April 2013, week 4: Spring greens

While much of the directly sown seeds are still germinating and setting out first true leaves, this year I ventured into buying a few seedling from retail stores. A local shop is selling 4 pack trays for 79cents and I thought it was a very good deal to pass by. I went out and bought about 10 of the packs – Arugula, Spinach, Sweet 100 tomatoes and kale seedlings. I shall set them out this week. While there, I also could not pass on buying Walla Walla Sweet onion sets J

Spinach, Pak choi, beets and lettuce that were sown mid-March are emerging. It seems a lot of time to germ inate and grow, I think that’s the way of seeds in cool weather.

I’ll post some pictures of the garden soon…

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Harvest of Rainbow Chard and Green Sorrel

Greens are dominating spring harvest so far, a bunch of chard and sorrel was picked last week. Sorrel is producing much more than I can possibly eat, even after giving it away to friends, there’s so much still there. I am trying out new recipes every week. I tried making chard and chukka bhaji, didn’t turn out well, I overcooked the greens. Oh well…

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Harvesting Chives and broccoli shoots

Along with greens, harvested big bunch of chives. It was made into chives pesto with walnuts, it’s in freezer waiting to be used over next months.

Here’s what seeded/transplanted this week:
Seeded: fenugreek
Transplanted: arugula, spinach, walla walla onion sets, pak choi

What’s growing:
Chard (transplanted) , Sorrel (perennial), chives (perennial) ,Peas ,Garlic greens, bunching onion, lettuce, carrots, pak choi, spinach, walla walla onion sets, lettuce

What’s harvested last week?
Sorrel – 1 bunch , Chard – 1 bunch, Chives – 2 bunches and handful of broccoli

Cold Garden

I am cold, my kids are cold, tomatoes are cold, even compost pile is getting cold.. in July. I am out wearing a polar fleece today. Summer is absent and Cliff Mass says it’s going to be absent for another couple weeks.  There’s persistent cloud cover that won’t budge, light is so dim we have to put indoor light on at 4pm. Only good news is I haven’t watered lawn at all this year, not even single time. Now who wants to trade spots with this part of the country? I don’t think peppers are going to survive this year, CVG doesn’t think either. Here’s walkthrough of garden – it’s cold and soggy.


DSC_0497Lettuce: (Black Seeded Simpson) in container. Seeds are from local ACE hardware shop. Sown on 14 June.

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Bush Beans: (contender and blue lake bush). Seeds are from trusted Ed Hume, sown on 12 June and 26 June. Last year’s beans were bountiful, I am growing them on same spot this year.

DSC_0495Peppers: (Nu Mex Joe Parker, Italia Sweet and Thai Orange) all of the pepper plants are bought from local Home Depot. Joe parker is getting big, ready to be harvested next week. Thai peppers are suffering from cold, yet to flower. Italia variety have 2-3 tiny peppers. Nothing looks promising in this cold. Heat loving plants like pepper and eggplant are definitely not loving this weather.

 

 

 

 

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Summer Squash aka Zucchini: (Black and Yellow) I sown 2 types, I don’t know which seedling is which, I lost track of what I sown. I guess I’ll find out in a month. Last year I was looking at zuk blossoms by this time, not sure what’s in store this year. Seeds come from Ferry Morse and Ed Hume. Sown on 13th June.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0490Tomatoes: (Black Plum, Chocolate Cherry, Yellow Pear and Roma). Look at my tomatoes, they look pitiful. Can you even spot 5 tomato plants here? Errr…. tomatoes are hating hating hating this weather, they are hardly growing, blossoms are falling off in cool, not setting any tomatoes. I have least expectations from Black plum but cherry types should set tiny fruits (usually I have seen cherry types setting fruit even in cooler weather.

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Mix of all – Clockwise from top – Snap Peas (Super Sugar Ann) , Chavali Beans (Asparagus Beans), Cabbage (pinetree early cabbage), Beans (Yellow was). This bed is mix of all – mix in weeds too. Plan is to harvest peas first, beans will get good space to grow, cabbage will be transplanted to peas space then.

 

 

 

 

 

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Methi, fenugreek in back and Beets in front. Fenugreek seeds are from local Indian store. Beets are early wonder. Methi will be ready as early as next week.

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Cucumber (Mucher): Cucumbers are growing very SLOW. It’s been 2 months and these aren’t even second leaf stage. Heat is absent and cukes are not liking it. I won’t even bother putting in trellis for another couple weeks.

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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End of Summer

Yesterday marked official end of summer. In US, summer ends on September equinox on around Sept 22nd.

The September Equinox

On the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. This is true for both the fall and spring equinoxes. So on two days of the year you can find the exact cardinal directions of East and West by using the sun. The ancients did this when they set up their calendars at Stonehenge and the Mayan pyramid, among others.

Read more: http://solar-system-astronomy.suite101.com/article.cfm/first_day_of_fall#ixzz0RksoSUQ6

Do we have equal length day and night here in northwest? let’s look at local weather station data:

Sunrise: 6:55am
Sunset: 7:08pm

okay, so days are longer by about 13 minutes than nights, not quite equal. we’ll have equal days and nights on Sept 26th. Did bing on sunrise and sunset data and found this interesting site. http://www.sunrisesunset.com/calendar.asp?comb_city_info=Seattle,%20Washington;122.3;47.6;-8;1&month=9&year=2009&time_type=0

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So what summer veggies are growing in my garden on this last day of summer?

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Zucchini, bell peppers, muncher cucumber and loose leaf lettuce

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.