Harvest Monday, July 27, 2015 – Garlic + Tomato + Seniors & Kids Friendly Planters

Japanese anemone (IMG_0960)

Japanese Anemone

My apologies to my subscribers for an error Saturday morning. I goofed.

Having company (starting yesterday) so decided to get a head start with my Harvest Monday post. The plan was to work with the photos I already took and finish the post Monday morning before my guest gets out of bed.

Typing away happily on my laptop at 5:30 a.m. Saturday (I am an early riser) and hit the “publish” tab instead of the “save draft” tab. Haste makes waste not to mention mistakes are bound to happen when I start working before my cup-of-joe. Again, SORRY.

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Had planned to harvest my garlic this week but didn’t know if I would have time since I have company and worry that the heads of garlic would split if I waited another week so dug them all up on Friday.

The garlic are curing in the shed (leaving the shed’s door open for ventilation during the day). Once the tops and roots have dried (3-4 weeks) I will cut them off (leaving about an inch of the top) clean the heads, select and save the best heads for planting in October and enjoy the rest.

This has been a very good garlic year both the German White and Duganski are of good size and beautiful. The harvest should last the whole year but I do share with friends so may be not.

German white garlic (08041)

German White Garlic

The above is about 1/3 of the total German White harvest.

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duganski garlic (08044)

Duganski Garlic

The above is about ¼ of the total Duganski harvest

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garlic (08049)

Left: German White Garlic. Right: Duganski Garlic

As you can see from the photo above the German White on the left is much larger than the Duganski on the right but the Duganski with its purple stripes is a prettier garlic.

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Finally vine ripened tomatoes from the garden.

black cherry & speckled roma tomatoes (08060)

Left: Heirloom Black Cherry Tomato. Right: Speckled Roman Pole Tomato

Liked how the bunch of Black Cherry was hanging so decided to cut the whole branch. I am sure the green one will ripen indoor.

black cherry & speckled roman tomatoes (08069)

Cross Sections of Heirloom Black Cherry Tomato & Speckled Roman Pole Tomato

The good looking Speckled Roman is a meaty tomato with nice tomato flavor would make a good sauce, a keeper.

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Lately I am having a bit of lower back problem and bending for an extended period is an issue. Containers planting would ease some of the problem.

As many of you know I have been experimenting with window boxes, large pots and ice chest but they are clumsy to lift and move around. I need something with handles.

Was very happy when I happened upon the blue tubs in the photos below. I bought 6. Not exactly the size I wanted (each is about 12 inches square and about 10 inches deep, I was looking for something similar in shape but a bit larger). Figuring what I want may not exist decided to give these a try.

These are actually tubs and not planters. To make them into planters I just needed to cut 4 holes in each corner for drainage. Once filled with potting mix, planted and watered each is still light enough for seniors and kids to lift and move around.

This is a solution for seniors who would like to continue gardening and kids would love to plant vegetables, herbs and/or flowers in these bright blue planters. I have them among my shrubs and perennials where they add a splash of colors.

Planted carrots in 2 of the tubs, yaya carrots (matures in 58 days) in one and coreless nantes (matures in 70 days) in another.

Container Gardening (08011)

Yaya Carrots sown on 7/19

Carrots, planted in the ground, are a pain to thin. Planted in the above planter, I can move the planter to a shady area, raise it to an appropriate height, thin the carrots while sitting on a comfy lawn chair and sipping on ice tea. Thinning carrots can be enjoyable after all.

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Planted lettuce in another planter, haven’t decided what to plant in the other 3.

forellenschluss lettuce (08037)

Forellenschluss Lettuce

Those are forellenschluss lettuce seedlings I started some weeks ago.

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Harvested blue potatoes from another of my foam ice chest. After enriching the potting mix (yes, I do reuse the potting mix) with compost and fertilizer I sowed 4 rows of peas for peas shoots harvest.

peas in container (08035)

Peas in Foam Ice Chest

The peas are sown very close together as not all will germinate and the birds most likely will feast on some of the seeds. In the event all germinate and the birds leave the seeds alone I will thin and use the thinning as peas sprouts (I used organic seeds).

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In my last post I threatened to yank my okra plants if they did not move. Well, they grew and are now taller than the nasturtium so I will keep them.

okra (08052)

Red Burgundy Okra

Okra plants are still only 14 inches tall (photo taken yesterday) but with yesterday’s morning rain and this week’s heat wave forecast hopefully they will grow a lot more (should reach 4 feet) and faster and I will get okra this year.

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A row of Japanese Anemone on the side of my shed

Japanese anemone (08019)

Japanese Anemone

A close up

Japanese anemone (08024)

Japanese Anemone

Japanese anemone (IMG_0960)

Japanese Anemone

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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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45 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 27, 2015 – Garlic + Tomato + Seniors & Kids Friendly Planters

  1. Looking at your beautiful heirloom tomatoes makes me miss home so much. There is nothing better than picking a tomato and still eating it when it is warm from being sun kissed…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      Are there pick-your-own-farms near where you are where you can go and pick tomatoes and other crops like we do in the States?

      • Not so much…here in Hong Kong. However they have some organic farms that have opened up here in the New Territories (about 2 hours away) I need to just try to grow some on the window seal next year. Happy Farming Norma!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Bam,
        Tomatoes can be grown successfully in a container, get a large one and ONLY one plant per container.

