Harvest Monday, July 3, 2017 – Container Ginger Update + Containers Harvest

Happy July 4th!

June was coming to an end and still nothing was happening with the container ginger. I thought it was never going to sprout. Then this past week I saw little green poking out of the soil. Yes. Finally something is happening, I was excited.

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Growing Ginger in Containers

The ginger sprout on the left is about 5 inches tall and the tallest sprout on the right is about 7 inches.

Now that sprouts have finally appeared and we are having nice hot weather they will be growing at a much faster rate, I hope.

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Container Mokum Carrots growing exceptionally well and needed thinning again.

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Growing Mokum Carrots in Container

The first thinning, there were signs of carrots forming. The second thinning, about 2 weeks ago, produced edible pencil-sized carrots.

Check out the thumb-sized carrots below from the third thinning of a few days ago, they were sweet and crunchy. Will continue to thin/harvest as needed for the table. I see a nice long harvest season.

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Mokum Carrots

Mokum Carrot with its sweet crunchy texture is now my favorite. So very easy to grow in container. Started another container this past week.

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I did it! I managed to grow good-size onions in container (for the past few years I tried growing onion in the garden but always ended up with golf ball-size or smaller onions). From now on, growing onions in container is the way to go for me.

Had some tiny onions left over from last year’s harvest so decided to plant them in a foam chest just for fun. Look at them now! I think the one on the upper right weighs more than 6 ounces (must remember to weigh after I harvest). Yes, there is over crowding, must pull some to give others room to grow, hope its not too late.

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Growing Onions in Container

Needed onion for a dish, pulled the 2 below (they were showing signs of bolting) from the above container .

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Wish I knew the names of the above onions.

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Last of the spring planted lettuce.

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Oak Leaf Lettuce

The above Oak Leaf Lettuce made a lovely salad with a simple lemon and EVOO dressing.

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Below are 2 of the harvests from the garden that were not camera shy:

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

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Kohlrabi – Purple Kolibri

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Going to be a nice HOT week, all the heat loving crops will be happy and grow by leaps and bounds.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Gardening, Growing ginger, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Harvest Monday, June 26, 2017 – Containers Update

Container Fig tree is loaded with figs. There is a fig at the base of just about every leaf.

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Container Fig Tree

This is going to be a great fig year! I am guessing there are hundreds figs on this one tree.

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Look at those beauties in the above photo!

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Vines of the container Little SnapPeas Crunch are loaded with pods.

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Little SnapPea Crunch

Harvested about 1 pound from the above container so far. Used some in a chicken stir-fry, the pods were sweet and crunchy.

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Little SnapPea Crunch

Little SnapPea Crunch is becoming my favorite snap peas, easy to grow and very container friendly. According to the seed package the vines are self-supporting but I find staking them makes it easier to harvest the pods.

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For fall planting, direct sowed Little SnapPea Crunch seeds in a foam ice chest. Also started some seeds in a container (strawberry containers are great for starting seeds) just in case some of the seeds in the ice chest fail to germinate.

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Harvested the garlic scape from the container garlic. Cut into about 1″ length and added to the chicken stir-fry with the SnapPea.

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Garlic Scape

Click here to learn more about garlic scape.

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Container beets are doing well also.

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Beets, Early Wonder

Should harvest some of the leaves. Stir-fry with some garlic scape for a delicious side .

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Container Swiss Chard, Red Winter Kale, Broccoli and Carrots are growing well.

Lettuces on the other hand are bolting, will pull all the plants today or tomorrow. May not be salad material but stir-fry briefly in garlic infused oil will mellow the slightly bitter taste resulting in a delicious side.

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Am starting my fall planting 2 weeks earlier this year.

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In the above container I have 4 varieties of Bok Choy, Minuet Chinese Cabbage, Kohlribi,  6 varieties of Lettuce, 2 varieties of Broccoli, Red Winter Kale and Radicchio.

Direct sowed Mokum Carrots and Winter Light Daikon.

Weeds are growing exceptionally well, will be spending lots of time and energy trying to get rid of them. Going to be a busy week.


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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Fruits, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Harvest Monday, May 29, 2017 – Sweet Potato Experiment + Other Garden Activities

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Bearded Iris

I have read about starting sweet potato slips in potting mix instead of in water (which I have always done) and decided to give this method a try this year.

Will there be any differences in sprouting?

To find out, on March 17, I placed one Purple Sweet Potato in water and another in potting mix. The SP in water sprouted earlier than the one in the potting mix, unfortunately I neglected to note the dates.

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Growing Purple Sweet Potato Slips – Left: in water. Right: in potting mix.

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Purple Sweet Potato Slips – Left: grown in water. Right: grown in potting mix.

Will there be any differences in yield?

To find out, I planted in the garden (all bare roots) 5 water grown slips in one row (left in photo below) and 5  potting mix grown slips in another row (right in photo below), now I must wait for results that I will publish in later post/s.

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Purple Sweet Potato – Left: 2 of 5 slips grown in water. Right: 2 of 5 slips grown in potting mix.

Transplanted all sweet potatoes slips into the garden on Wednesday, 5/24, as rain was predicted for Thursday, 5/25, to be followed by 2 cloudy days.

And rain it did. Plants are happy so are the weeds.

Was only going to plant 2 varieties this year – Purple and Ginseng Red. But Mary gave me 2 slips of Wilma’s (a new variety for me) so now I am growing 3 varieties.

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First harvest of container grown Peppermint Swiss Chard.

