Vegetable garden in April

April in the garden 006 Vegetable garden in April

Vegetable garden in April has benefited from regular Florida rain and sunshine.

My vegetable garden in April is starting to produce food for the table. However, this early spring harvest is a tease for the big bounty coming in May.

April in the garden 011 Vegetable garden in April

Juliet hybrid tomato.

The Central Florida weather has cooperated, giving us a balance of rain and beautiful sunny days. Temperatures have reached between 75 and 85 degrees, which is perfect tomato-growing weather. I ate my first tomato of the spring, a Juliet hybrid, last week. Juliet is larger than a cherry and most resembles a grape tomato in size.

April in the garden 008 Vegetable garden in April

Banana peppers will be pickled.

The vegetable garden in the backyard has produced a harvest of sugar snap peas, collard greens, Swiss chard, arugula, kale, banana peppers, spicy red lettuce, celery, parsley, mint, basil and dill.

April in the garden 001 Vegetable garden in April

A lettuce mix, including endive (top right), fills the salad bowl.

April in the garden 017 Vegetable garden in April

Sugar snap peas latch onto a trellis for support.

I have been most impressed by the quick growth of the sugar snap peas. In one month, they climbed a 5-foot Eiffel Tower trellis along a backyard path and now shoot beyond the top. The peas are delicious eaten raw. Many never make it to the table.

April in the garden 044 Vegetable garden in April

Sugar snap peas are delicious raw.

Vegetables in the early stages include okra, acorn squash, carrots, golden beets, yellow bell peppers, jalapenos, Malabar spinach, eggplant, cucumbers and beans. Culantro will be ready for Cinco de Mayo.

April in the garden 049 Vegetable garden in April

Little okra pod starts to grow.

The front yard garden landscape is starting to fulfill its promise with blueberries in the offing. Three varieties, Emerald, Windsor and Palmetto, are ripening at various stages. So far, I have picked two bowls for morning breakfasts.

photo 26 Vegetable garden in April

Blueberries start to ripen in April with more to come in May and June.

We have been picking dozens of Meyer lemons throughout winter and spring, with new fruit on the way. It feeds my regimen of drinking lemon juice with warm water in the morning to wake up the digestive system. They also make a delectable sauce with capers and white wine for chicken and fish.

April in the garden 025 Vegetable garden in April

New Meyer lemons grow next to ripened fruit.

With the rains being so frequent, my biggest gardening chore has been weeding. I don’t mind. The weather is pleasant and it’s a stress reliever to be outside in my gardens. This weekend, I added a layer of decomposed pine straw on top of the raised  beds to preserve moisture and help control weeds. I’m preparing for the hot, humid days around the corner.

As if on cue, grape leaves have just started covering the backyard pergola. It will be my shelter on warmer gardening days to come.

April in the garden 003 Vegetable garden in April

Muscadine grape vines cover a backyard pergola.

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