Harvest Mondays, March 26, 2012

My Asian pear in bloom.

Direct sowed sugar snap peas (24 feet) and regular peas (5 feet). All these seeds were a few years old so I soaked them for 24 hours before planting, will see how well they germinate. Placed a plastic netting over the bed to prevent the birds from feasting on the seeds.
Snap peas were sown in 2 locations. One location is for harvesting pea shoots the other is for harvesting snap peas.

Bumped up the Shanghai bok choy to 3-inch pots. They are allowed outdoors during the days but must come indoors for the night. To prevent bolting, this ritual will continue (you guessed it, I lack a life) until there is no more threat of frost and night time temp stays above 50°F. Click here for Cornell University Pak Choy Growing Information.

As you can see from the photo above, some pots have a single plant, some have 2 plants, others have 3 or more plants. When ready to transplant out, I will  plant a pot with multiple plants next to a pot with a single plant and so on and so forth, also will plant them closer than recommend. The single plant will mature faster, I will harvest those first allowing the others more space to grow. The outer plants of the muli-plants clump will mature faster, I will harvest those as they mature or as needed again allowing the others more space to grow. This planting method enables me to extend my harvest without having to do succession planting (I am a lazy gardener who thinks up these ideas so I can do less work).

Sweet potatoes vines are looking good. Time to start harvesting the slips. Some will be going to Locust Grove, some for myself and some for those I promised.

Experimenting with starting choy sum, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and kohlrabi indoors.
Using 3 ounce bathroom paper cups. Writing variety names and dates directly on the cups.

Left photo, lemongrass I picked up at the Asian market on 2/25 rooted (can you see the roots?) Will be potting them up this week, hopefully.

Right photo, ginger root I bought from the healthfood store on 1/17 sprouted. It is very slooooow growing. I must decide whether to bump it up into a larger pot and keep as a container plant or plant in the ground when the weather condition is right.

Copyright © by Norma Chang

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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58 Responses to Harvest Mondays, March 26, 2012

  1. I remember bak choy was the only veggies I’ve ever grown at home and even though it was great hehe i wasn’t quick enough the bugs decided to take a big bite out of it :( so then I gave up hehe

    you must have a really big garden Norma ~

  2. It’s funny that in our vastly different climates we are sowing some very similar things on opposite sides of the world. We grow peas, gai lan and kohl rabi through the winter here, so I’m sowing these too.

  3. Wilderness says:

    Love the pear blossoms. Are you out of the frost threat yet? Hope you aren’t getting this very cold North wind we are getting today. Interesting your thinking on planting once yet lengthening your harvest time.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Wilderness,
      Missed you. No we are not out of the frost yet, around early/mid-May. Yep, the cold north wind is whipping today, toppled my container fig tree so I brought it into the garage. Are you planting mung beans in the garden?

      • Wilderness says:

        I will be planting the mung beans come the end of May. They are going in one of the plots at the community garden. I have so many different open pollinating beans this year that I am trying to keep the as far apart as possible.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Wilderness,
        I would love to plant mung beans again but no garden space. They are sooooo delicious harvest as tender green beans.

  4. kitsapfg says:

    I really must track down some ginger root to grow. I know I can grow it here with winter protection, and have been intending to for several years, but never seem to remember to purchase the rhizome root for planting at the right time.

    You have lots of things planted and growing. Doesn’t it make your spirits soar to plant things into soil? I know it lifts my spirits immensely to get back to real gardening after the dark days of winter.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kitsapfg,
      Get some root from the health food store and plant now. The ones from the grocer store will sprout a little but then do nothing more, the ones from the health food store is going to grow into real plant and produce rhizome, I am hoping. I want to harvest young ginger like Mac at highdesertgarden.com does.

  5. Kristy says:

    I wish I had the patience (time) and knowledge to garden like this. It looks like so much fun and I love fresh food from a garden. Perhaps someday…

  6. Wow, what a gorgeous tree your Asian Pear is, Norma! Those blossoms are just spectacular. I’m impressed with the progress of your seedlings and your rooting skills!

