Mary's Veggie Garden

November 20, 2011

Fall Crops Under Snow

Filed under: Cabbage,Carrots,Celeriac,Gardening,Kohlrabi,Lettuce,Peas,Vegetables,Weather — marysveggiegarden @ 9:18 pm
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Saturday, October 29 Poughkeepsie, N.Y. received 10-12″ of heavy, wet snow.  I had many fall vegetables growing at the time. Let’s take a look to discover how they fared.

The weather had been relatively warm leading up to the storm. The first hard frost, which was a freeze of about 28 degrees, happened only a couple of days before the snow.

All the snow pictures which follow were taken Tuesday, 11/1. Although the temperatures were back up in the 50’s, it was taking time to melt all that snow.

Snap Peas 

Snap Peas 'Cascadia'

The snap peas, a variety called Cascadia, did not survive the snow. I follow the weather forecast closely when waiting for the first frost, so I’d harvested a gallon bag of snap peas 3 days before the snow. We were still enjoying those snap peas two weeks later when I removed the dying plants.

Lettuce

Lettuce 'Sierra'

The lettuce is a red-edged Batavia type called Sierra. The outer leaves in this picture are translucent from freezing, and the edges are turning brown and dry. But I don’t give up easily. I harvested the lettuce, stripped off the outer leaves, trimmed away the top edge of some inner leaves and found a crisp, tasty head within.

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbages ‘Optiko’

The outer leaves of the cabbages are just starting to melt out of the snow. Since taking the picture I’ve harvested two of these cabbages. The splayed out leaves emerging from the snow started turning brown (rotting) after two weeks. After I cleaned up the head the center was crisp and mild.

Cleaned up for eating, two weeks after the snow storm.

Broccoli

Broccoli in the snow

The broccoli didn’t fare very well. The leaves were frost ‘bleached’. The heads were still edible, but the texture was somewhat flexible and rubbery instead of crispy.

Celeriac and Carrots

Celeriac

Scallions (left) & carrots (right, under the snow)

Because the ground was still warm the snow had no effect on the root vegetables. The carrot foliage was unharmed. Although the celeriac root (the part that is eaten) was well mulched and thus unaffected, it’s leaves and stalks were destroyed by the snow. In the last week it’s started growing new leaves.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi 'Kolibri'

I had 3 varieties of kohlrabi growing. Although some of the leaves were freeze ‘bleached’  the bulb part (actually a swollen stem) is still good, and they are putting out new leaves.

Harvest this week:

I’m harvesting everything remaining in my community garden plot, because the fences must be removed by Nov. 28, just before the ground often freezes.

Carrots ‘Bolero’  – 28 pounds

Carrots Red Cored Chantenay – 7.5 pounds

Celeraic – 3, around 1.75 pounds

Napa cabbage – 1 @ 2# 2oz.

Kohlrabi – 1# 6 oz.

Nine pounds of Bolero carrots, cleaned up and drying for storage.

3 Celeriac in all their rooty glory.

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August 21, 2011

Hail in the Vegetable Garden

Filed under: Gardening,Squash,Vegetables,Weather — marysveggiegarden @ 11:00 pm
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Hail .2"-.5" in diameter fell 8/19/11. (The stripes are .2" wide.)

August 19, Friday afternoon around 4:15, a severe thunder-storm ripped through the mid-Hudson valley. My home, in the Red Oaks Mill section of Poughkeepsie, was hit with ‘pea and bean’ sized hail according to my husband and ‘hail the size of the end of my pinky’ according to my daughter.

How does hail damage a vegetable garden?

The garden was well watered due to several recent storms. Leaves were crisp and full, with no limp leaves anywhere.  The hail shredded most of the leaves of squashes &  cucumbers. It also punched holes in the outer leaves of peppers, pole beans, and my kiwi vines.  The force of the rain knocked off my Sungold cherry tomatoes  and washed them out of the garden. Summer squash & cucumbers were left with divots in their skin. Beans outside the shelter of the foliage had craters punched into them.  On the squash plants a surprising number of the leaf stems were left folded over. That may have been caused by the force of the wind.

Hail shredded leaves of Zephyr summer squash and Metro Butternut squash.

The hail damaged leaves of Metro Butternut.

Hail damaged Zephyr squashes and cucumber

There was one surprise: the tomato and pepper fruit seem unharmed. Perhaps they were protected by their heavy foliage.

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