Harvest Monday, May 13, 2013 – Windowboxes Update + Spring Flowers

My Razzle Dazzle spinach continues to dazzle me.

spinach in window box

Razzle Dazzle Spinach
Again, I harvested the outer leaves (n0 photo). Made a lovely spinach salad (used leaves as well as stems).

Spinach in windowbox

Razzle Dazzle Spinach after trimming
Will pull up all the plants this week and put the window box to bed until fall.

Had sown in a second window box (same time as the spinach) a Continental Salad Blend from Thompson Morgan.

Salad blend in window box

Did not recognize what was taking over most of the window box until 2 days ago.
They were broccoli raab.

Broccoli raabPulled up all the broccoli raab plants (right photo).

Cleaned, cut into about 1½-inch lengths. Stir fried with sliced garlic green in a bit of oil, salt and ginger.

Garnished with toasted pistachio nuts and dried cranberries. Tender and delicious.

Salad blend

Left in the window box (were hidden under the broccoli raab) are arugula, Swiss chard, red rib dandelions, and (I think I see) lettuce and beets.

The arugula should grow quite a bit now that it has breathing space. Will harvest the outer leaves in a few days, transplant the remainder of the plants and the other plants into the garden and put the window box to bed also.

My experiment with growing pea shoots in a window box was a failure, but the above 2 window boxes more than made up and definitely gave me an early spring start.

Harvest more garlic green as needed but did not take photo (it would look the same as last Monday).

Garlic green

The row of garlic plants on the right of above photo are now properly spaced.
The row of garlic plants on the left are not.

Garlic greensHarvesting every other garlic plant during the next few days to give proper spacing.

This will be the last garlic green harvest as they are beginning to lose some of their tenderness.

Looking forward to harvesting garlic scape.

StrawberryMy first strawberry.

Wanted to leave it on the plant for another day, but I saw the birds eyeing it and decided not take any chances.

Was aromatic but could be sweeter.



Tree peonies

First tree peony bloom




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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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78 Responses to Harvest Monday, May 13, 2013 – Windowboxes Update + Spring Flowers

  1. Hotly Spiced says:

    It’s so good to see you finally have sunshine and some greenery. I love the forget me nots – so pretty. And I love the sound of your salad xx

  2. You have such green fingers Norma. How lovely you have some sunshine.
    🙂 Mandy

  3. cocomino says:

    That’s a great start. Spring is important to plant vegetables. 😀

  4. I love that it’s gardening season for you again. I hope this is a bumper crop year!

  5. lronglim says:

    Good decision on that first strawberry… the birds seem to be really smart when it comes to these things…

  6. Spring has spring! Spinach is one of my favorite greens. A few more strawberries and you have one of my favorite salad combinations!

  7. I had some homegrown baby spinach salad yesterday too. Beautiful spring flowers.

  8. I’m glad you saved this strawbery 🙂 And I’m glad you have sun.

  9. I often have the same dilemma when I see half ripe fruit, pick or not to pick!! Bet the strawberry tasted great!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lisa,
      Getting to my very ripe berries ahead of the birds is always a challenge. They are so clever, never fail to find the biggest, juiciest and ripest berries.

  10. Kim says:

    Wow! I’m amazed at well everything did :0)
    Looks like Spring has come to the Hudson Valley, did you get frost last night?
    Happy Gardening and I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day too.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      Spring came, but today is not at all springlike, windy and cold and freeze warning for tonight. Covered my fig tree with tarp, hope that is sufficient.

  11. Shawn Ann says:

    Everything looks great. I know what you mean about the strawberries. I am going to get mine covered today, along with the blueberries. Though birds don’t seem to be the problem right now, rabbits keep eating my plants down to the ground, I suppose that is what it is. They leave the flowers, eat all the leaves, chew through the lattice on the deck to get to them and ate all my broccoli. Total bummer. Maybe the flowers will still become berries, I hope.

  12. Diana says:

    Thank you for giving me the idea I can harvest garlic greens if some plant that I am trying to grow bulbs for does not seem to be doing well in the tropics. Some of the old sprouted garlic I can plant and harvest the leaves. Like that will have no waste in the kitchen :).

  13. wok with ray says:

    Beautiful scene of greeneries and flowers. You are finally having a better weather and I am glad. Thank you, Norma and I hope you have a great week! 🙂

  14. kitsapfg says:

    Your window box experiment really did turn out well! Love the first strawberry harvest. 😀 My strawberry patch is in full bloom right now, so I expect a harvest is in my near future unless we get lots of rain in the weeks ahead and grey rot takes over (as it often does with the first crop of the season due to our rainy region). Enjoyed the pictures of all your spring blooming plants and trees.

  15. Barbie says:

    your window boxes are always so amazing. I’m enthralled with them.

  16. Daphne says:

    That was always the problem that I had with mixed greens in one sowing. The brassica family would always overtake the rest of it. Now I plant them separately and mix them myself. I envy you your first strawberry. Mine have flowers on them but no fruit yet.

