Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Stronger Every Day: Spring Veggie Update

This probably should have been two posts, but I haven't said much here about the vegetables we're starting, and I have a lot to catch up on. The school greenhouse is packed!

Parsley and dill need a bit more time in here, but I'm hoping to get this broccoli in the ground within the next few days. 

Earlier this week, I started some squash: "Goldy" Summer Squash, "Cashflow" Zucchini, "Black" Zucchini, "Delicata", "Sweet Dumpling", and a Pumpkin Mix. 

This is my first time starting onions from seed. I did both "Cippolini" and Red ones. Before planting in the ground, the greens are supposed to be cut down to just 3 inches.
There are "American Slicing" and "Japanese Long" cucumbers.  I started both "Sungold" cherry and "Brandywine" Tomatoes, and I think they were planted to early.  They're outgrowing their pots, hogging up lots of space, turning yellow and some are even flowering already. 

This is the red okra - looking good.  It's about to flower -- I hope my flowers look like Bangchik's eventually.
Another first: Savoy cabbage.  E. planted all of these in the ground the day before the frost warning this past week.  I put a fabric cover over them.  They seem to be okay.

I put the sugar snap peas back up on the deck. There are a few Tuscan kale seedlings in there with them.

Now here's a challenge: Summer Iceberg Lettuce.  This is being grown at the request of the S. man, who likes his lettuce with crunch.  I like a thick chunk of iceberg with some homemade dressing as much as the next person, but I think we are a very long way from a wedge.  I hope I didn't try to harden these off too early.  They look a bit leggy and pathetic.

Quite a few of the herbs in the raised bottle bed came back - and all the bottle survived the winter intact!
One disappointment though was my favorite: lemon thyme.  I thought it would make a stronger showing than this by now.
Garlic seems very happy.

I planted swiss chard, spinach, red romaine and radishes in bed #1 - I was inspired by the formations done in the beds at the NYBG "Edible Garden" exhibit last year.  I used a bamboo pole to guide a criss-cross sow.

Got ourselves one of those tiered strawberry beds.  I foraged some wild Alpine strawberries for this bed, too. 

 Arugula came back up without any help from me!

Here are some nice trays hardening off at school.  The second graders planted these!

Have you planted any veggies yet?

My "Mad Men" avatar. You can have one, too!


TALON said...

I love your Mad Men avatar! So neat!

You have such a lovely variety planted. The school greenhouse so full looks great.

We don't have a lot of space for for veggies. Just too much shade, but we'll plant out tomatoes and some greens in May and I always have my herbs in pots so I can shift them around. I rely heavily on my local farmer's market.

Ronda Laveen said...

Cool avatar! Wow! You have so much started. You will have a wonderful garden and that is why I haven't planted any yet. I know you'll need to pass some of those lovelies around.

Maybe the lemon thyme will come back yet. It usually does well unless the plant is quite old. Which reminds me, last week at my meditation group, Susan brought this really great cracker dip.

Softened cream cheese kind of stirred with fresh, minced garlic and swirled on a small plate. A drizzle of olive oil, topped with a splash of chopped lemon thyme, flat leaf parsley and chives. Heavenly and addictive.

sam said...

My thyme didn't make it through the winter, either. But the sage is huge, and I have mint already, and the oregano is coming back. We have more sun this year due to a couple of trees in the neighbor's yard being removed, so I'm hoping the garden does better. Our very nice neighbor came over the other day and rototilled the whole thing! Now I need to actually plant something... hoping to buy plants this weekend but probably won't get them in the ground for another week. Very windy here - not good weather for seedlings.

AshKuku said...

Lovely green house.. I was just mesmerized by the greenery..... Lovely...very adorable.... I was just drooling at the very word Dil leaves..... How much I love them in my diet...... God Bless you!!!!!


JGH said...

Talon, great idea to put the herbs in pots. I'm going to do that with some of my favorites this year I think. Then some can be up on the deck near where I cook. Another advantage is that you can bring them inside over the winter. Mine don't always make it the whole season, but at least it extends availability for a few more weeks.

Ronda, thanks for the recipe! Sounds easy, so even I can do it! It sounds like the herbs are just sprinkled on top and you could mix in whatever you have available or that you like - rosemary would be nice too, I think.

Sam, an extra few feet or hours of sun is such a gift. I noticed today that one of the trees in my backyard is shadily creeping -- more than it did last year. Hope you get some shopping/planting time soon!

