First Harvest of the year

सर्वांना ह्या नवीन वर्षाच्या शुभेच्छा.

नविन वर्षात एक संकल्पना आहे की आपल्या मायबोली मधे लिहायचे, बघुया कसे जमते तर. 

१० दिवसाची छोटी मुंबई trip करून कालच Seattle ला मी परतले. मुंबई अगदी गुलाबी थंडी मध्ये गारठून गेली होती, तापमान अगदी ६-७ अंश पर्यंत घसरले होते. खूपच छान प्रसन्न होते सगळे…  परत आले आणि बोचऱ्या Seattle ला एकदम वैतागले, इकडे -६ आणि ४ मध्ये पारा  स्थिरावला होता, बागेतल्या सगळ्या छोट्या मोठ्या भाज्यांनी मान टाकली होती. खरे तर इतके दिवस hard Frost मध्ये भाज्या जागल्या हे खूपच. उन्हे वर आल्यावर काल एक बागेत चक्कर टाकली आणि १ cup भरून Brocolli ची फुले वेचून आणली, हाच २०१३ चा पहिला harvest.

 

New year, new beginnings…
As you can see this blog is going bilingual. I shall try to write here and there in – Marathi as well English. Even though it will not be word to word translation, essence of this blog remains.

I am back to Seattle after a short 10 day visit to Mumbai. While Mumbai was cold, freezing temperatures welcomed me back home. Seattle is unseasonably sunny and cold with freezing temperatures and rampant frost. Plants are frozen at night, perking with sunshine during the day only to go back to freeze in the night. Temperature is ranging 24 to 36 for last 10 days or so.. While sun was out yesterday, I picked few broccoli florets. This is my first real harvest of the year.

 

I have not yet started planning my 2013 garden yet, I have big plans of re-building raised beds and ordering good quality soil for this year, we’ll see how that plans out. Over next few weeks, I’ll start wintersowing some of the seeds, from my past experience beets and chard can be winter-sown, it germinates very early in the spring.

Happy Gardening and Happy new year 2013!

Harvest Monday: Oct 1

October is bringing in abundant sunshine and it is quire rare here in Pacific Northwest. Fall has begun and we are appreciating everything this garden hhas been producing.

I have been picking so much over last week, here is recap:

beans

Sunday: Green beans and one small early girl tomato. Green beans are mix of Contender (Ed Hume Seeds) and from cheap seed packets of Harvester (American Seeds). Early girls come from seedlings I picked up from local drugstore early summer.h

tomatoes

Monday: few cherry tomatoes


summer harvest

Tuesday: More tomatoes, more green and wax beans and Muncher cucumber

blight

Saturday: Tomatoes (mix of Early Girl, Cherry and San Marzano with some blight). I checked remaining of San Marzanos of any of them showing blight and removed affected promptly.  More beans, un-pollinated Zucchini and more Muncher cucumbers were picked.
While walking our lovely Sammamish river trail, me and friend came upon this lovely Pear Tree loaded with fruits along the riverside. Us and few other folks did pick few fruits.

Harvest Summary for week:

Green/Wax Beans: about 45
Tomatoes: 17
Cucumbers: 5
Misc: small zuk and pears

Mid July Garden Update

All plants are liking warm weather we have had for last 10 days. It’s been in 70s and occasional 80s for last 2 weeks. I am suddenly seeing seeds germinated (which I forgotten that I ever seeded) , beans showing visible new growth day by day and much more. Here’s mini tour of the garden.

Garden in mid-July is looking greener and fuller with warm temperatures. It has been mix of sunny, overcast and few showers for month of July. Sunny days followed by some rain are making good conditions for greens. Tomatoes and other warmth loving plants are not vigorous yet, I am hoping rest of July and august bring some high temps. We’ll see…


Here are 3 smallish potato plants.  One is volunteer and other 2 are planted.  Potatoes are flowering; I’ll dig up when potato fruits are set.


