Harvest Monday, August 22, 2016 – Container Ginger Update + More Container Harvest

Am planting 2 different varieties of ginger in containers for comparison. In the photo below:

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The ginger plant on the left is from rhizome (root) I purchased from the local health food store, it was very skinny, about the size of my pinky. It took about 2 months to sprout.

The ginger plant on the right is from rhizome I got from Florida, it was quite chunky, click here for a photo (like the ones in the food markets). It took about 4 months to sprout but has grown a lot since since July 18 and is now 32 inches tall.

Not sure why there is such huge differences in sprouting between the 2 varieties. Planning to bring both indoor for the winter to grow as houseplant

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First container grown figs were picked on Monday 8/15. Ate them straight, super sweet.

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Have been picking a few figs daily, but they disappeared fairly quickly. Did manage to save some to share with friends.

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Containers providing me with an abundant of good eats.

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Above photo: Left – Red Amaranth. Middle –  Forellenschluss & Midnight Ruffle Lettuces. Right – Tri-Colored Amaranth.

Photo below: Left – Win-Win Choy. Right – Golden Pascal Celery.

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The celery has a nice celery flavor but the ribs are skinny, is this due to the extended heat wave and drought we are experiencing?

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Am debating whether to plant celery again next year.

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Below photo: Blue container – Red Core Chantenay Carrots. Foam ice chest – Green Lance Gailan. Window box – Win-Win Choy.

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In the window box above I planted 12 Win-Win Choy. The plants grew to resemble baby bok choy and I was harvesting outer leaves 30 days after sowing.

In the window box below (same size as the one above, 36″ x 8″) I planted only 5 Win-Win Choy. The plants were much, much larger (like the regular size bok choy we see in the supermarkets).

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Experiment conclusion: If you want baby bok choy and earlier harvest, plant the seedlings closer together. If you want larger and fatter ribs bok choy, space the seedlings further apart.

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I am so excited, the daikon, China Express, I planted in container have formed nice looking long white roots. The seeds were direct sown in the container 7/12/16.

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One of the daikon was flowering so pulled it. Worried that it would be woody but it was tender and crispy with just a little bite.

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Daikon was small, only 5+ inches long. Peeled and thinly sliced, tossed with a bit of rice vinegar, salt and sugar to make a quick pickle. Very tasty.

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Was given some semi-heading mustard seeds which I planted in a foam ice chest. The plants are very pretty and I understand are heat and disease resistant.

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I have 6 plants in the ice chest, too many, should remove at least 2 so the others can grow properly. Going to let one of the remaining plants go to seeds for next year’s planting.

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Came across these sprouting eddo (aka coco) in the grocery store. Had to buy them to see if I could get them to grow.

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And grow they did.

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I am aware that the growing season in the Hudson Valley is too short for them to produce edible size corms but I wanted to see how they grow. May be I can over winter the plants in my basement, will see. Any of my readers have experience?

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From the garden, harvesting more Red Noodles Beans and Chinese Long Beans.

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All the above, and more, went home 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 Gardening, Growing ginger, Harvest Monday, Husdon Valley, New York, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Harvest Monday, August 15, 2016 – Chinese Long Beans + Containers Harvest

Decided to heed doctor’s advice: no digging in the garden, no heavy lifting and to avoid bending (this is easier said than done).

Except for harvesting the beans on the trellis and watering (those are stand up chores), for the past 2+ weeks I pretty much stayed out of the garden. My hip is feeling a whole lot better, not back to normal, but getting there.

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The green Chinese Long beans are not quite ready yet, but will be in a day or 2.

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Chinese Long Beans aka Asparagus Beans & Yardlong Beans

Look at all those beans hanging on the vine, going to be a great harvest.

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Did harvest Red Noodle Beans. Cut them into about 2-inch lengths, blanched, cooled, placed in freezer bag and froze for winter use.

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Red Noodle Beans

The 2 beans in the middle of the photo have past their prime, I was going to leave them on the vine for seeds but decided to harvest them so you can see the differences.

Click here to learn more about Chinese Long Beans and recipes.

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Fortunately I have my containers so was not suffering from gardening withdrawal. I elevate the containers so I can sit and tend to them.

The following Tri-Color Amaranth and Win-Win Choy are from seedlings started early-July.

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Tri-Colored Amaranth & Win-Win Choy

The Win-Win Choy seedlings were transplanted into window box. I harvest just the outer leaves. The plant will continue to grow and in a few days I will be harvesting more outer leaves. Win-Win Choy is pretty hardy and with a bit of protection on frosty nights should be producing well into December, I hope.

