Harvest Monday, May 25, 2015 – More Window Box Harvest + Soy Beans Seedlings + Chinese Long Beans Seedlings

More Window box harvest.

Johnny’s Happy Rich (F1) broccoli is a cross between broccoli and gailan (Chinese broccoli). Looks like miniature head of broccoli but has more of a gailan flavor. The entire stalk (stem, leaves and flower) is edible.

NOTE: Peel the lower part of the stem if it appears a bit woody.

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Happy Rich (F1) Broccoli, 12 plants, in a 28-inch Window Box

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Happy Rich (F1) Broccoli after Harvesting

Fertilized with fish emulsion fertilizer after harvesting.

Started the seeds in cell pack indoor on 3/11, transplanted into 28-inch window box on 4/19. This was the first Happy Rich harvest. Got 1+ pound.

I prefer to cut about 7 inches of each stalk leaving 2 – 3 leaves on the remaining stalk of each plant. Nice size side shoots will appear thus extending the harvest. You could choose to harvest just the florets leaving each plant with a longer stalk. The plant will send out many more side shoots but they will be skinny.

happy rich (F1) & pea shoots (07608)

Happy Rich (F1) Broccoli Stalks, Leaves & Snap Pea Shoots

I cut the Happy Rich stems and leaves into bite-sized pieces and stir-fried with 2 thinly sliced walking onions (not in photo), couple slices of ginger in a bit of coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste and served as a side. It was tender and tasty. A keeper, planting 2 window boxes next year.

The pea shoots are side shoots after the 5/11/15 harvest. (Click on link and scroll down.) Some went into a salad, the rest are in the fridge. There is enough for a meal and I will most likely stir-fry them in the same manner as the Happy Rich and use as a side.

I prefer to treat my freshly harvested greens simple with minimal cooking. I am sure you have noticed that freshly harvested greens cook much quicker and are tastier than store bought ones but they do take a bit longer to clean.

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This is the 4th and last of the window box spinach harvest. Putting this window box to rest until fall planting.

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Window Box Spinach

The window box spinach started to bolt so I pulled them all, got 8+ ounces. Look closely and you will see the flowers on the plants on the right in the above photo.

Made a spinach soup with tofu topped with a poached egg. Sorry no photo. Keep forgetting to take photos of the finished dishes before I dig in.

You see, after working in the garden and bringing in the harvest at the end of the day, I am starving, so after the meal is prepared I dive right in and thus no photo.

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Two years ago I experimented with starting my soy beans seeds in 4-inch pots and then transplant the seedlings into the garden. I was very pleased with the results, germination was good, the transplants did well and I got a head start. I also need not worry about birds and other critters feasting on my bean seeds.

Planting 3 different varieties this year – Black, Toyha and Besweet. All growing from self- saved seeds. Got the original Toyha and Besweet last year from Mary N of Mary’s Veggie Garden.

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Soy Beans Seedlings

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Soy Beans Seedlings

Seeds were sown in 4-inch pots, 9 seeds to a pot, on May 2, germinated on May 7. Was going away for a couple of days so took a chance and transplanted the seedlings into the garden on May 16. Sure glad they survived the 30+F nighttime temp we had Thursday night.

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Like the soy beans above, I also experimented with starting my Chinese Long Beans in 4-inch pots and also was pleased with the results.

This year I am growing 2 varieties, Green and Red Noodles. Also from self-saved seeds.

Chinese long beans are also known as yard long beans, asparagus beans and snake beans. Click here to learn more and a recipe.

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Chinese Long Beans Seedlings

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Red Noodles Beans Seedlings

Seeds were sown in 4-inch pots, 9 seeds to a pot, on May 2, germinated on May 7. Also took a chance (even though I knew it was not a good idea) and transplanted the seedlings into the garden on May 16. They did not like the 30+F nighttime temp we had Thursday night. The Red Noodles appear to be hardier and may recover but will suffer a set back I am sure, the Green variety is less hardy, quite wilted and may not recover. Fortunately I have extra seeds and direct sowed yesterday.

