Saturday, 30 April 2016

April 2016

We formally began our Garden Together times the first week of April. We agreed to meet Sundays from 1–3 pm and Wednesdays from 6–8 pm. And we stuck to it. Even though the weather didn't always cooperate.

Sunday, April 3rd
We got a nice harvest of ice this week. Warm in the church basement, we also planted:

  • Red Pear Tomatoes (Cubit's)
  • Cascade Lava Tomatoes (Cubit's)
  • Thai Basil (Seeds of Change)
  • Green Express Cabbage (Toronto Seed Library)
  • English Lavender (Richter's)
  • Mammoth Basil (Burpee)
  • Big Boy Tomatoes (Burpee)
  • Moss Curled Parsley (Cubit's)

These seeds went into pots with a mixture of organic-certified potting soil and our own worm castings. Some are growing on an east-facing windowsill in the church basement; the rest went home to be nursed by volunteers.

Tuesday, April 5th
At home I also planted:

  • Sugar Baby Watermelon (Cubit's)
  • Yellow Cantaloupe (Toronto Seed Library)
  • Rosa Bianca Eggplant (Urban Harvest)

Wednesday, April 6th
Understandably, only Pat and I came out after the couple inches of snow fell.

We took advantage of the time to catch up on correspondence warm in the church basement.

Sunday, April 10th
A sunny afternoon and seven volunteers. Tasks accomplished:

  • Sanded down the old sandbox-turned-seating-area
  • Planted kale and set up a floating row cover over steel hoops
  • Brought out rain barrels (waiting for warmer weather to hook up)

Tuesday, April 12th

At home I also planted:

  • Extra Curled Dwarf Parsley (Burpee)
  • Lovage (Toronto Seed Library)

 Wednesday, April 13th

  • 4 greens overwintered in the square planter. Chard? Arugula? To small to be sure.
  • Volunteer plant in the herb bed. Very vigorous. A kind of ajuga?
  • The row cover is keeping a decent amount of heat over the kale tunnel.
  • Volunteer strawberries near white clover patch
  • Garlic shoots 2.5 in long in the half-barrel
Tasks accomplished:
  • Pruned shrubs along border
  • Staked fruit trees

Friday, April 15th
My seeds are sprouting!

Sunday, April 17th 
Tasks accomplished:
  • Bundled brush from pruning

  • Removed leaf layer from garlic barrels and strawberry bed
  • Pruned sage
  • Planted:
    • Purple Top White Globe Turnip (Cubit's and Matchbox)
    • Bull's Blood Beet (Cubit's)
    • Lettuce Mix (Burpee)
    • Dark Red Detroit Beet (Toronto Seed Library)

    • Lemon Balm (Urban Harvest)
    • Garden Sorrell (Urban Harvest)
    • Arugula (Toronto Seed Library)

Wednesday, April 20th
Morning visit to water the seedlings in the basement window. Decided it was time to thin the tomatoes. Heartbreaking, but necessary.

6 volunteers at evening Garden Together Time. Tasks accomplished:
  • Dismantled 2 raised beds for future repair. Moved soil to other parts of garden so planting can happen in main bed before we get soil delivery
  • Hooked up rain barrels

Saturday April 23rd
  • We had a little rain yesterday. The barrels are 1/2 full, except for the one in the corner, which is 2/3 full. The grass and clover are much greener.
  • 2 dandelions blooming.
  • A few cotyledons in the kale tunnel. Not sure if they are kale yet though—have to wait for true leaves.
  • Arugula under plastic frost covers is sprouting in "nursery" bed (raised bed that will house blueberries later. We are using it for seedlings in pots because it raises them off the ground and also shelters them from wind.

  • Columbines more than twice as big as last week
  • Fruit tree trunks are greening up and leaf buds are breaking

Tasks accomplished:
  • Limbed up maple tree, pruned several other trees along border, removed weed tree tangled with mulberry
Sunday, April 24th
Delivery of 1 square yard of sand, two square yards of soil, 3 square yards of mulch. We filled a garbage bin with sand for cleaning soil from our tools, and piled the rest to the side and tarped it. We'll mix sand into some of our soil in the future when we are planting vegetables that like sandy soil.

5.5 hours later, we had also...
 Laid mulch down to mark our paths
 Added several inches of soil everywhere else
And laid mulch on top of the soil.

Then we got pizza. 

Wednesday, April 27th
Tasks accomplished:
  • Bundled brush from most recent pruning
  • Prepped for fruit tree delivery on Sunday
  • Cleared last year's debris from the canoe garden

And that's a wrap from April! May will start out with a bang with the delivery of new fruit trees, shrubs, and edible perennials from TreeMobile. Exciting times!

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