Mary's Veggie Garden

August 17, 2015

8/17/2015 Harvest Monday

Filed under: Corn,Edamame,Onions,Tomatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:42 pm

It was a fine day for harvesting. I wanted tomatoes with breakfast so I started early. It was only 68° F – cool enough to not sweat while wearing long sleeves and pants, my protection against ticks.

5 oz. of Jasper cherry tomatoes, about half today's harvest.

5.2 oz. of Jasper cherry tomatoes, about half today’s harvest.

A batch of Jasper cherry tomatoes, about half the harvest. I took the picture after eating them for breakfast and lunch. I’m harvesting about 1/2 pound of Jasper per day. I suspect the chipmunks are also getting some which is why I have 2 plants. For supper I cut a hand-full of Jaspers through the equator and used them to provide the liquid in a sauté of onion, beans and zucchini. The tomatoes retained their shape and the skins were tender.

Cucumber Sweet Success

Cucumber Sweet Success

I’m getting one, occasionally two, Sweet Success Cucumbers a day. They are so long that one per day is more than the two of us eat.

Rattlesnake pole beans.

Rattlesnake pole beans – 11 oz.

Rattlesnake green beans. I’ll freeze these because the previous harvest is still in the fridge.

After breakfast I biked the 2.5 miles to my community garden plot. I expected to harvest cherry tomatoes and maybe some onions but I returned with full panniers.

Sungold cherry tomatoes.

Sungold cherry tomatoes.

The Sungold tomatoes are starting to slow, the colander is not as full as last week. This is 1.75 pounds – the production of 4 plants for 2 days.

Copra onions,

Copra onions, curing on wire shelves in a protected area of the patio.

The tops of the Copra onions started folding over late last week. They seem much later than usual. I just checked –  Copra harvest started a week earlier in 2013. Then again, snow melt delayed the plowing this year,  so I planted the onions 2-3 weeks later than in 2013. Later planting didn’t delay the Cabernet onions – most of them are cured and in storage now.

Toyha edamame soy beans.

Toyha edamame soy beans.

It was getting hot, rising up through the eighties, but I forced myself to check the soy beans then decided it was necessary to start harvest. This is about a quarter of the planting:  2.75 pounds of edamame in the pod. A few pods contain no beans but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Ten days ago I discovered the hose in the soy bed was not connected to the main feed line. The hose was hidden by the mulch and row cover. We’ve had only 3″ of rain in the last 6 weeks and the edamame did remarkably well without supplemental water.

Sweet corn Honey Select

Sweet Corn Honey Select

Just before leaving, I checked the corn. These are my first ears, from a 6/4 planting of Honey Select. At supper, my husband pronounced the corn just about perfect. I think the flavor is a bit ‘cornier’ than the “Incredible” that I’ve grown for the last several years but the two varieties are equally sweet.

By now it was noon, the temperature was above 90°F, and I was the only person remaining at the community gardens. The bike ride home was a slog  – I pedaled as little I could and still get over the hills, setting no speed records. A heatwave like this is unusual for August.  It seems to be cooling faster in the evening than during a June or July heat wave so my (non-airconditioned) house is not unbarable.

May 19, 2014

5/19/2014 Instant Garden

Filed under: Broccoli,Cabbage,Gardening,Leeks,Lettuce,Onions,Peas,Spinach,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 7:52 pm

I believe in planting a vegetable garden gradually. Some vegetables enjoy cold weather while others thrive in the heat. The gardener is happiest if the vegetables are planted when they are happiest.

Here are the cold loving crops in my home garden – planted gradually, starting as soon as the soil was workable. I gave the soil a few days to dry after the snow melted then started planting.

Snow Peas and Kale

Snow Peas  planted 4/2: ‘Oregon Sugar Pod II’  (right) and ‘Mammoth Melting Sugar’ (left end) and kale transplanted out 4/22.

Thanks to Daphne for her post reminding me that tulle netting will work for most pests. I’m protecting the kale from Imported Cabbage worms (the adult is a butterfly) and Cabbage Maggots (the adult is a fly). It should work for both. I supported the  netting with two small tomato cages because tulle is rough and I was afraid it would abrade the plants if it rubbed the leaves.

Cascadia Snap Peas and Tyee Spinach

Cascadia Snap Peas planted 4/8 and Tyee Spinach and a few radishes planted 4/9.

Unfortunately the Norway maples to the south  leafed out in early May so the garden is now part shade and  plant growth has slowed.


Lettuce transplanted 4/13

The lettuce is small but I’ve harvested a few leaves already.

Cabbages and Kohlrabi

Cabbages ‘Mammoth Red’ and ‘Early Jersey Wakefield’  and Kohlrabi ‘Kolibri’, all transplanted 5/2.