  2. Lou Murray says:

    Those are some gorgeous garlics, an impressive harvest. I need to harvest mine this week. I love it that you are growing veggies in containers. You might look at Tub Trugs from Gardener’s Supply. They come in three sizes. I use them for many things: mixing potting soils, holding and lugging plant trimmings, etc.

  3. dvelten says:

    You did a really nice job on the garlic, the heads look perfect. And I am impressed with the tomatoes. I have never gotten a whole truss to ripen at once like that.

  4. That is some really good looking garlic. It looks like a great harvest! I will be watching to see how the carrots do in the planters. I don’t enjoy thinning them in the ground either, as my knees usually wind up hurting for days afterwards.

  5. wok with ray says:

    Love those freshly harvested garlic. I wish my tomatoes in the pot will bear fruits as beautiful as what you got there.

  6. Margaret says:

    The old “hitting the wrong key” phenomenon has happened to me a couple of times. I remember the first time that happened, I frantically tried to figure out how to fix it. Beautiful garlic – I’m only days away from harvesting it myself & am really looking forward to seeing what the new varieties I planted (including Duganski) will produce. And congrats on the first tomatoes! I grew Speckled Roman last year (and this year) and really enjoyed it as well.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      After I thrashed the draft didn’t know what the “restore” would do so rewrote the entire post.
      My first year growing Speckled Roman, love the colors and the flavor of course.

  7. daphnegould says:

    Lovely harvests. I tend to use the scheduling option when I write posts or too many would get published before I’ve finished. I schedule for a day out and when I’m done with the post I put it back on automatic so it posts as soon as I say publish. Weirdly I find the higher beds hurt my back more. Picking strawberries from my rock wall garden always gives me a back ache. But I can sit on my little stool and seed carrots in my main bed and not have any trouble. So I’d probably do worse with a container garden.

  8. Susie says:

    That garlic is beautiful! And so big. Very well done indeed! And those cherry tomatoes …ooh!

  9. Balvinder says:

    Great post. I really want to grow garlic sometime because we go through so much of it But always end up sowing other things:) Love that tub idea for planters easy to move around, if needed.

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Your garlic is beautiful. I bought some from a Mennonite woman on the way home from the cottage, they were $2 per bulb! Absolutely ridiculous, I know, but I wanted homegrown garlic! They aren’t dried out yet but the woman said they were perfectly fine to eat and they are delicious! So flavourful. I may dry out a head for fall planting in the ice chest I bought last year…fingers crossed.
    Those containers are indeed a great idea, love the colours. Did you make sure they are BPA free? Or does it matter? Not sure if the soil will absorb anything from the plastic but it’s best to be sure.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      May be you should bring your ice chest into the garage during January and February to protect the garlic from the extreme cold.
      The label on the tub reads “Food Safe”.

  11. Wow! Look at your garlic! What a bounty. There is nothing better than home grown tomatoes. Enjoy your company, Norma and take good care of your back!

  12. That has definitely happened to me too Ms. Norma. I just explain it away as, I was so happy about this post, that my fingers made the decision for me to post lol. And just look at your garlic… delicious. I need to go purchase some.

  13. hotlyspiced says:

    The flowers are such a pretty colour. I have done the exact same thing where I’ve published a post instead of saving it – I quickly took it down as it was only in draft stages at best. You certainly are an early riser! xx

  14. Norma, that is a great looking harvest. Particularly love your garlic. I have never grown garlic before, think I must try this coming summer. As always, thanks for the few moments of peace hanging in your garden. Happy week ahead. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Anna,
      I plant my garlic around end of October and it overwinters in the ground. You may want to get info from your local garden center to see when to plant in your area and what varieties are suitable.

  15. cheri says:

    Hi Norma, I always learn so much from your post, for example the different kinds of garlic. So interesting….

  16. Kristy says:

    I love the tub idea!! That would be perfect for Miss A. Her tomatoes are doing very well this year. The potted strawberries however faired less well. These tubs may give them a better chance though. I hope your back feels better and that you had a good visit with your company.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      I was thinking of Miss A when I saw those tubs reason for my title. Hope you will post photos of her tomatoes. Her strawberries will do better next year.
      Thanks, my back is feeling better but must be careful.

  17. small kucing says:

    Have not tried planting garlic before. Looking at your photos makes me wanna try planting that

  18. I’m full of garlic envy, Norma! Your tomatoes look so good too. I like the idea of the baskets for oldies like me. 🙂

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

  20. Saskia (1=2) says:

    I also rise at 5.30am. A quiet house, all to myself for an hour = bliss! That is one mega load of gorgeous garlic! Loving all your interestingly-named veggies lately Norma – the Speckled Roman Pole Tomato is divine! The blue tubs look great, and very child-friendly. We’re nearly into Spring, so I’ll be stealing a few of your ideas for planting.

  21. Thiago says:

    Hello how long it takes for their red Burgundy okra reach 14 inches?Please

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Thiago,
      Sorry for the delay in replying to your comment, I was sorta out of commission. To be honest, I don’t know how long it took, I was not successful in growing okra so am giving up.

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