Friday, June 29, 2012

Goodbye Spring...Hello Summer

Summer was ushered in last week with threats of a heat wave. A heat wave for us is three consecutive days of 90˚F or higher temperatures. In preparation, I harvested the remaining lettuce that was in the garden and seeded the area with bush beans. All the beds were watered really well before the heat hit.

The last of spring crop of lettuce:

We didn't end up with an official heat wave; temperatures were 90s˚F the first day and high 80s˚F the following days. It was very humid though making it really uncomfortable. Then we were hit with some severe thunderstorms with wind and a lot of rain over the weekend. Luckily, not much damage to the garden but the wind and heavy rain flattened my potato bed. We are heading into another hot spell with more thunderstorms this week.

The garden has responded to the heat and rain by growing in leaps and bounds. The Snow Peas and Green Arrow Peas have reached the top of the trellis and are beginning to form pods:

The peas will be pulled once they are finish to provide more room for the corn growing in front of them. I was most surprised by the corn's growth that almost doubled in 24-hours once the heat hit: 

The pole beans are beginning to climb the trellis netting:

The peppers were sulking before the heat and now have greened up and are sprouting some new growth:

We will soon have some yellow summer squash and zucchini:

Fastbreak Melons are beginning to vine and bloom:

The tomatoes are looking healthy and are filled with blossoms and teeny tomatoes:

I love the garden this time of year. Everything is usually so lush and healthy and so full of promises of harvests to come.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Harvest Mondays: June 25, 2012

I can't believe how quickly this past week went by. We had some serious heat followed by some thundershowers. The garden responded by putting on some incredible growth. I will share more photos later in the week because today is Harvest Monday.

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

The first few Garlic Scapes were harvested. These were chopped into 1-inch pieces, sautéed in olive oil, and used as a pizza topping.  I am in love with their sweet and light garlic flavor and am looking forward to more this week.

The remaining spring planted lettuce was picked before the predicted "heat wave" began. Thankfully, this is the last lettuce harvest for a while. We have a lot stored in the fridge right now.

Soon we will be enjoying more variety from the garden. The heat has kicked the garden into a growth spurt. There are so many things in bloom right now, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, zucchini, and melons. The peas are beginning to produce as well. The garden is showing such promise of harvests to come.

Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed

I enjoy walking out to the garden each morning with a cup of coffee in my hand. This morning, I looked everything over as usual and then spotted this in my potato bed:

It's a rather large depression in the middle of my potato bed that wasn't there the previous evening.  Nothing is chewed or broken, just pushed down. We have lots of deer in our area and I am assuming that one thought the potato bed would make a good place for a nap. I just hope it doesn't return for a snack.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Harvest Mondays: June 18, 2012

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

I trimmed back the spent chives and some of the oregano. They will both soon grow back and provide a fresh supply. I kept a bunch of oregano to dry.

The majority of this weeks harvest was lettuce, lettuce, and more lettuce. It is supposed to be in the 90˚F by mid-week. The Oakleaf was beginning to show signs of lifting, so it was all harvested first. The rest of the lettuce will be harvested in the next few days. We are eating a lot of salads.

Not shown but joining the salads are some evergreen bunching onions, Swiss chard, and a few celery stalks.

Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Harvest Mondays: June 11, 2012

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

The garden transformed after four days of heavy rain early last week. The lettuce, spinach, and kale all enjoyed the cool and wet weather and were in great need of harvest my mid-week.

Still lots and lots of lettuce harvested from the garden right now. I keep a big bowl of salad in the refrigerator so that it is easy to scoop out portions for lunches and dinners. Usually when harvesting lettuce I trim a few outer leaves from each plant. 

After last weeks cool and rainy weather, the oakleaf and black seeded simpson lettuce exploded in growth requiring me to cut out several heads to allow the remaining plants to stretch out a little. I will need to keep my eyes on this bed, as the lettuce may be ready to bolt.

Some new items were harvested this week to add to salads. Some green onions, celery, chard, dill, and parsley were added to a macaroni salad:

Some of the same was later harvested to add to our steady green salads:

As I began trimming the spinach leaves I soon realized that some of the plants were beginning to bolt. The others looked like they would soon follow. I harvested all I could and pulled the plants. It was a great spring for spinach and I can't wait for it to return in the fall garden.

Some of the kale foliage was looking a bit chewed. Upon closer inspection I found cabbageworms. I salvaged as much of the kale as I could and pulled the plants. The leaves were then soaked in salted water to kill any cabbageworms, then double rinsed, trimmed, and carefully inspected to be sure no sign of the worms remained. I hope I remember to grow kale under a row cover next time.

Bush beans were planted in the areas where the spinach and kale was pulled. I am looking forward to trying Black Valentine bush beans this year. It is a pre-1850s heirloom that can be used both fresh and dried.

Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Early June Garden Overview

I usually take some vacation time around Memorial Day in order to celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer and to plant the garden. This year is different now that I am self-employed and work from home. Over the past few weeks I have worked in between freelance projects and thundershowers and eventually transplanted nearly all of my seedlings and seeded the garden.  Mother Nature has cooperated for the most part and provided alternating sunny and rainy days. So far the garden seems happy and is producing new, healthy growth.

First Buds on the Tomatoes

Over the last few days, we were hit by a Nor'easter that dumped at least 8-inches of rain and more showers to follow during the week. Rivers and streams are overflowing their banks, basements are flooded, roads are washed out and under water, and yards have turned into ponds. Coastal flooding is also a problem with extra high tides.

Our sump pump is working hard to keep the water from flooding our basement and we purchased a back up pump to help with the initial overwhelming deluge and it will be used as needed. 

I slipped outside today to check out the condition of the garden and take some photos. The garden is soggy but in pretty good shape considering what it has been through over the last few days:

Potato Bed

Cucumber, Yellow Summer Squash, and Zucchini Squash

Sweet Peppers

San Marzano Tomatoes

Purple Trionfo Pole Beans

Lettuce growth exploded - Glad something likes this weather

Onion and Carrot Bed

Onions, Leeks, Corn, and Peas

Peas finally climbing the trellis.

Day and evening temperatures are much cooler than normal as well.  The last transplants that are still in need of planting are some late germinating Anaheim Peppers, Delicata Squash, and Fastbreak Melons. These are all hardened off and ready to transplant, but I decided to wait until the current weather pattern improves. No need subjecting the young heat loving seedlings to cold and soggy soil just yet. A week delay won't harm them. They won't grow if planted and may die. So they are pampered a bit longer and shuffled inside during nights that are dipping down to the low 40s and placed back outside during the day.

Temperatures are supposed to warm during the week and reach 80s by the weekend. Perfect for the garden this time of year.