My other garden is  two plots (total 20’x40′) at the Vassar Farm community gardens. Normally I alternate planting the two gardens, but not this year.

In mid-March I stopped by the Farm. There was still 6-12″ of snow blanketing the gardens and I knew then that plowing would be late. Snow melt was followed by rain and the plowing didn’t finish until 4/22.  Usually I’ve planted by that date. I paid my plot rent and volunteered to help mark the plots. Finally on 5/5 they asked for help to finish marking.  Marking had started the previous Friday but was so wrong that another gardener and I along with 2 Vassar employees remeasured and marked the entire garden – about 120 plots. We finished around 2:30 p.m. and I could finally start my VF garden.

VF community garden plots after marking but before planting. There are 4 plots going across and 20 rows of plots stretching to the right.

A few VF community garden plots after marking but before planting. There are 4 plots going across and 20 rows of plots stretching to the right plus another section completely out of view.

My planting marathon:

  • 5/5 Late afternoon – measure, mark and rake garden paths; evening – return with husband and post hole digger to place fence posts.
  • 5/6  Morning – direct sow three varieties of spinach seed; afternoon – return with husband to staple up my fence of deer netting and chicken wire; evening –  bury 15′ of fence and transplant chard and beets.  Also transplanted ‘early’  lettuce and direct sowed radishes.
  • 5/7  Bury another 30′ of fence bottom, transplant 93 Cortland onions, transplant 12 kohlrabi and direct sow 13′ of the original Sugar Snap peas.
  • 5/8 Transplant 94 Cabernet onions. Fertilize and mulch all onions. Rain threatening.
  • 5/9   day off – raining. Should be good for all the seeds.
  • 5/10 rain stopped early. Transplanted some Asian greens and my ‘late’ lettuce plants. The late lettuce was supposed to be transplanted 3-4 weeks after the early lettuce, not 4 days later.
  • 5/11 Bury 30′ of fence, transplant broccoli and cabbages. Transplant celeriac.
  • 5/12 trench,  plant half of potatoes, back-fill,
  • 5/13 trench, plant the rest of potatoes,  back-fill, mulch bed. Transplant bunching onions then direct sow  three 4′  rows of Yaya carrots. Rain predicted for the rest of the week – should get the carrots off to a good start.
  • 5/14 mulch. The backlog of planting is finished!
  • 5/15 – 5/16 drizzle then rain. Not as much as predicted but a good amount – 1.2″. Sell vegetables in the drizzle at the Master Gardener Plant sale, our main fund-raising event.

I start most of my plants from seed under a fluorescent fixture in the basement. I don’t have much space under the lights so the pots are tiny and I time sowing to move plants into the garden while fairly small.  The onions and early lettuce spent an extra 3 weeks in the pots but they grew very little during that extra time. I’m hoping they are not permanently stunted.

I never expected to accomplish this much in 9 calendar days. Here is what it looks like.


Onions – so sad. They weren’t happy spending 3 extra weeks in the market packs.

The onions don’t look like much now, but it usually takes about three weeks before they look happy.

The lettuce had doubled in size.

The lettuce has tripled in size though it is still tiny.

Cabbages protected by tulle.

Broccoli protected by an Agribon floating row cover insect barrier. The cover is  8′ wide but extra width is tucked under a 2×4 behind the plants.

Assorted cabbages protected by tulle.

Assorted cabbages protected by tulle.

I’m worried about the broccoli and cabbages. I turn the soil with a garden fork before planting. (It’s been 2-3 weeks since plowing and weeds are growing.) I’m finding a lot of grubs in the turned soil, particularly in the areas closest to the grass where the Brassicas are planted. They look like the larvae of Japanese beetles or some closely related beetle. I killed every grub I found but I suspect I missed many. I wouldn’t want the adults to emerge under my row covers.


The beets were transplanted on schedule and are looking good (but need more mulch.)

The radish, pea, and spinach seeds sprouted rapidly. Radishes and spinach are showing their first true leaves and have also been discovered by the flea beetles. I’m still waiting for carrot sprouts, but they were planted only 6 days ago and needed the rain that didn’t fall.

The sugar snap peas will be trellised as soon as I bring over the post hole digger.

The sugar snap peas will be trellised as soon as I bring over the post hole digger.

Cornell says that later planted peas often catch up with earlier plantings because they grow so fast in the warmth. I’ll compare the start of this year’s harvest to the last two years to see how true that is.

This strange yellow pea plant is in the sugar snap row. It seems to be growing fine despite its weird color.

This strange yellow pea plant is in the sugar snap row. It seems to be growing fine despite its weird color.

And I have harvested this week: 2# rhubarb made into rhubarb bread, an overwintered leek put on our home-made pizza, spinach leaves from the 7 plants that overwintered under our 2′ of snow and garlic & common chives for scrambles eggs.


Spinach – looking very moody.

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