Tag Archives: Beans

Beans , Beans Good for Your Heart…

Bean Trellis

Bean Trellis

This has been an odd year for beans, at least in my garden.  The first planting of pole beans evaporated into the ether.  Planting number 2 just sat there during our extended cool spring weather.  They have started growing now but are so far behind other bean plantings at Rock Farm I’m feeling a tad bit jealous.  This past weekend they were finally tall enough for me to string the trellis.  Last year I used some netting that I purchased.  It worked well enough but at the end of the season trying to salvage it was an exercise in futility.  I ended up cutting it out of the dead vines and pitching it.  Not wanting to waste money this year I opted to do the same thing I did with the peas, wrap jute around an upper and lower cross bar, which seems to be working wonderfully in the pea row.  I already had the three vertical poles in the ground, a sturdy bamboo pole flanked by 2 t-bar posts.  I used two 1″ pvc elbows and a t to attach two bamboo poles across the top, end to end.  I ended up driving a short piece of rebar into the end of one and pounding the other onto it.  Its pretty sturdy and has works as a single unit all last year and looks just fine for this year.  Not wanting to buy anything else, I tied two remaining 6′ t-posts to the bottom of the three vertical posts about 2″ off of the ground.  I wrapped jute around the top and bottom posts at about 6″ intervals.  Should work fine and will be so much easier to deal with come fall.

Bush Beans

In other bean news, 1 row Contender, 2 rows Topcrop & 1 row Roma II went in after the garlic, arugula and lettuce came out.  The garlic wasn’t as large this year, possibly due to the extended cool spring even though the number of days in the ground was the same as last year.  Last spring seemed a lot warmer.  The tops were dying back and I needed the space so out they went.  The Inchelium was spectacularly unimpressive.  Half of them didn’t make it to spring and the other half were very small. I know they are typically smaller but these seemed reeeally small.  The Lorz Italian had respectable sized heads and all made it through the winter.  I have no experience with either of these varieties so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The Silverwhite and Turkish Giant, were a decent size but smaller than last year save one or two heads most, if not all made it through.

Garden in late June

Lettuce

Speaking of lettuce, I finally emptied the bed of Renee’s cutting lettuce blend.  Can’t remember the exact name right now but it lasted much long than I thought it would.  Even as the stems were elongating to form seed the lettuce wasn’t bitter. I ended up removing a lovage transplant that was taking up way too much room.  I also beat back the arugula and reclaimed the area for a row of the beans.

Potatoes

The potatoes are taking over the county. I’m really hoping there are actual potatoes under all of that green. I ended up having to run some stakes and jute to corral them, they were headed for the neighboring plot. I ended up having to snip back a couple of stems as the beets were complaining.

Garden Flowers

The ‘Persian Carpet’ zinnias are blooming and I clipped a few for the little multi-holed ceramic vase we picked up from a pottery shop during a recent trip to Orcas Is. The reds, yellows and oranges against the blue of the vase is striking. The dahlia’s I planted in the garden next to the potatoes are going to bloom any day now.

Balcony Garden

The parsley was sending up a flower stalk so it was time to harvest. My haul was pretty respectable given that it was growing in a 6″ clay pot. The oregano was staring to outgrow its clay pot so I cut it back too. It is on my replant list. I cut back a lemon verbena a week or two ago. I had read that lemon verbena can be used to make a lemony pesto. WRONG! While it is physically possible to do so, the result was nothing that I would ever eat voluntarily. Now I just have to decide whether or not I want to take up previous real estate and keep the plant or let it go. I’m leaning toward the latter.

In the spirit of spiffying up the balcony, I attempted to transplant one of the volunteer nasturtiums from the garden into one of the long planters that sit on the railing. It had been filled with pansies but they were looking pretty sad. The transplanting was a baaad idea. I ended up having to take so much off of the top to compensate for the pitiful roots that I was left with a bunch of empty stems. The good news is that it does seem to be sending out new shoots at some of the leaf nodes so all is not lost.

Visitors

Slug - Arion rufus
I ran across an ‘Arion rufus’ or Red Slug under the nasturtiums. This one isn’t native and is quite destructive in the garden. I found the darker Arion a couple of times in the past but this was the first time I’ve seen one this color. Googling it was at first unclear if this was actually a red form of ‘Arion ater’ but further reading led me to believe it was more likely A. rufus. In either case its time in the garden is past.