This is one of the unkempt raised beds. There are few things growing on there, I have to weed in and plant fall/winter veggies in here.  Few buttercup squash is growing on side.


This side has cabbage and cauliflower with one tomato plant. Cabbage is ‘early Jersey Wakefield’ type.


Bed 1 has pea plants on left side, these are planted back in Spring, most are picked by now and vines are slowly dying. I’ll plan to clear them in next 10-15 days. Next to it is random radishes and few beans planted. Middle is dill greens; these are close to being harvested. Right side of the bed is green Sorrel.


Green Sorrel


Here is Bed 2. From left  – purple Kohlrabi, Chard seedlings, Beet seedlings,  Cucumbers and  Green beans.


Containers with Mint, Tomato and shoebox onions.

June Garden Tour on First day of Summer

June 21st marks first day of summer. Seattle area saw temperatures in 70s after many days (or weeks) of June gloom. There were so many good sunny days in April/May I almost did not expect June to be so overcast. But it was for first 3 weeks.

On first day of summer, here is small tour of the garden.

Various Containers:

A good friend has shared Mint cuttings with me last week, I have established it in a small container. Hopefully it will live.


Shoebox container with onion seeds just emerging.

 Bed 1:


Alaska type peas are forming; these will give a good harvest beginning next week.


Dill has emerged:)


Green Sorrel is just forming. I am hoping that these establish in this location. Looking forward to summer long of Chukka bhaji.


And finally, all above in one single shot. Clockwise – Wax bean seedlings, Green sorrel, Dill and peas on left of the photo.


Bed 2:


Here are Bright lights Chard and Purple Kohlrabi seedlings.  In the right corner of picture, young Methi seedlings have emerged.


One single shot of bed 2 – from clockwise: new seed planting of beans, fenugreek methi, overwintered beets that are bolting, I am hoping to collect seeds. And lastly 2 puny tomato seedlings which I am hoping to speed with homemade milk jar reenhouses.


Bed 5:

I have transplanted 4-5 small seedlings of winter squash (Buttercup) in the neglected space of my garden. This soil is not amended and I fear these plants are not going to be as vigorous as otherwise. I’ll wait and see.


French Breakfast radishes are bulbing up.


Apart from this, I have 3 volunteer potato plants growing up. These came up from missed tubers from last years. I am not complaining.
A local drugstore sells seedlings, I am watching closely till they slash prices of the seedling trays to 50 cents. I never tried buying such sale seedlings, shall try this year. let’ see what grows form it.

Week so far… Picking, harvesting a lot

Summer is gone fast, there’s chill in the air – we are falling into fall/winter slowly. That translates into more harvests and picking many last of the garden goodies.

So far this week, We have been harvesting  a lot – squash, cherry tomatoes (sweet 100 variety), Jalapeno, green beans, shelling peas, cucumbers, fenugreek and dill. Here are some photos….

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(above) – Methi (Fenugreek)

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(above) – Methi and Shepu (Fenugreek and Dill), both used as greens

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(Above) in colander: Chard ‘bright lights’. in plate 1:  sweet 100 tomatoes, green and wax beans. in plate 2: Agatha tomatoes, 1 black krim, peas, cucumbers and yellow squash.
(Photo captured with phone)

Ambat Chuka = Green Sorrel

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Ambat Chuka has a special place in Marathi Cuisine. Little I know that we can grow Ambat Chuka here, well sorrel thrives in Pac NW conditions. It grows well in spring and thrives in summer, I hope it continues to produce in coming fall. It’s got tangy, sour taste which come all together when cooked with daal – my favorite. We harvested big bunch of sorrel this weekend and made into Ambat Chuka Bhaji (no photos) – It’s almost been 10 years since I last tasted it. Happy.

Green Sorrel has many names :
  English – Green Sorrel, Garden Sorrel
  Marathi – Ambat Chuka
  Hindi – Khatti Palak
  Telugu – Chukka Kura

Ambat Chuka goes onto my list of things to grow next year!

