This week I picked: Spinach 1 lb, Lettuce 4 oz, Bok choi, 11 oz, Kohlrabi 10 oz. The kohlrabi (Early White Vienna) was seeded Feb 19 and set out into the greenhouse bed March 13, part of the first set of brassicas. It’s fellow traveler, a Grand Duke kohlrabi, was picked a week ago. I seeded Dragon Langerie bush beans around the kohlrabi a few days ago, so its removal today is timely. My strategy for bush beans has evolved to using them as space fillers. Some plantings will go into the brassica bed later in the summer, but I’ll try to spot them into different beds to keep the bean beetle guessing.
The later sets of brassicas went into the trapezoidal bed. The second set is close behind the first set. Spaces are opening up in this bed as plants come out, making room for the next set in a week or so. The first broccoli (Major) is starting to head up. This is the first time for this variety, and I like it’s compact growth. De Cicco, Gypsy, and a variety from Lowe’s were varieties I’ve grown in the past. They all got about two feet tall and were a space hog for the yield you get. Major looks to get about a foot tall so it doesn’t have to go on the north side of the bed, and it can be spaced a little closer (20/20 hindsight). The broccoli seedlings growing under the lights now are Gypsy, a more heat tolerant variety for the summer. The sugar snap peas on one side of the bed seem to get along well with the cole crops.
Potatoes are now growing like gangbusters. There are four Red Pontiacs in each cage, and two Yukon Golds in front of each cage – 18 plants altogether, which cost me $1.87. That’s a Sunburst pattypan aquash at the end of the bed. Besides their striking appearance, they are very good when sliced longitudinally, slathered in olive oil and some herbs and grilled.
The parsnips, six rows of them, are progressing. They’ll need to be thinned soon to 3-4 inches apart. That’s a mole hole in the bottom left corner. Parsnips aren’t much trouble, although last summer they did get an infestation of caterpillars, nothing that Bt can’t take care of – that is if they are inspected regularly.
I still haven’t planted tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra and winter squash even though there’s about a 10% chance that this area will get another frost this spring. There’s two reasons. One is that I haven’t put the compost into their beds because the remaining compost is not ready. The leaf mold in the compost bin finally became a hot pile a few days ago and it’s settling fast. In a few more days it should be ready. Second reason: This area is going through a cool spell this week, a repeat of last May. And last May the peppers, tomatoes and eggplant went through a week of 40 degree nights and they didn’t like it much. Especially the eggplant, which was permanently traumatized. By the time it was replanted in June it was so far behind that it was an easy target for flea beetles and other pests. So this year I’ll wait it out.