Harvests

  • Beets – Red Baron Dutch (6/20)
  • Chard (ongoing)
  • Garlic (6/21 thru 6/25)
  • Lettuce (6/25 final)
  • Kale (ongoing)
  • Oregano (ongoing)
  • Parsley (6/25 final)
  • Snow Peas (ongoing)
  • Zinnias (6/25)

Plantings

  • Beets – Cylindrical (6/25)
  • Beans, Bush – Contender, Roma II & Topcrop (6/25)

Olla, Beans 2.0 and a New Container Raspberry

The Olla

GrowOya's 3L Olla
GrowOya’s 3L Olla

In my internet wanderings I came across a post somewhere about ollas. An olla is a low fired unglazed clay pot with a narrow opening that is ‘planted’ in the ground and filled with water. Its narrow opening sits an inch or so above ground and is often covered with a lid. The porous clay slowly waters the plants situated next to it using a fraction of the water a normal watering would use. In arid regions ollas have been used for millennia and do work quite well from what I’m reading. Some might wonder what use an olla would be in the rainy PNW. Actually the summer months can be quite dry. Last summer there were weeks at a time where I was watering daily. It got so bad we were wondering if the well we used would run dry. If an olla could put a dent in that it would be awesome.

In the quest to ‘do-it-myself’ I found some YouTube videos that dealt with making your own olla with a couple of terra cotta pots, some silicone and gorilla glue. I may end up trying that but once I put together how much it would cost, time required and the ‘would it even work’ factor I chickened out and decided to purchase an olla (two actually). Home Depot had a sale going on and I was able to pick up two for what I would have paid for one at the garden outlets. The company that makes them, GrowOya has three sizes, I opted for the medium 3L size. I would have loved the larger one but not sure my raised bed (that pretty much sits on bedrock) is deep enough to accept it. I’m sure it depends on soil structure and number of plants but the site says the medium size will accommodate about a 3′ sq area. My plan is to use the two ollas as the sole source of water to water the squash I planted today (once it is established). If it turns out to be a success I may have to revisit those YouTube videos.

1 gallon pot of BrazelBerry Raspberry Shortcake, miniature raspberries.
This arrived in the mail yesterday. A little rough but in great shape overall and even has raspberries!

Beans

My first attempt at pole beans this year was a total flop. I wanted till the end of a warm spell to plant the beans which essentially disappeared (rotted?). I waited for the next warm spell and planted again. This time there was germination but it was spotty at best. Rather than try for beans 3.0 I’ve decided to offer the end of the trellis to a couple of cucumbers I started from seed. That’ll show em.

Raspberries

Park seed had a sale on the new BrazelBerry ‘Raspberry Shortcake’. This miniature little raspberry grows 2-3′ tall and is reported to do great in a container. The sale was half off the normal price so I picked one up. I was pleasantly surprised when it was delivered. There were half a dozen leafy canes in a 1 gallon pot. There were even a couple of raspberries!

Jerusalem Artichokes

A couple of weeks ago we tried roasted jerusalem artichokes for the first time. The taste was great but the gastric aftereffects were…interesting. I’m game for trying them again, so decided to plant the couple of small tubers that were in the batch I purchased at the local grocery. They’ve been in 6″ pots since then and all are about half an inch out of the ground. Today I potted all three in a 30L pot. No way I was planting them in the garden. Once you do you have them forever. I opted to grow them even if we don’t end up eating them. They have pretty little yellow flowers and would make a nice color addition to the garden.

Balcony Garden

In addition to a number of pots on the floor of the 50’ft balcony I have three long and two small round railing planters. I had started pansies in the three larger planters early this spring. One was replanted with the tomatoes and nasturtiums several weeks ago. Another was replanted today with a couple of mini dahlias, some allysum and a couple of lobelia. It will be gorgeous if I can keep enough water on it.

Potato flowers.
The potatoes are in bloom. It won’t be long now.

Other Garden Happenings

My garden is a 10’x20′ space that takes up two plots in the Rock Farm Community Garden. In order to be able to access the entire space, I placed some stepping stones down most of the bed in the middle effectively creating two 4.5’x17′ beds and one large 3’x10′ bed. A fellow gardener planted sweet allysum (Lobularia maritima aka Alyssum maritimum) between the stones in her garden and I loved the look so much I purchased a couple of 4 packs for my garden. My grandmother always grew and loved white allysum so I like to grow some every year. She’s been gone over 30 years but seeing the flowers always makes her feel close.

In addition to the allysum I planted out the zucchini and some zinnias I started from seed. Historically I’ve kept the veggie garden ‘pure’ but I’m finding that I really enjoy a few flowers sprinkled here and there too.

a handful of snow peas and three cylinder beets
First harvest of cylinder beets and snow peas.