I cut the Win-Win Choy into bite-sized lengths. Add choy and cubed tofu to boiling broth, cooked till reached desired doneness, flavored with sliced scallion, sesame oil and soy sauce. From garden, in this case window box, to wok as soon as harvested, cannot get any fresher.

The Tri-Colored Amaranth seedlings were transplanted into a foam ice chest. This is the first time I am growing amaranth in a container and am happy with the results. Definitely repeating.

I also transplanted a few seedlings into a window box for comparison and they too are growing well.

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Tri-Colored Amaranth

In the above photo you can see where I cut the main amaranth stem and the side shoots that are growing.

Tri-colored Amaranth is a vigorous grower, the side shoots will be ready for harvest in a few days. I am hoping to be harvesting side shoots until first frost.

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Homegrown lettuces are on the menu again. The following lettuce leaves are from seedlings started early-July.

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Lettuces: Forellenschluss & Midnight Ruffle

The lettuces seedlings were transplanted into window boxes and like the Win-Win choy I harvest just the outer leaves. The leaves were so fresh and tender, a simple dressing was all that was needed for the salad.

I will continue to harvest just the outer leaves as needed and the plants will, hopefully, continue to grow until late fall early winter.

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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 , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Harvest Monday, August 1, 2016 – Garlic, Potatoes & Onions + Chinese Long Beans

Finally got rain (really rained not just a sprinkle) this past weekend and more rain today in the forecast. Grounds getting a good soaking. Plants are happy and the brown patches on my lawn should, hopefully, disappear this week.

Dug in all the Duganski Garlic and German White Garlic from the garden.

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The above is a pile of the freshly dug Duganski Garlic.

Below photo: Garlic all bundled and hanging in the shed to dry and cure (I keep the shed door open during the day for ventilation).

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Left Bundle: Duganski Garlic. Middle & Right Bundles: German White Garlic. Peeking out at the upper right corner are the German Red from container.

The heads of both the Duganski and the German White are not as large as last years and I think it has to do with location. The soil in the location they were planted this time is not as loose and well drained as the previous location. Need to give them a better location the next planting.

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The tops of both the Adirondack Red Potatoes and the All Blue Potatoes died earlier in the month of July and the yield was poor for both varieties.

According to Cornell University Potatoes Growing Guide, potatoes perform best where summers are cool (65° F to 70° F). We have been experiencing prolonged heat wave, (high 80° F and 90+° F) could this be the reason for the vines dying early resulting in poor yield?

The vines of the Fingerling Potatoes planted in the same section of the garden, however, is still growing strong, why? The Blue Fingerling Potatoes I planted in container are also still growing well. Perhaps Fingerlings are hardier and more adaptable? Will harvest both when the vines die.

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Left: Adirondack Red Potatoes. Right: All Blue Potatoes.

Most of the potatoes are small, good for roasting or boiling whole. Click here for cross sections of both potatoes

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Dug in all the onion also. Got a few decent size onions but most are small, a good harvest compare to previous years. Still trying to figure out why I am able to grow leeks and garlic but not onions.

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A poor onion harvest

The 2 onions in the center front (above photo) each weighs a bit under 4 ounces (they are the largest), a best for me, next year I just may produce properly sized onions, there is hope!

The onions on the right are very small, like pearl onions. Wonder if they will keep well until next spring for use as onion sets, or, what if I plant them now, how will they grow? Think I will plant half and save half.

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The Red Noodle Long Beans are loving this heat and grew by leaps and bounds.

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Red Noodles Long Beans

Should be harvesting those beans and many more this week.

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The Green Chinese Long Beans are not producing yet. But setting lots of flowers so beans should be following soon.

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Green Chinese Long Beans

The flowers are usually in pairs so are the beans, looking for harvest this week.

Click here to learn more about Chinese Long Beans and recipes.

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The sweet potatoes are loving this heat also, the vines are taking over a lot of garden real estate. Should cut some of the vines for use in cooking. Click here to learn about cooking Sweet Potato Vines/leaves.

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A Section of the Purple Sweet Potato Patch

Hope many tubers are setting underground. Am tempted to dig around but know it is much too early and must wait until at least the end of this month.

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Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

The fence is to keep the deer away from my mountain laurels.

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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 Flowers, Gardening, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, potatoes, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , | 27 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 , , , , | 29 Comments