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Veggie Tales - April 2020

Jamie
2 years ago

And we are off! It’s April! The last frosts are behind us (for some, others still have another month) BUT Spring gardening will be in full swing for everyone. It’ll be a busy month of final bed preparation, sowing seeds, and transplanting.

Happy April , everyone!

Comments (640)

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago

    Chelsea - The county did warn us. They do this every year. But this is the first time I've had this kind of reaction from my plants. Wondering if it was a little 'stronger' this year?

    It's raining here again but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and around 70. Yeah!

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    2 years ago

    Cindy - Yes, just wrap over the top.

    I'm worried that your boiling off a chemical into your kitchen.

    Maybe you should look into a well, for the plants, and washing the car, etc. I got a price of $10 a foot; except that the first 20 feet was I think $20 a foot. That price was maybe 25 years ago so assume it's now $30 a foot. Your water bill and your sewer bill will be lower. Your electric bill higher.

    My current well is 160 feet deep, my last location it was 65 feet deep. The 65 footer was on a 40 acre property without a lot of neighbors. Here I think we should go down to 250 feet for better water.

    But, a 120 foot well would be $3,060. Plus the pump and a tank, if my guesstimate is somewhere close.

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  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago

    John - We have a septic tank but county water. Getting the tank pumped is cheaper than the county sewer system.

    In NoVa everything is expensive. Not even sure if the county would issue a permit for a well where we are located. I may call just to see.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Water is really inexpensive here, fortunately. It’s all from groundwater also and if you live in the city limits Of any of the cities or towns In the area, you are not allowed to put in a new private well. I am not certain, but I think all of the ones that were operating are shut down now also.

    our water bill is somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 a month most months. It’s a bit higher in the summer. The towns all double it to pay for sewer and our town adds the solid waste fee onto that bill. So it ranges from $30-$40 or so total.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Cindy - So sorry about the water troubles.

    Jamie - I'm shocked that your water bill is so low! We are fortunate to have a well for landscape and garden irrigation. In the winter time our water bill, which includes a charge for sewer too, runs about $65. In the summer they charge premium price for any water amount over your monthly winter average. It is not at all uncommon for folks around here with no well to pay a couple hundred dollars a month in the summer to keep their lawns all nice and green.

    Richard - Sorry you're already having to deal with HOT!

    I posed a question last night, but my post got eaten by the internet goblins I guess. This is the first time ever that I've grown beets. They were planted WAY too thickly. The little plants are probably 4-5" tall and really crowded. Do you suppose I'd have any luck trying to transplant a few to get better spacing?

  • stevie
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    there is something that is used on fish aquariums called seachem prime (sold at most pet stores) which removes both chlorine and chloramine by adding just 2 drops to a gal of water.. pretty remarkable how it works. within a few seconds of adding it, the smell of chlorine is gone. give it a try..

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago

    Thanks, Stevie. And Margi. And thanks to others who have commiserated.


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 years ago

    Margi, I have had very good luck with multi sown beets planted in groups...like 4 or 5 in same plug. No reason the same thing can't be done with row planting. Simply let them grow until some beets look ready and pull those leaving the rest to grow on.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I was going to make the same Comment as Len, Margi.

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    It is raining super hard here with 25+ mph winds-winds have been strong all week

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Good Luck, RIchard! The long-range outlook from the NWS suggests that the eastern part of the US (from mid-Texas eastward will have lower-than-average temperatures the next couple of weeks. Those of you up north will have a higher probability than those of us in the south.


    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago

    Good morning, all.

    Looks like today will be another 'Mary Poppins' day here. Sunny and 70. Unfortunately is all changes tomorrow. There's already been a flood watch posted for Thursday. The system that is in near Chicago is on it's way here.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Cindy - I hope all of your plants quickly rebound from the set back!

    We had strong storms here last evening but not too bad at my house. I did have to bring my peppers and eggplants into the garage so they didn't get pummeled by the wind.

    I'll be planting out most of my peppers this weekend. The Serrano, Starfish, and Sugar Rush Peach need another couple weeks to grow yet. Never did get a Fish pepper to sprout. Eggplants are going in a grow bag.

    I'll probably sow my cucumbers, summer squash, and Provider beans as well. No lows below 50 after tonight's predicted 48F. Highs all in the 68 to 80 degree range for the next 2 weeks.

    I still need to put up a trellis for my pole beans too.


  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    We have a wind advisory in place today also, Richard- Gusts up to 30 - 35 mph or so. The cold front pushed the rain to the south but we might still get some more tonight.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago

    Thanks, Jack.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    The wind is howling out of the north here as well.

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Jack, I only got one Fish pepper plant-I don’t know how I had so many sterile seeds I had last year-I have never seen that with pepper seeds before. It took me 3.5 hours to stand up all my tomato plants which got flattened by the wind. It snapped 2 of them in half and knocked off a bunch of green tomatoes. I have some plants (Wes, Dark Star that are around 8 feet already and 4 or 5 dwarf plants that are over 4 feet tall. It tumbled almost every one of the dwarf plants.