The last of the spinach came out last weekend. It had pretty much all bolted and there wasn’t’ very much of it left. This was a small patch of Bloomsdale I planted very early in the season.

This past week saw the beginning of the snow peas and the first harvest of beets for the year. I planted a couple of varieties and this was an early planting of cylinder beets. They are roasting in the oven with some parsnips as I type. Speaking of parsnips, I may try growing some this year. They would be a brand new crop for me, tried salsify once in KY but never parsnips. A gardening calendar for the area recommended a June planting. If the weather holds tomorrow I may have to make a trip to the garden center to pick up some seed. They are a fairly long season crop that can overwinter in the ground here and are actually reported to get sweeter with the onset of cold weather.

All in all it was a good week gardening wise. It has rained on and off today so I was only able to get my hands in the soil this morning. Hoping for some more dirt time tomorrow.

Mini Greenhouse: Using Roofing Panels to Warm the Soil

Using Fiberglass Roofing Panels to Create a Mini Greenhouse, Extend the Season or Warm the Soil

A few weeks back we had a spell of warmer weather and I waited till the end of it to attempt a sowing of pole beans. A couple weeks after the fact I decided to look for the seed as nothing was coming up. I dug around and found…nothing. The soil didn’t look disturbed so I’m not thinking it was birds. I’m guessing it was just too cool and wet and the seed rotted. When the weather gods predicted another bout of warm weather I was on it. It occurred to me that I could possibly get a jump on sowing if I could warm the soil. Remembering a mini greenhouse I used in gardens past I made a trip to the lumber yard and came home with an 8′ long roofing panel. Once upon a time these used to be made out of fiberglass and perhaps you can still find them but any I’ve found locally have been PVC or ‘polycarbonate’. I’m hoping they will work as well (and last as long) as the fiberglass panels used to. I’ve used them to extend either end of the growing season when just a few degrees can make all the difference. My hope in using them this time is that they will help to warm the soil a few degrees so that the bush beans I plan to plant there will have a better shot at germinating should the weather cool again (a very real possibility around here).

Shopping List

  • 1 clear or semi clear roofing panel. 26″ wide and the length of your choice. Mine was 8′ long
  • 4 1″x2″x16″ stakes per panel
  • length of wire or twine to secure the panel

Preparation and Installation

  1. Cut a 1/4″ notch into each of the stakes, a few inches from the top. This will insure that the wire or twine stays put. I cut my panel into 2 4′ sections but they can also be left whole.
  2. Once you decide where you want your panel to sit, drive two of the stakes into the ground approximately 6-12″ in from each end of one side of the panel.
    Drive two more stakes in 12″ from the first two. If two panels are being installed next to each other you can use 2 less stakes as the middle stakes can secure both panels (see image).
  3. Gently fold the panel into an upside down U shape and set it between the two stakes.
  4. Tie string or wire, crossing over the panels. Thats all there is to it!

Garden Happenings

Harvest

2 large bags filled with lettuce, kale and spinach
The Palco spinach is showing signs that it is about to bolt which necessitated harvesting that 1′ wide bed. Since I wanted the space on either side of it I decided to harvest one of the beds of the Mild Mesclun mix that was ready. I also harvested the rest of the red and butter lettuce from the bed next to the peas. I ended up with two large bags of green goodness, one filled with lettuce and the other with spinach and kale. Way more than we will ever eat I decided to fill some 1 gallon bags for the local food bank. I ended up getting 8 1 gallon bags in total. 3 spinach, 2 kale and 4 lettuce. 8 to go to Helpline and 1 bag of spinach for us.

Sowing

It may be too warm but I sowed two short rows of Renee’s Farmer’s Market Blend lettuce in the shade of the peas.

On the balcony I started a pot of SMR-58 cukes, Astia zucchini and another attempt at “Italian Pesto basil. ALL of the batch I started inside this spring ended up dying. Not sure if it was a rot or ? Need to investigate that.

Rain, Rain Go Away

Mother  Nature must not have heard but I only get two days off every week.  Those two days are really the only days I can do anything in the garden.  Since Sunday morning is filled with church, Saturday is typically my gardening day.  WHAT was the weather thinking by raining all morning.  That was supposed to start tomorrow.  Alas, the weather forecasts can’t really be trusted rain-wise so I shouldn’t be surprised.   I made the mistake of soaking the been seeds overnight so I was pretty much committed to planting if I didn’t want to throw them away.   I could have waited for tomorrow but it is supposed to rain more then.  My todo list included a couple of 10′ boards for either end of my plot, building a pea trellis and planting pole beans.  I finished all except the boards.