Tomato Time…here now, gone tomorrow

This is my very first year growing tomatoes, few are from seeds, few are store-bought plants and a few acquired. So far, I am able to get 10 ripe tomatoes ( 2 Beaverlodge, 8 Sweet 100), many more green ones are still on plants.
We got 3 beautiful days of summer last week but from today it’s all downhill. Big chilly air moved into Northwest and forecast says it’s going to stay. Temps climbing to upper 70s is almost a dream, that means there won’t be any more vine ripening of tomatoes for us. This has been my first year of growing tomatoes and it’s GREEN in color. (as in color of tomatoes so far.).
KitsapFG talks that same and advises to keep tomatoes in greenhouse or bring indoors to ripen. Really? I have to give up so soon? All I have so far is 10 ripe tomatoes …

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(Above) Agatha Tomatoes – I got seeds from wintersown.org. I started seeds in late April and transplanted out mid July (We got rains and cold all June). Very compact, determinate plant loaded with tomatoes.

 

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(Above – 2 photos) Brandywine Tomatoes – This is heirloom type indeterminate plant. I got it as a seedling in local swap. Plant got too big quite early with lots of bloom. Unfortunately all the blooms are not translating into tomato yet. We got ONLY ONE green tomato on plant (above) so far. This is supposed to be huge 1-2 pound tomato, pink in color with burst of flavor. I can’t wait …

 

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(Above) Black Krim – This is supposed to be black Krim, seedling got mixed up. I hope it ripens and I’ll find out soon. Semi-determinate plant I think. if you think it’s not Black Krim, please help me identify.

This tomato originally from the Isle of Krim on the Black Sea in the former Soviet Union. This tomato yields slightly flattened dark-red, slightly maroon, beefsteak tomatoes with deep green shoulders. 

 

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(Above) San Marzano Tomatoes – Started from seed, semi-determinate plants produce oval shaped fruits. These are supposed to be best for sauce and paste. This tomato originally comes from Italy.

 

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(Above) Beaverlodge Tomato – Compact plant loaded with tomatoes. This is ultra early tomato which sets fruit and ripens in cold rainy weather. My plant has curled leaves – leafroll – due to excessive rain and improper drainage. I acquired this plant as part of local plant swap, it is first to give me ripe tomato. This tomato is bred at Canada and is earliest maturing tomato, best for cooler, foggy, rainy growing conditions (translate to Pacific NW).

 

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(Above) Celebrity – Store bought, Indeterminate. This is a hybrid variety which is 1984 AAS winner. It is said to be mid-early variety with flavorful fruit. This plant was to set fruit very last from all store bought plants.

 

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(Above) Lemon Boy – Store bought, Indeterminate. As Name suggests, this tomato ripens to yellow color. Appearance is of heirloom tomato but I am sure this one can be hybrid as plant did not suggest it was heirloom. I am curious to find out how it looks and tastes ripe…

 

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(Above) Sweet 100 – Store Bought, Indeterminate. As name suggests there is over abundance of tomatoes on this 5 foot tall plant. It has given me 7 ripe sweet tomatoes so far.

I am also growing Kimberly tomatoes, these are from seeds shared by wintersown.org. It’s supposed to be early tomato on small plant. Kimberly has frilly leaves and I am so much interested to see how fruits looks like. It has not set any fruits yet, party due to my mistake of starting it late. It is said to be early type with small fruit which ripen in cold weather, even in autumn. I am patiently waiting ….

Happy Growing!!

Summer Flower Show & Happy 1st Birthday Dear Blog!

Summer flowers are in full bloom, they are flowering a little later than last year. Maybe cold wet May-June is to blame. 

