Garden Journal - April to May 2018

Waiting for Spring to Arrive

We will probably remember 2018 as the year when winter didn't want to leave! A few warm days made us think spring, but then it was back to cold rain and snow. Due to these weather conditions we delayed planting these early vegetables until April 10:

Cabbage - Premium Late Flat Dutch
Lettuce - Tom Thumb
Onion - Wethersfield Red
Peas - (snow) deGrace
Radish - French Breakfast
Spinach - Amsterdam Prickly Seeded
Turnip - White Egg
Bare dirt garden (newly planted) surrounded by low white picket fence.
The newly planted garden on April 10.

Jan Elder

The white cloth in this garden photo is a floating row cover over the tiny cabbage plants to protect them from extreme weather...and also rabbits. Unfortunately, high winds blew the covering off these plants. Floating row covers would not have been available to 19th century gardeners, but they could have used net curtains or protected the small plants with glass tunnels. Records indicate that Fort Buford, North Dakota, was growing some plants under glass in 1869.
Garden with newly sprouted plants.
This was the garden on May 10 - what a difference from the first photo taken on April 10!

Jan Elder

In late April we planted beets, a row of bush beans, and more lettuce and radish:

Bean (bush) - Golden Butterwax
Beets - Crosby's Egyptian

Thanks to volunteer, Ernie, the "Bunny Fence" was finally installed in mid-April. Unfortunately, the cabbages were planted before the Bunny Fence was finished, a strong wind blew the covering off the tiny plants…and a hungry bunny had a good meal of cabbage!

Onions, radishes, and peas are doing well (and there are a few surviving cabbages!). This photo was taken after we planted a second row of bush beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumber, melon, and summer squash:

Bean (bush) - Jacob's Cattle
Corn (sweet) - Stowell's Evergreen
Cucumber - Boston Pickling
Melon - Nutmeg
Squash - Early Garden Summer Crookneck
Tomato - Large Red
Tomato - Missouri Love Apple
Tomato - Yellow Pear-Shaped
and as Jan likes these and had an extra plant or two…

Tomato - Plum-Shaped

Newly sprouted tomato plants.
Our tomato plants in their new home.

Jan Elder

The summer squash is an "iffy" vegetable for us as squash bugs usually destroy the plants before harvest. (In a GOOD year we are fortunate to harvest two squash!).

We hope to plant the last of the vegetables during Memorial Day Weekend; these will be corn (not sweet), pole beans, and winter squash. We had great success with winter squash in 2016, so we are going to try and repeat the success in 2018.

The seeds have come up well in the garden and promise a good crop, especially onions – a great deal of corn has been planted in the county.  Hot beds have furnished plenty of lettuce and radishes and the gardens of young beets and spinach. Assistant Surgeon S. G. Cowdrey, May 1874

Last updated: July 10, 2018

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Larned, KS 67550


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