Harvest Monday: 7/30/2012

July is bringing in lot of sunshine and warmth.  I picked last of the Strawberries of 2012. There are many more left, some of them have slug damage and some are perfectly good, I am leaving them for critters, bugs.  Blueberries are starting to come in, they should ripen over next 2 weeks.

On Tuesday, I picked few Strawberries, peas, pinched Basil and a single perfectly round Radish.



I picked few outer Basil leaves next day, these were promptly used in Tomato-Basil-Pepper jack grilled sandwich. I didn’t have Mozzarella at home, pepper jack worked just fine.

Thursday brought in last of the Strawberries and bowlful of Blueberries.



I made cabbage Salad for Friday potluck. Chives were picked, chopped and mixed with Cabbage/Ramen-Maggie/Vinegar/Sambal to make tangy Cabbage Salad.


Harvest Summary for week:
Strawberries: (91)
Blueberries: (94)
Peas: (28) Alaska Bush type, Ed Hume seeds. Planted April 7, harvested June 23
Basil: 2 pinches
Radish: (1) Cherry Belle, Ed Hume Seeds
Chives: 2 bunches

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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.

November harvest

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Few of beets, Icicle radishes, last Zuk and few peas. Beets were seeded in July, Icicle radishes on 5th Sep. Peas have been great success so far, I have been picking 5-6 every other day for last couple months, I have 8 vines that are producing snap peas heavily. They apparently are liking this cool weather and have not slowed down like all other plants.

Update – Fall Planting Gamble

Fall sown seeds have germinated and nice seedlings are bracing chilly temperatures in night. Although days are unusually sunny and nicer, our nights are down to 45F now. We did get down to 40F last night. Not sure when the first frost is expected. Lot of local weather stations suggest frost does not occur until October 22nd but it can differ by couple weeks depending on particular location. I am up on plateau and not shaded by trees etc. I’ll start keeping track of frost here on this blog.

Here’s update on fall planting:

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Beets (Top, above brick): Beet seedlings have emerged. seeds planted 15th Aug, 75 days, expected maturity 10 Nov

Fenugreek (bottom, below brick, barely visible, day 5 in ground) : seedlings just starting to form. Seeds in 5 Sept, 30 days, expected maturity 5 Oct

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Fenugreek (bottom, day 15 in ground) : edible greens forming. Seeds in 5 Sept, 30 days, expected maturity 5 Oct

Brussels Sprouts (Top left corner in background): no sprouts forming yet. 3 July, 120 days, expected maturity 3 Nov

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Radish, cherry belle: ready to harvest soon. lost many to slugs, poor soil. 20 Aug, 27 days, expected maturity 20 Sept

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Carrots: seedlings. 15 Aug Aug, 90 days, expected maturity 15 Nov

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Radish, Icicle: will be ready to harvest soon. 15 Sept, 30 days, expected maturity 15 Oct

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Turnip: seedlings, need to move them in ground. 5 Sept, 60 days, expected maturity 5 Nov

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 Bunching onions: seedlings, need to move them in ground. 5 Sept, 70 days, expected maturity 15 Nov

Fall Planting Gamble

First time in last 5 months, I went to sleep with sweater and socks on last Monday Sept 8th. It was rainy, cloudy and cold here yesterday, few thunderstorms made an appearance too. Well, according to weather reports low temperatures stood at 43 F.

This is time to pull summer vegetables from garden, weed and prune roses. Instead, what did I do in the garden? – I did sow some seeds. This itch to sow and grow, experiment never dies. I am playing a pure gamble and let’s all watch what happens to my late fall garden experiments.

so what did I sow yesterday?
1 – Fenugreek: This is my experiment, I want to assess if fenugreek will germinate and produce this late in summer. Since very few people grow fenugreek for greens, there’s hardly any data available on web. This is for my own knowledge, I am trying fenugreek this late. During summer fenugreek yields in 30 days, so I have some hope here before killer frost arrives.

2 – bunching onions: these will go under cloche if it gets too cold
3 – spinach
4 – bok choy
5 – icicle radishes
6 – beets
7 – turnips

To get faster germination, I helped seeds in warm water for 24 hours except spinach. Spinach seeds went into freezer for 12 hours, followed by 12 hours in tap water.

I’ll keep updating about this winter gardening over few months…

Fall Gardening Timeline

Most of the fall planting for year 2009 is almost done. For my future reference, here is the fall gardening timeline I used, I’ll report back on seedlings, growth and actual harvest dates as it happens.

