Monday, May 30, 2016

Harvest Monday - May 30, 2016


Another week of nice weather and the harvests are picking up.

The overwintered spinach was starting to bolt, so it was all harvested & the plants were pulled:

Giant Winter Viroflex Spinach
 
Just in time, as I had to get my beans sown, which I did this past weekend.

In the Early Greens bed, I harvested a variety of veg.  First up was the arugula.  I’m usually not a huge fan of arugula as I find the flavour a bit overpowering, but this one is quite nice:

Speedy Arugula
 

Michelle recommended Speedy as being both fast & mild and it definitely is the mildest arugula I’ve ever tasted.

More radishes were pulled:

Easter Egg & French Breakfast radishes
 
The slugs have been taking a few nibbles from the radishes, but they haven’t done enough damage to warrant intervention.  This bed will be cleared in a few days, so I’m not too worried.

And my favourite Chinese green – bok choy - in a baby version:

6  heads of Green Fortune choy
 
Still lots to pick, but we should have no trouble using it all up – much like spinach, choy shrinks to practically nothing when cooked, so you normally need a lot to fill a plate.

And lastly the rapini was all harvested:

Quarantino rapini
 
This was a new variety this year & it was delicious; we blanched it & gobbled it up with some boiled potatoes, hard boiled eggs and plenty of EVOO & coarse salt shortly after it was picked.

It looks like I am on track to have the Early Greens bed cleared so that I can get the tomatoes in this week.  Speaking of which, the tomato transplants are looking great:

Tomato transplants are hardening off
 
Even the runts of the litter – these guys took forever to germinate – were off to the races once they were transplanted.

Smallest of the bunch on May 19:
Bloody Butcher & Amos Coli
 
 Just 11 days later & they have shot up.

Same as above on May 30
 
They do look a bit leggy, but when it comes to tomato transplants, that's not all that bad.  The long stem will be deeply buried allowing the plants to develop more roots and, hopefully, give me stronger, more productive plants.

There was one possible casualty, however.  This tomato plant was decapitated by a wayward football this past weekend:
Costoluto Genovese with no head :(
 
If I see a sucker developing in the leaf axle by the time I transplant the tomatoes later this week, I’ll still put this one in the ground.  If not, I suppose I could get another plant at the nursery, but I would rather fill in the empty spot with basil and/or ornamentals that I’ve grown from seed.

Since I’m talking about the tomatoes, may as well give an update on the peppers, which were transplanted this past week.  They are looking VERY sorry – not so much because of being transplanted, but because they all lost a good chunk of their leaves.

Pepper bed this morning
 
I made a couple of mistakes with the peppers & eggplant this year and I have my fingers crossed that the predicted hot summer weather will give them a much needed boost.  Firstly, I used Premiere brand soil mix when I transplanted them because the mix that I usually purchase – ProMix Organic Veg Mix – was out of stock.  The peppers didn’t seem to like the Premiere mix at all.  Their leaves were pale and they didn’t grow that well, even with regular feedings of kelp fertilizer.  As soon as the Pro-Mix was available, I purchased it and that is what the tomatoes were transplanted into – it really does make a HUGE difference.

Secondly, all of the peppers and eggplant were nipped by frost a couple of weeks ago.  I was trying to keep them outside as much as possible, thinking that a dose of fresh air and sunshine would do them good.  Well, we went out for the day and returned fairly late at night….and I was so tired that I completely forgot that my plants were on the porch.  Thankfully, they were not done in, but the damage is evident:

Frost nipped pepper & eggplant
 
I’m hoping that the peppers will perk up and put on some good growth now that they are in a nice, fertile bed.  The eggplants are due to get transplanted this week together with the tomatoes.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Greens – 512 grams (1.13 lbs)
Arugula – 78 grams (0.17 lbs)
Radishes – 254 grams (0.56 lbs)
Rapini - 316 grams (0.70 lbs)
Spinach - 318 grams ( 0.70 lbs)

Total for Week –  1,478 grams (3.26 lbs)

Total to Date –  1.73 kg (3.82 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is our host for Harvest Mondays.

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

24 comments:

  1. That's interesting about the Pro-Mix. I've been using it for several years now, and I'm a big fan. I get one called Ultimate Organic Mix which isn't listed on their website but one of my local stores carries it. It seems to have much the same ingredients as the Organic Veg Mix except it doesn't have gypsum.

    I'm also a big fan of Speedy arugula, and I wish I had some of your since mine has bolted and my replacements are not to the edible stage just yet. You musy not have many slugs because that bok choy looks perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave! The slugs are definitely out, but not in numbers quite yet - I suppose that's the one benefit of having been so dry lately.

