April 30, 2018

Harvest Monday, 4/30/18

The last harvest of pea shoots from a 48 cell tray. It's much too late to plant peas at this point, we're well on our way to warmer weather this week. They're calling for temperatures in the 80's in the next few days (26.7 degrees Celsius).
I went ahead and planted seed potatoes that were purchased from a big box store a month ago. Poor sad dried up tiny seed potatoes. These are Adirondack Blue. My husband and I had a lengthy discussion on whether the planters he dug out of the attic would be put to better use raising potatoes or carrots.
The seed potatoes from the autumn mix bag were even sadder than the Adirondacks. I do worry that I buried them too deep, will these tiny potatoes have enough energy to send their shoots up through the soil strata? We'll find out.

I have sweet potatoes making slips on the front porch. We were in Nashville last week and I found Japanese Purple sweet potatoes at an Asian/Latin market. Only the small specimens looked any good, hopefully the little Purple will be able to make slips. I do have a Beauregard sweet potato already making slips.

Please join us at Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres, where gardeners are joyfully celebrating this busy time that is spring.

April 28, 2018

April Greenhouse Update

The greenhouse is packed with mainly tomatoes and pepper plants. I actually only finished potting up the peppers and tomatoes into individual containers a couple days ago on Wednesday.
One thing I decided not to grow is eggplant. And there won't be any spring lettuce or anymore spinach since the seedlings all bolted in the greenhouse.
Aunt Molly's ground cherry, I'm trying three different varieties of ground cherries and this one happens to be the largest so far. They are supposed to have a tropical but savory flavor, and they start out as the tiniest seeds and the tiniest seedlings ever.
Ambrosia is another named variety of ground cherries. I'm so excited to be growing them for the first time, I've been watching lots of YouTube videos about cooking with them.
This is actually an unnamed variety of ground cherries. It didn't germinate until it got very warm in the greenhouse, but it's a fast grower and is now a little bigger than the Ambrosia variety.
Pablano and jalapeno peppers. The pablano peppers didn't germinate until it got quite warm but they did end up with full germination.
Padron peppers. There was a bit of a disaster with the peppers and only 1/3 survived from the early seeding. They were reseeded when the tomatoes were sown which is why their sizes are so variable.
Odessa and Feher Ozon peppers are new to me varieties. We're mainly growing sweet peppers this year.
This tub has Sun Gold, Black Vernissage, and the potato leaved Yellow Brandywine tomato plants.
Aunt Ruby's German Green, Pink Berkley Tie-Dye, and Juanne Flamme are doing well in this tub. The tomato plants are at various stages of growth. A lot of things didn't germinate until it got truly warm in the greenhouse like Big Rainbow, Hillbilly Flame, and Ananas Noire.
Marianna's Peace is another potato leaved tomato.
Kale and escarole/endive share a flat and behind them is a whole flat of leeks.
The newly potted up onions and more kale are hanging out under a table until they recover some. Behind them are some kohlrabi.
Here's a big bucket of cutting celery which is destined for a little plot of land behind the greenhouse, in prior years this fallow area had been home to many a weed. I can't believe I finally got leaf celery to germinate.
Gigante parsley. This year I'm trying to grow more herbs in general.

It's supposed to be warm and sunny this week, so hopefully it'll dry out the garden and maybe we'll be able to till next weekend. I am so ready to get planting underway.

There are still lots of varieties that still need to be started like Asian greens, beets, basil, perilla, melons, etc. The rain has made me a bit apathetic in terms of seed starting, but the bulk of it should be done in a day or two.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

April 27, 2018

This And That In The Garden

This is just a eclectic post about new things I'm growing this year, issues I've been having, and thoughts on seed starting. Tomorrow I'll post a greenhouse tour with lots of pictures.

This year I'm trying a few new things in the garden for fun, one of them being ground cherries. I'm growing three different varieties of ground cherries, Ambrosia, Aunt Molly's, and an unnamed variety. They're in the nightshade family but they're supposed to be sweetish with tropical overtones. I plan on caging them just like a tomato.

Celery. I've tried growing them in the past, but have always had problems with germination and they all seem to die at the seedling stage. I've tried growing 4 different varieties the last few years with no success with either the cutting and stalky varieties, but this year seems to be my year. It looks like we're going to be having lots of the cutting type, which will be planted in the small space behind the greenhouse.

