April UFH Gardening Challenge Roundup – Show us Your Stuff

Wow did the end of April ever sneak up on me! We began April with frost and freezing temperatures and now the gardening is experiencing explosive growth. I can’t wait to read about the challenges you took on – and we’ve got some great prizes to reward your efforts!

A V Garden, a vegetable start subscription from Cascadian Edible Landscapes, a copy of The Urban Farm Handbook, a copy of Free Range Chicken Gardens, a copy of Food Grown Right, in Your Own Back Yard, a copy of Growing at the Speed of Life, a children’s chocolate garden from Chocolate Flower Farm, an original garden broom, and a copy of Grow, Cook, Eat.

Now is the time for you to tell us what you did for your April challenge.



If you have a blog, please use the Mr. Linky tool to link to your blog entry showing us what you did this month. If you don’t have a blog, that’s ok. Simply leave a comment on this blog entry by midnight on Monday, May 7 and tell us what you did. Doing either thing will put you in the running for these fabulous prizes but despite that the linky tells you to also leave a comment, please only do one or the other. In order to keep the prize drawings truly random I have to look at the time stamps on both comments and linkups which is simplified if you only enter once. After linking or commenting, come back to THIS post on Tuesday, May 8 and check the comments to see if you won.

I hope you’ll visit the other sites and meet other like-minded urban farmers – I’m looking forward to checking out everything you’ve done myself!

32 Responses to April UFH Gardening Challenge Roundup – Show us Your Stuff

  1. I built my raised bed garden in April…finishing up filling with dirt and should have all of my spring crops in by tomorrow…thank goodness my last frost date is not until the end of May :) Check it out! http://www.throwbackroad.com/2012/04/my-suburban-farm.html

  2. April has been super super busy!! We were in the middle of building a chicken coop when April began. We did it all from reclaimed wood and only purchased screws and a piece of corrugated plastic for the roof so we can safely gather the rain runoff in our rain barrel. As soon as we finished the coop, we started on raised gardens. We are kindof starting over this year. For the past couple of years we used only container gardens but wanted to put in bigger gardens this year to not only provide for us, but for my parents and siblings also. Again we used reclaimed wood and only bought screws. I planted two gardens last week and we dug up and added manure to an inground area that we have available. We will be planting that garden, finishing the third raised bed, and setting up rain barrels to water those gardens this coming week. We are trying to make use of as much of our yard as possible to become more self sufficient, so we are plotting out a fruit tree and fruit bush garden soon, working on permaculturing our yard and looking at vertical gardening and aquaponic options also. We have also been gathering old windows to build a greenhouse, which we are uber excited about! But that will have to wait until next month. I have a ton of plans to use the reclaimed items I have been gathering for quite some time just for this purpose. Everything is a bit of a mess right now, but I definitely see the vision coming together. Each and every one of the books and items you have in your giveaway would be more than helpful as we build our little “suburban farm”.

  3. I am trying out several gardening experiments this year: growing onions from seed instead of sets, gardening with wood chips, and planting all heirloom seeds. I am very excited about all of them!

  4. Pingback: Growing Onions from Seed: An Experiment | Green Bean Gardens

  5. This set of challenges was really great! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I actually started last fall with garlic; the first time I’ve attempted it. So far this spring I’ve started onions, peppers, and tomatoes indoors and transplanted them. The peppers and tomatoes are in a raised bed with a mini-greenhouse cover for the cold days (our last frost is May 25th). I also plan on doing succession planting!

  7. I’m growing a fairly large vegetable and herb garden with a few beneficial flowers mixed in. We mixed in our own compost and things are off to a great start!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Kaitlin you won a Vee Garden! Email your address to me and let’s get it to you. annette (no space) cottrell at yahoo (dot) com.

  8. It has been a busy month at Pollo Loco Homestead. I am planting a lot more herbs from seed this year: chamomile, borage, echinacea, calendula, fenugreek, thyme…..and basil as usual…lots and lots of basil.
    AND the chickens have been busy trying to destroy it all!!! I have rebuilt my hugelkultur three times now…..I think it is time for a permanent fenced run for the girls.

  9. I started my cucumbers under recycled cloches (an old cake dome and a fish tank). Also I built 3 trellises for shelling peas (my first time growing these!), snow peas, and sugar snap peas. Thanks so much for these challenges it was a great month!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Mimi you won Deb you won a copy of Food Grown Right – email your address to me and let’s get it to you. annette (no space) cottrell at yahoo (dot) com.

