Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Little Work in the Garden

I actually have a lot of work in the garden to get done, but I did a little over the last two days. Yesterday I weeded almost the whole thing. This isn't the chore you might think. I weed every day that I'm in the garden. I see a weed while I'm harvesting and the weed goes away. But sometimes I don't get down to the ends. And when I'm not actively looking for weeds I can overlook them. Heck I can overlook them when I am looking for them.

While I was picking weeds I noticed how things were growing. And I noticed

***Your regularly scheduled program has been interrupted for a weather alert. Strong thunderstorms have hit and it has started to rain as I type. I've been hoping for rain. Two weeks ago we had that week of rain and drizzle. Once the heat hit last week we got no rain at all. So I've been out watering. I hope we get at least an inch. Then I won't have to water again tomorrow. I was checking the soil and it is very dry. Now back to your regularly scheduled program. ***

And I noticed my first little peas has started to form. Above are the Blizzard peas and below are the Golden Sweet. These are both snow peas. I also have Cascadia snap peas. They have just started blooming but no little peas yet.

I also noticed the broccoli was almost ready to pick and the Komatsuna was starting to bolt. I waited until this morning to pick them though. As I was picking the Komatsuna I noticed the Michihili cabbage was starting to bolt. And Rubicon's (both Chinese cabbages) head was starting to open a little. They both needed to be picked.

The Michihili is a monstrosity that I showed you last week. It is about 2 1/2' tall and easily as long as my arm. It just dwarfs the other Chinese cabbage. I think this might be my first and last year to grow it. It is just too big to deal with. Next year I'm buying a mini Chinese cabbage which is easier to store and share. I guess I'm lucky that it bolted before it could form a good head. What would I do with it all? Its flavor is superb. It has a strong mustard taste, but it is very sweet. So flavorful but not bitter in the least. Great even when not cooked, which is how I tested it. I'm guessing it would make a great cabbage soup in the fall. Hmmm maybe I should grow one for the fall? Then I could use an inordinate amount of Chinese cabbage because I want to cook up soups then.

So today besides harvesting too many pounds of assorted brassicas, The celery was large enough to harvest the outer leaves. It isn't up to normal celery size yet, but it is cute little celery cuttings. They smell delicious. The variety is Redventure, but I was hoping for more red. It really is more like a weirdly dark green with occasional red bits in it. But if it tastes good, I won't complain anymore about the color.

The dill also needed thinning. Above is the dill patch that is partially thinned. I'll thin more next week too. It was seeded very thickly and then I just eat the thinnings over time.

Though I didn't pick it, my first chamomile blossom has opened. I expect a really good harvest of flowers this year. One by one each of the plants has started to bud. Now my mint just has to grow. I love chamomile and chocolate mint tea. Yum.

Before the threat of thunder chased me inside I finished putting the next tier of cage on the tall tomatoes. I have one more tier to go if they need it. And I took the leaf miner eggs off the beets.

I have some real work to get done. I need to stake up the potatoes so they don't take over the path. I need to put the twine on the last trellis. I need to put cross braces on the trellis before the beans start to latch on. But it is going to be hot today and has been hot. So I'm thinking I'll wait until Thursday or Friday as the weather is supposed to break tomorrow. It should be nice and cool after today. Even a bit below average. We will probably even see the 40s again. At least my melons had a nice week to grow. And speaking of weather, the thunderstorms have passed. We got only 0.06" of rain. Sigh. I hope those pop up thunderstorms that have been predicted for today pop up here and stick around for long enough to give us appreciable rain.


  1. Don't even get me started on leaf miners on beets. Or on chard. Mine have been hit hard, even under the netting.

    Love your celery! That's something I had planned on trying, but didn't have room to transport north, and they have to be started so early. Your peas are way far ahead of mine, but my dill is much larger than yours....neener, neener, boo-boo!

  2. My beets aren't under any netting so boy are they getting hit I even try to pick off eggs every couple of days. Oh well I hate beets anyway. The chard under the row cover is doing fine though. Thank goodness as I like chard.

    I started my celery on March 15th and transplanted it on April 20th. Just over a month later. First harvest on June 1st (ok tiny little harvest, but it is still early yet). So it wasn't that long. I hear it takes forever, but it didn't seem to.

    Now Granny you know that size doesn't really matter right?

  3. You will be making many trips to the kitchen with your harvest. I am also having problem with leaf miner here. I also usually weed while harvest.

  4. That's good to know about the celery. I'd heard it had to be started in January! I was home by mid-February, so it could have been done at that time. Next year.

  5. I tried celery for the first time this year---it certainly doesn't look anywhere near as good as yours. I bet it will be tasty being that fresh!

  6. Wow, a cabbage that will feed a family for a week! That Michihili is most impressive.

  7. Diana, I find weeding while I harvest pretty easy. If I don't things get really out of hand. Some people like weedy gardens, but I've always hated them. At the last house though I left a weedy patch of ground near the garden to let the insects overwinter and such. The toads liked it too. I don't think a toad would like my garden it is too clean. lol In a few years I'll build up areas with foliage in corners here and there that won't get pulled out every fall.

    Granny, you could have had bigger celery than me if you had started it in mid-February! Well maybe. Your weather has been so bad this year.

    Sue, It smelled so good when I cut it. Must more celery smell than supermarket celery. I'm just hoping it isn't too overpowering. But mostly I eat it in soups and you can just cut back. I was thinking of tuna salad with this though.

    Mark Willis, yes I think it would feed a whole family for a week. It was just over 5 lbs all chopped up and disassembled. I had to take it apart to store it sadly. It wouldn't fit into the fridge, much less my storage containers or bags. I usually don't have to resort to bags as I have enough storage to keep things usually.

  8. That cabbage is amazing! And beautiful! Where did you get the seeds for it? I might try growing it for my hens...

  9. Wow! Your garden is growing so fast, it seems like just yesterday you planted things. I wish it would warm up a bit in Montana so things would start taking off.

  10. Our celery is now available for harvesting too. I have been using the larger outer stalks fairly regularly for a few weeks now. They grew faster than normal this year and I think it was the cool wet weather we have had - they like those growing conditions and actually get strong tasting and bolt easily if not well watered and have feet (roots) that are not kept cool.

    Beautiful cabbage but it will be a challenge to use all of it. My flock of hens use up our leftovers and put them to good use which is a blessing when a crop that does not freeze particularly well gives you a serious overabundance at any one time.

  11. That Michihili IS a monster, but a beautiful one! Did you grow that from seed or transplant? I'm going to have to find a source for that around here. I'd really like to try it.

  12. Ali, it is an amazing cabbage. I got the seeds from Mac (Winnie). I haven't a clue where you would buy them.

    Elizabeth, It seems like yesterday I planted too. Time is going by so fast this year.

    Laura, I tasted it and it wasn't bad at all. It was much stronger than grocery store celery, but good.

    Veggie Pak, I grew the transplant under my lights. It got transplanted out at about 3-4 weeks old.