First Harvests – Growing Garden Weekly – 6/27/14

Trying to do a weekly post is almost working for me. Here is an update about what has been going on over the last week and a half.

Newly Planted – Beans and Pumpkins

Since my popcorn was getting to be about 6″ high, I decided to fill in my second three-sister plot with the Speckled Cranberry Beans and Small Sugar Pumpkins. This plot is separated from my other one, and is tucked away in the corner of the community garden so I will have a lot of space for the pumpkins to sprawl and for everything to let loose until Fall when they will need to be harvested. The only thing I am nervous about is that this area gets a fair amount of shade. The corn and beans at the edge of the garden have already started to reach a little towards the side where they get more light.

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The heat this week provided the perfect temperature for germination. I think every single pumpkin seed I planted came up.

Blossoms

The nasturtiums are officially blooming! I love these little flowers with their big lily-pad leaves. I was able to save some seeds from last year, and most of them have come up, but I also bought a new variety – Milkmaid Nasturtiums which are supposed to be the closest to white that nasturtiums get.

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The potatoes have officially bloomed as well. I had never really taken taken the time to admire a potato flower before, and they are sure beautiful (below)!

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Harvest

My cilantro were really thriving last week, and with the expected mid-week heat I decided to pull up half of the plants and freeze them in some lime juice. I had not thinned them out after seeding them fairly thickly, so I wasn’t sure how they would fare with half of them pulled up, but the heat decided that for me and now they are bolting. I am hoping that they will reseed themselves for another crop in the fall.

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Last week I noticed my cabbage getting nice heads on them (above), and then realized I have no idea when I should harvest them! Reading on various websites, they say to harvest when the heads are hard. We are going away this weekend, so think I will wait to harvest it early next week. It was definitely starting to harden a bit, but I think another few days won’t hurt it.

The crazy broccoli (Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli) started to develop their heads early last week, and I harvested one of the main shoots this morning. Hopefully we will get some smaller side-shoots from it as well.

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I have been away the last few days, and I came back to an overflow of peas! They have completely folded over under the weight of so many fruits, and after picking over 1 pound of them this morning, I am not sure what to do with them all! We will be gone this weekend, so I am hoping they will stay fresh in the fridge, but some broccoli+pea stir fry might be on the menu for next week.

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The peppers are starting to form fruits alongside the tomatoes, which I am very excited for. It won’t be too long before I am up to my elbows in salsa-making veggies! One of the things I was most excited about when I got back was that the onions are starting to push through the soil. Since I started these onions from seed in February it has been an awesome journey watching them grow and flourish.

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The other nice surprises from my five days away from home have been the cucumbers and the first zucchini of the season! I ended up having enough cucumbers to make two pints of refrigerator pickles, and I even got to use some fresh dill from the garden! The zucchini was grated up and will be put into a loaf of cherry-zucchini bread when I get back from my next trip.

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There is so much happening in the garden that it is hard to capture it all. Since I have been traveling a lot, I think next week I will have to get back into weeding and maintaining things as well as harvesting. It is going to be a great summer!

 

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