I did dig up 15 plants each of the Green and the Red Noodles seedlings Thursday afternoon and kept them in the garage, they looked OK. Replanted them yesterday will let you know how they fare.

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Failed to photograph harvests are: lettuces, garlic greens and walking onions all from the garden. Garden is finally (though slowly) producing.

Container grown potatoes as well as the ones in the garden are growing very well. Completed a 3rd and final hilling. Looking forward to harvesting new potatoes.

This weather is driving me nuts, the high tomorrow is going to be 90F. Hoping for rain.

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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 Cooking, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Vegetables, window box gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Harvest Monday, May 18, 2015 – Yellow Chives + More Window Box Harvests + Overwintered Crops

I did it! For years I have meant to blanch my Chinese chives, but was always too late in remembering to place a container over the chives clump before the weather gets too hot, this year I was on time and got a harvest of yellow (blanched Chinese) chives.

To Blanch Chinese Chives:
Decide which clump/s of Chinese chives you are going to blanch.
Harvest (cut) the green Chinese chives at ground level (my Chinese chives were just emerging nothing to harvest so I placed a clay pot over the clump).
Place a large container/pot over the cut clump (the container/pot should be at least 12 inches tall and make sure to cover any holes)
Yellow (blanched Chinese) chives should be ready in about 10 days, sooner if the weather is hot, longer if the weather is cold.

NOTE: Blanching weakens the clump. The next season choose another clump/s to blanch allowing this season blanched clump/s to recover and grow robust again.

To Use Yellow (blanched Chinese) Chives:
Peel off, if any, the thin layer at the bottom of each stem and snip off any dry or brown ends on the top. Rinse and cut into desired length.
Yellow chives are milder and sweeter in flavor than the green Chinese chives and can be used as a substitute in stir-fries, soups, salads …

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Left, Green (standard) Chinese (garlic) Chives. Right, Yellow (blanched Chinese) Chives

I combined both the green and yellow Chinese chives above and used as a substitute for the onion and scallion in a Sweet Potato Noodles Stir Fried with Chicken & Veggies dish. Click here for recipe.

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After last week’s thinning and having more room to grow, both the Shanghai Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy took off.

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Top, Shanghai Bok Choy. Bottom, Baby Bok Choy

Unfortunately last week’s weather was very erratic. Beginning of the week I had my air condition going, by Wednesday I had my heat on (night time temp was in the low 40’s). This caused the both bok choy to bolt. So I had to harvest all.

Shanghaia bok choy)

Shanghai Bok Choy

Harvest over 1¼ pounds of Shanghai Bok Choy.

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Baby Bok Choy

Harvest over 1¼ pounds of Baby Bok Choy also. Look closely and you will see flowers appearing in the center of the bok choy.

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Lettuces in the garden are ready for harvesting so decided to harvest all the lettuces in the window boxes.

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Window Box Lettuces

Harvest 1+ pounds of lettuces.

Both Bok Choys and all the lettuces went home with my kids.

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Volunteer mustard are appearing and growing well in the garden.

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Volunteer Green Mustard

Because of the erratic weather, the mustard are bolting also, should harvest before the flowers appear.

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Last of the overwintered crops

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Leeks, Chicory, Kale Flowers, Red Rib Dandelion & 3 Tiny Celeriac

The leeks are sweet and tender, a few started to send out scape so had to harvest plus I need the space for my Peppermint Swiss Chard seedlings.

The kale flowers are from last year’s overwintered kale. I combined them (stems, leaves & flowers) with other veggies in a stir fry.

I am very pleased with the red rib dandelion. It is a perennial and has been coming up every year since I planted it few year ago. Adds a nice color to salads, has a slight bitter but pleasant taste.

The 3 celeriac are tiny but has a very lovely celery flavor. I missed them when I harvested the others.

Cut the chicory into bite-sized pieces sauteed in a bit of oil and garlic and a pinch of salt. Very tasty.

overwintered chicory (07552)


After harvesting the chicory heads last fall I left the roots in the ground and mulched with leaves. Side shoots started to grow few weeks ago but will not form heads.

