Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring Growth

I took these photos for my Monday Seedling Update, but the reality is, they aren't seedlings anymore. With all the growth they have put on this spring they are bonafide plants.

The peas are about five inches tall and are starting to grab on to their supports. The spots that didn't germinate were reseeded last week. Those new seeds have just started poking up their heads. I wonder if they will catch up to their sisters. I have three varieties, Cascadia (snap pea), Mammoth Melting (snow pea), and Super Sugar Snap (snap pea).

The Gonzales cabbage is doing well. The slugs seem to leave it alone.

Other plants are getting eaten under the row covers. The Chinese cabbage seems to be one of the favorites this year. I think it is because it is the closest one to the compost pile.

I have no clue if my onions (Copra and Tropea) are doing well or not. They look pretty, but I haven't grown them in over a decade. Are they big enough at this point to form good sized bulbs when they should? Or are they too small? I'll find out in the summer.

I love my lettuce. I really think lettuce is one of the prettiest plants in the garden. The above lettuce is New Red Fire. It looks exactly like my Red Sails. I can't tell them apart at all. It seems silly to have two varieties that are the same, but I'm going to see which one bolts slowest in the summer and use that lettuce in future years. This plant has seen a couple of harvests already. I keep cutting off its larger leaves for my salads.

Merveille de Quatre Saisons has lovely smoother leaves than the others and its edges are round. I love how the leaves start really dark red and start mixing with green as they get older.

Australian Yellow Leaf was a trade from Dan. It is a shocking chartreuse and really quite pretty. It makes a great counterpoint to the red leaves of the other lettuce. It reminds me of Black Seeded Simpson. I hope it grows bigger than that variety. BSS would never get very big for me. It seemed best as a small lettuce.

Deer Tongue, for which I have no photo, is the last lettuce variety in my garden. I've had some germination issues with it. Sometimes when I plant seeds they all come up. Sometimes none come up. I understand that some seeds have lower germination for many reasons, age, how they were stored etc, but why are they all or nothing? I find this lettuce interesting only that it is different from my others. The color is just green. The leaves are flat and not all that pretty to me. Of course taste is always the issue. I won't know about that for a few more weeks and it is much older.


  1. Very healthy looking vegetable plants indeed.

  2. Daphne,
    I usually only BSS in my garden but would love to get my hands on a larger variety that I could use to make wraps. Any suggestions?

    Your garden is lovely! I wish I could get more sugar snaps, mine are done for the year.

  3. These all look great, Daphne! Our cool, wet weather has meant that our now peas, onions, lettuces, arugula, mesclun mix, and Swiss chard are all looking fantastic this year! ((Sugar snaps, where art thou?!!) Way to go!!!

  4. Looking good, Daphne! I love the lettuces, too. Even though they aren't my very favorite thing to consume from the garden, I love them just for their looks, and I always end up planting way to many just to make the garden look prettier. I think lettuce and beets and frilly carrot tops are just lovely to look at. well, pooh...I think vegetable gardens are lovely to look at, especially in the spring.

  5. Just beautiful lettuce! I'm going to have to try those. I'm wondering how you like the tatsoi? I forgot to ask you that in my last comment. I was thinking of trying it- any advice on starting it?

  6. I agree...lettuce is probably my favorite thing in the garden to admire. Man....cabbage sure is hard to protect from bugs. Good luck!

  7. looks great! it usually works out better for us when a few sprouts dont sprout up and then we reseed- spreads the harvest out a little bit.

  8. Amazing Daphne, are those onions the ones you sowed in February? They look great!


  9. Beautiful! Even with slug/bug damage they all look good enough to eat!

  10. Holly Molly Daphne, your onions look amazing. Nice to see the Yellow Leaf, mine is just getting true leaves now. It is supposed to get really big, 16" across. I have not tried the deer tongue yet as I just ordered it this spring but I am guessing it must be similar to romaine.

  11. keewee, thanks

    Carol, well if Dan is right the Australian Yellow Leaf will be huge. Red Sails is probably big enough too if you like red lettuce.

    Our Friend Ben, thanks. My husband says that we will finally get some rain. I hope he is right. I had to water the garden before I left.

    Annie's Granny, chard looks really pretty too especially if you grow bright lights. I love the yellow stem ones.

    Tessa, I love tatsoi. I started it inside like most of my plants. The package said to plant 12" apart, but I'm thinking 6" is plenty unless you want to harvest it at one time as a huge rosette. 9" would be good for that. I'm just harvesting the outer leaves so it keeps the plant pretty small.

    EG, It isn't hard if you are willing to put on a row cover. It keeps all the nasty things away. I really hate the look of row covers. Nothing is uglier in the garden, but I do it anyway.

    Josie, Thanks.

    Tyra, yes they are the ones I sowed in February. They have grown alot.

    fullfreezer, so far the slugs have only eaten the lower leaves so it isn't too bad.

    Dan, Thanks. The yellow leaf is growing very well so far. 16" will be huge. It only has an 8" slot so I'm guessing it won't get quite that big.

  12. I am learning so much from your blog. I am so very intrigued by how you tally your vegetable bounty against the expense. Can't wait to see how it all comes out.

    And what is it with Chinese cabbage and slugs? Mine looked like lace by the end of last season.

  13. June, I'm really hoping it comes out possitive. I thought about making a few tallies. You know the one with the local organic prices for everything that comes out of the garden. Another more realistic price with things I would really buy :>

    Luckily once they head the slugs don't seem to get into the middle. I've had earwigs do that (shudder) but not slugs.