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What Plants Will I Grow in My April Vegetable Garden in Southwest Idaho

Tenderheart Chinese cabbage sprouts in early April in southwest Idaho.

Tenderheart Chinese cabbage sprouts in early April in southwest Idaho.

Right now, in early April in my garden, I have these vegetable plants sprouted and growing because I planted them in March or they volunteered in March:

  • lettuce
  • peas
  • radishes
  • cilantro
  • broccoli
  • cabbage

Other things, like bunching onions (which I can harvest most of the winter), leeks, asparagus, and garlic, have wintered over, as I mentioned in my post about how to decide what can be planted in March. (click on any photo to enlarge)

April bunching onion frenzy - maybe I should have eaten more of them over the winter!

April bunching onion frenzy – maybe I should have eaten more of them over the winter!

Radish sprouts first leaves look a lot like cabbage and broccoli sprouts.

Radish sprouts first leaves look a lot like cabbage and broccoli sprouts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it’s not too late to plant any of these cool weather crops in April. Except for peas, which if you try to plant now, you might want to make sure you have chosen a variety that will produce before the consistently scorching temperatures hit at the end of June. In fact, I will probably be planting more of most of these vegetables, sometimes for a variety that is supposed to produce for a fall harvest (such as cabbages), or for having a relatively constant supply of something (like lettuce, weather permitting). I see on my seed package that I could/should have started celery outdoors in March, but I might try still. If I have learned anything in all my years of gardening, it is to just try things. A re-plant of spinach may be in order, since I haven’t seen any very many sprouts yet. I will probably try new seed, since spinach should like cool weather just fine.

Spinach seedlings in my April garden. I think they might have sprouted earlier if we had had more rain in the middle of March. But, we didn't.

Spinach seedlings in my April garden. I think they might have sprouted earlier if we had had more rain in the middle of March. But, we didn’t.

And April is a chance to plant another wave of vegetables, now that there shouldn’t be any heavy freezing, although there will still be early morning frosts for a while. This is what is on my agenda for planting outdoors now:

The first real day of hardening off my greenhouse grown seedlings they will spend only an hour outside. It was a mild April morning, about 60 degrees, with a slight breeze. If the weather had been more extreme, they either would not have stayed out as long OR I would have waited until a better day for their first outing!

The first real day of hardening off my greenhouse grown seedlings they will spend only an hour outside. It was a mild April morning, about 60 degrees, with a slight breeze. If the weather had been more extreme, they either would not have stayed out as long OR I would have waited until a better day for their first outing!

My fall planted garlic is growing nicely this spring. Each plant is from a clove I saved from last year's harvest.

My fall planted garlic is growing nicely this spring. Each plant is from a clove I saved from last year’s harvest.

 

 

It doesn’t seem like much to plant, but there is weeding and prep that can be done for all the warm weather crops to be planted from mid-May to June. Also, I have trays of tomatoes and flowers doing well in my greenhouse. I would have peppers, if I hadn’t planted so many last year that I have a freezer full of them still.

I tend to include berries in the scope of “vegetable” planting, because involves that which is edible. I planted strawberries crowns in the last days of March and they are showing signs of vigorous green growth. I may have to watch the weather for any significant freezing, since the roots are rather shallow.

 

Newly planted strawberries growing well after a nice, rainy couple of weeks! Note: the grass is 2 day old <a href="http://dailyimprovisations.com/why-i-mulch-with-grass-clippings-in-my-southwest-idaho-garden/" target="_blank">grass clippings put there as mulch</a>. It is not lawn growing there.

Newly planted strawberries growing well after a nice, rainy couple of weeks! Note: the grass is 2 day old grass clippings put there as mulch. It is not lawn growing there.

 

 

I also transplanted a black berry “plant” since it was showing signs of putting out new leaves. I put “plant” in quotes, because it spreads so much by the roots, that deciding how to divide it was like cutting tentacles underground. I will probably have to spray it with weed killer in the area I removed it from, because it was blocking my access to the chicken coop and I don’t want to deal with that again.

 

 

I will be turning on my irrigation sprinkler system in a day or two. That is always a test for my unmechanical mind. If the neighbors are watching, I’m sure it is entertaining for them. If they’ve been paying attention over the years, they probably invite friends over and serve snacks for the annual viewing of Sprinkler Madness. However, I take solace in my garden results, and hope that they also enjoy looking at all the vegetation and flowers during the growing season!

Beautifully cheerful, pink tulips blooming in full sun in my Idaho garden.

Beautifully cheerful, pink tulips blooming in full sun in my Idaho garden.

 

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