Harvest Monday, July 17, 2017 – Containers Harvest

Container garlic ready for harvest.

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Garlic growing in container

Pulled all the container garlic. After removing much of the soil all the plants were bundled together and are hanging in the shed to cure.

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Notice how much smaller the head of garlic on the left is compared with the others? All the above garlic were grown in the same container under the same circumstance, the difference is I harvest the scapes from all the garlic plants except the one on the left. A lot of its energy went into the scape resulting in a smaller head of garlic.

Click here (and scroll down) for a tutorial on growing garlic in container.

Click here to learn about garlic scape.

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Pulled up the container onions whose tops had turned brown. Shook off the excess soil and spread them out on an open screen to dry in the shed.

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They are of pretty decent sizes. The 3 larger ones weigh about 4 ounces each.

The remaining onions in the container continues to bulk up.

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Onions growing in container

Will pull when the tops turn brown.

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Harvest a large bunch of Red Amaranth

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Red Amaranth

Was going to make soup with the Red Amaranth, but while cleaning realized they were very tender so just wilted the cleaned amaranth (leaves and stems) in garlic infused oil, S&P to taste, simple and delicious.

I had over-sown the Red Amaranth and thin as the container gets overcrowded. The above is actually the 2nd thinning from the window box below.

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Red Amaranth growing in window box

As you can see, Amaranth grows very well in window box.

Above photo, before thinning. Below photo, after thinning.

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Red Amaranth growing in window box

Fertilized, after thinning, with liquid fish emulsion fertilizer. In a week or 2 I should be harvesting another thinning.

I also sowed Tri-color Amaranth on the same day as the Red Amaranth but have nothing to show, not even seedlings. There is a rabbit (rabbits?) with very selective preferences, the boxes with the Red Amaranth and Tri-color Amaranth are side-by-side but it ate only the Tri-color.

The rabbit/s also devoured most of the seedlings I transplanted in the containers (Bok Choys, Beet, Kale, Semi-heading Mustard, Lettuces, Celery …..). Fortunately I have extra seedlings for replacements but will need to elevate the containers.

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Celery growing in container

I think the 2 celery plants on the left will regrow as the rabbit/s missed the tiny center leaf of each plant.

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Some of the Sugar Snap Peas seedlings at the edge of the container were also eaten.

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Little Snap Crunch Peas growing in container

Since the missing seedlings are at the edge of the container I re-sowed in those spots and hopefully the seeds will germinate and grow well.

Adding insult to injury, one of the rabbits, after devouring my seedlings could not find its way out of the fenced in area and I had to release it.

I also have a deer parading along the garden fence daily, so far no damage. Trying to snap a photo but so far no luck.

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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Cooking, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Harvest Monday, July 10, 2017 – Sweet Potato Experiment #2 + Seedlings Update + …..

My sweet potato containers (and other containers as well) are placed among my shrubs and perennials.

Below is a Purple Sweet Potato, an early variety SP with very vigorous growing vine. Previous years I allow the vines to roam freely. This not only makes the area very untidy the vines also suffocate some of my perennials.

Thinking: What if I train the vines to grow vertically on trellises? Sitting in the shed is an unused tomato cage that fits just right in the Purple SP container. Worth a try.

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Sweet Potato, Purple, growing in container

As you can see from the above photo the Purple SP vines are, so far, staying vertical.

Had a broken folding wire fence laying around, took it apart and it was just right for the container below.

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Sweet Potato, Wilma’s, growing in container

Wilma’s, a gift from Mary N, is another early variety SP. A semi-bush variety that I am growing for the first time. It probably will not overwhelm my shrubs and perennials, but decided to give the vines support as well since I have the broken fence.

Shall post progress photos, of both, periodically and harvest results.

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Most of the seeds started late June germinated. Two of the lettuces, Bronze Mignonette and Schweitzer Mescher did poorly (although both germinated well for spring planting) and one, Cimmaron, failed to germinate.

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Since many of the seeds were old I over-seeded the cells. Guess what? Except for the 3 lettuces mentioned above, just about all of the seeds germinated.

While the seedlings were still small and have not yet developed a strong root system, decided to very carefully tease out the extras and transplanted them (patiently into blueberries container sans lids) to see how many will survive.

As the photo below illustrates, all have survived so far.

