Harvest Monday, July 13, 2015 – Un-Retiring Window Boxes + Container Sweet Potatoes

Had a tiny empty area in my garden so decided to sprinkle a few Shanghai Bok Choy seeds and a few Napa Cabbage seeds next to each other in the spot figuring if the seeds germinate I will transplant them when a suitable area in the garden becomes available.

Shanghai bok choy seedlings (07913)

Shanghai Bok Choy Seedlings

napa seedlings (07917)

Napa Cabbage Seedlings

The seeds germinated and were growing well but no available garden space.

So decided to un-retire (is there such a word?) my window boxes and transplant the Shanghai Bok Choy seedlings and Napa Cabbage seedlings into them.

window boxes (07927)

Top box: Shanghai Bok Choy. Bottom box: Napa Cabbage

I have 16 Shanghai Bok Choy seedlings in one box which is a bit much but I will be thinning and use as baby bok choy.

Napa cabbage needs lots of room to grow so I have only 3 napa cabbage seedlings in the box.

The seedlings look a bit wilted and not very cheerful but all that will change in a week or so as the oak leaf lettuce below has demonstrated.

Also transplanted 1 napa seedling into a 10-inch pot for comparison with the window box.

container napa & radish (07984)

Napa Cabbage & Radish in Container

It will be a while before the napa seedling fill in the pot so I sowed a circle of radish seeds. (they are the pairs of tiny seedlings, need to discard one seedling from each set of 2) Radishes should reach usable stage when the napa needs the space.

Thinking: there is a lot of wasted space in the window box with the napa cabbage seedlings should sow a few radish seeds between each seedlings, will do so later today.

∗ ∗ ∗

Two Thursdays ago I was assigned the task of taking care of the lettuce beds at the Locust Grove Heritage Garden (LGHVG) where I am a volunteer.

While weeding and harvesting, I noticed the oak leaf lettuce seedlings needed to be thinned. The thinnings were put aside and us volunteers could take home the extras.  I took 5.

oakleaf lettuce (07932)

Oak Leaf Lettuce

The seedlings did not look that great, semi bare root and wilted, but figured if I babied them they will survive, and survived they did even the one on the left which I did not think was going to make it. Don’t they look happy and gorgeous now?

The weather for the following days will be in the high 80’s may be 90’s. The crops in the above 3 window boxes and the pot are cool weather crops so I will keep them on  the east side of my house where they will receive morning sun but not the scorching afternoon sun. (The advantage of growing crops in window boxes/containers is the flexible of moving the boxes/containers to more suitable locations as required.)

∗ ∗ ∗

After rooting sufficient sweet potato slips for LGHVG and my garden, decided to pot up the “mother” sweet potato instead of throwing them out as I have done in previous years.

sweet potato (07918)

“Mother” Sweet Potatoes Growing in Containers

sweet potato vine (07897)

“Mother” Sweet Potatoes Growing in Container

Well, the “mother” sweet potatoes put out an abundant amount of vines which I harvested.

sweet potato vine (07902)

Sweet Potato Vines

Harvested enough sweet potato vines for a stir-fry. Click here and scroll down to learn about cooking sweet potato vines.

∗ ∗ ∗

peppermint chard (07907)

Peppermint Swiss Chard & Broccoli

Peppermint Swiss Chard continues to do well.

I did harvest 2 pitiful looking broccoli that the rabbit decided to leave for me. They were tender and delicious though.

∗ ∗ ∗

lettuce & broccoli (07921)

Left, Happy Rich Broccoli Side Shoots; center, Midnight Ruffle Red Lettuce; right, Broccoli Side Shoots (pretty big for a side shoot)

Midnight Ruffle Red lettuce is the only lettuce remaining in the garden. Looking forward to adding the Oak Leaf lettuce from the window box to my salad.

I combined both broccolis side shoots with some baby finger carrots and onion and made a stir-fry with sliced chicken. Instead of serving the stir-fry over rice I made wraps using the red sail lettuce leaves (did take photos but they looked awful so decided not to post).

∗ ∗ ∗

zinnia (IMG_0870)


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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
This entry was posted in Container gardening, Cooking, Gardening, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Uncategorized, Vegetables, window box gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 13, 2015 – Un-Retiring Window Boxes + Container Sweet Potatoes

  1. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Your oak lettuce seedlings do indeed look happy and gorgeous after your excellent loving care!
    I learned something new today – had no idea one could cook sweet potato vines, and in fact I had never seen a sweet potato vine before! The leaves look lovely and bright, and quite delicate too – surprising for such a robust veggie.

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Amazing that those sweet potato plants are looking so healthy in the container.

