Harvest Monday, April 27 2015 – Walking Onion + Transplanting + Garlic & Ramp Update + Rooting Lemon Grass + Plant Sale

Surprised Harvest!

While cleaning up my garden beds and turning over the soil, came upon a bed of carrots. They were planted too late last year and was not worth the effort to harvest. I never got around to putting that area of the garden to bed for the season and the carrots must have grown over the winter. As you can see from the photo below they are pretty good sizes.

parsnip, carrots & beet (07474)

Parsnip, Carrots & Chioggia Beet

Dug up 1 parsnip that I missed last week, 5½ pounds of carrots (mostly orange, one white, one yellow & few purple) and 1 chioggia beet.

∗ ∗ ∗

The Walking Onions were gifts from Diary of a Tomato and Mary N, Mary’s Veggie Garden I planted them in different areas of my garden so see where they would be the happiest. They grew in shade and partial shade but prefer full sun.

walking onion (07450)

Walking Onion

walking onion (07435)

Walking Onion

Don’t know a lot about using walking onion so will be learning and experimenting. Will write a post about them at a later date. The ones above will be used as scallions substitute.

∗ ∗ ∗

Finally got my snap peas seedlings into the ground, need to get the trellis in place before the plants get too tall. Ideally I should put the trellis in before planting but time was not on my side.

snap peas seedlings (07379)

Portion of my Snap Peas

The upside down clay pot in the upper right hand corner in the photo above is covering my emerging Chinese chives also known as garlic chives. This will blanch the chives resulting in tender and mild chives much prized in Chinese cooking.

For the past few years Mac of High Dessert Garden would post photos of her blanched Chinese chives which meant I was too late to blanch mine. Last year I wrote myself a reminder note and in a week or two, hopefully, I will have blanched Chinese chives.

∗ ∗ ∗

The bok choy and shanghai bok choy were transplanted into window boxes on 4/3/15 and are doing well.

baby bok choy & Shanghai bok choy (07448)

Top: Shanghai Bok Choy. Bottom: Baby Bok Choy

There are way too many plants in the window boxes for both the Shanghai Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy, I will harvest every other plant when it becomes overcrowded.

∗ ∗ ∗

Weeded the garlic beds sprinkled on some Espoma garden tone fertilizer then mulched the beds with crushed leaves.

German white garlic (07459)

German White Garlic

The photo above is of the German White Garlic. They are looking good and happy.

∗ ∗ ∗

My friend Nancy gave me a bunch of Ramps last spring. A few had roots so I planted those to see if they would grow in my garden. They did and are looking very happy, I am happy too.

ramp (07456)


I must wait until next year to harvest any ramp. From what I read I should really wait until the year after.

∗ ∗ ∗

Came upon lemongrass, a bunch of 3 selling for $1.00. They looked kinda half dead but figured for $1.00 why not try to see if they will root. Removed and discard the dried outer leaves placed the cleaned stalks in water and lo and behold they rooted. Wish I had bought more so I could share with friends, next time.

lemongrass (07392)

Rooting Lemongrass in Water

Potted up the rooted Lemongrass. Will be growing them as ornamental among my flowers.

lemongrass (07419)


All 3 stalks have sent out babies. If there are multiple babies to a stalk I may try to separate them to see if I can get multiple plants from one stalk.

∗ ∗ ∗

It was awfully cold (winter like) and blustery both Thursday and Friday. Some of my potatoes in foam ice chests on the driveway were damaged.

potatoes in container (07470)

Damaged Blue Potatoes in Foam Ice Chest

The damaged potato has suffered a bit of set back but will bounce back, new leaves will emerge and there will be potatoes to harvest.

Would be interesting to see if there is any significant difference in yield between the undamaged plant on the left and the damaged plant on the right.

∗ ∗ ∗

Purple sweet potatoes grow very well at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden. Mary N and I grow them successful in our gardens as well.

Both Mary and I are Dutchess County Master Gardener Volunteers and are currently involved with the plant sale to be held in May (info below).

During Monday’s work session, we thought since we both have extra purple sweet potato slips why not pot up some for the plant sale.

purple sweet potato (07425)

Purple Sweet Potato

We got the OK and are potting up one (1) flat, 14 plants. If they sell well, next year we will plan on potting up more.