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    Those Asian pear blossoms are striking! It’s interesting to see the variety of plants that you sow and work with. I’ve nowhere near enough space to plant even a quarter of them. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t come here, watch you, and dream!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Yes, the blossoms are striking. I do not have a lot of space I just plant many varieties but fewer plaants of each. Happy to have you come by anytime.

  8. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    Love the photos of Asian pears. mint trees are still too young to flower. At least I think that’s it. In also worry that they’re not getting enough chilling. Love the lemongrass and ginger sprouts. Good luck.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lou,
      I did not know Asian pears need lots of chilling.
      First time in years that I am able to get ginger root to sprout and grow and that’s because I got the rhizome from the health food store, why did I not think of that years ago?

  9. Hi Norma,

    Love your very interesting post-great to hear how it is all going in your part of the world…will be very interested to hear how your lemon grass and ginger grow as I’ve never grown either of these but am very tempted…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello GD,
      Lemongrass is really easy to root and grow. Just get a stalk or 2 from the store and place in water.
      Deer will not eat lemongrass, not yet, so I can plant them any where.
      Because of our short growing season I may plant the ginger in container so I can it indoor to continue to grow if need be.

  10. leduesorelle says:

    Wonderful variety and everything so far along already! We’re expecting frosty temps the next couple of nights, and I’m hoping all of the new growth survives…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Leduesorelle,
      We are expecting frosty temps also. I worry about my Asian pear trees. Had my container fig tree out but brought it in earlier today, the gusty wind knocked it over. Will keep it indoors for the whole week due to the night time lows.

      • leduesorelle says:

        I was wondering about your Asian pear trees in particular. The blooms are so beautiful, but also vulnerable. It’s windy here also…

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Leduesorelle,
        I may not get any pears this year. Not only will the one that is blooming affected by the cold the other pear tree that is supposed to cross polinate it and was about to bloom will most likely delay blooming because of the freezing temp tonight and so there will no cross polination, ah well, there is next year.

  11. maryhysong says:

    I’m going to try ginger also; just not sure if it will manage here. The birds got all my spring planted peas, because when I planted I didn’t think the pesky birds were out yet. Wrong. lesson learned. Actually next time I think I will start them in soil blocks and plant out as seedlings that are too big for the birds to pull up.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      Go for it. Get a couple pieces of ginger root from the healthfood store, plant a piece in the ground and another in a container and see which does well.
      Sorry to hear about the birds and your peas is it too late to replant?

  12. Daphne says:

    I direct seeded some Asian green outside. They are mostly up and now we are about to get some really cold weather. Luckily they are all small Asian greens so I hope I get to harvest before they bolt. My others won’t go into the garden for a while yet.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      It was brutally windy out today and we also are in for a very cold night, may be for the whole week. But why am I surprise, it is March in the mid-Hudson Valley, our last frost date is early/mid May.

  13. With a temp in the low 20s predicted for tonight, I’m thinking of covering some of the small bush fruits that are already blooming. It’s been so dry all my rain barrels are empty so I could use those. But your pears are too big to cover – let us know if you get fruit this year.
    Mary

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      Yep, no way I could cover my Asian pear trees. I should have covered my blackberries and put the leaf mulch back on my garlic and parsley, too late.

  14. Purely.. Kay says:

    I always look forward to coming here on Mondays. I know you will have a wonderful story on your garden and I just love seeing your garden. It’s just so inspirational :). Loved this post as I love every posy on Monday

