Harvest Monday, September 3, 2012

Tomatoes finally ripening. Unfortunately I will not be getting a good harvest. My garden is getting too shady from the neighbours’ trees and the tree roots are robbing the vegetables of nutrients. Need to rearrange the garden before next year’s planting.

Oakleaf Lettuce

The good news about having a partially shady garden is my lettuces are doing very well despite the summer heat.

Korean radish F1 Tae Baek

Last Monday’s post, August 27, 2012, I mentioned that my Korean radish (daikon) had quite a “bite” and I was going to make a stew with it to see if cooking would bring out the sweetness as mentioned in the catalog. Dug up a few this past week. Peeled, cubed and simmered one in broth until soft (instead of making a stew), yes, cooking mellowed the flavor, and it did have a bit of sweetness.

                             Napa Cabbage – Optiko (left 2) Rubicon (right 2)

My garden friend, Mary N, Mary’s Veggie Garden, gave me a 4-cell pack of  napa seedlings. I transplanted them into 3-inch pots for planting in the garden as soon as space became available. Seedlings grew but still no garden space. Rather than causing stress to the seedlings, I decided to plant them in a window box I have in the shed. After 2 weeks, it is obvious, I should have planted only 3 in the box.

Broccoli – Premium Crop

Looking around the local garden nursery couple weeks ago, I came upon a 4-cell pack of very healthy broccoli seedlings for only 99 cents. Had to buy. Arrived home with the plants and wondered: What was I thinking? Where am I going to plant them? It is also quite late in the season. Will I get a harvest? Window box to the rescue. Again I think I should have planted only 3 plants in the box.

Am going to leave both the napa and broccoli as is to see what the results will be. Shall keep you posted.

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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

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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54 Responses to Harvest Monday, September 3, 2012

  1. Your crop as always looks refreshing and delicious my friend, especially that crisp lettuce 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. hotlyspiced says:

    That’s a shame that your harvest will be smaller than usual. I love the look of your lettuce though and am pleased to hear they’re thriving xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      My harvest may be smaller this year but I still had plenty to share with friends, family and my freezer. I was so surprised and pleased when I saw how beautiful the heads of lettuce looked, totally unexpected for this time of the year.

  3. Annie says:

    The oak leaf lettuce looks so decorative!! All the best to the Nappa cabbage and broccoli in pots…I’m sure they will do very well under your care:)

  4. Karen says:

    I have my lettuce growing in my shade garden alsol…it has worked out well like yours. It is a shame that your tomatoes aren’t getting enough sun to ripen well but the ones you picked look good.

  5. I really like that oak leaf lettuce. I have never been a real fan of lettuce, but that one makes me want to grow it and eat it. (And it may be a case of grocery store lettuce.)

  6. kitsapfg says:

    I have some lettuce growing in a bed that get’s partial shade and they have kept going through the late summer very well as a result. I regularly grow crops in containers and my favorite ones are low rectangular containers because they are more efficient space wise to plant into. Right now I have lettuces and napa cabbage growing in four of those containers on the deck. It works great and really expands your growing area.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kitsapfg,
      Glad to learn that your napa cabbage grows well in a low rectagular container that sounds similar to the ones I have. Hope my napa and broccoli grow well also.

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    It seems like quite a few of us are experiencing problems with tomatoes this year. Gardening, no matter how long one has done it, is a learning experience. It’s always something, isn’t it? I hope moving your vines will bring a higher yield next year for you, Norma. Hope springs eternal.

  8. Eva Taylor says:

    The tomatoes do look tasty, I can certainly see them in a simple salad drizzled with EVOO and seasalt! The radish sounds interesting, does it have the same texture as regular red radish?
    We’re just driving back from the cottage and reading your lovely blog on my new iPhone 4s has made this boring trip a lot nicer. thank you.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Glad my post made your trip nicer. Do you have to use the 401?
      The tomatoes were tasty, I was invited to a Lakeside party and used them in the sesame pasta I brought.
      This Korean radish is more like daikon. The texture is not as fine as regular red radish, defintley better tasting after cooking.

  9. maryhysong says:

    Oh that lettuce looks so wonderful! Can;t wait for fall to arrive; Those are nice looking radishes and other things too!

  10. Hi Norma, I think your Napa in the window box looks better than mine in the ground. The bumping up probably helped a great deal.