  17. Michelle says:

    I envy that strawberry. I’m still wary of trying to grow them again lest they all become rat food again. I like to put the spinach stems in my salads too, they are crunchy and sweet – no need to discard them.

  18. Kristy says:

    I just love fresh grown strawberries! Between those and fresh grown raspberries, I could be kept very happy. Congrats on the success with most of the window boxes. I need to get started on mine soon as well. I want to try some herbs again this year. Hopefully I’ll have more luck than last year. I love the dogwood trees – so pretty. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      Nothing like freshly harvested berries, if only I could keep the birds away. Tried netting the plants but the birds somehow manage to get under the net, eat the berries, cannot find their way out and I have to release them.

  19. Haha dazzling spinach I like that 😉
    Your garden is looking full in bloom!

    Choc Chip Uru

  20. Gorgeous peony and dogwood, Norma.

  21. mac says:

    Your window box experiment is great, didn’t know you could actually harvest from it, I gotta give it a try later this year.

  22. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Razzle dazzle spinach – Norma you have one excellently-named bunch of greens in your garden. Glad you swooped on that strawberry in time!

  23. Wow Norma, it’s awesome to see everything starting to bloom and grow. Strawberries!

  24. ChgoJohn says:

    Wow, Norma! How nice to be able to harvest things already. And you were so smart to grab that strawberry before some creature did. I don’t know if you’ve found it to be true but, around here, the animals and birds seem to know when I’m going to pick something and beat me to it. You outsmarted them this time! 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Oh yes, it is true around here also, not only are the animals and birds one step ahead of me, they also know which ones are the largest, ripest and juiciest.

  25. WOW ! Looking good – envious of your strawberry (: Glad to know you enjoyed it before the birds did!! Happy Spring!

  26. Juliana says:

    I am glad to see you back Norma…and so happy to see your beautiful garden…the window boxes look great…so much awesome greens.
    Have a lovely week 🙂

  27. Daves's SFG says:

    The window boxes are a great idea, wish I had a sunny window. I’ve had the same experience with mesclun mixes, the brassicas outgrow the lettuce. Beets and chard wouldn’t have a chance. The Fedco Seeds mix comes in separate envelopes for lettuce and brassicas and you have to give the lettuce mix a good 2 week head start.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I have my window boxes on my driveway (not on my windows) where they receive full day sun. This also gives me the flexible to move the boxes into the garage overnight if needed.

  28. We’re moving next month to a very small house (major downsizing for us), and we will have some window with window boxes. Now I know what I’ll do with them ! Thanks for the idea with spinach, arugula and baby greens 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Susan,
      You could interplant edible flowers and herbs with vegetables in your window boxes especially those plants that help each other. Will you have room for a garden? If not, container gardening is a good option.

  29. How does raw broccoli raab plants taste???
    never seen that here before…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dedy,
      I always cook my broccoli raab. I equate the taste to be a cross between choy sum and Chinese broccoli (gai lan), it does have a slight bitter taste which blanching will get rid of (I do not blanch because I like the slight bitter taste).

  30. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great round up of your produce and flowering shrubs, we’re still a bit behind for growth, although our lilac and the crab apple are coming along. The tree peony is beautiful, I have a lot of buds but sadly no blooms yet, but then again (I think we talked about it last year) I think normal peonies take longer to come out. I do hope it starts to warm up, I’ve started riding my bike into work last week, but it’s been too cold this week.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Thanks. My perennial flowers and shrubs bloom at different times so there is always something blooming in my garden.
      Tree peonies do bloom earlier than herbaceous peonies which are just budding.
      Had wide spread frost last night, my fig tree, even though was covered, sustained a bit of damage but I think it will recover.

  31. broccoli raab is one of my favorites…and I loooove your beautiful tree in bloom, Norma!

  32. Purely.. Kay says:

    Your spinach looks absolutely amazing. I can just see myself enjoying this. You are a wonderful gardener Norma 🙂

  33. Norma everything is looking vibrant green and healthy. I love your sweet little forget me nots they are such a delicate dainty flower. I am glad you beat the birds and ate your first strawberrie. Do you put netting over the strawberries or something to keep them out. Maybe you need a scarecrow… LOL Happy gardening and have a super weekend. BAM

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      Thanks. Used to put netting over the strawberries and other berries, the birds somehow find a way to get in but cannot find their way out and I have to release them.

  34. Sophie33 says:

    My 3 peony white roses , 11 of them, are all gone now. They were open & beautiful for just 4 days. I love your bright pink variety too! Thanks for all then garden updates! 🙂

  35. Karen says:

    You had such luck with your window boxes this year. 🙂

  36. Monroe Swanson says:

    My boyfriend built a window box for our garlic. The box measures 14″ x 48″ x 4.5″. Will these dimension suffice in keeping the soil properly warm. The window is south facing and gets light all day long.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Monroe,
      You will need to make sure that the soil maintains moisture during the garlic growing period. I don’t think you need to worry about the soil getting properly warm.

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