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(Above) Hydrangea – Nature own litmus paper. Hydrangea will bloom blue if soil is acidic or else red-pink if it’s alkaline. On my recent trip to eastern Washington – Walla Walla side , I saw white hydrangea – it’s bred differently and not indicative of soil PH.

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(Above) Unknown – Please help me identify.
It’s growing tall up, 5-6 foot and bearing pink-purple flowers up on top.


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(Above) Shasta Daisy

Summer Harvest

I am back from vacation and garden was filling with goodies, was able to pick up good produce. I really didn’t picture everything that I harvested but here are few shots. Summer is busier with kids staying home, vacations, activities, hikes and much more, I am finding very little time to spend in garden. Really this is the time to relax and enjoy the hard-work we have put in garden over last few months.


Here are few pictures of harvests over last week. I was able to harvest Green and Wax Beans, 1 big Zuchini, Blueberries (last of the season), Lots of Radish, Chard, lettuce and Chives.

Summer Garden Tour

Tour of Fenugreek Love’s garden, this is how garden looks in early August.

Below is BED 1, growing from left to right – Lettuce, Turnips, last of bunching onions, French Breakfast Radish, Marigolds, baby Beets and Swiss ChardDSC_0016

Below is Bed 2, towards back are 4 tomato plants which are recovered from yellowing due to constant rain. I am growing tomato varieties – Celebrity, Tumbling Tom, Lemon Boy and Early Girl. All are store bought plants.  Towards the front are 3 Zucchini plants.

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Container garden: Ornamentals, Muncher Cucumbers, Golden Oregano, Marigolds, Cosmos, Chicks&Hens,  Beaverlodge Tomato and 1 Ichiban Eggplant. 

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BED 3: This sits in partly sunny space. From back to Front: Blue Lake bush beans – 2 types, 1 Jalapeno, 1 sweet pepper and few bell pepper plants. Front row is Cabbage. There’s also one tomato plant hiding somewhere – Kimberly.

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Bed 4 is completely dedicated to fenugreek, I do succession planting and harvest here. Right now, I have planted Dill and fenugreek in back part (still yet to germinate), front methi is ready to harvest.

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Below is my pea patch. Not much action here, it is completely under-utilized (well, I think that for every other bed too). Tacoma bush peas, few pole peas and trailing cucumber vines are planted here.

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Weekly Update: July, week 4. How can another week go by so fast?

Finally summer has arrived in Seattle and it is staying, we are enjoying beautiful days. Temperatures are staying in 80s, it is just so perfect – not too hot and not too cold, loving it much! Nice weather to my family means lots of outdoor time, hiking, visiting places and that’s the reason garden work is getting neglected.

It’s been long since I have sown anything, my time is just so consumed with weeding and HARVESTING produce. Here are some pictures of my harvests over last 2-3 weeks.

I have not started fall planting yet. OMG – thought just gives me shivers and I exactly know what that means – no broccoli or Brussels sprouts for me this fall. I have to be better next year. I have to make commitment to start fall sowing at least till this weekend.

We have been harvesting and eating lots of berries and fruits from Garden. We picked about 70 Bing cherries, 140+ raspberries (oh so delicious!) and 70+ strawberries. YES! I have won war against slugs, this year I was able to eat strawberries. Thank you SLUGGO! We also employed tacky methods to stop crows from taking cherries before we could, that involved – hanging old napster turbo tax CDs, wind chimes, blackberry thorns and mom’s old saree. I wish I could show you photo (I lost it with camera crash) but you get the idea… Mainly harvests for last 2 weeks were fenugreek (methi), strawberries and random other veggies. Here are more photos of what we have been eating from garden.

We were talking potatoes last week here’s another one that I pulled.DSC_0040

Strawberries, 2 blueberries and bok choy (some slug damage) DSC_0011

More Methi and strawberries 

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1 Salad head (Black Seeded Simpson), Turnips (Purple Top White) and few French Breakfast Radishes. Yes, Northwest can still produce radishes, we are not hot yet.

