26 May Weekly Update

Peas &  Broccoli

Peas & Broccoli

Harvests this week were:  multiple pickings of sugar snap, snow, and shelling peas; kale and mustard; garlic scapes; lettuce; radishes; a little bit of broccoli; and lots of herbs (oregano, mint, sage, rosemary, and marjoram), most of which will be going to work with us to share with co-workers.

Kale & Mustard

Kale & Mustard

Peas & Radishes

Peas & Radishes

Peas & Garlic Scapes

Peas & Garlic Scapes

Shelling, snow, and sugar snap peas

Shelling, snow, and sugar snap peas

The short pea season we tend to have is rapidly coming to a close, especially for the snow peas, some of which we removed over the weekend to make room for cantaloupe melon transplants.  Although we didn’t get great germination on the pea seeds sowed in February (and re-sowed in early March), the ones we sowed in *January* did great and produced a satisfactory pea harvest.  Just goes to show how subtle patterns in winter weather coupled with the growth stage a plant is at can make all the difference!  A relatively warm January followed by a colder February & March meant that the January peas that had sprouted were able to hold on during the cold in February and March but the seeds sowed during those months just weren’t warm enough to even sprout.  Sometimes it’s all about taking a risk coupled with some luck – a few degrees of soil temperature can make all the difference…

We pulled up all of the radishes in the garden boxes (we still have some in a porch box).  We figured that if a plant hadn’t made a radish yet, it wasn’t going to since the seeds were planted in mid- and late-March.  The weather over the weekend was glorious so she spent several hours doing a good bit of hand weeding in most of the boxes while enjoying the beautiful days outside.  It was good for the soul to feel the warm sun while a gentle breeze blew and the birds sang to the squirrels scampering in the woods.  She also hopes her efforts will pay off with fewer weeds in the summer when weeding in the heat and humidity is pretty low on the priority list.  We also gave most things a fish emulsion bath; this was the last fertilization for the onions and garlic before they are harvested next month.

We can see that the onions are starting to bulb up and the ones in the full-sun boxes are much more vigorous than the ones in a box that gets a bit of shade during the day.  We also removed all but two of the broccoli plants to make room for new “crops”.  The plants we removed were producing side shoots but we couldn’t keep them in the ground any longer because we needed the space they were occupying.

Herb box *before*

Herb box *before*

Herb Box *after*

Herb Box *after*

We also worked on the permanent herb box.  We had removed the horseradish earlier this year because it never produced useable sized roots in the 4 or 5 years we’ve been trying to grow it.  We also removed the lemongrass stump that we had left in the ground last Fall in hopes it might still be viable in the spring (no such luck).  The box needed to be filled more so we mixed 2-1/2 bags of composts with vermiculite, azomite, and chicken manure and topped off the box.  We also seeded thyme and dill and we left space for French tarragon plants which we hope to buy at the Farmer’s Market next weekend.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

We purchased some seedlings.  After researching how to do it, we decided to grow sweet potatoes for the first time this year.  I (the “she” of “us”) didn’t know until recently that sweet potatoes are an entirely different plant family from white potatoes.  We also didn’t realize that sweet potatoes are *really* nutritional powerhouses (although we did know that white potatoes are pretty much devoid of nutrition other than calories).  We purchased a 9-pack of “Beauregard” plants (this was the only variety available locally).  We planted the first two in a front yard box that had contained broccoli and will plant the rest out as things in the other front yard boxes finish for the season.  As part of the seasonal transition for the front boxes, we decided we’ll remove the soil from the box and put down a layer of gravel (apparently might be helpful in deterring the voles from burrowing in) and fresh weed barrier (a double layer).

We also purchased watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, butternut squash, and sweet banana pepper starts.  All but the watermelon and some of the cucumbers starts were planted out over the weekend; things are still growing in the future watermelon box so I’ll plant them out next weekend (at the earliest).  We currently have cucumbers growing but we have space for more once all of the lettuce is cut so perhaps these younger ones will provide for a longer cucumber season for us.  We also have butternuts growing but some of the other types of winter squash we tried to grow are apparently dud seeds so we’ll be growing more butternuts in their place.  And when I saw banana pepper seedlings for $1.99 for a 4-pack, I just had to get them since I knew we had available space in one of the pepper boxes.

Raspberry Box

Raspberry Box

Lastly, we picked up three blackberry plants that will also be planted next weekend.  They are going in the side yard box next to the raspberry box.  We decided last year to convert these two boxes over to berry production (which are permanent plantings) when we figured out we had plenty of growing space for the quantity of vegetables we need to grow for ourselves.

Will Cauliflower make heads?

Will Cauliflower make heads?

summer Squash

Summer Squash

Front yard Potatoes

Front yard Potatoes

Melon plants with 1 broccoli & shelling peas behind

Melon plants with 1 broccoli & shelling peas behind

Red Cabbage is making a head

Overwintered Red Cabbage is *finally* making a head

Haricot Verts

Haricot Verts

Cut sage, oregano, marjoram, rosemary & black peppermint

Cut sage, oregano, marjoram, rosemary & black peppermint

Butternuts with Cucumbers

Butternuts with Cucumbers

Broccoli, Mustard, & Kale - will become Blackberry box

Broccoli, Mustard, & Kale – will become Blackberry box

Basil

Basil

Late spring Garden

Late spring Garden

2 Spring planted red cabbage

2 Spring planted red cabbage – both have started to form heads!

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7 Responses to “26 May Weekly Update”

  1. Mark Willis Says:

    The photo captioned “Late Spring Garden” really appeals to me. I love those ordered rows of raised beds! Your list of vegetables reads like a Seedsman’s catalogue.

  2. kitsapfg Says:

    I love the overview picture of the main garden area at the end of your post. Your kitchen garden is not only very productive but a beautiful garden in it’s own right too. Envious of your pea harvests. Bunnies and birds have been eating my snap peas as fast as they have been growing and it looks doubtful I am going to salvage much of anything of them. Luckily the shelling peas are in a bed that has bird net protection and are doing wonderfully. Still… I may have to replant the snap peas and figure out some sort of protection. I cannot endure a summer of no snap peas!

  3. Lisa and Robb Says:

    Very impressive! Your place is gigantic!

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      I suppose that compared to most urban areas, our lot is huge but we live on the rural fringe of an urban area where we’re on well and septic so lots have to be larger. Our parcel is two acres but most of it is wooded and I never venture out in to it because the last time I did, the chiggers are me alive 🙂

  4. marysveggiegarden Says:

    Does your 9-pack of Beauregard slips have a label that says ‘Grown by Bonnie Plants’? If so, they must be shipping the all over the east coast; my garden neighbors have bought them for the last two years. I recommend that you get those slips into the garden quickly. Sweet potato slips root fast and the longer they stay in a pot, the more strangely shaped your Sweet Potato harvest will be. And a 9-pack is a very small pot – it fills quickly. Beauregard produces a very nice spud – deep orange and sweet, though in NYS the yield is not as high as some other varieties. N.C. has a longer hot period so it might yield much better for you.

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