Mary's Veggie Garden

July 29, 2013

Harvest Monday 7/29/2013 – A World of Color

Filed under: Gardening,Onions,Potatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:26 am

A genuine cold front moved into the area last Monday – Tuesday, bringing 1.6″ of much-needed rain, the first since 7/1, and much lower temperatures. With clear blue skies, lower humidity, and moderate temperatures, gardening was a joy.

Harvest of summer veggies continues. I didn’t take any pictures because it’s the same as last week: Sungold tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, summer squash, carrots, kale, chard, and onions.

Wednesday I started digging my early potatoes. Yield per hill for Yukon Gold was my highest ever, almost double last year. I attribute this to lots of rain during June when the potatoes were forming. In contrast, the yield per hill for my blue potatoes is only 75% of last years. I can’t explain this though I wish I could so I don’t repeat it. But they are pretty.

Freshly scrubbed blue potatoe.

Freshly scrubbed blue potatoes: the purple skin is so dark  it is almost black..

I separated out all the marble sized potatoes and boiled them until tender (maybe 5 minutes). The cooking water turned pale blue-green. After chilling the skins slipped off easily, almost like skinning a tomato.

Boiled & skinned blue potatoes.

Boiled & skinned blue potatoes.

I turned them into potato salad – they have good firm texture and excellent potato flavor in addition to the spectacular color.

The tops of my Cabernet onions were all folded over. I got carried away pulling them. Onions.Cabernet.img_3433 I realized there was no way I was going to stuff all those onions into my bicycle’s panniers for the trip home from the community gardens. Luckily my husband had not yet left for his daily bike ride and he rode out with the trailer to rescue me & the onions.

The onions rode home in the bike trailer.

The onions rode home in the bike trailer.

July 22, 2013

Harvest Monday July 22, 2013: Summer crops ramping up

Filed under: Gardening,Potatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 6:55 am

The week of July 14-21 was a week of seasonal firsts: I harvested the first ripe tomatoes, beans, summer squash, cucumbers, and potatoes.

But first, let’s take a look at my garden in the community plots at Vassar Farm. I took the photograph at the gate.

VF garden 7/19/2013

VF garden 7/19/2013

This garden is 20’x40′.  The peppers and cucumbers are along the fence to my left, out of sight. The first bed contains edamame soy, covered with a floating row for protection from the bean beetles and stink bugs that destroyed the plants and harvest last year. The row cover is plastered against the leaves because I’d just finished watering with a hose.

The second bed contains potatoes. The early varieties are on the right end of the bed and the late varieties under the row cover on the left.  I dug the Yukon Gold plant from the hole by the white markers and they are definitely ready to harvest, however it was too hot to do much digging last week.

The third bed, with the flat row cover, will be my fall Brassicas. Beyond that are two beds of squashes, most of which are not thriving this year. Seven tomato plants are in the bed covered by red plastic. A bed of sweet potatoes is completely hidden behind the tomatoes. The last bed contains corn. The sweet potatoes are doing very well: the vines are starting to run under both the tomatoes and the corn. Carrots and spring broccoli are along the right fence and the onions along the left fence.

If you look closely, you’ll see another white row cover in the upper left. That plot is also mine. It is planted with melons, more tomatoes, beans for drying, a second later planting of corn, and more squash and sweet potatoes.

I also grow vegetables at home in a garden that has half the sunshine and half the pests that the community gardens have. Here is most of the weekly harvest.

Wed. 7/17 Kossack kohlrabi, my first Summer Dance cucumber, Sugar Snax Carrots, onion

VF Wed. 7/17: Kossack kohlrabi, my first Summer Dance cucumber, Sugar Snax  & Yaya carrots & onion

Wed. 7/17 Yukon Gold Potatoes

VF Wed. 7/17 Yukon Gold Potatoes

Notice the potato at the top center. It looks beat up and old, and there was some rot on the back. I finally realized this is the seed potato I planted back in April.  The seed potato weighed 4.2 oz and I dug 2.03 pounds of new potatoes from the hill for an 8-fold increase.

Home Thurs 7/18: the first beans and first Zephyr summer squash.

Home Thurs. 7/18: the first beans, first Zephyr summer squash, last of the snow peas, a few favas, and a kohlrabi.

It’s been very hot and dry – our last measurable rainfall was July 1. I think the kohlrabi stopped growing and then restarted when I started watering resulting in the strange shape.

VF Fri. 7/19 beets, the first tomatoes, cuke, onions, chard and carrots

VF Fri. 7/19  broccoli side shoots, beets, the first tomatoes, cuke, onions, chard and carrots

Home Sat. 7/20 The bean harvest builts: top Rattlesnake and bottom Northeaster - both pole beans

Home Sat. 7/20 The bean harvest builds: top Rattlesnake and bottom Northeaster – both pole beans

VF Sun. 7/21 Summer Dance cukes, Sungold tomatoes, and a few Rattlesnake beans harvested to eat raw with lunch.

VF Sun. 7/21 Summer Dance cukes, Sungold tomatoes, and a few Rattlesnake beans harvested to eat raw with lunch.

Even as the cucumber harvest builds, I see its end rapidly approaching. I only had 4 plants and Sunday I removed the second plant suffering from bacterial wilt. This is no surprise, cucumber beetles are bad at the community gardens.  I made a second planting in mid-June at home and it is growing well.

Harvest for the year: 88 pounds. Thus far rhubarb is in the lead at 16 pounds, but I expect that to change. It is considerably cooler today and my plan is to dig potatoes.

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