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Lovely Chard and blueberries

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More fenugreek and strawberries. I am making lots of methi thepalas these days 🙂

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Potatoes

Potato growing experiment is a success! I planted out just 3 potato eyes to check if potatoes can really be grown where I live, turns out – Yes, we can!! From just one potato, I planted 3 eyes, already got 3 big one and 4 tiny taters. Second plant is yet to flower so I am waiting on digging it out. I am sure that next year I am set to double it 🙂 New potatoes had very delicate skin, came out just by rubbing potatoes with hand. They were so yummy, I microwave baked them and sprinkled with rock salt. Potatoes just melted in mouth – no butter required here.

I read that potatoes should only be planted out in Spring, but can I plant them out now? Will they grow? Has anyone tried growing them in summer, maybe this is good new experiment for me.

Geekgardener posted a comment that I am missing my potato harvest photo. Yes, between my camera issues and phone losing all it’s data – I lost lots of photos, glad this one was safe in archive.

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Back after gardening break

Towards end of June it starts to get really busy at work and lasts well into first few weeks of July. It is that time of the year, although I had decided to spend some time with garden every day, it did not happen. This time really coincides with start of fall gardening, fertilizing summer veggies but it goes on backburner. Well, things have now eased up and finally I can concentrate more on home front and garden too.

On from 5th July we are blessed with sunnier days and warmer temperatures, garden is loving every bit of the sunshine. I managed lot of gardening work yesterday, cleaning up garden – raking, weeding, deadheading old flower stalks. I transplanted pepper/eggplant/karela that have been indoors so far. Something has been chewing up on squash, I already lost 7 seedlings so I moved remaining Squash to other location. By now, I should be getting baby zukes but this damage is giving me a month of late start.

Last week was all about picking berries and fruit. I have a 4 year old Bing Cherry tree out in the yard, crows in my neighborhood wait impatiently to pick cherries from this tree. After loosing quite a bit semi-ripe cherries couple weeks back, I decorated the tree with old reflective CDs, wind chimes, blackberry thorns to scare crows away. Crows didn’t budge so I had to cover few branches with soft cloth (my mom’s old saree), that did the trick and I was able to pick sweet, succulent cherries. I got 3 raspberry canes from a friend last year, one broke during windstorm last year, 2 of the remaining canes came loaded this year. I got abundant berries from just these 2 canes – about 150. Canes that bore fruit this year will die down this year but raspberry sends out baby plants so I’ll have few more canes next year. I already spot 4-5 new canes but I’ll have to do some rearranging and placing for next year’s.
June bearing Strawberries are giving me fruits now – in July. Me and girls went with big basket yesterday and got big basketful. Generous sprinkling of sluggo last week really helped with slugs attack, at least I am eating strawberries this year vs last year I was picking leftovers from slugs.

Over last couple weeks, I have picked generous amount of chard, bok choy, sping onions and big bunches of turnips. First potatoes were also picked. Here are some photos:

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I am already very late on fall planting, I have to fire up this week and get cranking ….

Weekly Update: week 27, more sowing and berries galore

Start to the summer is surely bringing sunnier days to western Washington. Days are in high 60s and nights are staying above 50s, days are longer. This all translates into end of spring veggies, many of then are dying, bolting or yellowing. Summer vegetables are not growing big yet due to lack of real heat. Sun is out there but mostly hidden behind cloud covers. This weather is predicted to last first few days into July.
About a month back, my FIL built few vegetables beds using untreated cedar wood. two of these beds sit in shaded part of the garden, these receive mild morning sun till about 2 pm. I started out this bed with Rapini, lettuce, turnip and Spinach – all cool loving crops. Although it’s not hot yet here, spinach and rapini bolted and is pulled last weekend. This bed was poorly planted and underutilized since it’s built, now it is planned and planted for summer months – again with cool loving plants. Here’s how how it is planted:
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Berries are ready, almost ready, maybe in about 1-2 weeks. Raspberries were earliest, these sit in sunniest spot. I picked very first raspberry on June 17th, they have been ripening steadily over last 2 weeks. I pick about 10 almost every 3 days from just 3 canes. I cannot wait for next year when these 3 canes have produced some more baby plants which will bear fruit next year. Strawberries are getting plump, they are still green though. last year most of strawberries were attacked by slugs – this year I have sprinkled generous sluggo around strawberries and protected them with copper barrier on one side. Let’s see how that goes 🙂 I got 2 small blueberry plants alongside north fence, these berries will ripen soon.

