With our expanded garden (more on that in a future post) we are beginning to find ourselves feasting on more vegetables than we can handle. The spring greens are still producing like gangbusters with only the slightly hint of sourness. Most seasons by now I would have dug up the garden to plant the late summer crop of greens. But I think this one will continue producing for the next week or so. Unfortunately (or perhaps not) our third crop of greens in my new beds (the second crop failed) will be ready to eat this week. Tango, summer mix, space spinach are all ready to harvest as are the radishes.
Last fall I planted 130 garlics and all have just finished producing scapes. The scapes appear somewhat whimsical as they initially emerge as a tiny green cap getting longer and longer then without regularity or warning start to curve and twist as if possessed. It feels necessary to stop this madness and cut these corkscrewing shoots to the quick. But this will help the bulb become much larger over the next month and delivers to us early signs of delectable garlic. We had the first batch last week in a stir fry with some snap peas from the garden and it was absolutely delicious. We now have a couple of pounds in the fridge waiting to be eaten later this week.
The strawberries are coming up slowly but not to the satisfaction of either Juana or Charlotte. Perhaps it was not a good idea to transplant them last fall to start a new garden, but it could not be helped. Next spring we will expand the current garden to double its size with new varieties that should deliver as many strawberries as we can eat.
The peas are out in force both purple and light green pods hanging like tasty pendulums from their leafy perch. The weather seems perfect for their formation as they fatten within days of emerging from spent flowers. My challenge it to pick them when they are fresh enough to include in salads without cooking but not so large that they need to be shucked and cooked.
Carrots continue to be an uneven crop for me as they fail every other time. When they don’t fail, the roots tend to be small though I have gotten a few well-sized specimens. I should probably not be so lazy and get the soil sampled. What I most likely do is to experiment with other approaches, like adding a bit more phosphorous to the soil to see if that helps as the tops are always bushy, indicating that nitrogen content is not the problem.
These challenges (in the garden I always like to think of challenges rather than problems) are so different than those of a few months back when my shovel was either bouncing off the frozen soil or picking up rock-like chunks as it separated from its tundra-like permafrost.