Harvest Monday, July 25, 2016 – Beet Experiment Update + Transplanting & Bumping Up Seedlings + Container Daikon

A harvest first for the season: Tri-color Amaranth.

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Tri-color Amaranth

The amaranth went from the garden to the wok in less than an hour. Because it was so fresh and tender, after washing, I cut all into bite-sized lengths and simply sauteed in a bit of garlic infused oil, salt and pepper to taste, served as a side, so good!

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In my June 20, 2016 post, I wondered what would the result be if I harvest some of the beet leaves before much of a root is formed.

(NOTE: The carrot experiment mentioned in the same post failed, the tops all died. It was just too hot and dry, bad timing.)

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Early Wonder Beets

In the above photo no leaves were harvested from the left half of the beets in the box, 50% of leaves were harvested from the right half of the beets in the box. As you can see, they all formed beetroots.  Actually I think the plants on the right are looking healthier and happier.

I pulled the largest of the beet from the left side and the right side.

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Early Wonder Beets

In the above photo, the beet on the left no leaves were removed, the beet on the right about 50% of the leaves were removed. The differences between the two aren’t that much. In the future I will harvest some of the leaves for cooking as I love sauteed beet greens.

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Transplanted some of the seedlings I mentioned in my July 18, 2016 post into window boxes and bumped up the remainder for transplanting into the garden as space becomes available.

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Middle Row: Purple Kolibri. 2 Outer Rows: Shanghai Bok Choy

To maximize space I inter-planted Shanghai Bok Choy with Purple Kolibri. The 5 plants in the middle row are Purple Kolibri, 45 days to maturity. The 2 outer rows are Shanghai Bok Choy, 21 days for baby, but will harvest sooner if crowding becomes an issue.

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In the window box below are 3 rows of loose head type Chinese cabbage, Beka Santoh

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Beka Santoh, Loose Head Type Chinese Cabbage

Beka Santoh can be harvested anytime. I will leave the 4 plants in the middle row to grow to maturity (about 45 days) and harvest the 2 outer rows as soon as they start to crowd the middle row.

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In the window box below are Shanghai Bok Choy.

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Shanghai Bok Choy

Am leaving all 12 plants to grow as long as possible harvesting the outer leaves as needed. Last year I had Shanghai Bok Choy growing up until we had frost. This year, to extend the season, I plan to move the window box into the garage at night when frost is predicted and move it out onto the driveway during the day. May not be worth the effort, but the only way to know is to try.

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The seedlings below are for the garden when space becomes available.

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Seedlings for Garden

There are Napa, Kohlrabi Vienna Blend, Win Win Choy, Radicchio, Lettuce, …

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Experimenting with growing daikon in a container.

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Daikon, China Express

The above container is 18-inches deep, more than enough depth for the daikon root to grow.

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Other harvests for the week included: Peppermint Swiss Chard, more Beets, Broccoli, Goji leaves (went home with friends) and Chinese Chives

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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, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables, window box gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Harvest Monday, July 18, 2016 – Container Garlic & Ginger Update + Starting Fall Seedlings

There were only 2 – 3 green leaves left on each of the container (foam ice chest) grown German Red garlic plants (all the others turned brown) indicating they are ready to harvest.

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German Red Garlic

Very carefully dug up all 11 plants. They were all good sizes (photo below).

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German Red Garlic

Tied all 11 untrimmed and uncleaned plants (as shown in above photo) together into one bunch. The whole bunch is hanging in the shed to dry and cure.

Once dried, cured and cleaned I will take a photo and put together a complete post on how to successfully grow garlic in a container. Stay tuned!

Yes, growing garlic in a container is doable. German Red garlic is a hard neck garlic, next year I am going to experiment with growing soft neck garlic in container as well to compare results.

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The ginger rhizome I planted on 2/15/16 finally sprouted early this month, took over 4 months.

I knew ginger is very slow growing but did not expect it to be so slow, honestly I thought the rhizome had rotted but decided to leave it alone and am glad I did.

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Will not be harvesting any ginger this year, instead I am going to bring the plant indoor when the temperature starts to drop below 50°F and grow it as a houseplant, then next year I will harvest sections of the rhizome as needed and let the remaining rhizome continue to grow and fill the container? Well that’s the plan and what I hope will happen.

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Started my fall seedling – lettuces, bok choys, napas, kohlrabi, radicchio, daikons, carrots and peas.

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Because it has been so HOT, the seeds all germinated and within 2 – 5 days, amazing.

