It seemed like I tried to avoid the garden last week, but a lot happened despite that. Maybe I am just really efficient when I do visit the garden. So this post might be a little long, sorry. Let’s start with onions. The onion thrips essentially killed the White Candy onions so I pulled all of them to get them out of the garden (the white onions at the top). Everything else is doing OK. I pulled a couple of Tropea and Red Candy onions and a Super Star to use in cooking.
I finally uncovered the cucumbers and chard and will take my chances with pests. The chard has again shaded the cukes so I trimmed just the offending leaves on the edges of the chard bed.
The mustard greens also got a haircut and will probably be removed soon because they are starting to bolt. I may get one more cutting before that happens. I also pulled out all the Soloist cabbages which were riddled with holes and starting to bolt. Planting them without protection turned into a complete waste of time and space.
Peas continue to be prolific. This is 3 pounds of peas. Later in the week I picked another couple of pounds but did not photograph them because it would be boring. The snow peas thankfully are showing signs of pooping out. I may pull them before their final demise because I am tired of them. Frankly, I personally do not need 10-15 pounds of snow peas clogging up the freezer. The food pantry pickup has not been set up yet so I need to get pro-active so this food does not go to waste. What is amazing is last year I grew 12 squares of snow and snap peas in a block without trellising (12x9=108 seeds) and maybe got a handful of peas from the flopped over mess. This year with 8 squares trellised (8x8=64 seeds), I am buried in peas.
I finally uncovered the summer squash plants because they are flowering and will take my chances with SVB and squash bugs. The time under cover with the unsettled weather we had seems to have benefitted them. On the left is the Sunburst patty pan squash, on the right the Renee’s Costata Romanesco squash that Michelle plants. Obscured behind it is my favorite plain vanilla zucchini, Dunja.
The Romanesco is covered in flowers and fruits. This plant is definitely different from the open-pollinated Costata Romanesco zucchini I previously grew. Fruits from this plant are more slender and grayer than the other. It is also prolific!
A female squash blossom and a couple of males. Look at the size of the flowers! No wonder these are great for stuffing.
And a peek inside the flower reveals a striped cucumber beetle party going on. For some reason they don’t affect my squash but are pure death to the cucumbers. They are also very hard to eradicate when they hide inside the flowers. This photo is enlarged quite a bit, the beetles are actually very small.
A few squash harvested already, along with my first tomato, a Juliet. The big zucchini was found in the back of the plant hiding under a leaf, but it is a good stuffing size.
I have a couple more Juliet tomatoes coloring up on another plant. And I found a couple of trusses of the Jaune Flamme tomatoes, like the one above, starting to show some color. So more tomatoes are coming.
This is a photo of the Copra storage onions early in the week, showing nice size. By the end of the week the foliage was completely flopped over. Since the weather looked good (at the time), I decide to pull the onions so they could spend a couple of 90 degree days drying in the sun. Of course, the forecast has changed and we are supposed to have thunder storms Monday, so these will go in the garage Sunday night. or Monday morning
The harvest this year is much larger than last year, with a lot of good sized onions. You can see a little thrip damage on the leaves but not bad.
These are the Red Zeppelin storage onions, showing no signs of bulbing or flopping. Last year the red onions were a couple weeks later than the yellow onions, and that appears to be the case again. The shallots are also still standing tall but are showing some nice size bulbs.
The Super Star onions are still upright and growing. These are supposed to get pretty big (hence the name). Some are showing bulbs with a fairly modest stem, like on the left. Then there are a few like the one to the right that have a huge stalk and no signs of a bulb. Holy cow, look at the contrast. There are 4 of these in the bed. Moby onion? It will be interesting to see what these develop into!
The Red Candy intermediate day onions also flopped, so I pulled them and they are drying in the sun. So far I like these onions and am more likely to plant them next year than the wimpy white Candy onions.
Same for the Rossa Lunga di Tropea onions. I was hoping to have a few more for fresh onions, but they all flopped on the ground. These don’t keep well so they will be used over the next few months along with the Red Candy and Super Star onions.
It is getting hot so I pulled all the Hakurei turnips and removed the kohlrabies. Still have some purple top turnips left but I will keep an eye on them. I also pulled more golden and red beets to thin them out.
I checked the brassica bed again and found some of the broccolis forming heads. This is Arcadia and is about 3 inches in diameter. Given the thickness of the stalk and the variety, I am hoping these will get a lot bigger, but I still need to watch them. And what made a lace curtain of that leaf in the back? I’m not supposed to have caterpillars under the row cover.
This one is the Fiesta broccoli and is about 2 inches in diameter. I am thinking of uncovering the broccoli end of the brassica bed. so I can more easily watch the broccoli heads and shoots. The plants are large enough a little caterpillar damage should not hurt.
To add to the week’s task list, the garlic also decided it was ready to come out. It was too hot Saturday afternoon so I returned early Sunday to dig out the garlic. Above is Spanish Roja, which produced some nice size heads like it always does. I did a better job planting last fall and had no upside down cloves, although I had a few twins.
Next out was the German Extra Hardy (right) and Chesnok Red. The German Extra Hardy garlic had decent size heads but Chesnok Red seems to diminish in size every year. I may look for something else, there are so many I would like to try.
Finally, I dug the Duganski garlic that was new to me this year. Stalks were modest but bulbs turned out pretty large. This was the garlic I was concerned about when I planted last fall. The heads I purchased were obviously dug late and were opening up. Even worse, the skins were coming off the cloves, so I was planting naked cloves. All of them did OK and I got some nice garlic. Some purple is showing on the skins but until they dry and I get them cleaned up I won’t be able to say more.
The German Red is still in the beds, not ready to dig yet. It was a huge garlic when I planted it, so it will be exciting to see what it does in my garden. The stalks are massive, about an inch in diameter, so what does that predict? They made the Duganski look weak and spindly. I got the heads at the Mount Dessert Island Garlic Festival last September. My wife wants to go back to MDI so I said sure, just book it for the week of the garlic festival. It is booked and maybe I will look for another garlic to plant in place of Chesnok Red. Here is my post on those two new garlics and you can see from the photos what I meant. And I noticed my comment on the Farmer’s Almanac prediction of a cold, snowy winter. Boy, was that spot on! By the way, one of the farms at the festival will be Four Season Farm, owned by Barbara Damrosch and Elliot Coleman! How cool is that?!
That is everything that happened in my garden last week. To see what other gardeners around the world are doing, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Monday.