The Kousa dogwood is blooming on time but might be regretting it. Another wild week of weather: rain, drought, heat and cold, all in one week. I gave up on trying to direct seed some plants and now have them in cell packs on the heat pad. At least I can control conditions inside. I still have to prepare the beds for the cucumbers and beans., but I still have plenty of time to do that. Bean seeds are not going to like sitting in soggy 50F soil anyway.
Despite the crazy weather the garden is still producing large quantities of lettuce, spinach, kale and herbs. The spinach shows no sign of bolting but its time is limited because yesterday I planted the summer squash that is going to eventually occupy that bed.
I finally found out what my Chinese garden neighbor does with the garlic chives he grows and mows in big patches: jiaozi, or dumplings, filled with pork, chives and napa. Another neighbor with a husband from Taiwan explained to me how they are made and where to buy the wrappers, so I cut my own patch of chives from the big bed that has taken over what passes for my herb garden these days. I found a great online tutorial on Jennifer Che‘s blog, Tiny Urban Kitchen. I made two servings as potstickers we had for dinner and the rest as dumplings that I froze. The one big disappointment was reading the wrapper label and finding a serving of six wrappers has 43 grams of carbs! Wow! Maybe I will just be making them as meatballs in the future. The filling and dipping sauce are the tastiest parts anyway.
Some of my brassicas have recovered enough from the fierce flea beetle attack of early spring to grow large enough to be harvestable size. This is a head of Win-Win choi and a rosette of tatsoi. The tatsoi has to vacate its squares because that is where the eggplants are destined to go.
The broccolis are also doing well, with heads starting to form on some of the Di Ciccio and Purple Peacock plants. Below is a Purple Peacock developing what looks like may become a purple head on a plant with green leaves and stem. My other plants have the purple stems typical of Red Russian kale, one of the parents in this cross between kale and broccoli. There is quite a lot of variability in this variety.
Finally, the grafted tomato plants have settled in nicely and are starting to beef up and grow. I have to keep an eye on the graft joint, which has to remain above the soil line to keep the scion from rooting and negating the disease-resistance properties of the rootstock. And boy do they have a desire to root. The picture below is a little hard to see but it shows the mass of roots being sent out from the scion end of the graft. You can not tell from the photo but the roots have not reached the soil level, but they sure are trying.
To see what other gardeners around the world are harvesting from their gardens, head over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Monday.