A Kihei Garden Newsletter for April

In April the nights grow warmer and the warmer day and night-time temps can impact seed germination and growth. Even though it will be growing warmer, there are veggies that can be planted this month with good results.

Seeds to plant in April:
Arugula (plant in partial shade)
Celery (plant in partial shade)
Cilantro (plant in partial shade)
Fennel (harvest at 2 months)
Ginger - Culinary
Herbs (the heat can affect germination)
Lemongrass - Culinary
Mint (the heat can affect germination)
Onions - Bunching (white)
Roselle Hibiscus
Winter Squash

For the last 4 winters I've planted melons and zucchini from late December through February. Melon and zucchini grow best when the nights are cooler and the day-time temps are still in the low to mid 80's. Planting early in the year also minimizes their exposure to the most destructive insects, melon fruit flies and pickleworms.

Most winter squash are tolerant of our hot weather and grow well when planted in the spring and summer. I've trialed too many varieties of winter squash that were bland and flavorless. So far, my tastiest results were with Greek Sweet Red, Sweet Kikuza and Waltham Butternut. For more information, see my post on Winter Squash.

Cucumbers can still be planted in April. I plant them in an area that gets full sun until 1 pm and diffused light during the afternoon. Some cucumbers aren't as heat tolerant as others and some are day length sensitive. Marketmore has been one of the most reliable and productive cucumbers I've grown.

Destructive Bugs, Larvae & Disease
The melon fruit flies and the moths responsible for the pickleworms will be mating until fall. See the March newsletter for more information.

For cucurbits I suggest  keeping an eye out for symptoms of Mosaic Virus. This is a very destructive disease that can spread rapidly. It's prevalent in Kihei during the spring and summer and is spread by aphids and ants. It can also be spread by your hands or garden tools. If the plant shows symptoms in the seedling or early stages of growth, the source might be the seeds.