Monday, June 13, 2011

Full Garden

With the warm weather having arrived the garden is pretty full. Crops like tomatoes and beans are already beginning to take off. Here are pole beans at the base of their trellises. Some are starting to wind around the trellis and begin their climb up.

Tomatoes have begun to shoot up. I tied them for the first time yesterday, while dodging raindrops. For any indeterminate tomatoes (those that
continue to grow seemingly forever) I remove any suckers and tie the plants to stakes, similar to the green stake in this bean photo. For my one determinate tomato I use a wire tomato cage and leave the side shoots.

Everything looks good so far with the exception of spinach. Last year I had a huge crop. By this time I had harvested 13 pounds of spinach to freeze as part of the 55 pounds of produce. This year my total is only 46 pounds and less than a pound is spinach. After I planted it rained heavily for several days and I think some of the soil and seeds were washed away.

One of my favorite crops is kale. I grow both Red Russian kale and a dinosaur kale - pictured here. Our new method of
preparing the kale is to make "kale chips". I remove the large veins of the leaves and then cut them in half. My wife mixes these with olive oil and grated parmesan cheese and bakes them at 375 degrees until they are crispy. For the two of us it takes about a pound of kale, but that is pretty much the whole meal. I prefer the dinosaur kale because the leaves are more compact and make better chips.

Some parts of the garden are beginning to turn over. The crops that were in cold frames are mostly gone. These included mache, claytonia, kale and lettuce. All of them bolted or are beginning to bolt and about all that is left is a little of the lettuce and that will be gone very soon, probably to the compost pile since I have newer lettuce that needs to be used.

The potatoes look healthy and are beginning to flower. Garlic scapes have appeared and need to be harvested. It is also the season for weeds to grow prolifically.