Tag Archives: Radish

It is salad time

June is always a salad month, not a stew or a sauce month, definitely just a salad month. All plants are surely growing, but most are too immature to feed a hungry family.  This early in the season all I am able to harvest consistently is salad greens and radishes. IMG_3760

No, I am not complaining, we enjoy being able to go out and pick a nice mix of of lettuces to eat that same eve. We always make sure to include assorted color, shape and textured leaves for best flavor and visual impact. IMG_3761 IMG_3762 IMG_3922 IMG_3915

Since we started harvesting our greens about 10 days ago the combined harvest of lettuces and the like (spinach, young chard, etc) has been plentiful, but not excessive. We are harvesting on a cut and come again basis, and so far we have visited  75% of the plants, some of which have been cut more than once already. IMG_3923 IMG_3924

I certainly cannot take full credit for our production, the cooler and wet weather we have been experiencing has kept the lettuce growing and not induced it to bolt.

Last week I reported on our first radish harvest. Our first three square feet of radishes produced over 1.6 lbs. That is a lot more radish than we bought in all of last year, however having it available and fresh, has made it easy for us to include them in our diet. It is so easy to grow, that I have already replaced the harvested squares with new plantings. Today I started picking a different square with long radishes, Salad Rose variety from Burpee Seeds. IMG_3855 IMG_3877 IMG_3881

Beautiful red skin with a pink to whitish center, very crisp texture and live peppery flavor.IMG_3928 IMG_3929 IMG_3930

As for the rest of the garden, it seems all other plants are getting in the mood to grow and produce something. The peas are going mad trying to grab and climb up the trellis, their white flowers and pods popping out everywhere.IMG_3880 IMG_3767 IMG_3868

The tomatoes, have been flowering for a week now, and you can see fruit starting to form in some of the plants. I think this is the earliest I have had tomatoes form on the vines ever. At this rate, we may have cherry tomatoes by 4th of July. So far the plants are looking very healthy, the indeterminate variety clearly growing faster than the determinate ones.IMG_3841

The zucchinis in the grow bags are doing wonderfully, their leaves have not become gigantic as I am used to seeing them. Instead it seem as if the plants are putting more of their energy producing flowers. IMG_3878The first two male flowers came out yesterday, and today the first female flower was fully open. IMG_3839 IMG_3837 IMG_3898

Lucky enough there were also couple male flowers to get pollen from, so for sure we’ll be having zucchini this week. Check out one of my early posts on fertilizing zucchinis  A bees job. Remember also that zucchini flowers are edible, for a great way to use the flowers visit Nonna’s zucchini flower recipe.

The water melon, cantaloupe and spaghetti squash growing in bags are doing great. I am considering dedicating the small area of my yard with Southern exposure to growing plants in bags next year. IMG_3905 IMG_3823

Not everything is picture perfect though… The corn I planted a couple of weeks ago has failed to impress me. I was concerned since the beginning that the area would not get enough sun, and indeed it doesn’t. I have just a couple corn plants struggling to survive, if it wasn’t because I don’t have anything else I want to grow there I would have pulled their plug already.  My biggest concern currently is with the potatoes. Some of the plants in one of three bags started to wilt and died after the last dirt fill. Perhaps I did not leave enough leaves out of the ground, but it has been so cool and wet around here lately that I started to fear fungal infestation. I have been checking carefully for signs of fungi, but cannot see anything so far that would suggest that is the cause, in any case I just hope for warm sunny days ahead.

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30 days from seed to salad plate

Today we had our first harvest of the season. Not bad considering that about a month ago I was still wearing a down sweater while planting some of our seedlings. We picked a handful of radishes, and their tops, and some lettuce leaves, enough for a nice salad that we put together with tomatoes, cucumber, and a honey Dijon vinaigrette.

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It never ceases to amaze me how quickly radishes grow, I can’t think of any other crop that can be enjoyed in as little as 30 days from planting the seeds.

IMG_1669The perfect plant for those short on patience, and great to introduce children to gardening, as aside from being fast growing, they give a fantastic display as the roots seem to crawl out of the ground as they grow. Moreover, almost nothing really goes to waste, as the tops and the roots are all edible.

 

 

 

 

Heat damage control

We had a great weekend away, but upon coming back we were faced with a very sad looking garden. The terrible heat wave that hit Long Island at the end of last week had no mercy on our garden, and even some heat tolerant plants looked sad and listless. The worst looking plants were of course the lettuce, which appeared as if someone had boiled them, and the radishes which had folded over and drooped over the sides of the tiered bed. Sunday afternoon, I spent a few hours watering, pruning  and trying to prop up all the fallen plants. All the photos in this blog were taken between yesterday and today. In retrospect, I wish I had taken some photographs to record how bad the situation was when we came home, but my mind was on trying to save what was there.

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Red sails lettuce in recovery, new growth at the top
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After three days, radishes are still standing but showing some burn scars
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We lost some cukes in the heat

This morning, the garden’s condition changed from critical to stable, but under close supervision.  The lettuce is once again up, there is new growth towards the top and it is  looking bright and healthy. The radishes seem to have managed well also, and the celery stalks feel firm in spite of the brown edges on their leaves. We lost a few cucumbers on the vine, that withered in the intense heat, and since our bees do not seem to know how to pollinate zucchini, I can see some flowers failed to produce fruit. In the intense heat, however, the peppers, eggplants, tomatoes,  acorn squash, and  basil seem to have gotten stronger.

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We will get some radishes after all
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Tomatoes managed well, even with some charred leaves
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Hot peppers getting hotter
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No worries here
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Turnip seedlings still doing fine
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Squash are nice and plump

Since we do like to travel in the summers, the goal for next year will be to improve the reach of my sprinklers to cover the garden area, any suggestions are welcomed. As an immediate solution this year I will try to improve the ground cover with extra straw to help keep the ground from baking in the sun if we happen to go away during a couple of very hot days. As I write this post, I can hear loud thunder outside, and the forecast calls for rains the next couple of days.