Still no harvest from the garden but this week should be the turning point. So far it has been a very dry spring, and very windy. The wind made the drought situation worse by evaporating water from plants and the beds, and it beat up some of the tender transplants. The dry spell was broken with two days of rain Wednesday and Thursday, sun on Friday, and two more days of gentle, soaking rain on Saturday and Sunday. Since there was no need to water the garden and nothing on the planting schedule, I didn’t get to the garden until Sunday. It appears all of the plants enjoyed the cool, wet weather and are finally showing some life.
The garlic has been growing slowly and steadily but I think it enjoyed the rain. It seems to be taller and the stems are starting to thicken a bit. That’s German extra hardy on top and Red Chesnok on the bottom.
The Di Ciccio broccoli is looking really good again and is definitely growing. The transplants were damaged by a freeze a week after they were set out which then made them susceptible to what looked like flea beetle damage. I haven’t actually seen a flea beetle yet, but what else peppers a leaf with pin holes? Now they have recovered nicely and I won’t be needing the backup starts I planted.
The Beedy’s Camden kale was less affected by the freeze and is now starting to grow. I don’t have a photo of the collards in the same bed, but they are also appreciative of the change in weather.
The endive and escarole in the top two rows were least affected by both the freeze and the flea beetle attack. The Win-Win choi in the bottom row however was seriously affected. It has a more succulent leaf with higher water content so it doesn’t take well to freezing. You can still see the bug damage on the leaves of the choi but once it gets going it grows so rapidly, I hope it can outpace the pests.
The lettuces are doing well and really like this weather. They probably have at least doubled in volume in the last 4-5 days so I think salad is on the menu this week from my first harvest. That is New Red Fire on the right and Green Ice on the left.
These lettuces are buttercrunch on the right and Forellenschluss on the left. The Forellenschluss is an heirloom Austrian romaine with specks of red on the leaves. The parsley obviously also likes this weather.
The Tyee spinach has germinated from seed and is adding leaves. It remains to be seen if I will get any before hot weather. In the same bed, turnips have sprouted but not a single kohlrabi seed germinated in four squares of them. Are they really that hard to start? The seed catalogs all claim they are easy to grow, but I have not had any luck each time I have tried them.
The fava beans and snow peas are taking off. Some of the favas grew 3 inches in a couple of days. It’s time to put up the supports. I bought a couple of 12 inch tomato towers, which are 4 feet when unfolded. Those will span the long dimension of the bed, supported by some garden stakes at the ends, and I will use some burlap twine to enclose the sides. Hope that is sturdy enough.
Finally, the onions are perking up after looking sad and droopy for the past few weeks. The stems have thickened and the greens are now standing up.
This week I need to reseed the kohlrabi, the mustard greens, and set out the Swiss chard. The chard was originally lost in the mass of brassica seedlings I started in 1.5 inch soil blocks. Chard germinates slower and grows slower than the brassicas, so the seedlings were shaded out and I did not notice until too late. So I had to restart them. Meanwhile I am juggling pepper and tomato starts between my single grow lamp and the back deck on sunny days, waiting for the weather to stabilize and warm up. This has been a wild spring and they are predicting overnight lows in the mid-thirties for the next few days.
That’s what is growing in my garden this week. To see what other gardeners are harvesting from their gardens, head over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Monday.