Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Garden update!

I definitely have to post a description of the lovely garden wedding we just had, but I want to be able to post pictures, so it might be a few days. My parents' garden looked FABULOUS. They worked themselves near to death, I think (maybe to the pain).

So the garden is growing well but was set askew (slightly northeasterly) by the 60-mile-an-hour straight line winds that rocked Tulsa on Sunday (taking our power with them for 2 1/2 days!). Most things have managed to right themselves, but the peppers, backyard tomatoes, and the two volunteer sunflowers are still growing at a little bit of a keel. I should be able to get them trained back up soon.

The onions are pretty much done and drying. I have a British book that recommends forking them up part of the way so that about half of the roots break. This slows the growing process and starts them drying. So that's what I've been doing the past few days. Whenever one fell over I'd pull it up a little ways and then push the stem down the rest of the way.

The Viroflay spinach is mostly all gone to seed with a few lone survivors. It looks like I might get some seed barring more strong winds (but this is OK, so no promises!). The older seeding radishes are growing monster seed pods compared to the pictures I posted earlier. I ate one yesterday. It was slightly larger than a stubby golf pencil and quite tasty! I didn't take any pictures but if you google radish seed pod you'll see what I mean. I read that they can be pickled or eaten fresh at this stage and that some people would rather have these than radishes! Fascinating!

The Dragon carrots are JUST NOW getting to be on the smallish-size of worth pulling. They've been delicious but so slow growing. I pulled up a couple yesterday that were around six inches long (although most of that was the whisper of root that isn't really part of the eatin' carrot!). They are beautiful and tasty, though.

The Sylvetta arugula has also been really slow growing, but once established has been awesome. For the longest time nothing came up, nothing came up, and then there they were. Looked a lot like weeds - smaller than regular arugula and a stronger flavor - more of a bite. Once the plants were in I've been able to re-crop them three or four times, cutting off all the major leaves and leaving just a few to do the refoliation. Awesome in our salads!

The buttercrunch lettuce has been reliable and is still producing. The few that chose to overwinter themselves have gone to seed but the rest is trying to head up now. We've been using them as cut and come again (and so have the snails).

The kohlrabi is growing strong. I still have 10 or so that are in the process of bunching up. The beets are looking better but are still only 7 or so inches long at the leaves (not sure why!). The turnips have been good producers, especially the abundant and delicious greens! The turnips themselves have been good but hot, more like a radish. If anyone knows why, please enlighten me!

The broccoli was a spring-time bust! The plants are huge and would probably make me something if it weren't already 92-degrees outside. I've gotten one teeny floret but hey, it's my first go with broccoli. I'll bet I can overwinter it here with some floating row covers and/or portable greenhouse situation, particularly the Early Purple Sprouting which is supposed to be good for that. The cabbages are largely a wash, but there are a few tennis ball size heads we might stir-fry up.

I've already got Black Futsu, Chicago Warted Hubbard, and Jumbo Pink Banana squash already coming up in the midst of the fading spring crops. I plan to just cut the cabbages and broccoli off at the roots rather than pulling them up, so that the newbies can root down well. The transplanted zucchini and cucumbers are going strong.

All the tomatoes look like they took steroids! So far so good on that front. The peppers have tiny little guys on them now and the okra is about a foot tall. Plenty of lamb's quarters to keep us in summer time greens, and the New Zealand Spinach is up, too.

Tonight I have to stake more tomatoes and weed, weed, weed. Rock and roll!


HausFrau said...

You'll have to let me know how to cook kohlrabi - I've never seen a recipe with it!

Lewru said...

Here are several suggestions for kohlrabi. (I love this website.)