  15. Eva Taylor says:

    What incredible plants, Norma, I admire that you grow so much of your own vegetables. I’d love to hear how the lemon grass works out…I would imagine the young lemon grass would have exceptional flavour without the tough woodiness the grocery store kind has. The Asian pear flowers look incredible too.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I am self-sufficient for most of the year as far as veggies goes, I also freeze for out of season use. Right now I am trying to use up my bitter melons.
      We had very low temp last night that I am afraid may have caused damaged to my Asian pear, just have to wait and see.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        Our temperatures are all over the place in Toronto, I cannot imagine how confused the vegetation must be, I’m confused and I have a brain! I’m hoping it won’t make much difference, I have a new Japanese Cherry Blossom in my front yard and I would just die if it didn’t bloom this year. And my crab apple in the back yard finally got it’s sun back when we took out a gangly Elm…I’m expecting spectacular blossoms this year!!!!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eva,
        Oh in the Hudson Valley too. Sure glad I had the presence of mind to bring my fig tree (it is in a container and on wheels) back into the garage. Last night freeze most likely damaged my Asian pear. Hope your Japanese cherry blossom tree and your crab apple tree bloom for you

  16. Jennie says:

    Thanks for the tips on the peas, I really want to learn more about peas for pea shoots. When/how do you harvest pea shoots and keep them coming back? I also want to learn more about growing sweet potatoes. I really wanted to try this year but I think I will have to wait til next year. Everything is beautiful!

  17. Graziana says:

    Your pear flowers are gorgeous. Good luck with the lemon grass, it’s delicious and really worth every bit of effort!

  18. Liz says:

    Is your Asian pear a nashi? Or something different? Good luck with the ginger and lemongrass. My lemongrass is looking fabulous at the moment and I have just started harvesting the ginger. I do find that I get most growth out of the ginger right at the end of the season so your idea of bringing it inside for awhile might be a good one.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      I do not know. They were planted many, many years ago and I cannot remember. I know I have 2 different varieties, both have brown skin. One is flat apple shape and other is kinda bosc pear shape.
      Thanks for the info on ginger. I hope my lemongrass grows well.

  19. Andrea says:

    Such a lovely sight……….. blossom on a favorite fruit tree and the promise of a bountiful crop.

  20. So wonderful to see so much happening this time of year with all the sowing and prepping and up-potting :-) Enjoy!

  21. Mary says:

    Norma, you are much further along in fact and planning than I am. I didn’t know that we could root lemon grass.

  22. Juliana says:

    Norma, I am always learning something in your posts…I didn’t know that lemongrass could root in water…I will definitely get some at the grocery and try to root and plant…
    Awesome the Asian pear blooms…so pretty!
    Thanks again for this wonderful post and hope you are having a great week :)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      Thanks and you are welcome. Sometimes you can find lemongrass already starting to root at the Asian market (if they are kept in water). They are very easy to grow

  23. Sophie33 says:

    Your Asian pear tree is blooming beautifully & your other pictures inpsire me!
    Thanks for sharing your garden knowledge with us! :)

  24. Marina says:

    Your garden is doing very well, Norma. I had to pull out all radishes as it is too hot for them and they went into shoots already (we’ve had above 80 for the last 10 days or so). I like the lemon grass you have. I have some boc choy , but I think I will wait till August to plant it. I am getting ready to start sprouts and microgreens indoor again… Non of the cold season plants will do well during the heat of the summer, I’ve learned that the hard way! :)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      What a great idea, having an indoor garden (growing sprouts and microgreens indoor) when it is not possible to garden outdoor. I am learning how different our gardening seasons are.

      • Thank you, Norma, for introducing me to a chickpea sprouts. I love it more than just a regular chickpeas and I don’t have to worry about cooking it after 8 hours of pre-soaking! What a relieve! And I think they taste better, or is it just me?

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Marina,
        You are so welcome. I agree, chick pea sprouts do taste better and very versatile. Always a big batch of cooked in my freezer.

  25. mac says:

    Beautiful pear blossoms, I like your idea of transplanting bok choy, please continue to share “lazy” gardening tips, love anything that makes life easier.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      I think I lost all the pears from that tree. We had a freeze and to make matters worse the other pear tree that was about to bloom is not because of the sudden and extended cold so there is no cross pollination, ah well, next year.
      Happy to share my “lazy” gardening tips.

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