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    Did everybody see the report about the Lakers? As if I needed another reason to hate them-they got 12 million dollars from the small business pot in the Coronavirus funds. I team worth 4.4 billion dollars robbing the fund to help small businesses. Pathetic losers that I actually hate a little more than I did before this moral depravity.

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Jamie, I think the winds were stronger here too. It sounded like a tornado was in the back yard. My greenhouse roof (clear panels) was leaking a little and it never had before today (at least not since I put the new roof panels on).

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Oh my ... are you expecting more, Richard?

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Jamie, the forecast shows 16 mph winds for the rest of the day and night-back to normal winds tomorrow-then 25 mph from Friday through Sunday

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    2 years ago

    Richard - I had that same problem with my 5 gallon bucket container dwarfs last year. The wind got more tomatoes from them than I did.

    I gave away the 3 dwarfs I started this year when an elderly neighbor asked if I had any plants that would be suited to grow in containers. I guess I will only be growing my eggplants and one pepper in containers this year. Not sure which pepper would do best in a bucket or 5 gallon pot between Serrano, Starfish, or Sugar Rush Peach. What do you think? I have bed space for 2 of them.

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    I would go with the Starfish in the container since it is the smallest. Sugar Rush Peach is probably the biggest and the Serrano is the biggest producer.

  • Sunflowers
    2 years ago

    Aw, you're a good neighbor for giving some plants to your elderly neighbor. I haven't grown any of those peppers so I don't have any experience or suggestions, sorry!

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    I made the mistake of putting the dwarfs on concrete where there is no way to anchor them-should have paid more attention to what you were saying-just thought I could anchor them to the container, but that didn’t work out. The Iditarod tomatoes don’t have much juice and are a little dry. The Cherokee Purple was pretty good, but not in the top 20. I didn’t realize how big the tomatoes were going to be on the the dwarfs. Some of them have tomatoes as big as beefsteaks and topple easily. At least I know which ones are heavy producers of big tomatoes now and can plan accordingly next year. I will probably start moving some out into different spots where I can anchor them properly as others die and space opens up.

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago



    Cherokee Purple




    Sunburst squash




  • Lyla
    2 years ago

    Your pictures feel like looking into the future from Zone 7, RD! Soon...

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    Hope you have a great season Lyla

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago

    Richard - Have the storms passed you now? Hope so. Sorry about your green house leaking.

    Looking at your berries is making me ready for mine. I was able to get my three Freedom blackberries planted today. Do you think that they will fruit this year?

    I think that the Lakers gave back the 12 million, as they should have.

    Jack - I am also getting more significant harvests from my asparagus.

    "Mary Poppins" arrived late and left early. Our temp made it to 76 while the sun was shining. It's overcast now and the temp is already dropping. Tomorrow is looking like a miserable day.

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    Cindy, the storms have passed until the weekend. I made a cheesecake (jello brand lol) and made half with a blackberry topping (chopped blackberries in a food processor with sugar and a little water) and half with a strawberry topping glaze I already had. The blackberry topping was definitely better-didn’t remember to take a picture until the last piece where I scraped off the strawberry topping and just dropped some blackberries on top.


    At least the leak was on the side away from the lights, so there is always a silver lining. Lol

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago

    Margi - I just heard on the news that it's approximately 30 days from the strawberry flower to ripe fruit. My strawberry plants are just now really putting on the blooms. I remember that you posted flowers a while ago so yours may be sooner than mine.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Richard - I was typing at the same time as you. Your dessert looks good to me!

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    2 years ago

    Was super busy today so

    i didn’t get to post words of encouragement to Richard about the storm. I worried when I read that this morning that you’d have problems with the tomatoes. So sorry. How are you managing with your bum shoulder? I guess you got your workout righting all the pots and fixing the plants.

    Cindy, I think tomorrow I’ll see an open iris from the rhizomes you sent me. I took this pic of my strawberries yesterday. They’re not all this far along, but I’m getting closer to eating a bowl full.

    I saw a local You-Pick place is getting $5/ pint for strawberries!

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Our youngest dog (5 months old) has discovered our strawberries and has been “picking” the green ones every time he goes outside hahaha this past weekend there were two that wee almost ripe. He found them and thought he had died and gone to heaven. so ... we have to relocate the strawberry containers.

  • itsmce (zone 6b, Kansas)
    2 years ago

    Haha...Sorry Jamie!

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    Thanks Margi, been trying to exercise it everyday above my head-today was a little too much.

  • Lyla
    2 years ago

    Oh no, Jamie! At least he enjoyed them properly, I guess. Haha. My strawberries are all everbearing and they have been blooming for a couple weeks now. I have Tribute and Ozark Beauty, and a mystery variety I found in my community garden thats slowly catching up. It has smaller flowers so I'm wondering if it's an alpine strawberry. The Ozark Beauty seem particularly happy and are covered in blossoms. We have a lot of slugs right now with all the rain so I'd better deal with those soon if I want to enjoy the berries.