Harvest continues – I picked Mustard which was ready to bolt, used it in mustard-bean curry on Sunday. Raspberries are flowing in. My biggest surprise and excitement came from real potatoes this week. Back in April when I came back from India, I saw 2 supermarket bought potatoes sprouted in pantry. Instead of tossing in trash, I cut ‘eyes’ and buried them out. Fast forward 3 months – Potato plant had flowered, 3 days back I buried my fingers down in soil and felt a good size potato. I could not wait any longer and dug out the plant – I got 3 good size potatoes and there were several tiny ones forming (I’ll wait a little longer next time). I have one more potato plant that isn’t flowering yet.

Sorry, no photos for the week. Camera is acting funny and refuses to take any pictures. Happy Gardening!

Fall Gardening planning

It’s end June and the summer garden season is not even really started for me, and yet I am thinking ahead to the coming fall and winter season. I want to do fall and winter gardening and I have to come to terms with the fact that we always have to be thinking about 2 to 3 months ahead of our current situation, sowing seeds and prepping now to meet future harvest expectations. Even though I tried fall vegetables last year, this is truly first full year of growing for me and I am learning as I proceed.   

Typical fall and winter crops for me will include Fenugreek, Turnip, carrots, Broccoli,  Brussels sprouts, cabbages, Swiss chard, lettuces and spinach.  Here’s base plan for me.

  Sowing date Days to mature Desired Maturity Date
Brussels Sprouts 15-Jun 150 30-Oct
Early cabbage 25-Jun 80 30-Sep
bunching onion 1-Jul 70 30-Sep
Dill 1-Jul 90 30-Sep
Kale 1-Jul 70 30-Sep
Peas 1-Jul 60 1-Sep
Turnip 1-Jul 90 30-Sep
Beets 10-Jul 80 30-Sep
Broccoli 10-Jul 110 30-Oct
Kohlrabi 10-Jul 80 30-Sep
Swiss Chard 10-Jul 80 30-Sep
Lettuce 15-Jul 45 30-Sep
Peas 15-Jul 60 15-Sep
Beets 20-Jul 90 30-Oct
Turnip 20-Jul 100 30-Oct
Spinach 1-Aug 55 30-Sep
bokchoy 10-Aug 60 10-Oct
Broccoli Raab 10-Aug 50 30-Sep
Lettuce 15-Aug 45 30-Oct
Mesclun Mix 15-Aug 45 30-Sep
Radish 15-Aug 40 30-Sep
Fenugreek 25-Aug 35 30-Sep
Mesclun Mix 1-Sep 50 20-Oct
Radish 1-Sep 40 15-Oct
Mesclun Mix 5-Sep 50 30-Oct
Fenugreek 10-Sep 35 15-Oct
Lettuce 10-Sep 50 30-Nov
Fenugreek 1-Oct 35 5-Nov
Fenugreek 10-Oct 30 15-Nov
       
Garlic (overwinter) overwinter   10-Oct
onion (overwinter) overwinter   1-Sep
Spinach (overwinter) overwinter   1-Sep
Broad Beans overwinter   10-Sep

Happy Gardening!

Weekly Update: Week 26, Welcome Summer

last entire week was cool and damp, few sun breaks made its way here and there but temps did not warm even to 70s. Although mild and cool, day length is increasing and it’s showing. Spinach has started to bolt, I pulled it out. I remained very busy at work and there was very little progress on gardening front.

