People have been asking what’s coming next from the gardens, so I thought it would be a good time to give you all some updates. Despite the lack of rain, crops are coming. Watering them has made all the difference, but there is some delay on a few things. Oh well. As long as we get them, that’s all that matters.
What’s up with peas?
The peas struggle in the heat, so daily or twice daily watering has kept them going. The first peas that were started indoors and set out will be finishing this week. The second seeding is more than twice the number of plants and they have a good amount of peas! Now, we just need to keep that soil moist and cool. More than likely, these peas will come in quickly. When you see me post about peas, get in touch if you want them. As always, we will try to start peas again for a fall harvest, but that’s always a gamble against weather getting too cold for them to mature. It’s a risk I’ll take every year when the reward is a nice batch of sweet peas, though!
Anything else coming?
Beans are flowering and there are teeny tiny beans showing up on some plants. There are two beds here filled with big, full, gorgeous bean plants and a third bed has been seeded. Hopefully, that last bed will be sprouting this weekend. It won’t be long, and I’ll be picking and picking beans, folks!
Beets are coming in slowly, and more plants are up. We may see a short lull in beets while that next patch matures, and there were more seeds put in last week.
Broccoli is randomly giving harvests, but the plants are all looking great! The full head broccoli has been very slow after being set out early and struggling through all kinds of weather, but several are starting to set heads. There are mini broccoli coming and the second sowing is starting to form heads, too. A third planting went out over a week ago, so maybe we’ll have it for a while this season.
Carrots have slowly been coming to the farmstand, and there are more that are getting closer to maturity. This year, we have several varieties planted to give baby, regular (sweet), yellow, and a rainbow colored variety. The second sowing was mostly plucked out by birds, but more have been planted and covered with netting. Darned birds! And, they don’t even eat them. Just pull them and let them die in the sun.
Cucumbers are loving the heat! The plants that were started indoors and set out have lots of tiny little cucumbers and loads of flowers. These vines have been tucked and trained onto the trellis and they’re growing like crazy. Dare I say that we may have some maturing for the weekend? The second set, directly seeded, was slow to germinate, but they’re doing great and are trying to catch up to the early patch. The long slicing cucumber, Corinto, was started and set out as plants last week and they’re looking good. This year, I have planted more cucumbers than ever! Dust off your relish and pickle recipes!
Eggplants have been put in a small bed where they will get a reprieve from the late afternoon sun, and the plants are doing well considering how small they were at planting time. These are a Japanese variety, so they’re smaller, more elongated, and less bitter. Fingers crossed that these will continue to do well in the heat and give a good crop this season. Giving them extra compost and some nutrients seems to have gotten them growing and flowering, so we’re moving in the right direction.
Garlic is growing, and I will probably do some investigating on what’s happening below ground this week. The scapes were delicious and worth the long wait! This is a test season, so we will have about 40 bulbs if they all mature.
Lettuce is on the way out for the hot part of the season. The mature plants have gotten bitter, but the small transplants are much more resilient and hopefully will give us a few more bags before finishing. There will be a tray or two seeded for fall crops and put in the hoop house to extend the harvest window.
Okra is finally starting to put on new leaves and some stem height, but it is known to be a heat loving plant. I continue to watch them grow and this week, they’ll get some compost to help nourish these babies.
Onions are growing and bulbing out. There are three varieties this year, including a sweet red one. We typically see onions around the time the regular tomatoes are starting to ripen in late July. The first crop is a sweeter onion and it does not store well, so it is for immediate use. The Patterson is a more pungent variety that will store and it matures later and then needs a curing period.
Peppers are doing about average, except the “Bucket Brigade” of small plants that give us those small, sweet peppers. Those are doing great! There are flowers, tiny fruits, and a few good sized Pimiento peppers already. There is a new, smaller-fruiting red pepper and an orange one in the mix this year along with the bell, banana, jalapeno, Carmen, and Serrano in the main garden.
Pumpkins have been planted! This year, we’ve seeded New England Pie pumpkins, and it’s just a short row, but they’re up and looking healthy.
Radishes are on the way out. There may be one last hurrah from the last seeding, but then I think we’ll wait to seed more until cooler nights come back around later in the season.
Squash are planted and several have sprouted already. There are acorn, Butterbaby (small butternut), and Angel Hair (small spaghetti) planted. The yellow summer squash have been setting flowers and fruits fast this season! The zucchini, well, they’ve had a bit of trouble getting pollinated or having male flowers open when the females are open. Last week, I hand-pollinated quite a few and they seem to be setting fruits. There are second beds of yellow and zucchini up and flowering, too. A third planting is just starting to sprout.
Spinach is done until we try again in the fall. The heat is not a friend to this finicky green, but we had a great harvest this spring! I may try to seed a tray of these for fall planting in the hoop house.
Tomatoes – ahhh, the question everyone wants to ask “When will you have tomatoes?” The answer is soon! The early tomato variety ‘Defiant’ has been growing great, taking everything in stride, and they’re loaded with tomatoes. Remember, to get early tomatoes, they are smaller fruits, so these have 4-6 ounce fruits. There are some out there that are baseball sized right now. The cherry, yellow pear, and salad tomatoes (all smalls) are doing their thing, too and growing by leaps and bounds. The sauce/paste varieties are doing well, but maybe with a little less vigor than some others. These are a long season tomato, so they usually start slower and then really kick into gear in July. They are all nice sized plants with flowers and fruits setting. The main slicers and canning tomatoes are all looking good and show signs of a good crop of tomatoes, too.
What’s coming this week?
I can tell you that there’s still not enough produce to justify setting up on Wednesday afternoons yet (and I’m desperately trying to get caught up on outdoor maintenance), but there are crops to pick during the week. If there’s something specific that you want, please let me know and I’ll start a waiting list. Monday will find me harvesting a few zucchini, some yellow squash, and peas. There can also be kale, chard, and a few beets picked during the week along with herbs (basil, parsley, lemon balm, lemon thyme, mojito mint, rosemary). After Monday’s picking, there will probably be more of these same crops to pick later in the week.
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