Pea Trellis of jute string between two horizontal poles.Typically I use a net for the pea and bean supports.   I swear each year that I am going to reuse the net and every year I end up throwing it away after trying to get all of the plant material out of it.  I decided this year to do it a little different.  I picked up some green jute at the local hardware store and strung it between two rods at the top and bottom of two t-bars.  The string will end up stretching and probably get much looser than it is but I don’t think the plants will mind.  The pea trellis is finished and the poles are in place for the been trellis.

I tried a new variety of pole bean this year.  Last year I planted Helda and they did great but their flavor was a little intense for me.  A large Roma type bean I liked them but opted for a more traditional type bean this year.  I ran across Kentucky Blue Pole bean and thought I would give them a shot.  A cross between Ky Wonder and Blue Lake they are supposed to have the best of both worlds.  I sowed them fairly thickly as I had soaked to packets.  One would have been sufficient so I have a handful of left over swollen seeds.  I’ll end up potting those up in little containers and offering them up to a fellow gardener.  I had to pull some self seeded arugula before I could  add bag of compost and some blood meal to the bean patch.  I had planted the arugula last year and let it go to seed.  I now have enough arugula to feed half of the county.  We don’t eat much of it (a little too bitter for me) so a fellow gardener is going to liberate it from my patch.   I ended up washing the seedlings I pulled and they are in the fridge waiting to join some lettuce and spinach in the next salad.

I was able to offload some greens to a fellow gardener.  I begged her to take more but alas one can only eat so much Mesclun Mix.

All in all a productive morning and I got out of there without getting too wet.  The boards will have to wait for another day.

Downtime

September came and went without much going on garden wise. The temps cooled and the rains made a regular showing. Fred kept creeping along to the point of needing his own zip code. Helda kept putting out beans like crazy, more clubroot was found in the broccoli planted this spring and the zucchini kept getting larger and larger as the number of visits per week declined. One a positive note, large zucchini can be treated like eggplant (bake the slices instead of frying them) and made into a wonderful zucchini parmesan.

The milder temps were not soon enough for the spinach tho. It all bolted and ended up being dug into the garden to help enrich the soil. That is new for me. Typically garden refuse would go into the compost pile. This year I made trenches and dug it back into the garden. Everything went in except the brassicas (clubroot) and anything with seeds like the few large cucumbers I ended up missing over the summer. The lettuce I planted at about the same time also bolted. I cut it off at the ground level to see if there would be any chance of getting anything decent once the temps cooled. Doubtful but worth a try.

figlets2015-09-13 All of the three fig cuttings I started last Spring have figlets and are about a foot tall. I started with a bag of dormant 6″ long cuttings from the Brown Turkey and Petite Nigra container plants a dear friend adopted. Looking at these I’m thinking they are all BT. This is fine as I do prefer their flavor over PN.

The second round of carrots I planted ended up with little holes through most of them. A root maggot of some kind. Need to research that one. I’m thinking a floating row cover would be a good idea next time.

The Iditarod tomatoes took forever to start producing but once they did were pretty consistant and had a good flavor. The Celebrities were gone at about the time they started so we have had a good run of tomatoes from the two plants on the balcony.

The horseradish I planted in a clay pot and buried is HUGE. While I did have a horseradish plant I had never harvested any of it so that will be new for me. I know it is one whose ability to regrow from the smallest piece of root left behind. For this reason it was planted in a clay pot and buried. It remains to be seen whether or not that will work. There is, after all, a drainage hole at the bottom.

Lessons learned: 1. Wait to plant spinach and lettuce for fall. Mid July was much too early.

Keeping it Cool

Bag-o-beans

The temps are still pretty warm in the garden. Even riding out every evening to water finds the young beets wilted by the time I get there. The soil just gets to warm and dries out too quickly. Remembering how well the kale branches worked to keep the soil cool for the carrots I planted last month, I headed to the lumber yard. My plan was to go through their scrap bin looking for just the right boards to protect the young beets. At some point this Summer I had tried to start another row of beets. Between the heat and the drought, only a few remain. Today I seeded some Crosby’s Egyptian beets and Scarlet Bandit bunching onions in addition to the Bull’s Blood (great name) Beet starts I picked up at the Bainbridge Gardens. I ended up finding some scrap boards but not enough for what i needed. I purchased and extra 1x4x12 and had it cut in 2′ lengths. I placed a board on either side of the seedlings and crossed my fingers.

