Monday, July 7, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 07, 2014

This past week we FINALLY started to harvest some sugar snaps.  A couple of weeks ago, I was wondering why everyone, even those in my zone, seemed to be harvesting their peas and mine had just started to flower.  Then I realized that I had planted them late this year – May 2nd instead of mid-April - because I was pre-occupied with finishing up the beds & fencing for that area.  So hurray for sugar snaps – my favourite pea!

Sugar Snap Peas
 
And we have yet another newcomer to the Harvest Monday lineup this week:  Cucumbers!  Well, that should actually be “cucumber”, as I have only harvested one so far:

My Daughter with the First Garden Sweet Cucumber
 
This cuke is from one of the Garden Sweet plants.  When I started the seeds back in May, I sowed some in cell packs and others in larger cups.  I had read that cucumbers do not like to have their roots disturbed and I was wondering if there would be a difference between the seedlings grown in the larger vs. smaller containers.

Well, the harvested cucumber came from a plant that was sown in the larger cup.  However, I have two other Garden Sweets from that original seeding - one from a cell pack and another from a cup.  Both of these are just starting to set a couple of cucumbers and, quite frankly, there is very little difference in how well they have grown and their size, even compared to the one that has given us our first cucumber.  The Garden Sweets are the only ones that I was able to follow up on in my little experiment as all but one of the Suyo Long and Lemon cucumber plants died when I transplanted them too deeply.

Like last year, I have a lot of baby cucumbers that are not getting pollinated & simply drop off.  I planted borage in the corners & in the center of the long side of each squash/cucumber bed, as I had heard that it was a “bee magnet”.  I think I overdid it as the plants have gotten HUGE.  I'm thinking that two plants per bed (not SIX!) would have been more than enough.

Borage - This is ONE plant!
 
But where are the bees?  I see lots of tiny bees (most are no more than ¼” long) but, surprisingly, they are on other plants, not on the borage.  I can probably count on one hand the number of regular size bees I’ve seen in the last month.  A study released recently by Harvard has, once again, found a link between Neonicotinoid insecticides and the huge decline in bee populations over the years due to colony collapse disorder.  What’s especially scary is that the study speculated that the colder the winter, the greater the number of bees that perish – and this past winter was the coldest we have had in decades.  Those poor, poor bees....I have a feeling that companies like Monsanto will not change their practices unless forced to through government regulations…so hopefully the government gets a move on before the damage gets even worse.

This past week the strawberries continued to trickle in - the June bearers are much smaller now (about half the size they were at the start of the harvest) and the Fort Laramie has produced only about a handful of strawberries all week.  It is an everbearing variety, so I’ll hopefully have more berries, here and there, throughout the summer.

The Pak Choi has finally bolted & I picked the remaining heads.  I have not been as diligent on applying the diatomaceous earth on this bed in the last couple of weeks, so I do have a bit of slug damage.  Over the past month, the pak choi produced a great crop – almost 13½ pounds from 7 heads planted only 12” part – not bad at all.  I have another round of transplants in the basement, but they are still a couple of weeks away from going outside – I have to work on my timing on this one for next year.

Last of the Spring Planted Pak Choi
 
I picked quite a lot of Swiss chard, which I prepared & froze for winter eating.  And lastly, I harvested a few leaves of the bolted Galilee spinach, which I talked about in my last post, as well as the last round of scapes.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Cabbage – 3,004 grams (6.62 lbs)
Cucumbers – 268 grams (0.59 lbs)
Peas – 1,564 grams (3.45 lbs)
Scapes – 126 grams (0.28 lbs)
Spinach – 42 grams (0.09 lbs)
Strawberries - 714 grams (1.57 lbs)
Swiss Chard – 1,434 grams (3.16 lbs)

Total For Week – 7,152 grams (15.77 lbs)

Total To Date – 23,351 grams (51.48 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Mondays.

Till next time…

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

18 comments:

  1. Borage will get away from you for sure. I did the same thing with Nasturtiums one year! All over the place.

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  2. A great week! A cucumber already! Wow, mine won't be ready for at least another month!

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    1. It was touch & go there for a bit with the cucumber seedlings, but thankfully, most of them pulled through :)

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  3. Wow on such early cucumber and love those peas. Really miss mine now :(

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    1. That's the thing with peas, especially sugar snaps - you are swimming in them one minute, then missing them the next.

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  4. You are ahead of me in the cucumber harvest, mine are just starting to bloom. If you continue to have problems with cucumbers getting pollinated you might try a parthenocarpic type, they are self fertile and will set if nary a pollinator comes along. Borage is a wanton self sower around my garden, I find it popping up everywhere!

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    1. I'm hoping I have enough plants that even if a lot of babies drop off, I'll still get a good harvest - we will see. I may have to go the parthenocarpic route next year.

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  5. I've never really noticed problems with transplanting cucumbers, but I do lose some occasionally. I always start them inside then plant out after 2-3 weeks. I'm a fan of the parthenocarpic types too. I grow them in the greenhouse and every female bloom makes a cucumber without pollination.

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    1. I had read somewhere that they don't like their roots disturbed but as you said, transplanting really doesn't seem to harm them as far as I can tell - so long as you don't bury their stem like I did ;).

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  6. Those peas look delicious! I already miss my peas. Congrats on your first cucumber.. and it is a lovely one. What's really upsetting about those pesticides and the bees is that flowering plants from most nurseries are loaded with neonicotinoids.

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    1. That is so true. And when you think of all the millions of annuals & perennials sold each year - ugh. All the more reason to start our own from seed.

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  7. Speaking of things I wish I'd grown this year - snap peas! I've never actually grown them before but will have to put them on my list for next year. Yours looks great.

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    1. Thanks Thomas - They are so much sweeter & juicier than the supermarket variety and, as far as peas go, they sure to give you a big bang for the buck.

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  8. I love borage, the flowers and the cucumber flavour leaf, and wish I had a plant in the garden, but it does take over your garden.

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    1. Boy - I wish I had known that before I planted them. This is starting to sound like when I planted mint in my first garden years ago & was forever trying to get it out again afterwards!

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  9. Your peas look wonderful. I didn't grow any because of the late spring. I thought there wouldn't be enough time. Now I know better. That is a good sized cucumber.

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    1. It is surprising how well they have done, even after the very late start - I just picked another pound today. Goes to show, it's always worth taking a chance because you just never know.

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