Weekly Gardening Notes: July 22, 2017

July 16, 2017

Next year we need to get ALL plants and seeds from Watervelete.

We will try planting onions in the fall so that they come up in the spring. Stagger picking.

Check when to plant onion seeds.

Plant carrots earlier in May so they can be double or triple planted. Start carrots indoors? Grow baby carrots instead?

Burpee “mesclun salad mix” still tastes good in 80 degree July. Must be harvested at least a few times a week or it gets leggy. Plant Six squares for daily salads?

Plant spinach and lettuce earlier in spring, maybe before last frost. Start indoors?

Peas freeze but cannot be microwaved.

Potatoes overcrowd everything in their bed. Potato bucket is not working out. Give the bucket one more season? Give them their own mini bed behind the garage or in the flower bed by the door.

Bush beans are a pain to pick. We need more green beans. Plant pole beans?Plant them in a taller container.

 

7/19/17

The grape tomatoes are starting to turn. There are many beefsteak tomatoes getting ready to ripen. I see a lot of salsa in our future. Maybe caprese salad.

Peas are slow but steady.

Not as many bush beans have grown as hoped. The seeds are old so that is understandable. The potatoes overcrowded them too.  

We must be extremely thorough when picking the potatoes this fall. We need to have a place to replant some by then.

Need to plant broccoli earlier in may.

Lettuce flavor is great. I need to find out if the “pepperiness” in the lettuces is caused by environmental factors or just the varieties we planted.

 

7/21/17

As far as I can find the pepperiness is due to the seed mix that we used. The lettuces are still growing well, even in 86 degree weather. They are extremely hardy and don’t taste bitter yet. I doubt we’ll harvest enough this year to exceed the value of the seeds compared to store bought romain but the flavorfulness of the lettuces make them a great value. We need to plant them earlier to get a better yield. We need to plant more than two squares worth.

Pea pod season has started.

I need to water more often. The carrots and potatoes are droopy.

Sunday will be carrot bucket harvesting season. We’ve decided that we will replant for the fall.

First grape tomatoes are almost ripe. Need to brainstorm dishes to make with beefsteaks. Sliced tomatoes as a side dish. Spaghetti sauce? Sandwiches. Tomato green bean salad.

Haven’t used any of the parsley. Made hummus but forgot  to add it. Next year plant cilantro instead.

Broccoli greens come with the broccoli florets when harvesting. We like broccoli greens. Mom hates them. Must remember this when planning and making meals.

Next year will try the “one box = one person” configuration. Will create a proto plan.

 

7/22/17

Harvesting carrots tomorrow.

Watered yesterday, rained last night. I need to check weather before watering. Need to water more regularly in general.

Trying out freezing peas in large lidded container instead of freezer bag. Container is filling up quickly.

Harvested some parsley. Will be using today to make more hummus.

Zucchini is growing like wild fire. Yesterday the fruit was way too small. Today it’s over ripe. Must pick when tiny.

Spotted a baby eggplant. Will watch.

Halfway to recouping this year’s investment of $33. Broccoli and Pea pods are the most prolific so far. We should surpass the cost before fall.

5 Tips for Pea Pod Picking

We’ve collected a smidgen under a half pound of pea pods over the last couple of weeks but yesterday we had our first major crop.

0720171257c

0720171257b (1)Bag of a smidgen under a half pound of peas and 5.5 inch (16.5cm) cucumber for scale.

This might not seem like much but below is this morning’s harvest. Scale for scale.

0721170953a

Pea season is officially under way. Luckily they freeze ok so we won’t be eating pea pods everyday.

Last year I didn’t pick the snap peas until they were big and plump. I had this “bigger is better” mentality. It’s an easy trap to fall in.

This year, through early trial and error, I’ve learned 5 tips for pea pod picking.

Pick by feel. – Under ripened pods feel concave and ribby. Pods that are ready to harvest feel slender yet not overly concave nor overly bumpy.

Pick twice daily. – Pea pods, along with green beans, are the ninjas of the home gardening world. They are the ultimate masters of disguise. It’s important to give your eyes a rest after you’ve stop being able to spot them.

When you’re done, do it again. – Personally I like trying to find these little camo kings. Once I think I’ve found all that I can in a particular round of picking, I look one more time and usually find a few.

Pinch, don’t pull. – Pinch them off under their crowns using your thumbnail to cut the pod itself. Pulling them off at the stem can damage the plant or pull it off its trellis.

Better picked than perfect. Don’t get caught up trying to pick peas at the “perfect” time. If you’re unsure if a particular pod is ready, pick it. Or don’t. This isn’t brain surgery. Precision is neither necessary nor possible.

As always have fun, and remember, it’s not a matter of perfection it’s simply a matter of doing something today to get a little Closer To Green.