Whoohoo… I spotted some red and wow – there it was, very first ripe raspberry. Me and girls ran out to backyard, plucked sweet, ripe raspberry and shared it by 3. Sorry, No photo 🙂 To record, very first raspberry of the year was on June 17th! I still got cherries, blueberries and strawberries in line, although critters are also waiting it to ripen. My biggest menace is crows, last year crows got away with half of my ripe rainier cherries, birds got blueberries and slugs loved strawberries.  I have big plans to deter crows this year, I am ready to fight…

Sown: More wax beans, Tacoma bush peas
Transplanted: transplanted Daikon to big container. Daikon needs loose soil of 8+ inches to grow I think container might be good idea. we’ll see. Also I planted out just one tiny Ichiban eggplant and one unknown tomato plant
Harvested: last of spring fenugreek was harvested along with salad mix (lettuce, spinach, Micro greens – mustard and beets)

Harvest Photos

Last of the Spinach, about an ounce. I used it in kids’s spaghetti.

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Brocolli Raab (Rapini) and Salad Mix
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Last of the spring sown Fenugreek, I am storing it for use in next 3-4 days.
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Weekly Update: Methi and more…

Sun came out of hiding over the weekend, it warmed to low 70s and it felt so good. I am sure plants got a good dose of sunshine for 2 days and us too 🙂

Week was all about fenugreek, I began harvesting spring sown methi and everyday brought in loads of it. It is time consuming – picking, washing, separating leaves but well worth it.  Methi seeds were sown on 20th April, germinated on 26th and I harvested beginning 7th June = 47 days. Total I got 3.6 lbs from this sowing (yes, it’s a lot) – about 10 bunches.

Sown: None
Transplanted: Wax beans 
Harvested: Methi 3.6 lbs, Salad Mix – Lettuce, Spinach and beet greens 3 oz, first few broccoli raab 2 oz, tiny cherry belle radishes and few springs of green onion.
Consumed: Consuming 10 bunches is not that challenge in my household, we made methi thepela ( keeps good for 2 weeks), methi curry, daal methi.  Radishes and spring onions were made into salad with greens. Brocolli raab was used in bowtie pasta dish.

Harvest Photos:
Cherry Belle Radishes and spring onions. Cherry Belles are not top heavy, there’s very little foliage so I snipped it off. I was too impatient with Spring onions, pulled first few of the season.

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Left: Salad Mix – outer leaves of lettuce (black seeded simpson), Spinach (Olympia hybrid, ed hume seeds) and beet greens.
Right: Broccoli Raab or Rapini, delicious bitter pungent greens with tiny brocolli heads. I sauted these with olive oil and mixed with bowtie pasta dish. Good taste.

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and finally Methi weighing at 3.6 lbs or about 10 bunches!! I got 4 basketfulls (I’ll spare you with photos, all look the same). I still have more to be harvested from the same bed….

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  Happy Growing.

Garden Tour

We had record rainfall in last 2 days – 3 inches. Weatherman tells me that Saturday will bring sunshine, me and my plants really need some sun at this point. I ventured out in rain soaked garden and clicked some photos. everything is so soggy and drenched, I seriously think that water table level is reached at soil surface.  Here is latest in garden photos:

Happy Peas climbing up, first pea flowers appeared 2 days back. I did sow some more Tacoma Bush type peas 1 weeks back, yet to see germination. I think these are rotting in soggy soil. (See water puddles to right)

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Row of beans, we have 2 types – Blue lake Bush and Yard long (or asparagus beans or Chinese long beans). Blue lake bush are short bushy ones, yard long are pole beans. I am yet to set up support trellis for pole beans.
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Cherries: This year I am seeing some rust on leaves and fruits. Yet to find out why.DSC_0104

Row of radishes almost ready to harvest, these are cherry belle radishes. Very unusual as these are not top heavy, this type produces big root balls without much foliage.  DSC_0102  

Flowering Strawberry, I am dreaming sweet juicy berries with no slug holes 🙂

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Tomato starts: Few are tommy toes that I started with seed. These grew fast and then I mistake of putting them out without any cold protection. These remain stunted. Also I have been pinching ‘suckers’ from some of my store-bought tomato plants. I rooted these suckers hoping they’ll produce tomato plants.

