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Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Veggie Garden

Things are going well with the veggies this year.  The garden enclosure has made a real difference!  No squirrel or groundhog as gotten at the garden, and few insect pest.  Interestingly, bees and other good bugs have had no problem. 

This is a Kohlrabi.  It is a member of the cole family (broccoli, cabbage, etc).  But it grows a swollen part in the bottom of the plant.  Here, you can see the swelling that will grow.  It will become about the size of a tennis ball.  Cole crops were bred in various locations to produce large heads (cabbage, cauliflower), open heads (broccoli), small side heads (Brussels Sprouts), and middle swollen stems (kohlrabi). 

Sometimes I try to imagine why someone decided to grow a swollen stem plant.  I can't.  But it is both "broccolish" and a bit sweet, so I try it every few years. 
These are some of the heirloom tomatoes.   This year, I have Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Pruden's Purple, Ponderosa Pink, and Striped German.  I also have 2 hybrids of Brandywine (Garden Treasure and Garden Gem) and will see if they have the "heirloom flavor" they claim to have.  All the  plants are thriving; no signs of disease.
My first successful planting of Spinach.  I could have Spinach every night and as much as I like it, that's too much.  Next year, I will plant half the row.
The regular cole crops are doing well.  I found caterpillars on 2 plants and killed them all.  They are usually a BIG problem here, but with the garden enclosure, the cabbage moths don't find them as well.  Yay!
I have high hopes for the corn.  I'm growing 2 kinds of bi-color corn this year.  One early type and one late.  The further back 2 rows are the late ones and the 2 front are the early ones.  I will plant 2 more rows of early ones next week for succession harvesting.  At the very back are cucumbers.  They will grow faster than the corn, so they won't be shaded much.  And corn doesn't make much shade anyway.  You can't see, but there are cantaloupe melons at each end.  They will grow along the ground and shade out weeds around the corn. 
Here I have Italian flat pole beans.  The 1st planting only had 3 beans grow.  A 2nd planting got 100% germination.  I LOVE Italian flat beans.  And you can see carrots growing in the corner.
I took pictures of the Zucchini  and Bell Peppers and Honeydew melon seedlings, but they didn't come out well.  But they are there and growing.

Believe it or not, next week starts the Fall plantings!  I have left a few empty spaces for Brussels Sprouts and Garlic.  And I will continue to plant lettuces and radishes to the end of September as I harvest them in their squares. 


1 comment:

Megan said...

Wow wow wow - this looks wonderful Mark. Very exciting. The heirloom tomatoes are of particular interest and I look forward to hearing how they taste.

Spinach - you can buy frozen spinach in the supermarket, which suggests that you could do something to your surplus and store it in the freezer. It won't be quite the same but ... better than seeing any of it go to waste. I guess a quick internet search would provide you with the steps for preparing it for the freezer.

Megan
Sydney, Australia