  10. A financially related move last August meant giving up my well tended garden space, but I was determined that we would still have fresh veggies this year!! So, I spent the first couple months of the year rounding up all of the free containers I could find (broken buckets to coffee cans to actual pots, anything goes!!). Then it was a matter of finding various cheap/free sources for decent dirt and compost while the seedlings got started. So far we have a big pot of spinach, another of chard, a couple smaller basils, the rosemary plant that got transplanted and brought with us, and a whole lot of bush beans, zucchinis and snow peas that I started in my mom’s hijacked raised bed. The baby peppers are still in the house, and I’m counting on the Seattle Tilth plant sale to provide us with our tomatoes this year.
    I will have fresh veggies, oh yes, I will have them!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Sarah you won a chocolate garden (I wish it were real!) Email your address to me and let’s get it to you. annette (no space) cottrell at yahoo (dot) com.

  11. Busy and wonderful April. First time nurturing little sproutlings from seed. So very fun and rewarding to watch them unfurl and lazily stretch toward the sky. Then we repotted and repotted again and now it’s almost time for them to go into the ground- We can’t wait to watch them take off!!

  12. I’ve been busy preparing the raised garden beds, amending them with compost. Direct sowed peas, lettuce, radish, kale, chard, spinach, beets, green onions. Planted fingerling potatoes, asparagus roots and onion starts, plus 9 new dwarf fruit trees (apricot, peach and pear). Transplanted some of my tomatoes…. they were getting leggy….it’s early, so we’ll see how that goes with covering them on cold nights. Also, have other seeds started indoors, I will transplant them in a couple weeks.

  13. I had SO much fun this month!

    I decided to start my first medicinal herb garden. I now have Yarrow, Plantain, Chamomile, and Calendula babies growing in my window! I can’t wait for the weather to warm up and get them planted outside. I’m dreaming of the lotions, salves and teas in the future! I planted Echinacea… but it didn’t come up… I might buy that one.

    I also started my garden SO much earlier than normal and it looks like I will only need to buy tomato and pepper plants (I’ll start those earlier next year). Currently I have rainbow carrots, lettuce, radishes, broccoli, swiss chard, beets, cucumber, patty pans, zucchini, winter squash and peas all up and growing. The swiss chard, beets and peas are out and the rest under cold frames my sweet hubby made me! I might ask for one more cold frame and try to get a jump on beans this year.

    I also tried to grow celery from the end piece of one I bought from the store. It started growing after just a couple days and is doing REALLY well! I did the same thing with spinach and they are a little slower, but still working! Although the celery is under a cold frame and the spinach are not.

    I also planted asparagus crowns early this spring and two of the 6 crowns have baby asparagus growing!

    I didn’t have a chance to build the trellis I want. I want to build an arched trellis that goes from one bed to the other and grow my winter squash on it.

    Over all I’m very excited about my garden this year! Thanks for the challenge!

  14. This month was fix-it month. Tomatoes and squash had blossom-end rot, some tomatoes got a fungus, and cucumber beetles appeared out of nowhere! When I wasn’t learning how to fight these nasties, I was planting melons and winter squash and picking lots of strawberries.

  15. We moved into a new house this winter so we’ve been busy! We rebuilt the existing raised bed along the side of the house. It measures 5×16 feet. In it, we built our pea trellis which hangs from our eaves and covers a large window into the living room. It’ll be great when the peas reach up high! In this bed, we planted our early onions, peas, radish, lettuce and spinach. In the back yard, we pulled up sod out of what was a garden over 10 years ago. We found old timbers and even landscape cloth down under the grass. Here we built to new beds, each are 4×12 feet. We also brought in a lot of compost and new planting mix, and got our bean tee pees built. Inside, we started seeds for kale, cauliflower and broccoli because we knew the new garden was getting late to get those things in. Can’t wait for May, we have so many things ready to get planted! Oh, and we also started a second barrel of potatoes, the first was started in March. Both cans are almost at the top already! wow!

