What’s Growing on in the Garden: April 2023

Wow, April was a wild and hectic month in the garden! Everything about those thirty days felt extreme, as in extreme weather, stress, and productivity. Yet, the month flew by with how busy we were each day. Between harvesting, transplanting, sowing, weeding, processing, bunching, arranging, and selling, April had me wholly tuckered out by mid-month. But we made it! And now I’m getting a little breather as we patiently wait for the next round of crops to come in. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you what we’ve been up to in our monthly edition of What’s Growing on in the Garden.

April Was a Very Hectic Month on the Farm

I saw signs of plants waking up each passing day in April. Leaves, buds, and stems all started appearing in abundance. Tulips, daffodils, peonies, lilacs, ranunculus, and lily of the valley all showed up this month, as well as the lettuce, snap peas, cilantro, and spinach that I had planted. Many perennials also poked their first stems out of the soil. After a long winter, April is always exciting as everything is lush and green. I love this time of year, filled with life and renewal. But, it is also a hectic time in the garden as there is a seemingly endless task list, all of which must be juggled and attended to simultaneously.

The Daffodils Arrived in Abundance
And the Tulips Too!

I did a lot of seed sowing and seedling care in April. Between tasks in the garden, I had to be attentive to our seed-starting schedule and the tiny seedlings I had started indoors. However, no matter how busy I was in the garden, I couldn’t forget to water and sow the plants needed for the upcoming growing season. This month, I sowed celosia, ageratum, scabiosa, amaranth, gomphrena, strawflower, Cerinthe, tomatoes, and more, all indoors under grow lights. Seeing these tiny seedlings that will provide bountiful blooms in the upcoming months is exciting.

I Did a Lot of Seed Sowing and Seedling Care in April
Cerinthe Seedlings Growing Strong

I also planted new perennials on the farm, including lupine, phlox, yarrow, solidago, hellebore, and veronica. So, as you can see, there was lots of planting going on in April!

Yarrow Is One of the New Perennials Planted on the Farm

The ranunculus continues to grow and will hopefully be the next abundant crop on the farm. Despite the shade cloth I used, the extreme fluctuations in weather have delayed the blooms. They do not take kindly to temperatures in the upper eighties and nineties. I continue to run to the ranunculus bed daily to cover or uncover the plants based on the weather. However, I was very excited to see our first buds starting to appear this week! So, we will likely get a ranunculus crop this season.

After Some Crazy Weather, Our Ranunculus Is Finally Sending Up Buds

The main headline of the month was the daffodils and tulips. Those few unseasonably hot days caused our nearly 1,000 bulbs to bloom simultaneously, not over several weeks as planned. This made for a very hectic and stressful time mid-month. Without a cooler to store our tulips (believe me, it is at the top of my wish list!) I had to harvest, process, bunch, arrange, and sell all those tulips and daffodils as they came out of the field. At times, tulips had to be harvested hourly to pick them at the proper stage before they blew open. Flower farmers harvest tulips before fully opening to give the most extended vase life possible. I am so thankful and humbled that our community showed up and excitedly embraced our flowers, purchasing every stem. I was sure to save a few bouquets for donation in keeping with our mission to spread kindness with flowers and donate a portion of each season’s harvest. We also completed our very first CSA with our Spring Flower Share! It was gratifying to make bouquets for our members and a joy to see them at pickup each week. We’ll be gearing up for our summer share next.

It Was a Very Hectic Tulip Season!
These Super Parrot Tulips Are Some of My Favorites!
Some of Our Spring CSA Share Bouquets

As I write this, the tulips and daffodils have now finished blooming, and I will not soon forget the whirlwind of two weeks of nonstop harvesting. Yet, no matter how frenzied it was, I fell even more in love with these blooms and plan to plant more next season.

Tulips Remain One of My Favorite Cut Flowers
I Mean, What’s Not to Love?

With the explosion of tulips, the season’s first crop, I finally used my floral studio for the first time. I’d dreamed about having a space like this for nearly twenty years. Having a workspace mere steps from the flowers made harvesting, processing, and arranging both efficient and enjoyable. I loved spending time in the studio and often found myself reluctant to leave even when the work for the day was complete. I look forward to many more workdays in the studio in the coming season.

I Finally Used My Floral Studio for the First Time!
Having a Workspace Mere Steps From the Flowers Is a Dream Come True
Harvested Tulips Waiting to Be Bunched and Wrapped
I Will Miss These Beauties
All Wrapped and Ready to Share With Our Community

The dahlia tubers continue to arrive in the mail, and I have started potting up the new varieties. I have also been checking on my stored varieties; they all look good.  It’s hard to believe I will be planting them in May. I can’t wait to see our Dahlia Project come to fruition, and I’m so excited to share the many beautiful varieties we are growing.

Our Stored Dahlia Tubers Are Starting to Sprout

On April 22nd, I presented a class on growing cut flowers at Garden Day, an event by the CCEUC Master Gardener Volunteers. We discussed which cut flowers to grow, harvesting techniques, components of a bountiful bouquet, and cut flower care tips. It was a wonderful experience, and while I was initially nervous, the class went well and was enjoyed by the participants. It was lovely to meet so many gardeners interested in growing cut flowers. Of course, I had to bring some of my tulip bouquets and daffodils as examples of what you could grow in a cutting garden!

Presenting a Class at Garden Day!
Some Demonstration Bouquets

And speaking of classes, I just completed my final module in the Pollinator Steward Certification. I now have to create a habitat and outreach project to complete my certification.

Lastly, the blueberries are blooming now, and I enjoy watching the bees happily feasting and pollinating the flowers. It makes my heart happy to know I’m providing food for them, and they will, in turn, help provide food for me, making my taste buds happy too. I can’t wait to enjoy fresh berries again straight from our farm.

The Blueberries Are Blooming!

So, there you have it! As you can see, April was a busy month on the farm. But, it feels good to be back spending my days among the flowers. And I’m so happy to share our flowers with our community again. While it is hard work, it is worth every smile I receive. That’s what’s been growing on in our garden; what’s been growing on in yours?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: