Kitchen Garden: Growers And Goners

I decided to bring you another update because things are growing so fast around here! But let’s start with the things that have just about run the course…

peas be gone

These are the last of the peas that I grew from my own seed. I’m very proud. The patch is small because we only had four short raised beds at the time so I had to use the space wisely. I’ll let these get as big as they can get and then dry on the vine for fall planting. The plan is to grow a whole lotta peas in the fall for canning and dehydrating and I am soooo looking forward to it.

oh how sightly!

This is the other side of the bed where this patch of lettuces, baby bok choy and carrots has practically withered down to nothing. Yep, I have some work to do. I didn’t thin the carrots when I should have and I since learned that they will not put any effort into the root if conditions aren’t perfect; they’ll just put it all into the top! (Lazy buggers, eh?) So I only harvested one carrot here and one there… maybe seven altogether. But I have a plan for the fall batch, just you wait and see. It involves growing carrot “sets” like you would onions. You know me, I must try it.

The section on the left is where I tried to grow potatoes (without success) so I just started over in another bed. And then I gave up trying to keep the crabgrass out. I’m not really worried since I plan to take out most of this (spent) soil and add more compost, so I’ll do the weeding then. I failed miserably with the potatoes for two reasons: The poor soil and choosing the wrong potatoes. The way I planted them was correct, but a friend said that only true organic seed potatoes are trustworthy; anything else is a 50/50 chance it’ll grow.

potatoes, finally!

So I followed the sound advice and planted organic seed potatoes in the last raised bed the hubby built just recently. The plants are growing! I have blue and red (inside and out) which sounds very interesting to say the least and I can’t wait to see what they look like cooked. What do you suppose I should make with ’em?

pickle me purple

The onions, leeks and garlic are also on the final stretch and so I pulled up a bit of each and made quick refrigerator pickles with each. (Tip: Let onions ‘dry out’ a bit unless the tops have already fallen. Since onions contain a lot of water, things can get a bit messy!) Ooh la la! Pickled onions, pickled leeks and pickled garlic! I think I’m ready to start barbecuing. I know, it’s still only May.

three feet marks the spot

Hey, will someone tell that to my tomatoes? I marked this cage at three feet to keep track of how fast they grow, and all my plants are already there! I started them in my homemade seed starter and then transplanted them to the makeshift hoop house where they were able to stay snuggly warm through March and half of April. I think they think it’s July or something…

wait, is it summer yet?

This momma plant already has about thirty baby tomatoes growing. I thought it would be a while before I saw fruit since I pinched off the flowers when it was smaller, the plants will usually concentrate on getting stronger before they put out more flowers. Well not this time. It wouldn’t hurt to keep a count to see if earlier producers make more fruit than those that produce all at once toward the end. Should be an interesting study.

attack of the tomatoes

This is the Black Krim and while there is no fruit, it is well on its way to reaching four feet. This is actually two plants because I decided to experiment with whether it matters if I thinned them or not. I’ve always thinned them down to one in the past and then I saw a video where another gardener grows up to three together. Well that was it, I had to try! And so far, they don’t seem to mind the company. But of course, I’ll let you know.

perky peppas

Somehow the hot peppers zoomed right past the bells. They’ve grown to over a foot and are making fruit! Cool! I mean, hot… I planted ancho, cayenne and jalapeno. Again, what month is it?

cukes galore

Finally, I seeded three cucumber varieties and they’re just bustin’ out. The hubby built a simple trellis to help save space. I have two varieties for slicing and one for pickling. Yum!

I didn’t want to post a big long line of pictures to slow things down so I’ll just mention that I also planted four squash (zucchini, yellow crookneck, sweet meat and butternut), two cantaloupe (my own seed! yay!) and lots of herbs. We’re sharing some of the chicken garden space so there is more, but that’s another post.

Happy gardening to ya! 🙂