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The green, the green, the green!

The green is bursting out all over this week, and I’m so excited to see it. Having spent so much time in my adult life in Texas, the spring always seems to come so late here. I’m way past ready to see it, and nigh upon desperation. We don’t actually have our last frost date until May in West Virginia, but the green-green-green of late April is the signal that real garden time is upon us!

We already have peas in the ground, and the big plastic sheets are down to help smother the weeds before the major planting gets underway.

We have lots of things coming up in the garden already. Elephant garlic (a new one for us this year).


Rhubarb (trying again this year!).

We add every year to our fruit. I love fruit, and I want it all! I’m impatient for it, but it takes time. We aren’t at the point of harvesting any fruit yet. We started our first year here and keep adding every year. We have a small orchard fenced out in BP-land. It doesn’t look like much, but we have about 7 or 8 small fruit trees out here.

We have several more fruit trees on the small bank between the garden and the driveway. We have plum, apricot, apple, pear, and peach. We had a cherry tree before, but it died, so a replacement cherry tree went in this year.

Very tiny cherry tree.

I’ve got a long way to go before I have any cherries.

We also have blackberry and blueberry bushes that we planted last year, and this year–new!–raspberry bushes! Raspberries, finally! I picked up two small bushes a few days ago to round out our fruit collection.

Grapes are growing outside the garden fence.

Like the cherry tree, asparagus is a replacement plant this year in the garden. We tried asparagus our first year, but it didn’t make it. I’m hoping we do better this time! The asparagus plants are two-year-old plants, so we can harvest some next year.

I’ll also be planting garden huckleberries and ground cherries, so even if I can’t make pie with the new cherry tree or the raspberries–or just about anything else we’ve got going–at least I’ll have that! Setting up my pie garden for the garden huckleberries and ground cherries is up next (including chicken protection).

Everything’s up in my herb garden except my basil and rosemary, so I may need to get replacement plants for them.

It’s garden time! What have you got going in new this year?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 21, 2011  

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41 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-21

    I’m trying to be a successful corn gardener this summer.

    Will you ever be able to remove the deer protection from your trees?

  2. 4-21

    I just recently got a key/mexican lime tree in the mail. None of the local nurseries carried them. It came bare root. I think usually you have to plant new basil every year as it is an annual. I think in areas were it snows rosemary does not overwinter well.

  3. 4-21

    Let’s see…so far I have figs, blueberries,dewberries, apples, tomatoes, sage, thyme, lavender and sunflowers. Fixin to go in are corn, speckled butter beans, peppers hot and sweet, okra and eggplant. That is the menu so far..let’s see if it all goes in the way I want it too….

  4. 4-21

    Spring arrives late here in New England as well but like you we are seeing signs of its impending arrival. Rhubarb and herbs are coming back well, garlic planted last fall is up, berries are showing signs of life and the daffodils are ready to bloom. This past weekend we put in lettuce, spinach, peas and potatoes. Tomatoe and pepper seeds are started in the basement under grow lights. The rest will need to wait.

  5. 4-21

    :happyflower: I love Garden time!! My hubbie and I just planted blueberry, peach and persimmon trees. Last year we planted apple,cherry and blackberry. I just want them all to quickly
    Granny Trace

  6. 4-21

    New….let’s see; I planted 50 strawberry plants. I am trying kale, Dwarf Blue; we have a new Liberty apple tree; Stanley plum, Blackgold Cherry (sweet), Redgold (a nectarine) and another apricot tree, Harlayne (hope springs eternal with apricots here!)

    Three of the trees are just hilled in while I think where to put them.

  7. 4-21

    Yes, basil is an annual. I have a spindly plant in the kitchen by the window that made it through this winter, barely. And Suzanne, I was never able to get rosemary to live through the winter. Had a large one I potted up and brought up on the covered back porch one year. It made it past New Year’s Day and I thought I’d finally been successful but it died shortly after :(


  8. 4-21

    My basil usually reseeds itself, so that’s what I was hoping for. It doesn’t look like it happened this year.

  9. 4-21

    We’re trying squash, beans, watermelon, chard and carrots for the first time this year. I love rhubarb too, but all of our plants didn’t survive our very wet spring. :-(

  10. 4-21

    I have garlic up that I planted last fall for the first time. And my transplanted rhubarb plants, that I thought died last summer, are all coming up and lookin’ good!
    My little wild blueberry patch isn’t doing anything yet. We never get any berries anyway because the squirrels or birds always eat them. I should put netting or something over them but don’t seem to remember to do it.
    Gardening is a challenge isn’t it? But so rewarding!
    Love all your green, Suzanne! You are a few weeks ahead of us here in ME.

  11. 4-21

    We have seedlings up in pots, but so far only tomatoes and peppers our put out in the ground. GRANDson is helping with the big garden, we have beans and squash, corn and okra, pumkins and gourds. This former big city kid is going to learn where food comes from this summer!