  3. Good to see your sweet potato leaves doing well. You know you would need about 10 of those containers to feed my boys… LOL

  4. Kristy says:

    Everything’s looking great! Have you had a lot of rain? I know we have, and where we go in NY has. Is it impacting your garden at all? Honestly I have only had to water our plants 2 or 3 times (which is a good thing, because that’s usually how I kill them…forgetting to water). Fortunately the flowers are thriving, but I know the farmers are struggling.

  5. wok with ray says:

    I like bok choy and i like napa cabbage but I what I really miss is the sweet potato leaves. My family eat these leaves as a side dish all the time when I was growing up. Have a good week, Norma.

  6. Margaret says:

    I’m such a wimp when it comes to getting rid of seedlings – which sometimes works out well and other times not. Love the peppermint Swiss chard – I’m growing some for the first time this year & will likely start harvesting next week. That zinnia is gorgeous!

  7. mac says:

    I have been eating sweet potato leaves as well, they are growing crazy here, thanks for the slips. You just reminded me to start Asian greens, need to start Napa and winter radish going soon.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      Glad to know your sweet potatoes are doing well, Do you know if eating the vines affect the yield?
      I am looking forward to learn if you are getting good tubers from your Okinawan sweet potato.

  8. Lou Murray says:

    Good work on salvaging those nice lettuce seedlings. Good luck with your Napa cabbage and bok choy in the heat.

  9. daphnegould says:

    I’ve never eaten the sweet potato greens. My tubers are so important to me that I’ve been afraid to pick them and lower the harvest. I ought to try sometime though as I haven’t a clue as to what they taste like.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      I don’t think taking a few inches from the tip of the vines will affect the yield. You get such great harvest don’t think you need to worry, I say go for it.

  10. dvelten says:

    You are really resourceful in getting the maximum out of your garden, Norma. And feeding the neighborhood rabbits while you are at it. Someday I am going to try your technique growing sweet potatoes in a container. I don’t really have the space to grow them in the garden.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello David,
      I have to try to be resourceful since I have limited fenced in garden space. Life would be so much easier if I did not have to deal with pesky deer and woodchucks and rabbits.

  11. You are certainly making good use of all those seedlings. I have found most young plants to be pretty resilient. I pulled some amaranth volunteers out of the yard where they volunteered and after potting up they are doing fine.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      The Shanghai bok choy seedlings transplant very well, the napa cabbage seedlings on the other hand do not transplant as well, they need more babying.

  12. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    I’ve grown a lot of sweet potatoes but I’ve never cooked the vine leaves before. How clever and now I want to know what they taste like. Spring will be here soon and I’m going to find out.

    Well done on rescuing the thinnings. You are such a clever gardener.

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    What are the little holes in your seedlings? We have slugs in our garden and they are absolutely relentless. There are snails too and they are gross as well but their hideously disgusting bodies are hidden by their interesting shells so I don’t hate them as much! By August they will have eaten everything on the ground to a very unlikely lace pattern. I really hate them. Wish the pesky raccoons would do a better job eating them!
    I’m impressed that you were able to save the oak leaf lettuce, they are lovely. Do they have a different flavour than regular lettuce? Perhaps like arugula? I love arugula but I haven’t grown lettuces in quite some time. It’s so nice that they let you have some of the thinnings to take home,

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      The little holes on my seedlings are insects feasting on my seedlings. I try not to spray if I can avoid it.
      The oak leaf lettuce taste like lettuce not like arugula, I do not recall seeing oak leaf lettuce in any of my food market may be because it is delicate and crushes easily. We do get to take home extra seedlings when they are available, one of the volunteer perks.

  14. hotlyspiced says:

    The damn rabbit strikes again! I have never heard of sweet potato vines so was very interested to see what the green leafy vegetable looked like. How good of you to volunteer for that garden club xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      Wondering what wonderful dish you would create if you got your hands on some tender sweet potato vines?????
      I am one of the member that started the garden in 2000 and have been with the garden since.

  15. Your sweet potato plants are doing extremely well. And I am also loving that Swiss chard. I definitely have to taste that if it’s at my weekend market. You always inspire me to try new recipes with veggies Ms. Norma.

  16. I’m really inspired by your container gardening. It seems like a great way to try new varieties.

  17. Excellent to see so much fabulousness in your garden, I went out to my garden on the weekend, found a couple of snails and decided I wasn’t up for the challenge just yet. #lazy
    You cook the sweet potato leaves? Cool. Didn’t know such a feed existed. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Anna,
      Sweet potato leaves (from the edible tubers, not from the ornamental type) are not only delicious they are also highly nutritious. Selling for close to US$4.00/lb at the Asian market.

  18. Pingback: Harvest Monday, August 10, 2015 – Weekly Harvests + Containers Update + Woodchuck Damage | Garden to Wok

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