Some of the seedlings will be transplanted into window boxes and some will be bumped up into 3-inch pots for transplanting into the garden as soon as the real estate becomes available and I am able.

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My Bloomerang Lilac bush is putting on a gorgeous second show. The fragrance is just intoxicating.

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Bloomerang Lilac

The lilac bush is getting too tall and wide, it is a lovely size and shape but it is blocking the shed’s door and window. Definitely need to do major pruning after it finishes blooming.

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Because of my hip problem and the heat, not much was accomplished in the garden since my June 27 post (was told no digging, no bending to weed, no lifting, no …..). I did harvest broccoli, Swiss chard, onion and beets as needed but neglected to take photos.

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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, Flowers, Gardening, Growing ginger, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Harvest Monday, June 27, 2016 – Container Garlic, Celery, Lettuce & Fig Update

This is so exciting, the 11 garlic plants growing in the foam ice chest all sent out scapes.

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Container Garlic – German Red

Harvested all the scapes. I will now sit back and wait to harvest heads of garlic (around mid July). Click here to learn more about garlic and when to harvest.

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Container celery is doing well also. I started the seeds in cell packs around end of February. The seeds were slow to germinate and the seedlings grew even slower. It was over 2 months when the seedlings were large enough to be transplanted.

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Golden Pascal Celery

This is my first time growing celery. Not knowing what to expect, imagine my excitement to find the plants have grown to 16+ inches tall and forming nice thick ribs (photo above).

Golden Pascal Celery is an heirloom variety that self-blanch. It is supposed to have thick solid ribs that are crisp, sweet and tender. Am tempted to cut a few ribs but will wait.

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Few weeks ago when I harvested my window box lettuces I cut the heads at soil level as I did not want to nor had the time to deal with the roots and soil at that time.

Had planned to remove the roots at a later date but never got around to doing so.

Surprise! Look what I saw growing in the window boxes. Real heads of lettuces! The largest side shoot of the Bronze Mignonette (above photo, left) is about 7 inches across, the largest side shoot of the Forellenschluss (above photo right) is 9+ inches tall. Both were sweet and tender, not at all affected by the heat (high 80’s – 90+F).

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The napa cabbage is showing signs of bolting due to the heat. So decided to harvest it, weight 2+ pounds.

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Minuet Napa Cabbage

While removing the yellowed and green outer leaves I discovered a number of earwigs (10-12) had decided to make the head of cabbage their home, living happily among the leaves where it is cooler and not needing to travel for food.

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Minuet Napa Cabbage

After removing the outer leaves I was left with ½+ pound. Not a great result. Will try again in the fall to see if a fall crop will do better.

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This is going to be another bountiful fig year. There are figs of different sizes and different stages of maturity on the tree which means I should have an extended harvest, nice.

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Container Fig

There is a baby fig at the base of just about every leaf and, for the first time, I noticed baby figs appearing where there are no leaves, how cool is that!!!!!

The figs will make up for my lost strawberries.

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Harvests for the week but no photo: Garlic Scape, Golden Sweet Snow Peas, Peppermint Swiss Chard, Broccoli and Chinese Chives (aka Garlic chives) most were shared with friends.

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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 , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Harvest Monday, June20, 2016 – Beets & Carrots Experiment + Garlic Scape

Window box Early Wonder Beets grew quite a bit since my June 6 post in which I wondered  if I harvested some of the leaves will the beet roots be affected.

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Early Wonder Beets

This past week I decided to harvest about 50% of the beet leaves from the plants on the right in the window box (harvested the outer leaves of each plant, photo below).

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Early Wonder Beets

Hard to see from the photo above but there are baby beet roots forming already.

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Early Wonder Beet Greens

The beet greens are in the fridge for now and will most likely end up in the freezer for later enjoyment.

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The carrots I transplanted early May were eaten by critters which, sadly, would have ended my experiment. Fortunately Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden (where I volunteer) came to the rescue.

On Thursday, one of the task I did at LGHVG was thinning the carrots. I collected the carrots thinning, brought them home, trimmed the roots and transplanted them. Unfortunately the weather has been very HOT and dry. I did water thoroughly after transplanting, but will they survive the heat on top of the transplant shock? Maybe I should have trimmed away some of  the leaves also, ah well, too late.

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Some of the carrot thinnings from LGHVG

I trimmed away the very thin end of each root before transplanting into the garden. Hope nothing disturbs them.

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Garlic scapes are fat and tender.

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Garlic Scape

Shared most of the garlic scapes with friends. The above photo is showing a portion of the harvest.

