Harvest Monday - June 16, 2014

We have another much anticipated newcomer to the harvests this week – Strawberries!

Not a lot, mind you, but enough to get us really hankering for more.  I have two kinds of strawberry plants – Fort Laramie, which is an everbearing variety, & an unknown June bearing variety that was given to me by a neighbour.  I started this strawberry bed late last summer, so this is the 1st year that it is producing.  So far, only the Fort Laramie has given us a few ripe berries; the other variety is flowering, but it will likely be a couple of weeks before we start seeing any of its berries.

Fort Laramie Strawberries
I have never grown Fort Laramie before & they are indeed delicious.  My daughters comment when she had one was “you don’t even need to put any sugar on them!” – referring to the fact that she often asks for a sprinkling of sugar on strawberries from the market.  My other observation, however, is that they are fairly small.  Now, I’m not sure if this is a reflection of the berry itself or of how I prepared and maintained the strawberry bed – perhaps I didn’t incorporate sufficient amendments?

Also, I noticed that a lot of the berries were a bit sunken on the top:

Berry with Sunken Neck
Although I didn’t let the bed dry out this spring, when I did a quick search on the internet I did see one photo of similarly small fruit with shrunken necks and it indicated that this was because of lack of water.  Also, I do vaguely recall reading somewhere that they needed extra water while fruiting.  So I’m going to up the watering for this bed in the hopes that the berries will get bigger – hopefully I haven’t compromised this beds production for the entire summer.

Next up on the harvest list is radishes.  Last harvest Monday, I talked about the bunch of red radishes I had harvested that grew much better than last year.  This past week, I harvested the last two red radishes plus one of the icicle radishes – unfortunately, it is the only one that seems to be bulbing up – just like last year.  I pulled another icicle radish, just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything below the surface of the soil.  As you can see, I wasn’t:

Long White Icicle Radishes
The swollen root portion of the radish on the left is about 5" long;
on the right is where all the other icicle radishes are at....sigh
I haven’t really looked into why this may be the case – I like radishes, but they are not a high priority item in the garden.  I’m not pulling the rest of the icicle radishes yet – I figure I’ll just leave them in the soil & see what happens.

I transplanted the chives a month or so ago, so I didn’t have as many chive blossoms as usual.  But I had just enough to make a small batch of chive blossom vinegar, something I have wanted to do for a long time, but just never got around to it.

Chive Blossom Vinegar
This is the first time I'm making it so I have no idea if I will even like it.  It will be ready in about 2 weeks – can’t wait for the big taste test!  I forgot to weigh the chive blossoms before I made the vinegar, so they are not included in the harvest totals.

The lettuce is still going strong and I harvested the remaining heads of Rougette de Montpellier.  I’m not going to be growing this variety again - I’m not as fond of its taste compared to the other varieties and its yield is also significantly less.

Marvelous Medley of Lettuce
Last on the harvest list this week was pak choi.  It is still doing well with no signs of bolting.  Our weather has not been very hot in the last week & I am using a shade cloth over the lettuce, which is right beside the pak choi, so it also gets some shade during the day.  I’m thinking that these two factors are helping to keep the pak choi & lettuce producing.

My harvest totals this week were:

Strawberries – 90 grams (0.20 lbs)
Chinese cabbage – 536 grams (1.18 lbs)
Radishes – 38 grams (0.08 lbs)
Lettuce – 992 grams (2.19 lbs)

Total For Week – 1,656 grams (3.65 lbs)

Total To Date – 7,554 grams (16.65 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Mondays.

Till next time…


  1. Lovely lettuce. I'm just hoping mine holds up to the heat. I did put a shade cloth on some of it today.

    1. The temps got up to 30°C (86°F) today, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I do have the next round of lettuce ready to go I the basement but I'm hoping to get at least another week or so out of the current planting. Good luck with your lettuce!

  2. Nice strawberries! I planted my crowns in early May so it will be a year before I can harvest any June bearing strawberries. I'm hoping to get a fall crop from my everbearing ones. Supermarket strawberries are such a travesty. At last when we were kids, you could get decent grocery store berries. Now, they either flavorless, unripe or rotten!

    1. I hear you on the store bought berries - I have to get myself a couple more beds so that I have enough to freeze and let that take us through the winter. I'm sure that your everbearing berries will give you a flavourful harvest this fall!

  3. So exciting to harvest those first strawberries, isn't it! Even if there are only a few. I only have everbearing. Nancy

    1. You said it! My hope is that I can get a bigger harvest from the June bearers for making some jam, and let the everbearers supply us with fresh berries here & there throughout the summer. It definitely looks like I need to expand my planting, though.

  4. I hate to say it, but your radishes are bolting which means that they won't make good roots, just flowers. On the bright side, I just recently discovered that radish flowers are delicious! And they are very attractive to beneficial insects too. Mmm, strawberries, there is nothing like homegrown strawberries.

  5. I had an inkling that something was up - when I saw the radishes starting to develop flower heads, I thought - "this doesn't seem right"...oh well, maybe this particular variety is just not suited to my garden. I think I will sow the rest of the seeds here & there in the other beds & see if they do anything - no harm in trying. And thanks for letting me know about their flowers - never would have thought to eat them!

  6. That chive blossom vinegar is taking on a really attractive color. Last week a fellow gardener was nibbling on a chive blossom and I suggested she make a chive vinegar. I'll have to show her your results. On a sweeter note, your strawberries look just fine to me.

    1. Thanks David! I figure that I love chives & I used a nice white wine vinegar so I can't imagine not loving the results...

  7. Your strawberries look great. You should keep them watered while they are producing that should help the berries. The lack of water may be effecting your spring crop, but keep them watered and your summer/fall crop will be fine!! Oh we miss our chives! We replanted this spring but the plants are small and no hope of flowers or harvests for a few more months!

    1. I am definitely going to make sure the strawberry bed stays well watered for the rest of the summer...seems like I'm learning something new every time I turn around this year! I love chives - they just keep giving over the entire season with practically no care at all. I hope that your plants establish themselves soon and you get in some good harvests this fall!


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