Harvest Monday, September 29, 2014 – Windowbox Spinach + Chicory (Radicchio) + Ramp Update

Garden harvest is slowing down but garden work is not.

There is fall cleaning which I started but haven’t gotten much accomplished. Hoping to get most, if not all, completed before it gets too cold and/or the ground is frozen. Also need to get garlic planted in October.

My 3 window boxes of spinach which I started on August 20 are doing exceptional well. Below is one of the boxes.

window box spinach (06816)

Spinach (Space Hybrid) in Window Box

As you can see from the above photo there is serious overcrowding issue. Meant to thin many days ago and use the thinnings as baby spinach in my salads but never got around to doing so until Thursday.

window box spinach (06826)

Window box spinach harvest
Weighed ½ pound
 Good harvest from just one 29″ L  x  8″ W x 7″ H window box

Was going to make a spinach and tofu soup but the days flew by. Spinach still sitting in the fridge. This week is going to be another busy one and with other greens from the garden to deal with, will most likely sauté all the spinach briefly in a little broth and freeze for winter use.

window box spinach (06824)

Spinach Plants After Thinning

The above spinach plants are looking leggy due to overcrowding but were looking better yesterday since (after thinning) they now have room to grow and are receiving adequate sunlight and was also given a good soaking of fish emulsion fertilizer immediately after thinning.

From now on I will be harvesting just the outer leaves as needed leaving the remaining plants to continue to grow, how long will this continue? Don’t know the answer yet.

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It is only September but my chicories (radicchio) are bolting, why? This is the first time I am having this problem. Anyone with an answer for me?????

chicory (radicchio) (06830)

Chicory (Radicchio)

The bolted chicory in the middle caught me by surprise as I did not expect to see that sight. Quickly harvested it and checked the others. The one on the left was small but showing sign of bolting (notice the protrusion on the top it should be flat like the one on the right) so that one too was harvested. The one on the right had formed a solid head. Not taking any chance to having it bolt, decided to harvest that one also. Still have a few more plants in the garden, they have not yet formed solid head but am checking daily for any sign of bolting.

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Some of you may remember the ramp given to me in May by my garden friend Nancy in exchange for garlic chives (yes, I got the better deal).

ramp (06409)


I planted the ones with roots and am happy to report that they all grew, flowered and formed seeds.

ramp flowers (06538)

Ramp Flowers

ramp seeds (06621)

Ramp Seeds

From what I read it will be 2 – 3 years before the ramps I planted from the (trans)plants/bulbs reach harvestable size bulbs and I should harvest only 15% of the largest bulbs. (It will take 5 – 7 years from seeds to harvest.)

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slug (06806)


The above critter and its relatives are responsible for many of the damage to my bok choy, napa cabbage, strawberries, etc.

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Other harvests, as needed, for the week are: leeks, carrots, chard, tomatoes and amaranth plus a few strawberries daily.

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   … 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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34 Responses to Harvest Monday, September 29, 2014 – Windowbox Spinach + Chicory (Radicchio) + Ramp Update

  1. Great harvest Norma. Sadly I have no advice on your bolting chicory. It’s so difficult to keep ahead of the little critters who munch away at our gardens,
    Have a super week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. daphnegould says:

    I don’t know anything about chicory as I’ve never grown it. I have had other things bolt this year that never bolt for me. Like parsley and chard. And that is a nice spinach harvest. I’m still hoping for a spinach harvest this year, but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Yes, garden cleanup is in effect!!!. I see your “harvest” of slugs is just like ours…plentiful!!!

  4. Another great harvest week, Norma. Those windowbox spinach look really great.

  5. Margaret says:

    I am soooo envious of your spinach window box! I hear you on the fall cleanup – I have so much to do that harvesting & cooking are taking a back seat these days. That is a long time to harvest for the ramps – I had actually never heard of them until this year but now my interest is piqued & I must look into them further during those long winter days. And what is with the slugs this year? They are going crazy in my garden too – that one in the photo is a huge!

  6. dvelten says:

    I planted chicory last year and that’s what happened to mine. No idea why but I was not pleased. The spinach planter box looks like a good idea. A half pound is a respectable first picking.

  7. hotlyspiced says:

    That creepy crawly looks very menacing. How lovely to have the problem of too much spinach. I don’t know why the chicory has bolted – I’ve never seen one like that before xx

  8. Michelle says:

    You have some nasty big slugs in your garden. Fortunately that’s one pest that I don’t have to deal with. It always amazes me how much you can coax out of a window box planting.

  9. That spinach in the bowl is encouraging me to go outside and plant some spinach in a planter. I’m not fond of slugs and that one’s huge.

  10. Lots amend lots of work but a lovely harvest. Sorry to hear about the slug issues. Take care

  11. Your baby spinach looks great! I think that will be my next attempt when I start another window box. My basil did well, and would love spinach too!

  12. That spinach is looking so fresh and healthy, awesome job! 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Kristy says:

    I can’t believe it will take that long for your ramps! That requires some definite patience (and a lot of TLC I imagine). We need to do our fall clean-up as well. I’ve never done it and don’t have a clue how or where to start. I can’t believe how much work tending to landscaping and gardens is and it’s never-ending. The results are certainly worth it though. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      Ramps do not need TLC just the right environment, I planted mine at the edge of a woody area and hopefully they will reappear next spring.
      Before starting my fall clean-up, I walk around my property, start at the area that looks the worst: weed, prune and mulch. Satisfied, then move on to another area. By taking care of one small area at a time the job is less overwhelming and actually enjoyable.

  14. echolulu says:

    I am so glad that the ramps are looking very healthy in your garden. The flowers are so pretty. I haven’t paid attention to the ramps in the woods lately as wild plants have covered the entire area.

  15. Juliana says:

    Awesome harvest Norma…and ewww…such a big slug…
    Hope you are having a great week 😀

  16. oww, i think you should try my radicchio risotto recipe Norma…..

  17. Sophie33 says:

    Your spinach was doing great & ramps is new to me. What does it tastes like, Norma? Radicchio is something that I absolutely love with salmon or braised warm,..yum yum yumm!

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