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Garlic Scape

I cut away and discarded the pointed tip of the scape, the remainder, including the bud, is tender and edible.

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Window box Win Win Choy started to bolt so harvested all.

I do like the flavor and texture of this bok choy plus it does well in window box, definitely growing a fall crop and again in window boxes.

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Win Win Choy

Win Win Choy went into the fridge to be enjoyed later. Will most likely do a simple stir-fry. A busy time in the garden so not much cooking going on.

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Am having major issues with critters digging in my garden beds and window boxes, not only are they (whatever they are) disturbing the seedlings/plants even overturned some of the window boxes. They were dining on my peas and carrots seedlings and also feasting on my strawberries.

Had lots and lots of strawberries on the plants and I was so looking forward to a good strawberry year. They were starting to color, big, red, vine ripened strawberries should be ready to harvest in a few days, I was drooling every time I walk by the strawberry bed. Then overnight (so it seems), they all disappeared, not a single one left.

Set a Havahart trap with an apple hoping to trap the woodchuck that comes to visit. I  noticed the apple was partially eaten but the trap door was not triggered, how could that be? The mystery was solved yesterday when I saw a chipmunk enter and exit the trap from the back through the holes, clever critter, got to give it credit.

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Havahart Trap

Still waiting for the woodchuck to enter the trap.

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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, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Uncategorized, Vegetables, window box gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Harvest Monday June 13, 2016 – First Harvests

First Peppermint Swiss Chard for the season


Peppermint Swiss Chard

The Peppermint Swiss Chard was so fresh and tender I just did a simple saute in garlic and ginger infused oil, S&P to taste, garnished with dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts, served as a side.

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First Golden Sweet Snow Peas and Little Snap Peas Crunch for the season.

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Left, Golden Sweet Snow Peas. Right, Little Snap Peas Crunch

In the above photo the Golden Sweet Snow Peas on the left are from the garden, the Little Snap Peas Crunch on the right are from the foam ice chest (photo below).

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Little Snap Peas Crunch in Foam Ice Chest

Photo below: more Little Snap Peas Crunch from foam ice chest.

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Little Snap Peas Crunch

Combined all the harvested peas in a stir-fry with chicken, tofu, kolibri (from last week’s harvest), garlic scapes, onion (last of the stash from last year’s harvest), carrots (from store) and roasted garlic (from freezer).

Did not use a recipe just kind of toss everything together as I was lacking time.

Thinly sliced the  chicken, cut tofu into cubes and placed into separate containers. Seasoned (eye-balled all the seasoning ingredients) both with soy sauce, S&P, ginger, pale dry sherry and sesame oil.

If you need a recipe check out the following posts April, 12, 2013 & October 7, 2011. Use them as a guide and substitute what’s in the garden or the fridge.

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Chicken, Tofu & Veggies Stir-fry

The Little Snap Peas Crunch were really crunchy and sweet, liked them a lot. Saving seeds for next year.

The Golden Sweet Snow Peas are OK, thought they would be more golden. Not sure if I will grow them again next year, they really do nothing for the finished dish.

NOTE: My chicken and tofu are very pale as I marinated both using light color soy sauce, for a darker color use mushroom dark soy sauce or dark soy sauce.

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Above photo: left, transplanted long beans, right, snow peas and sugar snap peas.

The untrimmed Golden Sweet Snow Peas (in the back of the row of peas) are doing a lot better than the trimmed Golden Sweet Snow Peas (front of the row of peas). Reason: the trimmed pea plants sent out many new tender shoots that were just the right height for the critters to feast on, the untrimmed pea plants were higher on the trellis and out of reach. Will have to try the experiment again another time.

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The Red Noodles Long Beans and Green Chinese Long Beans I direct sowed only 2 of the 98 made it. Not sure what happened, guessing chipmunks ate the seeds. There seem to be many more chipmunks dashing about in the garden this year, both live-ins and visitors.

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Had  to resow (hope it is not too late) both Red Noodles Long Beans and Green Chinese Long Beans but this time in containers out of reach of critters. I find the 1-lb size strawberry plastic containers with lids to be the right size and depth.

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More window box lettuce.

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This is the last of my container lettuces. Will be sowing more at a later date. The container lettuces were not damaged by slugs and other bugs like the ones in the garden. So from now on I will be planting all my lettuces in containers.

Harvest but no photo: Garlic scapes, Chinese chives, goji leaves and more Win Win Choy from window box.

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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, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments