Monday, July 11, 2016

Harvest Monday 11 July 2016

The weather last week remained dry. While hot on Monday it cooled off for the rest of the week and some mornings were quite chilly. This was caused by some cold front that was supposed to bring rain, but while we got lots of clouds and even some lightning, the result was a few tenths of an inch. All this is going to do is wet the foliage and raise humidity, raising the potential for disease higher, while doing little for the roots.

I'm still getting a few Atlantis shoots. I am wondering how much of this stuff do I have to plant to get a reasonable harvest. I keep it in the refrigerator until I get enough for two servings. The rest of this harvest went into a batch of salsa made with canned tomatoes, since it will be awhile until those first tomatoes arrive (and they will not be going into salsa).

Above are two of the heads of Blue Wind broccoli. They were starting to open up so I harvested them. I also clipped off the growing tip off a Spigariello liscia that was headed straight up rather than branching. It has a mild flavor but the leaves are a bit tough, like a kale, or like a broccoli leaf.

The big harvest last week was the garlic. I grow hardneck garlic and follow the rule of digging them when 40-50% of the leaves turn brown or yellow. The remaining green leaves dry and form the wrapper that protects the cloves, so you can't wait until all leaves are brown. Another consideration was the weather. We were looking at potentially several days of rain, so I chose to dig them last week while everything was dry. First out was the German Red, second to produce scapes and second to be harvested.

The next day I dug the rest: Chesnok Red, Philips, and Duganski. It is looking like a good year for garlic. Even the Chesnok Red produced large heads this year. The next step is to cure the garlic without mold forming. Last year teh ground was wet and it was very humid, so drying in the garage did not work well. This year the garlic is in the shed and when the volatiles subside a little (right now it is almost eye watering in the shed), I may move them into the basement where we run a dehumidifier.

Finally, given how dry it has been, I decided to try sprouting some Jade bush beans in a paper towel rather than reseeding. It took 3-4 days for sprouts to start emerging. On a couple of these, the root is actually too long and I had to handle them carefully to avoid breaking off the brittle root. Out of 50+ seeds in the paper towel, I found about a dozen that were sprouted or near to sprouting. These were packed for 2013, so I guess I will be buying new seed next year. It is a little disappointing finding that bean seeds aren't viable for longer than a few years, although Jade has always had slow and poor germination compared to Provider.

That's what happened in my garden last week. To see what other gardeners around are doing, visit Dave @ Our Happy Acres, our host for Harvest Monday.


  1. I guess we got the rain that missed you, Dave. Even a drizzle this morning. Still not enough though. What a great job on the garlic! Moving to the basement to cure is a great idea, and will make your whole house smell like an Italian restaurant.

  2. Oh I am so envious of that garlic! I've decided to give up trying to grow garlic, one year in five with no rust is a waste of money, time, and garden space. But that leaves more room for onions! The first green peppers, exciting! My plants are just starting to set a few fruits.

  3. If you want rain, Dave, you should be over here! Today we have had torrential rainfall, and some local roads have been flooded to a depth of 12 inches. Your garlic looks good - especially in a year when gardeners here in the UK have all been hit by devastating Rust on their alliums.

  4. Hopefully those rain storms will get to you this week. Your garlic harvest looks nice. I have mine in the garage and now I'm wondering if that's a bad idea. It seems everywhere is hot and humid around here. I guess that means I should put them in the house somewhere.

  5. It does look like you had a good year for garlic! I dry mine in the basement all the time, with the dehumidifier running. I know what you mean about the brockali. I have two plants each of Artwork and Apollo, and I am lucky to ever have enough at one time to even make a side dish. I love the stuff but even four plants doesn't seem to be enough, at least here. I will say that it is making more side shoots now than the regular heading broccoli, but then it's been so hot I'm not sure if that's a fair evaluation.

  6. Your garlic looks amazing!! I've stopped watering that bed and will likely be digging it up in a couple of weeks - I'm dreading what I will find, as there are several vole tunnels in that bed.

    That's too bad about the bean seeds - I had pretty terrible germination last year when I tried to pre-sprout the Oceanis, which was a new packet. The seed I saved from the few plants that I did end up getting have done much better (although I direct sowed them this time). That's one thing with beans and peas - they are so easy to save that I only purchase them once and after that, I save my own seed unless I run into disease issues.

    And we are both in the same weather boat it seems - we did have one nice, wet day where we had a few hours of drizzle, but otherwise, nothing. And it's been so hot that the ground seemed just as dry the next day.

  7. Beautiful garlic! I've also just harvested all of mine, though I don't they met the 50% rule. That being said, I think they've come out rather well this year.

    I'm rather envious of your kohlrabi.


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