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Black Beauty Zucchhini, butternut squah transplants in container. I’ll let them get little bigger before deciding their final spot. Seedlings have gotten mixed up, I don;t know which one’s which.

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Spinach and bunching onions

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Left: Row of beets, these are Detroit dark reds, usually take 80+ days to mature
Right: Unknown late cabbage variety and leaf lettuce

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Broccoli Raab/Rapini/Italian brocolli is almost ready for harvest.
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And finally sick looking tomato transplants, I cover them up during nights. Too much rain, excess water is bad for tomatoes. They were in bad spot with bad drainage before, almost 3 weeks of this never ending northwest rain tomatoes were looking so sick, almost dying. Yesterday I moved them to this bed. This is not the sunniest spot but at least these will live, I hope!

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Weekly Update: Week 24, first week of June

A mix week, good and bad – harvests are picking up, I am able to cook and eat from the yard. Weather is improving, after torrential rains and floods from first few days, sun came out on Thursday briefly. Weatherman promises good weather for next week – partly sunny with few showers – I’ll take that happily. On the sad part, I continue to have poor germination and slug damage. Just few days after Iron Phosphate based application, slugs are low. I still have to venture out at dusk with chopsticks and big rock to eliminate slugs.
Heavy rains earlier in the week washed away Basil and Tomato seedlings.  Cutworms ripped 2 yellow squash seedlings that I transplanted this week. Is it cutworms or stem boarers? I found both squash seedlings had 100% cuts and damage at the soil level. I’ll remember to take pictures next time. so now on, I’ll protect them with cut paper cups, next squash seedling batch is almost ready to be transplanted.
Also, few other seeds failed to germinate, washed away with rains or rotted in this soggy weather – Cilantro, Guar beans, Begonia flowers, lemon grass complete the list. Also sad to report that 3 bitter gourd transplants did not take cool weather and rains, they have wilted beyond resurrection.

Harvests are picking up, I picked something almost all days last week, that feels good. I made some good compost tea last week and fed all plants. Did second application of sluggo near strawberry bed, I have to get to slugs before they get to my strawberries. Strawberries are flowering and it’s just weeks before these June-bearing plants will start producing fruits.

Saturday brought sun, we had wonderful sunny day (mixed with some clouds) after 3-4 weeks, temps were in upper 60s and the sun felt wonderful. Day started off with Victory Garden Veggie swap, I managed to swap many of my seedlings and surplus seeds for some nice tomato, peppers and basil. Back home, I did weeding for good one hour, cleared overgrown bamboo, helped husband clean the pond, planted dahlia tubers and transplanted some of the acquired seedlings.

Sown: Second planting of yard long beans, Bitter gourd, Musclan Mix and Swiss chard. I am replacing everything that was destroyed during the week. Sown more cucumber, daikon and wax beans.
Transplanted: Red Swiss chard, lettuce, Italian softneck garlic, butternut squash, zucchini
Harvested: Chives 6 oz, Oregano 7 oz, Salad Mix – baby leaves of Lettuce, Spinach and beets
Consumed: All Chives were added to Beet-Peanut salad. I made Spaghetti on Thursday, added oregano into making sauce. Salad mix was used as lunch on Friday. 

Harvest Photos:
Salad Mix (Lettuce, Spinach) 4 Oz
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Lots of Oregano 7Oz
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Chives   6Oz
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and lastly, first crop of fenugreek from container 8 oz
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Happy Growing.