Fred - the Volunteer Pumpkin

The Heldas are coming on strong. I ended up roasting some of the last batch, tossing in olive oil and sprinkling some Herb’N All seasoning. They were wonderful but hardly made a dent in what was in the fridge. No room left for this bag of beans so I think I’ll end up sharing these.

Sweet Corn - 2 Phil High

The blueberry patch is next to my garden plot. A volunteer pumpkin took up residence there and has spread to cover quite a large area. Only one large pumpkin is attached to the monstrosity. I’ve named him Fred. Fred is larger than than my foot and shows no sign of slowing down his growth. Hope he doesn’t shade the blueberries.

This isn’t my corn but I did plant it during one of my help sessions. It is a sweet corn whose name I cannot remember. Phil isn’t a short man, I’m guessing at least 6′ tall. This corn is about 2 Phils high.

The spinach I planted last month is going strong. Hoping it doesn’t end up bolting with these temps.
Lessons Learned: Boards and small branches do make a good cover to keep the soil cool and moist during hot and dry times.

Overloaded

Garlic Braid - Silver White Garlic The garlic spent about a week in the garden after harvest. When it looked like it was going to rain I brought it home and laid it out on newspaper on the balcony. We have a rather large overhang and it worked well to keep the bulbs dry, allowing them to finish curing. I ended up with about 7 or 8 bulbs of hardnecked Turkish Giant. I didn’t realize it when I planted these but only the hard necked varieites of garlic have the flower tops. They are great cooked and purred in a milk based soup. A soft garliky flavor not to strong but very hearty.

Onion Harvest

I decided to pull the onions. They didn’t seem to be getting any larger and the leaves were starting to die back just a bit. I started out with 6, a pretty good haul. I’ll save the largest of these to plant this Fall.

On the 20th I planted two types of spinach Oriental Giant Japanese Spinach and Palco Hybrid. It is probably too early to plant fall spinach but, not knowing what the weather will do I decided to give it a shot. If we get an early cool fall it will be great. If the heat continues I’ll have a lot of bolted spinach.

Spider vs Bee

Last year and this year a nasturtium has volunteered in my plot. The leaves can get as large as saucers though they seem a bit smaller this year. Perhaps it is early or perhaps they are in need of some fertlizer. When I was taking this photo I didn’t have my glasses on. I saw the bee but didn’t see the spider till I looked at the photo later. Looking at later photos the bee seems to have made her escape unscathed.

Helda Pole Beans

The first harvest of the Helda Pole bean. I am amazed at how tender they are even when they are long. I tried one raw and I am not nearly as fond of it as I am the topcrops. They do cook up nicely though. They are advertized as only requiring 60 days to mature. Fairly quick for pole beans. I haven’t done the match so I don’t know how accurate that is in my garden. I do like the convenience of the pole bean and the little bit of real estate the vines occupy. Harvest is easy, the long beans are easy to see.

Blix Vika+

Today was all about harvest. There were several zucchini, enough beets for a couple of meals, all of the yellow potato (aka multiplier) onions, lettuce and two types of beans (topcrop bush beans and of course the helda pole beans). While I was filling my containers it had slipped my mind that my mode of transportation was my new electric bike. It wasn’t till I was overloaded that it hit me. I was afraid I was going to have to make a second trip to get everything home but I was able, with some creating packing, to get it all home in one load. Leaves flapping in the wind.

Carrots-a-Plenty

Tiny Carrots

Rock farm in June is such a beautiful sight. All of the gardens are going strong and the textures and shades of green are breathtaking. I like to wander between the rows and see what everyone is growing.

Having had zero experience growing carrots, I was in awe at how beautiful they looked in the garden. Their lacy leaves reminding me of parsley, the contrast of their airiness next to the other veggies made for a nice mix of patterns. They seemed a bit crowded so I thinned these and the beets, a good mix for some roasted veggies.

Baby Zucchini A 10×20 spot doesn’t give a lot of extra room for the myriad of squashes and vining goodies like watermelon and cucumber. Discouraged at finding the club root I decided to make the best of it and plant some zucchini that I had started in a mango container from Costco. I started with three plants in two hills and once production starts I’ll probably lose one of them. A person can only eat so much zucchini. I also started what are supposed to be container cucumbers in three hills. Not sure how they will do as they are currently somewhat shaded by the garlic.

