Monday, June 16, 2014

Garden Update 16 June 2014




My first harvest out of the garden this year is radish Zlata. This is a Polish variety and the name means “gold”, although to me it looks tan. The radishes were beautiful, but fairly hot and not as juicy and sweet as the Cherry Belle radishes below, but I would still grow them again.




The next day my garden neighbor with the eagle eye pointed out the Cherry Belle radishes ready for pulling that I had missed. Along with those I cut some mustard greens. The purplish one is Dragon Tongue from Territorial and the green one is my usual Green Wave mustard. While Green Wave is its usual spicy, peppery self, the Dragon Tongue has more complexity and is not quite as assertive/hot. I think this is going to be a good choice. And overall, I’m happy with the relative lack of flea beetle and cabbage root maggot damage this year among the brassicas. The weather may suck, but it sucks for all!




Elsewhere in the garden, the tomato transplants are doing well. Above is Jaune Flamme, grown from seed and already flowering.




Sunkist, above, is an orange slicer developed in New Hampshire. The transplants are doing vey well and showing vigorous growth.




Blue Beech, above, is a paste tomato from Fedco. The seeds originally came from Blue Beech Farm in Vermont and are supposedly adapted to New England summers. The Striped Roman and Gilbertie I grew last year were duds, so I hope this one does better. These transplants were purchased from my neighbor, Jem Mix, and are beautiful.




Some of the radishes are ready to start harvesting. Above are Zlata radishes.




The bed above has Saffron shallots grown from seed. The previous year I tried planting shallots from bulbs, an expensive fiasco since every single bulb rotted over the winter. Seed shallots don’t multiply, producing a single bulb per transplant, but that is better than nothing.




Most of the beds are now planted out. Above are mustards and chard in the middle, with cucumbers along the sides with the trellises. All of these were started indoors because of germination problems last year with the lousy weather. I could have done a better job with the chard and mustard, but I think the cucumber starts done in peat strips were very successful. Now we just need some sun and warmth for the cukes, peppers and tomatoes.




On Friday, I checked on the garden and found the row cover on the bed above ripped open and pushed into the soil. Peering in, I saw something had been digging in the middle of the bed. Standing up, I turned and found myself 4 feet from a large snapping turtle, no doubt looking for a nice place to lay her eggs. I guess I’m flattered that out of all the acreage in the garden, she found my raised bed the perfect spot. I came back with my son, a big garden tub, and a snow shovel. While I was gone, she hoisted her self up into the tomato bed, which is about 10 inches above ground level, and plowed a furrow down that bed. We managed to get her into the tub and hauled her back to the brook. Now to figure out the spot in the garden fencing she got through.


See what other gardeners around the world are doing by visiting our host for Harvest Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions.


  1. Very lovely harvest of greens and radishes. I've never heard of that gold variety, sounds interesting. And your garden look really great and nicely organized!

  2. When I spent my summers in central New York, I was always moving snapping turtles off the roads. I kept an old tennis racquet in my car for this purpose.

    1. A local road though the Bolton Flats wetlands actually has a turtle crossing sign. My wife accidentally ran over one there and still has nightmares about it.

  3. I was sure I've had every garden problem known to man--but never a turtle! What next?? Penguins?

  4. I didn't know you could grow shallots from seed. I'm not having much luck with them either this year, but mine were grown from starts.

    Whoa, snapping turtles! I guess I'm lucky it's just fence lizards digging holes and laying eggs in my garden beds.

    I've been cooking my spicy radishes, they're very delicious, something like turnips. And the tops are good too, I sautéed them with some Swiss chard last week.

    1. You can grow shallots from seed, just like starting onions from seed. They typically are the yellow-skinned, oval type and produce a single bulb. And sauteing the radishes sounds like a good way to use up a glut of them, should that ever happen to me.

  5. Wow, a turtle, that's something you would never see around our place!! Your harvests look great and your garden is growing beautifully.

  6. Oh that is funny. I've never had a snapping turtle in my garden before. Of course the fence keeps the skunks out (boy do they rototill the rest of the yard), so I don't think something as big as a snapping turtle would make it in.

    1. The garden is fenced, of course. But we have chicken wire at the bottom buried in the ground, then a layer of 7' deer fencing. Someone has to stoop there and weave a wire through the mesh to knit the two layers. Miss a place and a determined turtle can squeeze through (but can't get back out).

  7. Your mustards & radishes look so nice - I've never seen golden radishes before. I'm growing shallot from seed this year as well - I wasn't sure what to expect but thought I would give it a try. I wonder if I plant the resulting bulbs in the fall, would they multiply the following year like golden shallots? I may just give this a try to see what happens.

    1. I think they do multiply, but my problem was fall planted bulbs rotted from the heavy snow cover we have had last few years. That's why I decided to try growing from seed in the spring.

  8. Your zlata radishes look like an heirloom variety I grew for a while that had a kick. I can't find the seeds for them anymore and miss them--will have to try this zlata variety. Your garden looks fantastic!


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