Below is the CCE Dutchess County Plant Sale information:

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
Master Gardener Volunteers Plant Sale
May 15 – 16, 2015
Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Farm & Home Center
2715 Route 44, Millbrook, NY
845-677-8223 ext 115
To view the Plant List, go to: http://ccedutchess.org/gardening/event-detail.php?event=2015-05-15-2015-master-gardener-plant-sale

∗ ∗ ∗

daffodil (07438)


daffodil (07440)


…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   … Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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

Posted in Container gardening, Dutchess County Farm & Home Center, Growing lemon grass, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, New York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Harvest Monday, April 20, 2015 – Growing Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes in Containers + Garden Overwintered Root Crops

My daughter, Kathy, grew vegetables for the first time last year and had bountiful harvest. So pleased with her success she is enthusiastically looking forward to this new gardening season even installed grow lights and started some veggies and flowers seedlings.

Last year she grew napa cabbage, bok choy, different varieties of tomatoes, Swiss chard,  cucumber, beans, leeks, onions, celeriac, parsnips, pepper, etc. There was also asparagus (started by my son-in-law few years ago, prior to last year he was the veggie gardener and Kathy was the flower gardener).

Couple weeks ago she mentioned that her neighbor is planning to grow potatoes and I sensed she would like to give it a try. Since I have grown potatoes successfully in container in the past, I offered to start potatoes in a container for her as she lacks garden space but has a nice sunny patio.

While shopping at Home Depot came across some 6.87 gallons multi-purpose bins, just the size I was looking for, very sturdy and better yet has 2 handles and cost only $4.88 each, the only problem there is no drain hole. However using a utility knife I was able to solve the problem, needed a bit of force to cut through the plastic to make the 4 drain holes but it was doable.

growing potatoes in container (07368)

Potatoes: All Blue, Adirondack Red & Adirondack Blue

I filled ¼ of the bin with a mixture of pro-mix, well composted cow manure, peat moss (potatoes prefer a low pH, 4.8-5.5) and organic granular fertilizer.

I placed on the surface an All Blue, an Adirondack Red and an Adirondack Blue potato.

To see cross sections of the above potatoes click HERE and scroll down.

growing potatoes in container (07373)I covered the potatoes with the same mixture, watered well and placed the bin on the driveway where it is warm and sunny.

As you can see from the first photo all 3 potatoes are sprouting. I will hill the plants as they grow so when my daughter comes to get the plants in a few weeks the bin will most likely be filled to near the top and all she needs to do is keep the plants well water. Potatoes need plentiful consistent moisture.

Click HERE for Cornell University Potatoes Growing Guide.

While I was at it, decided to push my luck and ask if she would like to grow a purple sweet potato in a container as well. Surprisingly she said “yes”.

growing purple sweet potato in container (07374)

Purple Sweet Potato

I filled the bin with the same potting mix as the potatoes and placed 0ne (1) sweet potato slip in the middle then watered well. Also placed this bin on the driveway.

Our nighttime temperature is still too cold to leave the sweet potato plant outside so I will bring the bin into the garage at night and take it out during the day (the 2 handles make the job so much easier).

End of May is when I transplant my sweet potatoes into the garden.

Thinking: Planting the sweet potato slip in April in container and bringing the plant into the garage at night for protection will this extra time result in a better yield?

My daughter is a very organized and methodical individual she will most likely take notes and photos and give me progress reports of both the sweet potato and the potatoes. I will definitely give you an update about this experiment in a future post later in the year.

∗ ∗ ∗

End of last year I decided to leave some of my root crops in the garden and mulch heavily to see how they would fare through the winter.

overwintered parsnips (07363)

Garden Overwintered Parsnips

The parsnips fared very well, all were in good usable condition. Harvest 7+ pounds. Shared with family and friends.

I braised a couple of them in broth to serve as a side, had a slightly sweet flavor and the texture was good not woody at all.

overwintered root crop (07401)

Portion of the Garden Overwintered Leeks, Golden Beets, Celeriac & Lutz Beets

All the golden beets overwintered well. Harvest about 2 pounds, they are small, about the size of a golf ball. In the fridge for later use.

A few of the celeriac and lutz beets had soft spots at the leaf end so I discarded those. Boiled until tender a couple of the lutz beets, peeled, sliced and made a pickle with rice vinegar, a bit of salt and a bit of sugar, simple but good. May make borscht with the two remaining ones.