  16. This has been a fun month of challenges! Thanks for all your energy and motivation! We have a good size garden with two types of raised beds: straw bale and recycled materials, hoop-covered, with some of them sub-irrigated. This year we are focusing on dry beans (besides all the standard things one grows in a home garden) and getting our berry garden going. Another continuing focus of ours is to expand our menagerie of perpetual veggies, fruits, herbs, and spices. This year we added hops for our vertical gardening challenge. I seed start all of my warm weather crops and I am now on my 3rd potting up of my tomatoes and peppers. If I don’t see soils temps not dropping below 50° soon, I’ll be harvesting tomatoes from my seeds starting area! One of the new things I am growing this year (I do one thing new every year) is dryland rice! It is growing very well (98% germination!!) in my little seed starting area and will be ready for transplanting out by Mother’s Day. Excited to see what comes of that! My seed starts of herbs are thriving and I have already planted many out in the garden under cloches. For pest prevention we are using IPM, hooped cover cloths over the kole crops, and lots and lots of hand picking!! (Harlequin Beetles are my main nemesis!) We built what we call a “chicken moat”, which is basically a fenced in 10′ wide border around our garden. Whenever a grasshopper or other bugs gets flushed out of the garden, have to cross the “danger zone”, which is manned by my dedicated chickens and guineas. I also use electric net fencing to allow chickens to forage in between the garden beds on a temporary basis. My chickens also did a great job earlier this spring foraging for grubs in last years sorghum and mangle beet patch. Our chicken project for this summer is to finish our chicken tractors and moveable pens and set them up in the cow pasture. Perfect fly control + excellent protein (maggots) for the chickens!

    Love this WHOLE challenge project!

  17. Where I live in Canada is a few weeks behind you, but we’re already gardening and sharing! At our first work bee at my community garden we augmented the plots with worm castings and mulch, and I seeded the regular spring green veggies. The trellis information is very timely – I will head out this weekend to set some up, though I am hoping to use sunflowers to support some of the peas and beans. Parsley is returning from last year – and I was happy to learn that it deters some pests – as well as sage, chives and oregano. I have harvested twice already from the sorrel plant that my mom split from hers last spring – the fresh greens are delicious on goat cheese pizza with chives and are the ultimate prize for this lazy gardener. It’s almost time to plant seedlings here, so there is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks – especially beautiful red rhubarb!

  18. This month I started a number of new seeds (and purchased some to start later in the season), planted Cosmos for pest prevention and built a few trellis’s for vertical gardening. Including one cucumber trellis that will create shade in the sandbox! Can’t wait to see it in action!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Jenny you won a copy of Free Range Chickens! Email me at annette (no space) cottrell at yahoo (dot) com.

  19. Julia Kaiser

    I cannot build raised beds at my apartment so I started my container garden. I actually started my seeds the ast week of March. They are growing so fast. The thing I have growing are garlic, tomatoes, peppers, watermeon, chives, dill, parsley, green beans, peas, and potatoes! I am also still working on the trellis for my beans and peas

  20. My seedlings are in the windowsills – waiting for the weather to warm up. I started tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and basil. I also started celery and kale for the first time ever and am excited to see how they turn out. My squash trellis is built (thanks to a friend!) and my beans will be climbing up old cedar fence rails that have been split down for them. The carrots, potatoes, peas and onions are growing in the newly amended soil but I’m still working on keeping the chickens out of the garden so as to not eat the seedlings. Their compost is aging for the fall – hooray! If all goes well we will be working on a chicken fence next week. Now – I just need to wait for the ground to warm up to plant (well – that and I have a whole lot of weeding to do!).

  21. You’ll see Khadijah up in those links twice- our site got hacked, and the first post was lost!! Probably Monsanto (SMILE)!! Anyway, the second link will work for pictures, even though the detailed post is lost in space…
    LOVE this challenge, so much fun, and so motivating!

  22. In addition to all our seed starting and usual April garden preparation, we decided to focus on the chickens in the garden part of this challenge. In order to make a better separation between our chickens’ free-ranging options and our vegetable garden, we needed to establish a better fencing system. To do this, we needed to move a few raised beds and put up a new fence. So far the changes have been wonderful. Our chickens tend to be lazy and when met with an obstacle, they head elsewhere (since we have plenty of good areas for them to forage).

  23. Did you post a winner yet?

  24. I posted comments and they were there for a day or two and now they are gone. Am I ccrazy? Was checking to see who won prizes for April. Take care and thank you!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Mary are they there now? Weird! I am posting winners tonight – sorry for the delay. But baby goats and all.

  25. I’m so late posting this! I did partake in Aprils challenge though and I’m growing much more than usual. As well as the usual tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, I’m growing black squash, collards and kale! Cant wait to see how it all grows! Loving this challenge!

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