  12. 4-21

    Since you have raspberries in your garden I tell you what my sister did a couple of years ago: she planted some wild raspberries among our garden variety raspberries. Now we get raspberries that are slightly bigger than the wild ones, but taste just like wild raspberries. Yum! :hungry:

  13. 4-21

    We’ve past the last frost date so I have several new varieties of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in the ground, along with some of the old stand-bys. I’m trying something new this year called Egyptian Walking Onions which looks interesting but needs it’s own plot to “walk”! Potatoes are in the ground. Field peas, corn, okra, and soybeans will be planted later. Blueberries, apples, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots and grapes are all looking good!


  14. 4-21

    Only new thing for us so far is garlic and shallots. And they are doing well so far.

  15. 4-21


  16. 4-21

    This year my garden consists of one tomatoe plant. But so far we have eaten 3 tomatoes and I expect more.

  17. 4-21

    I remember hearing somewhere that ground cherries are toxic to dogs, in case you want to plant with that in mind.

    Though, it makes sense to find out if that is true or not first!

  18. 4-21

    Things are slow coming here in Southern MN. My tulips are popping up. A few green leaves of the lillies are coming through. We had snow yesterday again. Our highs are still in the 40’s. Our grass is very green like velvet. It gives me hope.
    I really enjoyed your map yesterday. It gives me a visual.
    Thanks for making my day start out happy.
    MN Mona

  19. 4-21

    We put in blueberries in the fall. They have bloomed & it looks like we’ll get a handful of berries or two. We planted rapini for the first time and have had 3 rapini feasts so far – sweat some garlic & shallots in oil, lightly wilt the rapini, add reconstituted dried tomatoes, then grated parmesan on it once you’re ready to serve it. Yum! We planted savoy cabbage; it’s doing better than regular cabbage so far. We’ve put in florence fennel, dill, borage, sorrel. All that is new to our garden. Everything in a pvc hoop house with spun bond on top, which keeps out the bugs but not the slugs. Salty beer is being served tonight! Happy growing season to us all.

  20. 4-21

    Kathi, we’re going to have a fence around them anyway to keep the chickens out of them.

  21. 4-21

    Only 1 blueberry bush to accompany the one I planted last year. I tilled one of the vegie gardens yesterday and got most of it finished before I gave up until it isn’t so muddy as it bogged down the tiller after only a few feet. :hissyfit:
    I was amazed to see the rhubarb coming back this year, I thougth it had died right before my eyes last year. :snoopy:

  22. 4-21

    I wondered what Huckleberries and Ground Cherries might be (I’m in Europe) Good old Google says ground cherries are Physalis but is not too certain about Huckleberries – are they Blueberries? I have been inspired by your ‘Pie Garden’and have started my own. :D

  23. 4-21

    Elizabeth, you can see more about ground cherries and garden huckleberries in this post:

  24. 4-21

    New for us is garlic, peas, spinach, strawberries, blueberries and kohlrabi. My corn did not do so great last year, but I’m going to try again. We lucked out and was able to till our garden in mid-March. There hasn’t been a good day for tilling since then!!

    Good luck with the orchard :) My black walnut trees killed by blackberry bush. I’ll have to relocate.

    Tomatoes and ground cherries and potatoes are all related to the family of plants where deadly nightshade comes from – the flowers are very similar. So, I’m not surprised that they can be harmful to animals. In fact, when Christopher Columbus brought tomatoes back from the New World many people believed that they were poisonous.

  25. 4-21

    Sounds great! We have many old apple trees and grape vines on our property and this year I’m finally adding pear, and cherry trees and some raspberries:) We have a problem with Japanese beetles here in PA though so I’m trying to figure out how to protect the raspberries from them, they are ruthless!

  26. 4-21

    No plants for the garden in the ground yet. It has been way to wet to even think about tilling but the orchard looks good. 2 pears, 3 peach, 1 plum, 8 apples, lots of raspberries, 6 or 7 blueberries, 2 mulberry, and a few blackberries which we never get any of and going in this year a fig and 2 cherries. We don’t seem to have very good luck with the cherries. I forgot the fall gold raspberries. I don’t know if the survived the winter or not. It is so great to be able to go out and decide what type of pie, dessert or jelly you want to make. We have some concord grapes too but I don’t make much jelly with them now that the kids are grown. I don’t have a steam juicer and they stain everything. I planted a few strawberries but I think they drowned!

  27. 4-21

    You are ahead of us with your spring-ness, we just got a powdering of snow again this week – uff da! But there is still green grass starting, and the iris shoots, and a few spring bulbs, and the rhubarb, and over 400 seedlings under lights waiting for the weather to warm up a bit!

  28. 4-21

    It’s a little too cold in Michigan yet for most things, but the peas are sprouting, and the onions, and radishes and turnips. The carrots and parsnips are in, but no activity yet, and the potatoes are going in today, along with lettuce, I think. I’m not sure about the lettuce yet. It may still be too chilly.

  29. 4-21

    My garlic, shallots, onions, potatoes, chard, and bok choi are all up and doing well. I planted 7 raspberries plants this year and we may get our first strawberries from the plants we set out last year. I’m getting ready to plant the tomatoes, squash, and peppers in the next week or two. Some of my herbs are coming back nicely but I planning on planting more. I love Spring!

