Mary's Veggie Garden

June 4, 2012

Harvest Monday June 4, 2012 & a Loopy Squash

Filed under: Gardening,Peas,Spinach,Squash,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:32 am
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The spring crops are now in full harvest – each day I can harvest as much as we need. In the past week I harvested:

Tyee spinach and Snow Peas: Dwarf White Sugar and Oregon Sugar Pod II.

Radishes: 1.1 pounds.
Lettuce: 1.6 pounds.
Snow Peas: 1.75 pounds. These are a mix of Dwarf White Sugar and Oregon Sugar Pod II. When compared, the harvest of Dwarf White Sugar starts a week earlier and the pods are less thick than those of Oregon Sugar Pod II. The color of Dwarf White Sugar is light green, while Oregon Sugar Pod II is a deeper green and more pea flavored.
Spinach: 2 oz. I finished harvesting the Bloomsdale a week ago (it was bolting, even the very tiny plants). This week I’m harvesting Tyee for salads. I planted both varieties the same day, in the same bed. The Tyee plants are much bigger, and they are taking about ten days longer to bolt.

I continued planting this week – snap beans, pole beans and French marigolds, winter squashes and nasturtiums, sweet potatoes and sweet corn. It’s wonderful to be rewarded by harvest even while I’m still planting.

Loopy Squash

Zephyr squash seedlings.

I planted this hill of Zephyr summer squash 5/18. The seed is from last year, so I planted thickly. Check the plant in the lower right: when the seedlings started to emerge, for several days all I saw was a loop for this plant. Eventually the leaves emerged – but the delay means it’s half the size of the biggest.

I was planning to thin, so let’s see what happened below ground.

Loopy squash plant.

I suspect that if I had let this plant grow the plant would eventually choke itself; squash stems get thick! Many seedlings first show as a half loop, particularly beans and onions, but then the top pops out and the stem straightens. This is the first time in 35 years of gardening that I’ve seen a stem continue in a complete circle before the top emerged.

Check in with Daphne’s Dandelions for more harvests and curiosities from around the world.

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May 14, 2012

May 14: Harvest Monday & Colorado Potato Beetles

Filed under: Colorado Potato Beetle,Gardening,Insects,Pests,Potatoes,Spinach,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:46 am
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Harvest continues in ‘foraging’ mode (as Daphne explained last week). I managed another batch of Squash & Tomato soup with the last Rumbo squash from the basement storage room and tomatoes from the freezer.

I’ve foraged a few salads from the garden: spinach, baby lettuce, red mustard, kale, sorrel and chives. The spinach is Bloomsdale and it’s bolting already! It can’t be the heat because until Friday the weather has been cool, barely breaking  70 Fahrenheit. So I’m blaming the dryness. This is my first planting, back in March, and it endured extreme drought for its first month. I hope the second planting grows better now that rain is falling regularly.

Colorado Potato Beetles are emerging very early this year – photographed May 13, 2012.

There was a big surprise waiting at Vassar Farm Saturday: Colorado Potato Beetles! May 12 is the earliest I’ve ever seen them. I recorded the first CPB June 1, 2007 (the ‘normal’ emergence time here) and May 25, 2011. This year’s very early emergence is probably because of our very warm winter – the soil never froze more than an inch or so all winter.

Colorado potato beetles overwinter as adults in the soil.  These beetles were on volunteer plants in last years potato patch so they didn’t need to move far to find food. Three were having an orgy on one plant and a female was laying her bright yellow-orange eggs on another.  I went wild smashing them, before realizing I’d just destroyed the chance for some really good photos.

Potato patch protected by a floating row cover.

I do rotate crops, and my potato planting is on the other end of the garden from last year’s patch. When the first plants broke ground I covered the patch with a floating row cover to protect it from flea beetles. The pest sequence is  flea beetles, Colorado potato beetles, then potato leaf hoppers which kill unprotected plants by August 1.

I’m hoping the plants are more productive without the continuous stress from munching insects. Though I don’t mind if they die by Aug. 1 because I immediately replant the space with sugar snap peas for fall.

See this article for more on Colorado potato beetles.

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