      I knew that I liked the Pro-Mix but didn't realize how great it actually was until I saw the difference with the other brand. From now on, I'll have to get a bag in the fall, just to make sure I have it at the ready and don't run into a supply issue again.

      Delete
  2. What a great bunch of radishes, and yes, your tomatoes look terrific! My arugula is already bolting but still so small that I hadn't even had a chance to eat any - I'm hoping the slightly cooler week planned will let me have at least a nibble before they toughen up from the flowering.

    A shame about the peppers, I do hope they bounce back for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susie! Yes, it's been SO hot lately, I'm surprised that I don't have more things bolting in the garden. I'm thinking of covering the lettuce/spinach bed with a bit of Agribon to keep the worst of the heat off- something I usually don't have to worry about until late June or July.

      Delete
  3. Darn those pesky footballs!!!

    Impressive start to the gardening year!
    ANd how on earth do you get such PERFECT radishes??????
    I water and water. I get lots of "tops", but the bottoms never seem to size up or are very rooty.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue - honestly, I irks me to no end when I hear how "easy" radishes are to grow. I had the EXACT same radish issue...then I realized that the problem was that I was interplanting them in-between crops in what I thought was an efficient use of space. Well, the shade cast by those crops meant tiny or no radishes. Once I gave them their own little spot with plenty of sun, the problem was solved! A lot of credit goes to Mark, as it was one of his posts that alerted me to what I was doing wrong.

      Delete
  4. Multi-purpose compost is evidently the same the world over - rubbish! Or at least you have to shop very carefully to get a good one. I have been using mostly home-made compost for my tomatoes and chillis this year, and I'm sure I'll see a big difference. I echo what others have said about the radishes: they are beauties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark and no kidding about the compost - I can't believe how pathetic my peppers were compared to those I grew in the past. It was especially dissapointing since they had such a great start this time round with no seeding issues.

      Delete
  5. Your greens look so good, especially the spinach so fluffy and perfect. And your tomato plants look amazing, they'll probably start flowering any minute now. Hopefully the peppers and eggplants will recover, they still look pretty good even though they're a little cold burned.

    I got the hot chilli peppers in the ground yesterday, a big chore off my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Phuong! I'm quite happy about the tomatoes & hopeful that this will be a bumper year, unlike last year. For the peppers and eggplants, however, if they do as well as last year I'll be more than happy.

      Isn't it great when we get one of those big jobs done? I'm hoping that I'll be done all of my planting by the end of the week...then I can get on with installing the drip :)

      Delete
  6. Wow, those radishes are so strong! I envy your spinach, a problem crop for me. I find it very interesting that you transplanted the peppers before the tomatoes; for me it's the exact opposite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, normally they would have gone in either at the same time or after the tomatoes but I needed to get them out of that horrible soil mix ASAP and since our weather was great and expected to remain so, I decided to get them planted first. I would have transplanted the tomatoes at the same time but I was late potting them up, only doing so on the 11th, and I wanted them to grow a bit more so that I could bury them as deeply as possible when I finally got them into the ground.

      Delete
  7. Here we go with the harvests, once they start they seem to come thick and fast. Those radishes look great and the tomato plants are doing really well too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo - yup, the fridge is getting pretty full already!

      Delete
  8. What lovely harvests! So sorry about your peppers not looking so great, hopefully they'll rebound. I'm definitely sad that the season is about over for greens but looking forward to summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer! So far, I've been able to grow greens like lettuce and choy through the summer but this year they are predicting that it will be hotter than usual, which doesn't bode well for keeping those greens going.

      Delete
  9. I know how much you have struggled with spinach in the past, it looks like you've had success this season! Perfect radishes. So glad you liked Speedy, there's not much about it to not like, in my opinion. Your quick greens really came through, it's always amazing how fast they grow once they get going. Frost, yikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about speedy - it's awesome & here to stay!

      I'm quite happy with the overwintering spinach, even though it didn't take off until much later than I expected. I have a feeling our very mild winter helped - it will be interesting to see how it fares through one of our typical, prolonged winters.

      Delete
  10. Really nice harvest. The radishes look perfect. I still have to get my tomatoes and peppers planted and they are getting leggy as well. This crazy weather with hot one day and a cold snap the next is giving everyone a problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks David - yup, crazy is right. And dry too - every time it calls for rain we seem to get nothing but a sprinkle.

      Delete
  11. Sorry about your peppers. Otherwise looks like a nice harvest. Isn't it great to finally be getting to eat things from our gardens! Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nancy - it is great! Now that my fridge is overflowing with greens, I know that the harvest season has officially started :)

      Delete
  12. I love spinach ! Looking good !

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy all of your lovely comments :) Please note that in order to foil those pesky spammers, comment moderation has been enabled for older comments.