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In a week or 2 I will know for sure if all the above seedlings make it, if they do, I will have extras to share with my garden friends at LGHVG.

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Container Peppermint Swiss Chard and Red Winter Kale continue to grow well.

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

Ribs of the container chard are not as thick as the ones grown in the ground but tender and delicious just the same.

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Red Winter Kale

Should harvest some of the kale this week.

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Chinese Chives aka Garlic Chives was the only non-camera shy harvest for the week. Also had a bit of chive flowers.

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Chinese Chives aka Garlic Chives and Chive Scapes

Some of the chives and all of the chive flowers went into scrambled eggs. Shared the remainder with a friend who happened to drop by.

Other harvests for the week were: Red Amaranth, Beet green, Red Giant Mustard, 2 small onions and a handful of snap peas.

Will pull the snap peas vines this week (even though there are a few flowers on some of the vines, not worth keeping).

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Got a few raspberries that the birds missed.

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The raspberries disappeared as soon as their photo was taken.

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Blackberry bush is laden with berries.

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Blackberry, Thornless

The challenge now is getting to the ripe berries before the birds.

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Blackberry, Thornless

Previous years I tried netting the berry bush, but that made it a pain to harvest not to mention there is always one bird that will find a way to get under the netting and I have to release it, adding insult to injuries.

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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Cooking, dairy free, Fruits, Gardening, gluten free, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Harvest Monday, July 3, 2017 – Container Ginger Update + Containers Harvest

Happy July 4th!

June was coming to an end and still nothing was happening with the container ginger. I thought it was never going to sprout. Then this past week I saw little green poking out of the soil. Yes. Finally something is happening, I was excited.

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Growing Ginger in Containers

The ginger sprout on the left is about 5 inches tall and the tallest sprout on the right is about 7 inches.

Now that sprouts have finally appeared and we are having nice hot weather they will be growing at a much faster rate, I hope.

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Container Mokum Carrots growing exceptionally well and needed thinning again.

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Growing Mokum Carrots in Container

The first thinning, there were signs of carrots forming. The second thinning, about 2 weeks ago, produced edible pencil-sized carrots.

Check out the thumb-sized carrots below from the third thinning of a few days ago, they were sweet and crunchy. Will continue to thin/harvest as needed for the table. I see a nice long harvest season.

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Mokum Carrots

Mokum Carrot with its sweet crunchy texture is now my favorite. So very easy to grow in container. Started another container this past week.

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I did it! I managed to grow good-size onions in container (for the past few years I tried growing onion in the garden but always ended up with golf ball-size or smaller onions). From now on, growing onions in container is the way to go for me.

Had some tiny onions left over from last year’s harvest so decided to plant them in a foam chest just for fun. Look at them now! I think the one on the upper right weighs more than 6 ounces (must remember to weigh after I harvest). Yes, there is over crowding, must pull some to give others room to grow, hope its not too late.

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Growing Onions in Container

Needed onion for a dish, pulled the 2 below (they were showing signs of bolting) from the above container .

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Wish I knew the names of the above onions.

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Last of the spring planted lettuce.

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Oak Leaf Lettuce

The above Oak Leaf Lettuce made a lovely salad with a simple lemon and EVOO dressing.

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Below are 2 of the harvests from the garden that were not camera shy:

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

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Kohlrabi – Purple Kolibri

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Going to be a nice HOT week, all the heat loving crops will be happy and grow by leaps and bounds.

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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Gardening, Growing ginger, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Harvest Monday, June 26, 2017 – Containers Update

Container Fig tree is loaded with figs. There is a fig at the base of just about every leaf.

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Container Fig Tree

This is going to be a great fig year! I am guessing there are hundreds figs on this one tree.

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Look at those beauties in the above photo!

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Vines of the container Little SnapPeas Crunch are loaded with pods.

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Little SnapPea Crunch

Harvested about 1 pound from the above container so far. Used some in a chicken stir-fry, the pods were sweet and crunchy.

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Little SnapPea Crunch

Little SnapPea Crunch is becoming my favorite snap peas, easy to grow and very container friendly. According to the seed package the vines are self-supporting but I find staking them makes it easier to harvest the pods.

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For fall planting, direct sowed Little SnapPea Crunch seeds in a foam ice chest. Also started some seeds in a container (strawberry containers are great for starting seeds) just in case some of the seeds in the ice chest fail to germinate.