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Container Peppermint Swiss Chard

Cut chard, stems and leaves, into bite-sized pieces, combined with thinly sliced garlic greens, and stir-fried briefly in a bit of oil, salt & pepper to taste. Garden to wok in less than an hour.

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Also transplanted my Chinese Long Beans seedlings. Seeds were started in containers instead of direct sow.

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Chinese Long Beans. Top Rows: Red Noodles. Bottom rows: Green.

Chinese long beans are also known as yard long beans, asparagus beans and snake beans. Click here to learn more and a recipe.

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The week of May 8 we had a few nights where temperature was in the 30’s°F.

All the semi heading mustard seedlings bolted.

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Bolting Semi Heading Mustard

However, the Toy Choi Hybrid I started 3/19/17 and transplanted into window box on 4/26 did not bolt.

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Toy Choi Hybrid

My guess is the Toy Choi had passed the seedling stage therefore hardier and able to withstand temperature below 50°F.

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Tomatoes I took a chance and transplanted on 5/12 all survived and are doing well.

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Tomato – Speckled Roman Paste

Speckled Roman Paste is one of my favorite tomatoes. Good for making sauce as well as for slicing.

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Garlic are doing exceptional well this year.

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Garlic – German White & Duganski

Both the German White and the Duganski are hardneck garlic. Looking forward to harvesting garlic scapes in a couple weeks.

Direct sowed: Green leaf Lutz beets, Crosby’s Egyptian Beets. Semi-heading Mustard and Tri-colored Amaranth.

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In her comments on last Monday post, Kimberly Brandt ask for a photo of the Goji aka Wolfberry plant.

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Goji, aka Wolfberry, plant

The above photo is for you Kim.

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Last of my tree peonies. Deciduous peonies should be blooming any day now.

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Tree Peony – Yellow

It was sunny when I took the above photo so the color is a bit washed out.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Container gardening, Cooking, dairy free, Gardening, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, meatless, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Harvest Monday, May 22, 2017 – Garlic Greens, Goji Leaves & Spinach

This is the last thinning of my over-planted garlic, now I will wait for garlic scapes to appear, which should be around mid-June.

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Garlic Green aka Green Garlic

There are 20+ garlic plants in the above photo, thinly sliced a few (white and green parts) and added to a chicken stir-fry, delicious. Also used some as scallion substitute in a Fried Rice.

With so much garlic green on hand decided to experiment with freezing.

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To freeze, this is what I did:
Removed and discarded roots and outer layer of garlic green/green garlic
Washed well and drained
Thinly sliced, white and green parts, placed in freezer bag, date, label and freeze

In future cooking, if a dish requires a mild garlic flavor I can just toss some in .

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My Goji (wolfberry) plants continue to do well and friends love to stop by for the leaves. They keep telling me how delicious it is and how good it is for ones health, and, keep encouraging me to give it a try (I did try to make soup as they recommended but did not care for it).

Decided to give it another try with the young tender spring leaves. The verdict: Liked it. The leaves were tender, delicious and mild flavor.

I added the leaves to chicken broth, simmered for a few minutes then stirred in beaten eggs, that’s it, simple and delicious (like Italian Stracciatella soup sans cheese). Definitely making again and may add sliced chicken or pork for a more substantial soup. Will also try stir-frying, can be used in salad as well.

(Previously I was using the mature leaves that had a slightly bitter/medicinal taste and came to the conclusion it is an acquired taste which I have not yet acquired.)

Wondering if there is any difference in health benefit between the young spring leaves and the more mature leaves?

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Goji Leaves aka Wolfberry Leaves

Another advantage with the young spring leaves there is no thorn on the stems making it much easier to strip the leaves from the stems.

I was told the leaves freeze well so will freeze some for future use.

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Monstrueux de Viroflay Spinach ready to harvest. The germination rate was poor, about 50%, not sure if it was due to weather or because I was using last year’s leftover seeds.

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Spinach: Monstrueux de Viroflay

Though huge, both the leaves and stems, cooked or uncooked, were tender and delicious. Am going to try to grow a fall crop.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Cooking, dairy free, Gardening, Harvest Monday, soy free, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Harvest Monday, May 15, 2017 – Tree Peonies

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This past week, up until Thursday, the night time temperature was in the 30’s°F, but for Friday, the night time temperature was predicted to be in the 40’s°F plus it was a beautiful gardening day, high 60’s°F. Rain was in the forecast for Saturday and I wanted to take advantage, so marathoned (?) the whole day Friday in the gardens.

Transplanted my hardened off celeriac and leeks. Got carried away and decided to take a chance and transplanted some of the hardened off tomatoes. Fingers crossed, hope we do not get frost.

Parsnips seeds are sown.

Sweet potato beds prepared. Wednesday’s temperature is predicted to be 87°F and Thursday to be 90°F. By weekend the soil should be warm enough for me to plant my sweet potatoes slips.

Visited a nursery on Wednesday and purchased quite a bit of annuals. Planted all. They are supposed to be deer resistant but of course there is no guarantee, just hope the deer stay away.

My harvest was similar to the previous week, lettuces, garlic greens, walking onion, kale, photos would be pretty similar, so decided to post photos of my tree peonies instead.

The tree peonies are just gorgeous this year, the pink ones are the first to bloom (every day was a new surprise) followed by the purple, later will come the whites, the yellows and the reds.


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The tree peony in photo below is the same plant in last Monday’s post in full bloom (the plant is prettier than my photo).


Happy Spring!
Happy Gardening!

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

Posted in Flowers, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized | Tagged | 18 Comments