Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lazy Not Quite Summer Days

I love to be in the garden right now. When I go through my arch I smell the roses. Along the side are the sweet alyssums.

When I turn to the side I can see and smell the dianthus. If you can't tell, I love scented flowers. To me a rose is only a rose if it does smell sweet. I've never really understood planting a rose without a scent. I've really been enjoying being in the garden, but I haven't got much work done. I should. I need to get in my cucumbers and zucchini. I need to weed. But I've been too tired to get anything done.

At least this morning I got one important thing done. I covered my onions. Last year I had onion maggots which rotted out quite a few of my onions. So I read that the first flight is usually around 700 GDD. I keep an eye on the GDD using Cornell's website. What I wasn't paying attention to was that the GDD on Cornell's site is a base 50 GDD and the onion GDD is base 40. Whoops.

If you don't know what a GDD is, it stands for growing degree day. It takes the daily mean temperature and subtracts it from the base of the GDD - in the case of onions 40 (though they use a maximum temp of 86F for base 50, not sure what they use for base 40)). That is the degrees over a certain temperature that an insect (or plant) will see for the day. It is a better measurement on when something will happen in nature than what the calendar says. The GDD in Boston is about 450 right now at base 50. I'm guessing the number is about 300 off from the base 40 GDD (based on previous years' records). So we are probably at about 750 GDD in base 40. Ack! I'm too late. I should have put the row cover on before that heat wave hit and I would have been fine. Well there is nothing I can do about it right now. My onions either have eggs on them now or they don't.

I probably should remember the time based on what happens in nature. One typical marker in nature around here is to plant corn when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear. I'm sure there are lots of markers but my rose buds are hard to miss, so maybe I should cover my onions when the roses start to bud.

There is some good news however. When I was covering the onions I noticed my scapes were ready to pick. Now I have lots of scapes to eat. Yum!

And I've been busy in the kitchen too. I made more vegetable potstickers. I've been vacuum sealing them in packets of 8 each. I now have 18 packets. I think that is enough. I still want to make pork ones as they require some Chinese cabbage too. I'll probably do that tomorrow.

And the first grilled pizza of the season got made. Mine had bok choy, onions, and oyster mushrooms.


  1. Beautiful gardens! Hard to take time to enjoy when the weeds are calling! Glad you got to. Nancy

  2. your onions look great!! They make mine look like they are

  3. Didn't know what GDD means, learn something new everyday, thanks for explaining.

  4. Hmm, the science of GDD baffles me. I'm an old-fashioned gardener! I know it isn't always effective, but I like to garden by instinct and my own experience. (Actually, that's how I like to cook too!)

  5. I'm intrigued re scapes and potstickers - what are they? Love the idea of planting corn when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear. And I'm similarly loving being in the garden at the moment, have had a lazy gardening evening - everything is so lush, it's been unusually sunny here and it's so lovely just pottering, enjoying it all. Even if there are far too many weeds I really should tackle!

  6. Scapes are leafless flower stalks. Some garlics puts out flower stalks (hardnecks - in fact it is what makes the necks hard) and some don't (softnecks). They are a tasty short lived treat. Raw they have a huge garlic flavor but it mellows with cooking. In fact I don't think it tastes much like garlic once it has been cooked. I had some grilled yesterday.

    Potstickers (also called Gyoza or if you live in Boston they are called Peking Dumplings) are Chinese dumplings. The are cooked and crisped on the bottom, but most of their cooking is really steaming. The outside is a very thin dough and the inside is often pork.

  7. Yum, home made pot stickers are delicious!