July 3 Sown Brussels Sprouts seeds directly into ground
July 12 Sown Broccoli seeds directly into ground
July 10 Sown peas in ground 0.75 feet apart every 5 days from 7/10 thru 8/15
Thru  
Aug 15 Radish – cherry belle in ground
Aug 15 Thin Broccoli and Brussels sprouts
Aug 1 Sow lettuce for early fall harvest
Aug 14 Seeds in warm water – carrots, bokchoy and beets
Aug 15 Seeds in ground – Beets and carrots
Aug 20 Sown Dill seeds in 2 containers
Sept 1 Already harvesting early snap peas !!!
Sept 4 Seeds in warm water – Fenugreek, Turnip, Icicle radishes, bokchoy
  Seeds in fridge for 8 hours followed by 12 hours on paper towel – Spinach
Sept 5 Seeds in ground – Fenugreek, Turnip, Icicle Radishes, Bok Choy, Spinach
Sept 6 Sown bunching onion seeds
Sept 10 Add compost to all veggie beds
  Thin carrots, bokchoy and beets
Sept 30 Sow Garlic sets into ground
October Assess frost situation and cover beds if needed
   

August Update: sowing, growing and harvesting

There’s slight chill in morning air, sun is rising later, fallen leaves are accumulating faster and yes, August is almost over. Foggy morning for last 2-3 days is calling out for ‘fall’ season. Summer garden is at the fullest right now, yielding bountiful vegetables. It will all be over in another 2-3 weeks and I want to enjoy each single day that’s remaining in this summer.

Here is gardening update for month of August

What’s Harvested: 4-5 Zucchinis, Lettuce, 20-30 cherry belle radish, handful of peas, spinach, cilantro, blueberries, beets with greens, herbs (chives, oregano, mint, rosemary) and loads of fenugreek

What’s Growing: ‘Muncher’ cucumbers, mystery squash, butternut squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bell peppers, carrots, radish, fenugreek, dill, beets, lettuce and peas

What’s sown: beets, bokchoy, more radish, rainbow chard, turnip, fenugreek and spinach

 

Aug harvest

This is what I harvested yesterday: Lettuce, radishes, 4-5 zucchini (not pictured), handful of snow peas(not pictured) and yes, fenugreek.

As the old leaves are giving way to new life in form of fall garden, I feel lucky and obliged to this wonderful nature, water and sun.

It’s all about radishes

Summer here in northwest is short lived and relatively cool, night temperatures usually drop to 50s or 60s. I think that’s the reason radishes make easy and most suitable crop here. Even said that my very first radish plantings were a disaster as I spaced them too close, they did not have enough space to grow roots. I have learned my lesson and I hope my successive plantings give me good harvest.

Today is all about radishes.

Icicle

Sowing seeds: I am planning to sow 2 kinds – cherry belle and Icicle. Cherry belle (source: ‘clearly more seeds’ packets) have 22 days of maturity and Icicle (source: ed humme seeds) have 27 days. I never sow them directly in the ground, I soak in water for 12 hours and 6-10 hours on wet paper towel, then they go in ground, for me this ensures quick germination. Not sure if this works for all kinds of seeds…..I surely want to learn more about scratching and cold treatment to seeds to encourage germination.

Thinning: I sowed cherry belle some 10 days back, now that true leaves have appeared it’s time to thin radishes. I always end up spacing radishes too close so I thinned and spaced them (correctly I hope this time)

radish harvest

Harvest: Cherry belle that are in ground for over a month are ready for harvest.. at least few of them.

Let the fall gardening begin…

Leaves are turning colors and sedum is showing pink buds, butterfly bush are busy blooming. Every man tended garden is green and rest is yellow golden, it is summer in its best form here in Pacific Northwest.

We have short growing season and truly blessed this year by unusually hot summer. Summer is coming to an end and something tells me that it is time to start my fall vegetable garden(or is it too late?)

I moved into into a house few months back, this is my first house with yard and my first growing year. I don’t even have vegetable beds built, most of the vegetables I grow are in containers and some open area in the yard. All my vegetable planting so far is trial and error.

For fall season, I’ll try growing these veggies –
1 – Fenugreek
2 – Butter crunch Lettuce
3 – Beets
4 – Carrots
5 – Bok Choy
6 – Brussels Sprouts
7 – Peas
8 – Spinach and
9 – Icicle Radishes

Stay Tuned and welcome to my BLOG!!