Mary's Veggie Garden

April 21, 2020

4/21/2020 Late April in the mid-Hudson Valley Vegetable Garden

Spring is progressing. Forsythia is starting to leaf out and loose its color. The valley forests show the red or yellow of maple flowers and swelling leaf buds. Fruit trees are in full bloom. Tulips are now open.

This spinach was planted 4 weeks ago.

The last week of April is a busy time in my vegetable garden. I have vegetable seed to direct sow and the brassica transplants are ready for planting outside.

I’ve often been asked if I consider moon phases when I plant. NO! We have good weather forecasts and I study them closely, considering both rain and overnight temperatures in combination with the type of vegetable being planted.

The temperature forecast for the next 2 days is highs in the low fifties with overnight lows below freezing for the next two nights. It is raining today, and more is forecast for Thursday night into Friday.

The brassicas that were ready for transplanting are broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, Napa cabbage and green cabbage. Broccoli and kale are the most cold tolerant of the group and the broccoli was quite large – it was transplanted outside Sunday 4/19. The kale is smaller and can wait.

I like to give the rest of the brassicas a few frost free days to establish roots and fully acclimate to outdoor conditions. I will transplant the kale, cabbages and kohlrabi on Thursday, just before it rains again and when above freezing temperatures are forecast.

Broccoli planted 4/19, collared with a strip of thin cardboard to protect against cutworms, and mulched up to the collar.
Brassica bed. I use a super light weight insect barrier row cover to protect against several pests – flea beetles, cabbage maggots and imported and cross-striped cabbage worms. The broccoli is underneath and will soon be joined by Napa and heading cabbages.

I have several garden jobs to accomplish before the Thursday transplanting.

  • Prepare the areas that will receive transplants or seeds. First I clear any weeds. Next I loosen the soil with a garden fork. I use garden beds and walk only on the paths between the beds so the soil in the beds stays loose and forking is easy. Finally I use a garden rake to break up clods and smooth the surface.
  • Plant seeds of Swiss chard and carrots. They will appreciate the coming rain and won’t mind an overnight freeze.
  • Weed and mulch the late March plantings of peas, spinach, radishes and lettuce.
4/20 Swiss Chard planted. After preparing the soil, I mulched a narrow strip along the fence on the right side. One row of seeds is an inch to the left of the mulch and a second row runs 4″ in from the left edge of the bed.
Snow peas planted 4 weeks ago. They are tall enough to mulch.
Mulched snow peas. The next job is installing the wire fence used as a trellis between the two rows of peas. The trellis must be in place before the pea plants twine together.
Transplanted outside in very early April, this romaine lettuce is now well rooted and growing vigorously. Note the tiny seedlings of ‘Red Giant’ mustard sprouting among the lettuce plants.
Lettuce after mulching with mown leaves. I tried to avoid covering the mustard with mulch.

By doing a little bit every day a lot can be accomplished in a vegetable garden.

I just checked the 10-day weather forecast – 4/29 just might be the last frost this spring!

June 19, 2017

Harvest Monday June 19, 2017

Filed under: Broccoli,Cabbage maggots,Kohlrabi,Peas — marysveggiegarden @ 11:57 am
Tags:

Harvests this week have featured lettuce and peas, followed by peas and lettuce with a  sprinkling of Daikon radishes and the occasional kohlrabi. The highlight is the first broccoli, harvested yesterday.

Green Magic broccoli and Kolibri kohlrabi. The two broccoli heads weighed in at  14.1 oz and 18.1 oz. The spots on the kohlrabi were caused by the hail two weeks ago.

I really like Green Magic. It produces big heads on 2′ plants. The flavor is good. It produces nicely sized side shoots through September.

Unfortunately I also have a major problem with Green Magic and I’m wondering if anyone else has seen this problem. I grow my own plants from seed, indoors, under lights. Last year, 2016, the plants developed some sort of infection. It looked like a gray mold. I washed the growing area and replaced the light bulbs. This year my first 6 pack of plants grew great. My second 6-pack “failed to thrive”.  While still small, the leaves seemed to loose their chlorophyll and turned light green and the plant stopped growing. I discarded plants until there was only 1 healthy plant left for transplanting. I’m thinking maybe this stage was followed by mold last year. All the seed was from the same packet. I’ve grown broccoli from seed for decades and this is a new problem. I have a friend, another master gardener, who is also having problems. I asked her to check the variety and she is also growing Green Magic.

Lettuce: Cimmaron Romaine and 2-Star Looseleaf.  I removed a lot of hail damaged lower leaves after harvest.

 

Today’s snow pea harvest. L-R Little Snowpea White Pea, Little Snowpea Purple Pea, Snowbird, and Cascadia. The Cascadia snap peas are in the colander with the Snowbird peas. Top Alpine Daikon radish. This is the first of the Alpine daikons to bolt, so it is harvest time whether or not they are full sized.

The Snowbird snow peas have been going strong for 2 weeks and are due for a rest. The Little Snowpea Purple Peas are at their peak. The snap peas were planted a week after the snow peas and harvest is just starting.

The greens from the broccoli, radishes, and kohlrabi were chopped and mixed into the morning egg scramble.

Kolibri kohlrabi. All should be harvested. We are supposed to get a deluge this afternoon, so I’ll  use the time to freeze peas and kohlrabi.

Note the black plastic disk under the bottom center kohlrabi. It is the bottom cut from a plastic nursery pot. I use these disks to protect the plants from cabbage maggots. Cabbage maggots are the tiny white worms often found tunneling in radishes. With broccoli and kohlrabi plants the maggots eat the outside surface of the root and the plant wilts and dies. When I transplant kohlrabi, or any Brassica which will not be protected by a row cover, I place one of these plastic disks on the ground around the stem. All these kohlrabi were protected when transplanted, but I removed the disks a week ago so they could be used to protect some new kale transplants.

Blog at WordPress.com.