Thursday, April 7, 2011

April NW Gardening

"When April blows her horn, it's good for hay and corn" Seattle Tilth's

This is one of my favorite times of the year. February/March starts can be planted outside this month and some of my favorite produce can be started. Cucumbers and squash oh my! Here we go!

Before Frost

Onion Family-Chives, Garlic Chives, Leeks and Green Onion.

Carrot Family-Caraway, Carrots, Chervil(brussels & Turnip Rooted), Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Parsnips and Parsley.

Mustard Family-Arugula, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cress, Kohlrabi, Radishes, Turnips and Oriental Greens.

Beet Family-Beets of all kinds, Orach, Spinach, Swiss Chard of all kind, Quinoa.

Sunflower Family-Burdock, Lettuce of all kinds, Artichokes, Salsify, Scorzonera, and Shungiku.

Pea Family-Snap Pea's, Snow Pea's and Shelling Pea's.

Mint Family-Anise Hyssop, Chinese Artichokes, Marjoram, Summer Savory, Perilla, Lemon Anise Hyssop, and Lemon Balm.

Buckwheat Family-Garden Sorrel

Nightshade Family-Potatoes of all kinds

After last frost

Mustard Family-Cabbage (long season fall & winter varieties)

Pea Family-Scarlet Runner Beans

Beet Family-Lambsquarters

Purslane Family-Purslane


Throughout April

Nightshade Family-Tomatillo, Ground Cherry(Gooseberry), and Garden Huckleberry


Squash Family-Cucumbers, Hairy Melon (lol), Melons, Pumpkin, Summer Squash, and Winter Squash.

Mint Family-Basil

I have lost track of just how many different types of produce I have starts for. If your trying to get the kids to help out in the garden or to eat more produce then try a few of these out.  Lemon cucumbers were the first produce that my kids grew and were excited to try.  They looked like tennis balls and tasted very sweet and not bitter at all.  Next were burgundy beans because of the cool purple color.  These beans change back to green beans when cooked. Just let the kids watch as you put them into the cooking water and I can guarantee you they will eat them.  I also would recommend starting a smelling garden. Any type of mint or lemon balm would be great. My kids just loved feeling the plants and smelling their hands.  During the summer they would go tear off 3 leaves and put them into a cup with ice and water. When they drank the water they would taste the mint/lemon very much.  They loved it.  My twins love growing chives so they can pick off one stem each day and nibble on it. After playing outside I would call them in and they usually will have onion breath.  Guess they were in the garden! I also would let the girls buy the flower of choice and grow it in the garden. They were in charge of watering it and made a point of visiting it each day.  From then on they were very curious and each year they helped me more and more.  Now my kids will eat just about anything I throw their way.  I add more and more varieties of produce each year making it exciting to plan meals.
So what about you? What do you plant every single year? How do you get your kids involved in the garden?

Bonus Question
Which plant is pictured above?