Goings-on in the Veg Garden
Just as with the rest of the garden, on the veg front, it’s been slow going until recently.
Spring crops (lettuce, arugula, radishes, mache, claytonia, turnips & beets) were sown/transplanted seemingly eons ago, but with the unusually cool weather, they grew at a snail’s pace. Now that warmer temperatures have arrived, they are finally sizing up.
My favourite variety of arugula, 'Speedy', not only sizes up quickly, but is also very mild,
which is a bonus in my book as I find some arugula to be a tad overpowering.
This Topsi radish is almost ready for picking -
let's just ignore the little bit of slug damage, shall we?
The first greens harvest (a variety of lettuces, Red Russian kale, Speedy arugula
and mixed baby Chinese greens) made for a delicious salad
as well as some surprise volunteers:
This year, I’m adjusting the overall quantities that I grow to better reflect what we actually use, which I spoke about in my Seed Diet post. I’ve also decided to forgo a few of the veg that I typically grow in the spring (such as kohlrabi and cabbage) so that I can concentrate on the west border expansion. I don’t plan to go completely without, however, as the plan is to grow some of these later in the season. I’m actually looking forward to doing that as it will be interesting to see how well they do as fall crops. Will I be surprised or disappointed? Hopefully the former 😉.
Moving on to the summer crops, these are also behind as I simply didn't feel comfortable transplanting them until the first week of June, which is 2-3 weeks later than they normally go in the ground.
I cut back the number of tomatoes to 18 plants (vs. 24) but there is still a lot of variety going on in the tomato beds - 15 different varieties to be exact.
Half of this bed holds tomatoes while the other half is planted up with basil
Practically all the peppers I'm growing this year are sweet since I still have a
whack of hot peppers both in the freezer & dried.
This 'Summer Dance' cucumber seedling is looking a little beaten up,
but it seems to be settling in now and putting on some dark green growth, so I think we'll be ok
Normally, I grow a couple of tromboncino together with the cucumbers along an 8’ length of trellis but this plan abruptly changed when the tromboncino seedlings didn't take kindly to the massive transplanting delay (in other words, they bit the dust). In their place, I’ve decided to grow some melons (these were previously going to be left to sprawl).
Just like the cucumbers, the melon plants are recovering
from a windy battering shortly after transplanting
Next to the cucumber/melon bed is the potato bed containing 3 varieties of potato: Yukon Gold, Kennebec and Viking. The seed potatoes were planted about a month ago and they are coming up strongly - a significant improvement from last years spindly growth:
I have since piled on the straw which should keep the bed a bit cooler (hopefully!) over the summer
as well as prevent any tubers that are developing near the surface of the soil from greening.
Also looking WAY better this year than last is the strawberry bed. Last year at this time, it was a sorry sight after a bit of an irrigation mishap when the bed didn't get watered at all during a heat wave while we were away.
The bird netting is now firmly on the bed &
I'm hoping for a bumper crop of strawberries this season.
Onion bed with fall-sown Golden shallots in the rear
The garlic bed - no netting could spell trouble...
One veg that I forgot to take a photo of is the broccoli. My seed diet meant that I’m limited to the only main season broccoli variety I had left in my stash - Aspabroc. Not a bad thing, actually, as I loved this variety last year – it was SO delicious. The broccoli is growing like a weed with all our recent rains and it shouldn’t be long until we start to see some spears developing. I do have one more variety to try – Calabrese – but the packet (from a local seed house) states in ALL CAPS that this variety should ONLY be grown as a fall crop. Calabrese has been in my stash for a few years now but I just never got around to sowing it because of that very reason – looks like this will be the year.
Lastly, about two weeks ago, I had a pleasant surprise - one of the fig trees that I overwintered in the garage (and then promptly forgot about, leaving it with zero supplemental protection and near the garage door that was constantly opened & closed no less) is starting to leaf out. Say what??
And that is pretty much what is up with the veg garden at the moment. I’ll be offline for a couple of weeks ‘cause I’m in Denver for the Garden Bloggers Fling! Even though the fling doesn't officially get started until the Welcome Event tonight, I arrived yesterday and am already feeling revitalized after a good catch-up session with some bloggy friends. It’s the first time I’ve been to Colorado and I’m so looking forward to seeing some amazing gardens and catching up with everyone.
Back home, I left instructions for my daughter to water the newly planted border and all of the outdoor potted plants while I’m away. That's something else I'm looking forward to - the weather is supposed to be nice and warm over the next week, so I'm excited to see how much everything has grown when I get back.