Haven’t used the celeriac yet may be this week, all 5 are in the fridge.

The leeks fared pretty well. The green parts on a few were a bit mushy but the white parts were good and firm and usable. Used the above 2 in a stew. There are still 5 good looking ones and a few not so good looking ones in the garden.

Will dig them up this week as I need the bed for my Swiss chard.

∗ ∗ ∗

Yay! Spring has finally arrived and hopefully here to stay.

hellebores (07414)


hellebores (07413)


The hellebores, though late in arriving this year, are gorgeous, I have white ones and various shades of pink ones.

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   … Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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

Posted in Container gardening, Flowers, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Harvest Monday, April 13, 2015 – Bumping Up Snap Peas Seedlings + Sweet Potatoes Slips

Was absent from Harvest Monday for the past 2 weeks as there was nothing in the garden  to write about (ground was either still frozen and/or too wet) and the seedlings were coming along oh so slowly.

Needed to see some spring colors so wrote about the Observatory Garden at Central Park on 3/30/15.

Needed some cheers and smiles so wrote about the Delacorte Music Clock (also at Central Park) on 4/6/15.

Set foot in the veggie garden for the first time last Monday, it was a beautiful day to garden and I was so ready to get my hands dirty but the soil was still too wet so no work was done. Rained the next few days making the soil even wetter (soggy) and the week felt like winter instead of spring. There was no rain over the weekend and yesterday was a gorgeous day. Checked the veggie beds and decided to allow the soil to dry out a bit more. Today ought to be a good day to tidy up the garden, fertilize the garlic plants, reset the strawberry plants (if needed) and fertilize, plant out some seedlings, etc. as rain is predicted for tomorrow.

∗ ∗ ∗

Last year I decided to start my snow pea seeds indoor in 4-inch pots and transplanted the seedlings from the 4-inch pots directly into the garden early April. Was very successful and am doing the same again this year.

But due to the prolonged winter then the rain my garden was still not workable so decided to separate the seedlings individually (before they get too large and the roots are all tangled) then potted them up into biodegradable pots (my sister, Joyce, gave me the idea) allowing me to transplant the seedlings (pot and all) into the garden, as soon as the ground is ready (may be later this week) with minimum roots disturbance.

sugar daddy snap pea seedlings (07340)

A Sample of the Sugar Daddy Snap Peas Seedlings. Top row: in 4-inch pots. Bottom row: transplanted into biodegradable pots.

Bumping up the snap peas seedlings into individual pots is an extra step that I prefer not to take, but a gardener does what a gardener needs to do (under the circumstances) since old man winter refused to depart.

∗ ∗ ∗

I started rooting both the Purple and the Georgia Jet Sweet Potatoes on the same day, but as you can see from the photo below, the Purple’s slips (left) are ready for rooting but the Georgia Jet (right) needs more time.

sweet potato slips (07352)

Left: Purple Sweet Potato. Right: Georgia Jet Sweet Potato

Will be removing the purple sweet potato slips that are ready and plant them directly into containers (can also first root in water).

To learn more about starting sweet potato slips, click here.
To learn which end of the sweet potato to immerse in water, click here. Immersing the wrong end in water will result in rotted sweet potato and no slips.

∗ ∗ ∗

Had a large Purple SP and a large Georgie Jet SP that started to sprout.

Thinking: What if I cut off the sprouting part of each and root them in pro-mix, what will happen? Below are the results.

sweet potato slips (07354)

Left: Purple Sweet Potato. Right: Georgie Jet Sweet Potato

sweet potato slips (07358)

Left: Frazier White Sweet Potato. Right: Purple Sweet Potato. All those sprouts will grow into slips (did not have a cut off section of the Georgia Jet SP for the photo).

Had a Frazier White Sweet Potato with a long skinny section that was also sprouting so decided to also grow slips from the sprouts.

Conclusion: A whole sweet potato is not necessary for growing slips. In the future I will cut off and plant the sprouting end of the SP and feast on the rest.

∗ ∗ ∗

Failed experiment? May be may be not.

Some of you may recall from my 3/16/15 (click on link and scroll down) post my attempt at trying to root a pencil thin Okinawan sweet potato, to date, nothing is happening.