Radishes The radishes I planted alongside the pole beans are doing well. These are tender, not a bit hot and a great size for a snack.

Garlic is another crop I haven’t had much experience with. I did get a crop grown in KY and mistakenly had it laying on the lawn the day our neighbor came to mow. The entire area smelled like garlic for a week. This year’s crop looks strong if the tops are any indication. I planted a short row of beans between the two rows of garlic as I had a few extra seed at the time. They are doing well, propped by the garlic. Not sure if their ability to fix nitrogen will have any affect on the garlic but I have high hopes.

The garden is coming along nicely. The peas are going crazy. I am getting more peas out of this half row than I did from last year’s whole row. Renee’s cut and come again lettuce mix is on it’s 2nd or 3rd cutting, the broccoli is going strong as are the bush beans I planted just before vacation. The pole beans got off to a slow start but seem to be picking up steam. Last year’s purple sprouting broccoli has sent up a new shoot. The basil is doing so-so, I think It is too shaded.

My garden, June 25, 2015

Pitching the Tent

When I lived in Kentucky we had the Eastern Tent Caterpillar. In my experience with ETC there it kept pretty much to the apple, wild cherry, maple and other trees in our neighborhood. I don’t ever remember seeing it on smaller fruits. Here in Washington we have the Western Tent Caterpillar or WTC. Like its cousin to the East, this is a larva from a fairly nondescript brownish moth and it seems to have an appetite for the smaller types of fruit. More than one evening saw us picking these beasties off of the apples, raspberries and blueberries, easily getting several dozen within about 10 minutes. Fortunately their season was short and the damage minimal.

Snow Peas

The snow peas are doing well…finally. I planted a row early but had to replant when only a few came up and those that did ended up getting stepped on. I planted half a row again in the same spot and these seem to be doing great. This year I planted half of what I did last year and I do believe the yield will end up being higher.

The beans are doing well but it will be a while before I see a harvest from them. The garlic is coming along nicely. A little unclear on when I’ll need to harvest. Need to research that.
Garden 6-8-2015

Moving into Summer

My vacation to the Cincinnati area early last month reminded me of a couple of the reasons I don’t want to live there.  The heat and humidity have become harder to endure the older I get.  It was only the second week in May and high 80s with high humidity was too much.  Thankfully it only lasted a couple of days while we were there but once Summer hits, temps any lower than the 80s will be the exception.  Summer here on the other hand, is mild and bright.  Great for growing what would be a Spring only crop all Summer long but not so great for tomatoes in the garden spot, as evidenced by last year’s attempt.   Lush plants with many green tomoatoes but not enough heat to ensure they would ripen.  I suppose I could have attempted some black plastic to heat the soil but I’ll stick with container tomatoes this year.  The single container plant on the balcony performed beautifully for me last year.

Impatience got the better of me.. I purchased a zucchini start. Yeah, I have those three cells in the mango package but they weren’t up yet and as before, I was tired of seeing the empty space. I’ll either find a spot for the three soon to be seedlings or give some or all a way once they are ready to go. I am refusing to do the same thing with the cukes. The variety I planted is a container variety that will take up little space unlike the starts I found at the garden center. Impatience aside, I do have my limits.

Suckers on Overwintered Broccoli
Suckers on Overwintered Broccoli

The two suckers of the overwintered broccoli are getting big. When the baby broccoli harvest starts I’ll cut the mother plant back and allow the suckers to do their thing. I have this fantasy of a perennial broccoli.

I spent some time researching lettuce that should do well here in the Summer. It seems the oak leaf varieties are supposed to do ok. I stopped by the local garden center and picked up some seed to try. A few went onto a moist then rolled paper towel. Once in a Ziplock bag, I placed it onto the cool floor of the garage on Thursday. The temps outside had been too warm to germinate lettuce and I thought this would work. It did and much faster than I anticipated it would. By this morning it had already sprouted to the point of it being nearly impossible to remove from the paper towel without breaking the fragile roots. I managed to salvage enough for three cells and direct seeded three more with another slow to bolt type. I’ll have to get the names of the varieties and edit this post.

The radishes and pole beans I planted together are coming up nicely. Looks like I may actually have to thin the beans. Yeah.

When I harvested a couple of heads of Red Sails lettuce a couple of weeks ago I used a knife to cut the plant off at ground level, leaving the base of the plant in the ground rather than pulling the entire plant and cutting the head off. When I went to water today I noticed that both plants have suckers coming up around the stumps. I gave them some fertilizer before watering. I’ll leave these and see what they do, if anything.

by: kerry