  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Jamie - Your dog has good taste! Does he also like tomatoes?

    They changed our flood watch to a flood warning. The creek is already out of it's banks. Right now we're in a bit of a lull.

  • Sunflowers
    2 years ago

    I was just wandering around my yard for a post-lunch break and realized I have SO MANY more tomato plants than usual (if none of my neighbors spray herbicide and kill the ones at my house). I have the following:


    Home Garden

    In ground: 9

    In containers: 2

    Plus 6 or 7 Tiny Tim Micro Dwarf plants in containers


    Community Garden

    In ground: 7


    With my extra COVID time at home, I just kept starting things and planting them wherever I had a bare spot. I hope we are inundated with tomatoes and I have too many for us to use so I can share with friends and family more often.

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Cindy- he has only pulled off a few tomato leaves so far, he hasn't eaten any hahaha

  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    April 30

    Cindy - I hope that water doesn't flood you out! The Red Norland potatoes you gave me the inspiration to plant late last fall have sprouted. Five of 6 are up, and it looks like two plants in one hill. I planted them deep in holes. I'm thinking of planting most of next years potatoes this fall.

    My peas are up maybe 4 inches max. And the dozens of supports cut from my mature Cox's Orange Pippin apple tree are leafing out. So many that I'm worried about the amount of sunlight the peas will see.

    My spring planted German Red garlic is sprouting. These were from cloves, bulbils and one round as I remember. My free from Baker Creek Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi sprouted last night. And the radishes and lettuce I planted about St Patties day are finally putting on some growth even tho they sprouted weeks ago.

    While writing this I went out and measured the soil temps in the potato beds, 58°F in the row that sprouted. The other two prepared beds measure 57°. Last year I planted potatoes on May 1, at 60° F. Need to plant potatoes as soon as the rain stops.

    I planted a Stella cherry and a Montmorency pie cherry on semi-full rootstocks in the same hole, a few days ago and they are leafing out already.

  • Habanero King (zone 7a, MD)
    2 years ago

    It's a very rainy last day of April here in the DC area. In between the Zoom meetings I had today, I managed to take some time out for the balcony garden. I transplanted a few Yellow Spanish Onion seedlings into their own cups.. I plan to eventually plant them with my tomato plants when I put them in their permanent pots. I also thinned out my pepper seedlings. Sadly, once again, it looks like the tomato seedlings I started myself won't make it again. This same thing happened last year... they get a few true leaves and then they die off. I don't understand what the issue is. If there's some secret I'm missing to starting tomatoes please let me know! However, I do have one Brandywine seedling that's hanging on.


    I also did a fresh round of seeds last weekend (cukes, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, basil, oregano, dill), and as of this morning at least one of each variety has germinated.


    Other goings-on on the balcony...



    A few of the onion seedlings I transplanted




    Cilantro (used some last night in a homeade mango habanero salsa!) Habaneros were frozen from last years garden..




    Garlic still going strong... hardnecks on the left which are doing way better than the softnecks on the right..



    Peppers (that I thinned out after this was taken), squash, and (dying) tomato seedlings hardening off







    Cherokee Purple and San Marzano tomato I bought from local nursery




  • cindy-6b/7a VA
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    John - Thank you for your concern. The creek is far enough from our house that it shouldn't be an issue. The front half of our property is flood plain and the creek has never gotten even close to the house. (knock on wood)

    I planted most of my potatoes January 11th. Right now they are still emerging. We didn't have much of a winter here. Two measurable snows all season.

    We found a cricket in the basement today. I always thought that crickets were late summer/fall pests??

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 years ago

    Cindy that is a pet cricket, not a pest cricket.

    After almost 20 years we are finally getting three gravel driveway paved!

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Raised bed garden tour
    Chinese celery and spinach...actually there is spinach everywhere right now!


    Yod Fah, Tatsoi & a bit of Mustard greens


    Old chard with spinach seedlings in between


    1 Garlic bed


    Peas with 2 rows of parsnips. No more fooling around with parnips indoors. These were just sown and have been thinned once. The ones I grew in TP tubes are no bigger. Will probably pull half of them late in summer and eat if big enough. I missed harvesting a couple of parsnips during the winter and they are growing like crazy so will try to harvest seeds if they make any. Are they self fertile?


  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 years ago

    Nice mix of greens and flowers at entry to garden

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    It all looks nice, Len!

    how long until your driveway is finished?

  • RD Texas
    2 years ago

    I think my “white carrots” are parsnips. They are left over from last years and I think I planted some parsnips in with my carrots and these ”white carrots” are sure spicy. Lol

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a
    2 years ago

    Thanks Jamie,


    Driveway is a 2 day deal...they prepared today and rolled out the crushed rock and will put down asphalt tomorrow. Another milestone in our retirement plan!

  • Jamie
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    May thread https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5907487/veggie-tales-may-2020


    I was late waking up this morning (as I have been for a month now)