Asian leeks. They're just a variety of chives, but either way it's the same story as celery. I seem to be incapable of getting chives to germinate and have tried numerous times over the years. This year I tried to germinate chives from three different seed houses, and now have 6 little seedlings. They don't look especially robust so I'm not holding my breath.

Corn. The last time I tried growing it was back in the late 90s maybe early 2000. A third of the garden will be planted in corn, I'm actually really excited about growing it again. The three varieties I'm growing are Buhl, Stowell's Evergreen, and Maize Marado. They all have different ripening dates, so hopefully that'll work out.

Parsley. I'm one of those people who've never grown parsley. We're just trying to grow more herbaceous type things in general this year and on the new list is shisho/perilla, sorrel, and Echinacea.

Seed starting has been pretty smooth this spring but for one little mishap involving peppers. The seedlings were put out on the porch one morning, on what turned out to be a very windy day. So 2/3 of them died and I had to reseed. We always have some form of seed starting trouble early on like overturned trays, squirrels or birds digging through trays... you get the picture.

And now I would like to express my love of growing basil. Basil is just so lovely in soups, sandwiches, pasta, and as an accompaniment to most Vietnamese food. It's one of those things Vietnamese usually have sitting out on the dinner table with a plate of other herbs like cilantro, Asian chives, mint, and other herbs I don't have an English name for. So for this year as part of my ongoing love of basil, I am going to grow 5 different varieties. They just all taste so different and have varying textures, so it's hard to choose.

April 23, 2018

Harvest Monday, 4/22/18

Kale and kale flowering buds. This is about a third of what we harvested on Saturday.
Spinach salad with pea shoots, raisins, and cashews.

We cleared out the garden on Saturday. I picked a ton of overwintered kale, spinach, and turnip greens, while the kiddo and husband dug up some carrots. We had hoped to till soon but it rained all Sunday and more is expected this week, so we'll probably end up planting late just like last year. It's been a very wet cold spring.

The carrots were seeded in the fall and grew slowly over the winter, and now we have a fifteen foot bed of baby carrots. They're excellent cooked with their young leaves. (My husband had accidently mowed down their tops in March.)

I had seeded a flat of peas last month to get an early start on a spring garden, but since it's much too late for that we've found that pea shoots are wonderful in salads. It makes me curious about the world of microgreens. I believe Dave at Our Happy Acres grows sunflower sprouts which looks very intriguing to me.

Most of the tomatoes and peppers have been potted up and they're growing quickly in the greenhouse. I've been debating about potting up the onions which have been in a 72 cell tray for two months, I'd much rather put them in the ground but either way they'll need to be fed soon.

Please join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres. A place where irrepressible gardeners share their harvests and what they've been preparing in the kitchen.

April 9, 2018

Harvest Monday, 4/9/18

Harp and Clarinet spinach harvested Sunday. The spinach is staying nice and tender even with all the weird up and down weather. We had some last night in an omelet with a light sprinkling of cheddar, even the stems are delightful.
Red Russian kale was also harvested on Sunday. The kale did end up dying down with this year's extra cold winter, but it came back only to be bolting now. I can already see the florets forming which I imagine are very much edible.

Please, join us for Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

April 7, 2018

Snow Day

Snow in April is actually a very rare occurrence for Western Kentucky. The last time this happened was back in 1983, 35 years ago.

Tomorrow will still be cold but it should be sunnier, so I'm going to try to spend the day in the greenhouse potting up cold weather seedlings like kohlrabi, kale, and lettuces into individual containers. It'll be awhile before the soil dries out enough for tilling so it might be a little late for the pea seedlings, I'm debating on cutting them down and using the pea shoots in stir fries.

The kale and mache/corn salad overwintering in the garden are now both bolting. Although the overwintered spinach is still growing very well. I've got lots more spinach in the greenhouse ready to be planted, though they probably need to be fertilized at this point.

Onions and leeks seedlings are doing well even the reseeded Cipollini onions. Their flat has really tiny cells so they need to be either planted out soon or potted up into larger containers, something I'm not looking forward to.

After I get everything potted up into larger containers and it warms up this week, I'll do a tour of the greenhouse.