Tuesday, July 27, 2010
End of July Update!
Is it really the end of July?! Where is the time going? Yet, there is still so much to do - more kale, kohlrabi, collard, chicory and lettuce seedlings to plant and plenty more to direct seed in the garden - China Rose and China White radishes, Daikon radishes, dozens of greens (lettuce, arugula, spinach, mache, swiss chard, etc.), carrots for fall/winter, beets and more! If only I could find some space!
This is a shot of the 'black nasturtiums' that I order every year from Kitchen Garden Seeds (www.kitchengardenseeds.com).. I love their velvety, deep burgundy colour - so intense! All the nasturtiums have finally started to go CRAZY! The kids pick daily bouquets, which I put on the kitchen counter - they smell so good!
The main crop of Super Sugar Snap peas came out over a week ago, and the bed has been amended and replanted with some kale seedlings.. in between, I interplanted some purple kohlrabi that I started indoors at the same time.. As you can see, the bed looks pretty empty! I'm used to the 7-foot tall pea vines, so the garden seems like its missing something! Soon, the kale will be 3-feet tall though and I'll toss a mini hoop tunnel over the bed in late November.
For the first 4 or so months of their lives, celery and celeriac look the same - from seed to seedling to young plants.. if it wasn't for the tags, I'd constantly get them mixed up.. but, now that mid-summer has arrived, they finally are showing their individuality! The older leaf stalks of the celeriac start to droop and can be snipped off - use them in soups, stocks or pasta sauce. As you can see, this sturdy celeriac just got his haircut and in just a few more months, the huge, knobby bulb will be ready to harvest! I can't wait.. Barbara Pleasant, the author of 'Starter Vegetable Gardens' and 'The Complete Compost Gardening Guide', among others, told me that her favourite way to prepare this unique veggie is to saute the slices in butter.. sounds good to me! I can't wait..
I thought with the unusual heat, this would be a record year for the tomatoes! And, I'm kind of right.. the plants are HUGE - the largest I've ever had.. some are over 7-feet tall.. and, sure they have a lot of flowers and developing fruit, but nothing is even close to being ripe.. I think it will be another 10 to 12 days before the first Sungold is even ready! Last year, we had rain and fog all of June and early July, and the plants only reached 4 1/2 feet, yet we had Sungold tomatoes ready by July 25th.. is it the humidity causing blossom drop? Is it the abundance of aged manure with too much nitrogen? I'm hearing the same from many gardeners, so I'm going to lean towards the humidity.. This is a photo of the Costoluto tomatoes - an Italian heirloom beefsteak variety.. spectacular! Can you say bruschetta?