Okinawan sweet potato (07361)

Rooting Okinawan Sweet Potato

Uncovered the SP tuber and it is still firm but nothing is going on, no roots no sprouts, will continue to observe and see if eventually it will sprout.

∗ ∗ ∗

Yeah!!!!! I had color in my garden, one (1) single miniature iris.

miniature iris (07341)

Miniature Iris

Was not happy with the above photo but when I went to take another the next morning, my one and only flower was gone, a deer had it for breakfast or was it dinner?

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   …

Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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

Posted in Container gardening, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | 44 Comments

The Delacorte Music Clock at Central Park, NYC

Delacorte clock (04371)

The Delacorte Music Clock

The Delacorte Music Clock was a gift to Central Park from publisher & philanthropist George T. Delacorte. It was modeled after the musical clocks that Mr. Delacorte saw while traveling in Europe.

Dedicated on June 24, 1965 the Clock is located near the Children’s Zoo and Wildlife Center at 65th St.

Each day, on the hour and half hour, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., the clock (digitally programmed) plays songs from the the Delacorte Clock Song List. Click here to view the song list. The songs change with the season. Around the holiday the songs change to a collection of Christmas carols.

∗ ∗ ∗

Delacorte clock (04372)At the base of the clock tower there are six animal figures (a goat, a kangaroo, a penguin, a bear, a hippo and an elephant) rotating on a track around the clock. Each animal also turns on an axis. The whimsical bronze animal sculptures carousel was created by sculptor Andrea Spadini,

∗ ∗ ∗

Delacorte clock (04372 bell)

Two (2) Monkeys Striking the Bell on the Hour with Hammers

On top of the Clock tower is a bell and two monkeys. On the hour the monkeys strike the bell with hammers.

∗ ∗ ∗

Below are the 6 animals playing their instruments.

Delacorte clock (04372 goat)

Goat Playing the Pipes

Delacorte clock (04375 kangaroo)

Kangaroo & Baby Roo Playing the Horn

Delacorte clock (04375 penguin)

Penguin Playing the Drums

Delacorte clock (04376 bear)

Bear Playing the Tambourine

Delacorte clock (04376 hippo)

Hippo Playing the Violin

Delacorte clock (04378 elephant)

Elephant Playing the Concertina

All the above photos were taken by my daughter Kathy.
Thank you Kathy!

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …    …   …  …   …

Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Posted in New York, New York City, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 38 Comments

Central Park’s Conservatory Garden, NYC

central park's conservancy garden (05727)Central Park’s Conservatory garden is located at the north end of Central Park. A six-acre formal garden designed by Gilmore D. Clarke.

Opened in 1937, it is an officially designated Quiet Zone. A beautiful setting to relax and recharge. Stroll leisurely along the pathways, admire the flowers and settings or sit quietly with a book.

Enter through the Vanderbilt Gate at 5th Avenue between 104th and 105th Street. The Conservatory Garden is divided into 3 smaller gardens – English, French and Italian.

The photos below were taken April 30, 2013 by my daughter Kathy when we visited the garden. Thank you Kathy.

central park's conservancy garden (05681)

Yew Hedge & Flowering Crabapple Trees

central park's conservancy garden (05678))

central park's conservancy garden (05683)

The other side of the fence is 5th Avenue

central park's conservancy garden (05684)


central park's conservancy garden (05728)

Hellebores (Lenten Rose)

central park's conservancy garden (05674)

Stairs leading up to wisteria pergola

central park's conservancy garden (05677)


central park's conservancy garden (05689)

Wisteria Pergola

The Conservatory Garden is home to more than 20,000 tulips. They were at their  best when we visited.

central park's conservancy garden (05700central park's conservancy garden (05686)central park's conservancy garden (05698))central park's conservancy garden (05703))central park's conservancy garden (05704)central park's conservancy garden (05716)central park's conservancy garden (05717))central park's conservancy garden (05724)

To learn more about the Conservatory Garden, click here.
To learn about the magnificent Vanderbilt gate and a photo click here.

The Conservatory Garden is:
Open daily 8:00 a.m. to dusk
Wheelchair accessible at the 106th Street gate inside Park
Restroom available
An officially designated Quiet Zone
(dogs must be leashed and kept on pathways at all times; no running, rollerblading, or bike riding; no organized, active recreation or sports allowed; headphones required for radios)

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …    …   …  …   …

Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Posted in New York, New York City, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 54 Comments