Weekly Garden Update: 5/15

The Return of THEM

Down in the creek bottoms and back woods of rural North Carolina, in a place reminiscent of Deliverance, a mournful and yet deafening sound fills the air, like half a million ghosts sighing.  This is the noise produced by the 13-year cicadas as they molt and leave thousands of little bronze thumb-sized bug shells on the ground while they climb ever higher into the trees with their evil red eyes and drown out any other background noise.

The local sheriff’s office has received numerous phone calls about the noise.  Before I knew what it was I drove over three miles down the county road, pulling into driveways to see if I could locate “the source” so that I could give the offender a piece of my mind.

Carrot Harvest



The kale, mustard and lettuce harvests are essentially over.  We also harvested the brussels sprouts leaves since it was clear they weren’t going to make sprouts.  We then steamed these leaves and used them in Vietnamese style spring rolls with our own carrots.  We harvested a few small broccoli heads that had formed and then started to break apart almost immediately.  Another big pile of carrots, a beet, and some sugar snap peas and snow peas completed the weekly harvesting.  I don’t understand how southern California can grow miles of broccoli and cauliflower but we can’t.  Regardless I am about to throw in the towel on most brassica.


Front Squash & Melons

We planted peppers.  We planted peppers.  We planted some more peppers.  We have a lot of pepper plants.  When the first round of starting pepper plants didn’t go well in February (for whatever reason), we started an overabundance in the second round.  Round 2 was (naturally) uber-successful.  We’ve already given some plants away and will probably hand out some more.  If only we had more room and needed more peppers.  It’s hard to justify planting 10 tabasco pepper plants when you had originally planted on 2.

Little Broccoli

The summer and winter squashes are setting blooms and fruit.  One of the winter squashes already has a flower.  The celery is doing great – we could harvest some stalks now if we wanted to.

Squash flower 1

We planted old dutch half-runner beans on an edge of a 4×4 box, and yes, planted more pepper plants in the rest of it.

We put up trellises for tomatoes, tomatillos, and cucumbers.  The cucumbers aren’t looking so great, due to the cucumber beetles we continue to squish daily.  More cucumber plants have been started in the basement as a back up plan and their little sprouts are pushing up already.

Garden 2

Garden 1

Garden 3


A new box has just been installed behind the rabidly successful asparagus box.  This box will hold okra and perhaps (you guessed it) some peppers (and maybe some cucumbers).

New Box (box # 35)

Right as we decided to elevate our rain barrels, we started getting daily or every-other-day rain showers.   This is surely the best way I know of to ensure enough rain for this summer – all I have to do is walk out every day ready to water the garden with the rain barrels as soon as necessary so that I can empty them enough to raise them up.

We have Garlic Scapes!

Garlic Scapes

We have onions bulbing!



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10 Responses to “Weekly Garden Update: 5/15”

  1. meemsnyc Says:

    Wow, you have so much activity growing in the garden. I’m so jealous that you have scapes already! Your celery looks amazing. I planted the celery seeds you gave us and they are doing well. Can’t wait until they get large enough to harvest.

  2. kitsapFG Says:

    I loved the description of how the cicadas sound….”like half a million ghosts sighing”.

    I tend to over do after a bit of less than great results and always end up over compensating… so I can feel your pepper pain!

    Beautiful harvests again this week. 😀

  3. Wilderness Says:

    Wow can I come plant at your house. So many things already. Your gardens look great.

  4. Diana Says:

    I wish we can harvest carrot like yours. Carrots are never enough in our kitchen. You have so many variety of plants in your garden.

  5. villager Says:

    You do have a lot growing on there! No garlic scapes here yet, but it won’t be long.

  6. Barbie Says:

    Nice carrots. Your garden is really filling in nicely now.

  7. randomgardener Says:

    You have a lot of garden! Looks wonderful! You must be really really really busy in the garden!lol! Just curious – is there any vegetable missing in your garden? I’m guessing not!

  8. Daphne Gould Says:

    My garlic is huge this year, but no sign of scapes. I love when they come in as I always make some garlic scape salad dressing. But here we will still have lettuce. The only month I usually don’t have lettuce is in August. Except for those really weird hot year, like last year. This year seems to be shaping up to another cold year though. We will see.

  9. Mike Says:

    I like the squash in boxes. Do you let them spill out as they grow?

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      Yes, that’s the plan. The little square boxes with the winter squashes and melons are new this year just for them. We grew these “crops” for the first time last year and our attempts at trellising them proved woeful. Not only did they just grow right up and back down the trellises (taking over all adjacent aisles in the process), but the flowers on the trellised part of the vine didn’t grow very viable fruit. All of the best squashes and melons grew on the ground. So we concluded that they would be happiest and most productive growing on the ground in the future. So new boxes is was, to allow the plants could spread as much as they’d like.

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