  11. Purely.. Kay says:

    I’m sorry you won’t be getting a plentiful harvest this year but you are so right, you have to plan for next year. Besides, your gardens always inspire me :). Because that lettuce looks amazing

  12. Susan says:

    My lettuce is also in a container, and probably also over-crowded. Still tastes good though! Your harvest is beautiful as always.

  13. I am going to grow some oakleaf lettuce next year. Love your garden.

  14. What are you planning for your tomatoes Norma? I think it should be something special since there are only a few!

  15. Rick says:

    Good looking harvest. I’m sorry about the neighbors trees, I feel your pain! We have the same situation in our main garden. By this time of year the garden is in shade 1/2 the day. And it is always in the shade during the winter because the trees are evergreens!!

  16. Beautiful photos as usual, Norma — especially the tomatoes in the wicker basket and the lettuce.

  17. We had trouble with the neighbors trees for a couple of years, too. Not the shade part, but the roots! It’s amazing how close the surface they’ll come in search of water! Anyhow…I feel your pain and hope that you’re able to rearrange things next year 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      It would be so much easier to relocate the garden if I did not have to deal with the deer, but things are what they are so I will just have to put on my thinking cap and work within the existing fenced in area.

  18. Eha says:

    Yep, am having the same problems from shade from neighbours’ trees! Love the trees, have to move my pots 😦 ! Forgot to get the daikon, of course, but managed three punnets of Asian vegies, 3 kinds/punnet!! Not that I cannot buy it cheaper elsewhere: it is the fact of ‘doing’ ’em organically & watching ’em grow!! Oh, but have enough tomato seedlings to fill about 14 pots: can’t wait 😀 ! Time and weather!!!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      First time seeing the word “punnet”. Had to look it up, learned a new word, thanks.
      You sure are busy and you sound so excited with your planting, 14 pots of tomatoes, that’s a lot of pots, plus the others, to water

      • Eha says:

        🙂 ! Oops, sorry, Norma: forget sometimes the different meanings used on either side of the ‘Pond’. It’s just the little plastic container which houses 4-12 small seedlings, depending . . . Watering no problem as all my pots are close together and I just walk along with the hose, planning the day and daydreaming once finished 🙂 !

  19. Dave's SFG says:

    Shade and tree roots is why I abandoned the raised beds at home and use the community garden. Just last year when I was planning to put my raised beds on blocks to avoid the frequent puddling in the community garden after heavy rains. I realized that I could put the boxes at home up on blocks (requires adding a bottom) to avoid the roots. Tree roots won’t grow through an air gap. Still would have to deal with the shade.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I thought about getting a plot at our community garden but it is just not as convenient as having the garden in ones backyard. Would love to relocate the veggie garden but cannot because of the deer problem.

  20. Well, what’s you’ve managed from your tomato harvest still looks delicious. Great photos!

  21. Korean Radish! My Dad would be ELATED!!!

  22. Daphne says:

    I often shove too much into a space. But for most Asian greens I just pick them small and eat them. Sadly with four, taking out one isn’t quite right. To work you have to take out every other one. I’ll be doing that with my kale soon. I left it on 8″ centers and want them much farther apart when they get big. I know that they can take up all available space at 16″ apart so I’m set. But then again I planned that so I knew how to thin.

  23. Cake Whiz says:

    coming to your blog always makes me wish i lived in a house with a nice big backyard instead of a small apartment…lol. your harvest always looks so fresh and i bet using such fresh ingredients makes all the difference in the world in the food you prepare… right?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cake Whiz,
      But look at all the deliciousness that comes out of your small apartment.
      Yes, there is a huge difference with produce from the garden to the wok within hours, that’s why my summer recipes are mostly simple stir-fry with few added ingredients. I admit, I am spoilt.

  24. pooks says:

    I love that oak leaf lettuce. So pretty! Will have to find some seed and try this fall.

  25. I’m curious what you did with the daikon after you simmered in in broth — perhaps it was just part of a soup? I’ve overplanted in my garden too — in my case it was tomatoes and they are taking quite a while to ripen!

  26. I can’t wait to see these veggies in your wok…. what will you make?

  27. Kristy says:

    The tomatoes look great. I can’t get my fill of fresh tomatoes this summer. 🙂

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