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Harvested the garlic scape from the container garlic. Cut into about 1″ length and added to the chicken stir-fry with the SnapPea.

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Garlic Scape

Click here to learn more about garlic scape.

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Container beets are doing well also.

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Beets, Early Wonder

Should harvest some of the leaves. Stir-fry with some garlic scape for a delicious side .

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Container Swiss Chard, Red Winter Kale, Broccoli and Carrots are growing well.

Lettuces on the other hand are bolting, will pull all the plants today or tomorrow. May not be salad material but stir-fry briefly in garlic infused oil will mellow the slightly bitter taste resulting in a delicious side.

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Am starting my fall planting 2 weeks earlier this year.

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In the above container I have 4 varieties of Bok Choy, Minuet Chinese Cabbage, Kohlribi,  6 varieties of Lettuce, 2 varieties of Broccoli, Red Winter Kale and Radicchio.

Direct sowed Mokum Carrots and Winter Light Daikon.

Weeds are growing exceptionally well, will be spending lots of time and energy trying to get rid of them. Going to be a busy week.


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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Fruits, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Harvest Monday, May 29, 2017 – Sweet Potato Experiment + Other Garden Activities

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Bearded Iris

I have read about starting sweet potato slips in potting mix instead of in water (which I have always done) and decided to give this method a try this year.

Will there be any differences in sprouting?

To find out, on March 17, I placed one Purple Sweet Potato in water and another in potting mix. The SP in water sprouted earlier than the one in the potting mix, unfortunately I neglected to note the dates.

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Growing Purple Sweet Potato Slips – Left: in water. Right: in potting mix.

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Purple Sweet Potato Slips – Left: grown in water. Right: grown in potting mix.

Will there be any differences in yield?

To find out, I planted in the garden (all bare roots) 5 water grown slips in one row (left in photo below) and 5  potting mix grown slips in another row (right in photo below), now I must wait for results that I will publish in later post/s.

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Purple Sweet Potato – Left: 2 of 5 slips grown in water. Right: 2 of 5 slips grown in potting mix.

Transplanted all sweet potatoes slips into the garden on Wednesday, 5/24, as rain was predicted for Thursday, 5/25, to be followed by 2 cloudy days.

And rain it did. Plants are happy so are the weeds.

Was only going to plant 2 varieties this year – Purple and Ginseng Red. But Mary gave me 2 slips of Wilma’s (a new variety for me) so now I am growing 3 varieties.

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First harvest of container grown Peppermint Swiss Chard.

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Container Peppermint Swiss Chard

Cut chard, stems and leaves, into bite-sized pieces, combined with thinly sliced garlic greens, and stir-fried briefly in a bit of oil, salt & pepper to taste. Garden to wok in less than an hour.

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Also transplanted my Chinese Long Beans seedlings. Seeds were started in containers instead of direct sow.

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Chinese Long Beans. Top Rows: Red Noodles. Bottom rows: Green.

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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The week of May 8 we had a few nights where temperature was in the 30’s°F.

All the semi heading mustard seedlings bolted.

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Bolting Semi Heading Mustard

However, the Toy Choi Hybrid I started 3/19/17 and transplanted into window box on 4/26 did not bolt.

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Toy Choi Hybrid

My guess is the Toy Choi had passed the seedling stage therefore hardier and able to withstand temperature below 50°F.

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Tomatoes I took a chance and transplanted on 5/12 all survived and are doing well.

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Tomato – Speckled Roman Paste

Speckled Roman Paste is one of my favorite tomatoes. Good for making sauce as well as for slicing.

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Garlic are doing exceptional well this year.

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Garlic – German White & Duganski

Both the German White and the Duganski are hardneck garlic. Looking forward to harvesting garlic scapes in a couple weeks.

Direct sowed: Green leaf Lutz beets, Crosby’s Egyptian Beets. Semi-heading Mustard and Tri-colored Amaranth.

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In her comments on last Monday post, Kimberly Brandt ask for a photo of the Goji aka Wolfberry plant.

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Goji, aka Wolfberry, plant

The above photo is for you Kim.

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Last of my tree peonies. Deciduous peonies should be blooming any day now.

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Tree Peony – Yellow

It was sunny when I took the above photo so the color is a bit washed out.

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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Cooking, dairy free, Gardening, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, meatless, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments