tree dropping fruit. Well this stopped halfway through April and we are now picking sweet little mandys, which are great for the kids’ school lunches. We also gave the tree a nice big feed of citrus fertiliser at the end of last month, which helped it along. We try to do this annually.
Nasturtiums are supposed to be easy to grow. I sowed some seed near my broccoli as it is a good companion plant to brassicas. I also sowed some nasturtium seed in my flower patch. Only one germinated! So I decided to do some research to see where I went wrong. All I could find was glowing accounts on how nasturtiums thrive in any conditions and germinate at the drop of a hat. Ok, back to square one and I will try again with the half packet of seed I have left!
In gardening, I have found that there are ups and there are downs…
Just like life I guess!
What are you currently growing in your patch? Please share your story below in the Comments section!