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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, Cooking, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Recipes, window box gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Harvest Monday, May 11, 2015 – Window Box Harvest + Container Potato Update

All the harvests in today’s post are from window boxes.

As you can see from the photo below, both the Shanghai Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy in the window boxes are overcrowded.

Shanghai bok choy & baby bok choy (07507)

Top: Shanghai Bok Choy. Bottom: Baby Bok Choy

Thinned out both the Shanghai bok choy and the baby bok choy, the remaining plants now has room to grow and mature.

Shanghai bok choy & baby bok choy (07515)

Left: Shanghai Bok Choy. Right: Baby Bok Choy

Harvested 8+ ounces of Shanghai Bok Choy and 5+ ounces of Baby Bok Choy.

The Shanghai Bok choy were grown from seeds I saved. Because the original was a hybrid these look quite different from the original and not as tender. Need to get fresh seeds.

The baby bok choy were also from seeds I saved but because the original was not a hybrid they are just like the original. Tender with a hint of sweetness.

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Top Forellenschluss Lettuce, Bottom: 1 Lolla Rosa Lettuce on the left & Cimmaron Lettuce on the right

Only 3 of the Lolla Rosa lettuce seeds germinated 2 did not make it.

Decided to harvest just the outer leaves of both the Cimmaron and Forellenschluss lettuces. The plants will keep growing and I will continue to just harvest the outer leaves thus extending the harvest.

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Sugar Snap Peas

The germination rate for the sugar snap peas was poor reason for all those empty spots. I cut the tender tips of each plant hoping the plants will send out many side shoots.

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Left Pea Shoot. Center Cimmaron Lettuce. Right Forellenschluss Lettuce

Harvested 3+ ounces of Pea shoots and 6+ ounces of lettuce.

The entire pea shoot, including the tendrils, is edible.

Made a simple but delicious salad with lettuces, pea shoots and chickpeas sprouts. The lettuces were crunchy and the pea shoots were tender with a hint of peas. Click here for step-by-step tutorial on growing chickpeas sprouts.

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Overcrowded Spinach

The spinach in the window box were thinned on 5/3/15 (click here for photos) it is overcrowded again in just 6 days.

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Baby Spinach

Harvested 8+ ounces of Spinach. Should get another harvest in a few days.

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Potato in Foam Ice Chest

Some of you may recall my post of 4/27/15 (click on link and scroll down) where I showed a photo of my frost damaged blue potatoes. The frost damaged plants not only bounced back but are doing well. They are almost caught up to the undamaged plant on the left.

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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, windo box gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Harvest Monday, May 4, 2015 – Window Box Spinach

This is going to be a very short one (1) item post.

Was rushing to get as much outdoor chores completed as possible. Only photos I took were the spinach photos (taken yesterday). Finally had a few gorgeous and bug free days had to take advantage.

As you can see from the photo below, the spinach in the window box is obviously very over crowded.

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Over Crowded Window Box Spinach

Had a large bag of spinach seeds leftover from last year and it seemed a shame to just toss them out. Knowing that the germination rate for old spinach seeds is very poor decided to over sow to compensate for the low germination.

And what happened? It seemed every seed germinated resulting in overcrowding.

But there is a bright side. Using a scissors, I carefully harvest the larger plants and got 8+ ounces of deliciously tender baby spinach.

It was a tedious process but well worth the effort and also the right task for the moment. After multiple days of digging, planting, pruning, hauling, etc. a sit down mindless task was just what I needed.

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Baby Spinach

The above photo is showing about half of the harvest.

A neighbor dropped by just as I had completed my harvest so I offered her some of the spinach, she sure was at the right place at the right time.

The photo below is the window box spinach after thinning.

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Window Box Spinach After Thinning

The spinach in the window box is still over crowded. Looking forward to harvesting another crop in a few days.

I fertilized with fish emulsion fertilizer after thinning.

This over sowing of spinach seeds is working out really well and I love the results. I think from now on I am going to over sow as this allows for more frequent and extended harvest of tender baby spinach.

Thinking: What other greens will work with this method?????

Will try to find out as soon as I have empty window boxes.

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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 | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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Walking Onion

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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German White Garlic

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments