Gardens, both flowers and veggies, survived during my absence.
Upon my return from vacation in Toronto, there were a number of veggies in the garden patiently waiting to be harvested. Made me very happy.
The garden beds, though, were screaming: I am overcrowded, get rid of the weeds. The beds were also very thirsty. The thirst was an easy fix, turn on the sprinkler. The weeding on the other hand, lets just say the last few days were and the days ahead are going to be very busy weeding days. Unfortunately, this is also going to be a very, very HOT week, 90’s mostly, so if I am to get anything accomplished I needed to be outside no later than 6 a.m. will be a challenge.
A bit past their prime, still tasty when cooked as soon as harvested
Johnny’s Broccoli X Gailon – Happy Rich (F1) (Brassica oleracea)
Definitely past its prime but still usable, just needed to peel the stems
Happy Rich (F1), a mini broccoli, is a cross between Chinese gai lan and broccoli. Easier to grow than gai lan in my area. Not sure if I will grow it next year. I would perhaps be more enthused about it if it was harvested at its prime. Will see how well it sends out side shoots. According to the catalog, it produces ample amounts of side shoots.
Garlic, strawberry, raspberries, tomatoes & snow peas
Garlic was not quite ready, needed another week or 2. But I like to harvest some at this stage, slice thinly and add to stir-fry. That’s the beauty of growing your own veggies, able to harvest at any time at any stage. Click here to learn when garlic is ready for harvest.
Birds did not touch that perfect strawberry in the above photo.
First raspberries, I picked more than the 2 in the photos, the others did not make it pass the garden gate.
First tomato. This is a blight resistant variety, Jasper (F1), cherry, nice flavor but the skin is a bit thick. Not sure if I will plant this variety again.
Snow peas was not doing anything before I went on vacation, returned after a week and would you believe the plants were loaded with pea pods. Unfortunately most of the pods were over matured (see pod on the left in above photo). Decided to leave the very matured ones on the plant. Will harvest for next year’s seed when they turn brown.
Carrots needed thinning.
Carrots, Burpee’s nantes half long
Not bad for thinnings, measured between 4 – 6 inches long, sweet and crunchy.
These were planted 4/8/13 from seed tape. Tried seed tape before but was unsuccessful. Decided to try again and this time was successful. Planted another row of the same seed tape 6/3/13 but not a single seed germinated. Why, what is the problem? Timing? Heat? The inquiring mind needs to know. Still have a bit of the seed tape left, will plant again to see if there is any germination issues.
Harvested Chinese (garlic) chives flowers (scapes) and the outer leaves of very young fordhook giant Swiss chard.
Swiss chard & Chinese (garlic) chive flowers (scapes)
Chard & Chinese Chive Flowers Stir-fry
∞ Washed and slant cut chard stems.
∞ Cut chive flowers into 1½-inch lengths.
∞ Thinly sliced (freshly harvested) garlic.
∞ Salt and pepper to taste
∞ Liquid (broth, water or wine) if needed to prevent burning.
∞ Stir-fry using a bit of oil until reached desired doneness.
∞ Garnish with dried apricots and toasted black and/or white sesame seeds. Enjoy!
(I like everything crunchy so I just stir-fried until the chive flowers turned bright green)
I usually peel my Swiss chard stems but these were young and tender so there was no need to peel. For peeling how to click here.
Endless Summer Hydrangea
Need to amend the soil so the flowers will be bluer
While in Toronto, on the agenda was a visit to Allan Gardens in downtown Toronto to see the most amazing agave plant (estimated age is 75) growing though the glass roof of the cacti greenhouse (oh yes, this mother broke through the glass ceiling). Click here to learn more. Too bad there was not a single bloom when I visited and I will not be in Toronto when it finally blooms, but will post updates if I come across any.
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