The first of the salads are ready to pick, and fresh herbs by the handful.
In this ongoing series, we will walk with you step by step through the making of a backyard herb and vegetable patch that will not just give you bragging rights, but also save you money!
In Part 3 of our ULTIMATE GUIDE Veggie Gardening, we cover what is happening in the garden in April - what is working and what is not.
This is where having a backyard garden starts getting fun!
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn
So now that we’ve toiled at preparing the beds, planting and nurturing the seedlings, getting the right mix of soil, and working hard in general, we begin to see the fruits of our labours!
What’s Going Well #
The seedlings grow a bit more every day, and some of the salads and spinach are just about ready to be picked. This is fantastic, because they regrow all summer long, ensuring fresh greens on demand.
The tomatoes, despite the chill that is still in the air, are beginning to flower, so they won’t be far off either. And many of the herbs, which for some reason are not easy for me to grow, are doing wonderfully. Some of them.
So all in all, things seem to be progressing in the right direction… mostly.
What’s Not… #
There always has to be a party pooper or two, and we have ours. Miserable mint, pathetic parsley and bulimic basil are the banes of our existence at the moment.
Our mint, which everyone else seems to be able to grow with wild abandon, is seriously stunted and rather scraggly. From what I have read, we are doing the right things… it's planted in its own rather large, but contained, pot so it won’t take over (as if…), it gets half day sun, half shade, and we water regularly. The only possible solution I can think of is to either cut back the stems or go into the roots and trim them back a bit.
The parsley is another matter. It seems we have planted it incorrectly. Parsley has a long tap root and tends to grow best as separate plants. We clumped ours together, and I suspect that is the main problem. I will try to disentangle some of the plants and try replanting, but I fear I may have left it too long and the disruption will force them to flower, thereby killing them. We may have to go back to the starting block with this one, but happily its early in the season, so hopefully we can turn this defeat into a success.
Now for the basil. I have no words. Its small, pale in colour and just plain sad. For the record, I have NEVER had success with basil. It hates me. But this time it may not be my doing. My husband is a waterer. A serious one. And it may be that the plants have gotten far too much water. If this is the case, we may be ok, as that is something that can be easily rectified. It is certainly worth a try. The other problem it may be is that it is just too cold for it, still. The amount of sunlight it is receiving is only barely adequate and the temps are not cooperating as consistently as the ideal would have it. We know what to do, now we just have to see if it’s too little too late.
So, there we have it. This is where we sit for now. We will do what we can to save these three, and in the next installment we will let you know how it went, along with more updates on the progress of our other, more well-behaved plants!
By Stephanie Horsman
24 April, 2019