  30. 4-21

    We have pototoes, lettuce, onions, and corn planted in the garden. And we harvested our first asparagus this week…I steamed it, and then served it with real butter and seasoned salt. Mmmmm….

  31. 4-21

    My parsley, oregano, sage, chives and onions (I never harvested some of them) are all going crazy, but what I love the most about spring is the REDBUD! I planted a weeping redbud last year, and I LOVE it!

  32. 4-21

    We have tomatoes,and peppers planted and blooming (If only the squirrels would stop eating the plants. We wondered what was happening to the plants until we caught them in the act). Beans and okra coming up now. Garlic, sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc all doing well.

  33. 4-21

    I can’t wait for real Spring!! We’re still too cold in the northeast corner of CT to have much more than spinach, garlic, peas and radishes planted. The asparagus we planted last year is popping up, too. Everything else is in pots in the basement under lights: tomatoes (6 varieties), sweet and hot peppers, cukes for eating and pickling, mesclun, broccoli, etc. New for us this year are brussel sprouts and pak choi.

    A word of warning on the Egyptian Walking Onions: they walk miles! They took over a garden I had a few years ago, and when I pulled them up and dumped them in a compost heap in my woods, they were perfectly happy there, too. I had to yank them and bag them to get rid of them for good.

  34. 4-21

    Uh-oh. Suzanne, I bet you get tired of unsolicited advice, but I can’t help myself. Unless you’re planning to become a full-time horseradish gardener, I’d dig that up and replant it in a pot or barrel. That, or put a 2′ deep barrier into the ground around it. Otherwise, it can spread and take over the garden. It’s worse than mint for spreading.

    This is the voice of sad experience speaking. The friend who gave us the horseradish to start warned us not to plant it in the ground because it’s invasive, but we thought “Great, lots of horseradish!” Oh, my. That was about 15 years ago and we’re still digging up sprouts every year. And what we grew in the pot was more than enough, even though we are fond of fresh horseradish. A word to the wise.

  35. 4-21

    Here in North West Florida frost is long gone. We have potatoes we are harvesting already. 3 kinds of Tomatoes,4 kinds of peppers green beans, 2 kinds of squash, onions, and garlic all growing and okra planted but not up yet. In the herb garden is rosemary,basil, lavander, sage, oregano, and planted out to itself is the mint, lemon balm and peppermint. Happy gardening!

  36. 4-22

    What is the story about your horseradish?? I don’t remember you talking about it. I am particularly interested because we planted 2 hills of horseradish plants and haven’t yet harvested it (long story). I love horseradish but for some reason haven’t summoned up the courage to tackle it. Any imrights you can share will be appreciated.

  37. 4-22

    Hi Suzanne, found your blog a couple weeks ago and am loving it! Actually, several years ago I use to follow your romance blog but I haven’t done the blog hop in a very very long time. We moved to our first farm recently and I began blog hopping again, but this time on farm blogs. I came across yours and saw the photo of the “slanted house” and recognized it immediately from back when you use to blog about it before you moved into it. I love your story about moving from “civilization” to the country. You are an inspiration! Anyway, we are planting our first garden this year and I’m nervous and excited. The place already came with some baby orchard trees so we’ll see what they produce this year. We want to add raspberry and strawberry bushes. I love me fruit too! In the greenhouse is where we’re putting the vegetables. So far we have turnip, carrot, beets, and cucumber planted. We bought lettuce, green beams, and more carrots to yet plant, and some pumpkins for our boy to plant. Pretty much the basics.

  38. 4-22

    You are ahead of us by several weeks. We are just now seeing some new spring growth, but not much. We had a dusting of snow covering the ground yesterday morning.

    Elisabeth, garden huckleberries are an edible form of solanum nigrum. You might get more info if you Googled “chichiquelites”.

    I’m sorry your asparagus didn’t make it previously. We love fresh asparagus from the garden! I planted some from seed four springs ago and hope to harvest it this year. We also have an old bed that we mulch with old chicken manure every spring. It rewards us with great asparagus!

    I am planting organic native blue corn this year! It’s sup

  39. 4-24

    Spring is definitely about green. I just finished my bi-weekly trip from Cumberland to Virginia to help out my parents and what struck me during the entire drive was the sight of the brown hillsides dotted with pale green puff balls and the emerald green fields in the valleys.

  40. 5-3

    I am from Central Florida. It is already so hot and dry down here. It is hard to keep up with the watering, I really wish it would rain. We planted many tomato plants and most are producing fruit now but the bushes are not very large. The ones that are on a fence with some shade during the day are doing much better than the ones in full sun. We also planted 2 grape plants and 4 blackberry bushes this year. Hope things produce well.

  41. 5-3

    I just planted most of the vegetable garden…I’m over 3 weeks later than last year but it’s been so cool here in Kansas this year. A couple of weeks ago I planted most of my new herb garden in the foundation of an old round storage bin we took down on our farm. I added a blackberry bush to my three raspberry bushes and the strawberries (75 plants) that I planted last spring are already starting to produce…YIKES! I better start collecting all the strawberry recipes I can find! I hope your week is a good one.

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