Harvest Monday: 9/13/2012 Summer seems endless

Here’s 3 week recap of the gardening and weather events:


1 – It has been BEST summer ever. Temperatures are staying within 65-75 range, not too hot, not too cold. Sun god has been shining brightly over Puget Sound. We have had second best stretch of rain free days of Seattle – 49 days with no rain. It’s been great. Someone wouldn’t call length of rain-free days as great but for us living with cloud cover, vit D deprived, tan less people of NWesterners – It’s great. Our kids are slowly learning that color of the sky is actually blue, not grey.

2 – Summer garden is producing well. Here’s what I harvested over last 3 weeks –

5 generous full bunches of Green Sorrel – no pictures. Used one to make curry, gave away rest.

 Clockwise:  Radish pods, wax beans, bunch of fenugreek and first tomato.

 Mix of Green beans (contender, Harvester) and wax beans


More wax beans, lettuce and single small tomato

Clockwise:  Green and Wax beans from bush plants, Tomatoes early girl and dried pea pod for next year’s planting.


Happy Gardening!!

Harvest Summery for the week:
Green Sorrel – 5 bunches
Wax Beans, Green beans – (57)
Fenugreek – 1 bunch
Radish pods – enough to make 1 curry serving
Tomato – 3
snack tomatoes – 4
Lettuce – 1 bunch

Harvest Monday: 8/27/2012 Summer veggies have started

It was busy week. Between long hours at work, summer camps for kids, a camping trip; I did not spend much time in garden. There were few bare spots, seeded them with dill , fenugreek and some chard seeds. New seeds did not get water for 2 days as we were out, I am not seeing any germination. It was sunny and dry so I hope seeds will eventually germinate…

Wax Beans,  2 dried peas (will use as seeds next year) and radish pods

Wax beans

Few friends were over and they picked 3 gallon bags of green Sorrel, no pictures.
Over the weekend, I picked Wax beans and radish pods. I made radish pods curry.

Harvest Summery for the week:
Green Sorrel – 3 bunches
Wax Beans – (19)
Radish pods – 45

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

Harvest Monday: 6/25/2012 First Fruits


Summer is here, hardly feels like it. Fruits berries and veggie patch is looking fuller and greener day by day. Constant rain in May June has only advantage – NO watering. I am yet to water veggie patch or even front lawn for this year. Occasional sun and constant rain is a little boon for cool loving vegetables. Methi, Sorrel, peas and cabbage are thriving.


First Strawberries were picked this week, just 2 on Tuesday, they were yummy.


Few more days, and first raspberries were ripe


I picked a lone swelled French Breakfast Radish, made it into carrots-radish-onion koshimbir.



On Sunday, I picked small bunch of fenugreek Methi. It wasn’t growing much as I planted it in wrong container. I also picked outer leaves of French Sorrel (Ambat Chuka), gave me enough to make methi-chuka bhaji for one meal. Few snap peas, snips of chives and few more berries rounded a nice Sunday harvest.


Harvest Summary for week
Strawberries: (2)
Raspberries: (3)
Radish: (2) French Breakfast, Ed Hume seeds, Planted May 13, harvest on June 19
Chives: few snips
Peas: (7) Alaska Bush type, Ed Hume seeds. Planted April 7, harvested June 23
Green Sorrel (1 bunch):
Fenugreek (1 small bunch)
Happy Gardening!

Harvest Monday: 3/11/2012 First of the year

March is looking wet and cold. On a positive note, flower bulbs are poking out of the ground, fruits tree buds are pumping up.  And among other things, broccoli is sprouting. Overwintered Beets are looking better.
I decided to get small first harvest of the year 2012. Here are couple beets and broccoli sprouts.


Harvest Summary:
Beets – 2
Broccoli sprouts – half a cup

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.

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.

How’s the garden growing? – One More Seedling Tour

Enough of the seedlings, really, I am waiting for warmer days so many things can be moved in to the garden. Here’s photo tour of the seedlings and garden in last week of May.

There is no germination in directly seeded green beans, Intense rain last 2 weeks managed to rot the seeds. Out of frustration, I started trayful of green beans inside, these have come up nicely.

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Spinach on left and chard on right, spinach is growing beyond 4 leaves, this is first time for me.

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Broccoli raab has put on new growth  

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Dill has sprouted in container, it is densely planted because I’ll am growing dill to use as greens, won’t be growing for seed

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Neat rows of radish, I have 2 varieties growing – Cherry Belle and icicle. Seedlings are about 1 week old.

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And now, now so good photos – Due to intense rains and cooler temps, warm weather crops are suffering. We still have temps in lower 60s during days and nights are 40s. Feels like March… Basil is dying, Agatha tomatoes are stunted. I am being lazy to bring them inside during nights, I think should start doing that.

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Weekend Update

Phenology says – “When dandelions are out then plants beans“ and “When Bearded Iris starts to bloom then transplant eggplant, peppers”.  Dandelions are out in dozens, my girls are having ball blowing dandelions with wind, I think it’s perfect time to plant green beans and yard-long beans. While driving around I am seeing lots of Iris in bloom, but in my backyard iris is yet to show color so I am holding off on planting squash to transplanting peppers. Every garden has it’s own micro-climate, I am sitting on lower side of the hill so cold air settles in my yard almost always. I am 15 days behind warming up than plateau just 1 mile away, likewise frost hits me 10 days earlier. Rhodies and Iris are starting to bloom elsewhere but not in my yard yet, I am waiting……

Sowing: Sowing more seeds continues, but I am getting bummed by poor germination on lot of things. Cilantro, lemongrass and Dill seeds aren’t sprouting. Few of my flower seeds (red Columbine, begonia, marigolds and cosmos) aren’t showing any hope either. I’ll try some different approach – maybe sprouting in paper towel? Haven’t tried yet. Few of the Indian veggies I am trying haven’t germinated as well – Guar and karela.

Growing: Radish, lettuce and spinach has germinated. Fenugreek, peas, rapini are doing well. I should be able to harvest fenugreek in next 1-2 weeks. This will be my first real harvest of the year, I am looking forward. Bunching onion are shaping up, they are due for haircut, tops are yellowing. I wonder if it’s common or they lack some nutrients.

This weekend I bought 4 tomato plants from local Fred Meyer. Ciscoe Morris suggested in Sunday paper that this week is perfect time to acclimate tomato plants outside. I follow Ciscoe religiously and I do whatever he suggests for the week, but problem here is my tomato seedlings aren’t growing beyond 2 leaves. Well, I thought, why not acclimate store bought plants? I have never grown tomatoes ever, so this year it’ll be store bought + seeds grown (if it happens). Since I am no expert on tomatoes, I randomly chose 4 plants – Celebrity (local store fav, IND), Lemon Boy (Yellow tomato, IND), Sweet 100 (IND) and tumbling tom (DET). I have Agatha, Kimberly and Tommy toes seedlings growing.

This weeks weather forecast calls for cloudy, cold temps. Hope cool weather crops shoot up this week. Grow please grow.

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 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.