Ash, wish I could send you some dill. I'm sure I'll be back to your blog looking for recipes so that I can cook these herbs!

Joanne said...

Hm, I'm not sure about that iceberg lettuce :/ We plant lettuce too, but usually it has a little more heft than yours. We're just getting the soil in the garden ready now for planting in a couple more weeks ... but we buy all seedlings already started from a local farmer's greenhouse. Jet Star tomatoes, a couple different lettuces, eggplant, sometimes a couple zucchini, but it tends to spread and take up too much room in our small garden.

nesting melly said...

beautiful start to your gardens. i can just imagine what it will look like in a few months. we don't have much space for a veggie garden. for a few years we had a plot at the community garden in nyack but we didn't get in this year after taking a year off :( i'd like to just put together one small wooden box/container garden like those in your first photo. i am wondering if you used special wood (untreated?) or soil? and i am assuming there is no bottom?

patti said...

I am SOOOO jealous. Writing and life have kept me from planting ONE thing in our church plot though our pastor has tilled the ground and it is READY!!!

Lord willing, Sunday will be THE DAY.

Hey, if you have time, stop by my place today. I posted late but really want to share a poem by Mary Oliver called, "Lead" in light of the Gulf oil spill.

On a brighter note, Happy Weekend!


dennis said...

Dennis thinks it looks like a lot of work.

garden girl said...

Love your raised beds! (I'm jealous of how much space you have! :)

That greenhouse is awesome. Gardening with children is so much fun! I usually do a few master gardener projects each year at a couple of local elementary schools. One of the schools has an enclosed courtyard where the gardens are. The school projects are my favorite volunteer opportunities.

tut-tut said...

Impressive; I have had no luck with starting onions from seed. Maybe I've planted them too deep. Onion sets, now they're another matter. would suggest this for small children w/short attention spans. It's almost instant gratification! Love your variety, too. The first time I saw okra in flower, I had no idea what it was! so exotic.

Lorilee said...

Your veggies are looking good. I've seen bottles used to outline flowerbeds at several historical homes. I like the idea.

Lola said...

Your gardens look fantastic. You should have a big result.
Is this the first yr. that you've used the Strawberry thingy? I'm sure interested how it works for you. I've been thinking about purchasing one but I would like to hear of some results before I spend that kind of money.

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

All of your plantings look so wonderful!! Is that greenhouse at Upper Nyack school? You're the second person I know to say their lemon thyme hasn't been doing very well so far this year. Wonder why? Thanks for your comments on my blog. I've been neglecting blogland lately. It's good to be back!! : )

~ Wendy

JGH said...

Hi Joanne- I know what you mean. The zucchini plants grew HUGE last year. I just moved my wood pile to make room for extra squash space.

Mel, I bought a raised bed kit on ebay that I didn't even have to hammer together -it gives you much more control over the soil. I just covered the sod area with newspapers and mulch in the fall and dug it up a little before putting the bed over it in the spring- yes it's bottomless. Have you seen the Earthboxes? They're easy to grow veggies in.

Patti, thanks - I saw the Mary Oliver poem and loved it. The oil spill is so upsetting...what are we doing to this planet??

Aww, Dennis, you'll be grateful when I bring you some catmint ;-)

Tut- I will definitely try the onion sets too. Garlic was a huge success it seems.

Garden girl - I love the school projects too. I'm already getting sad because my son is leaving next year and I won't have an excuse to be there anymore.

Lorilee - I just saw a wall made from bottles on their sides anchored in cement. Lots of creative ways of doing it.

Thanks Lola - I'm hoping the raised strawberry bed will help keep the slugs out. It's really just a metal edgeing cut in 3 different sizes. I'm not even using the automatic waterer thingy so maybe it was a bit of a rip off.

Wendy, this is at Valley Cottage school. Stop by sometime - would love to give you (and baby girl) a tour!

Bangchik said...

I hope your okra will bloom better than mine.... ~bangchik

beth - total mom haircut said...

Oh, that reminds me I have some okra've got so much going on! And my garlic looks like yours, so I'll take that as a good sign since I've never grown it before:)

Stacey said...

Wow, I'm impressed with all the plants you started. I've never tried that as it is pretty much warm enough here to direct seed almost everything. Maybe I need to build a greenhouse as my next project

Sophie said...

Your garlic looks very happy. :-)

Jingle said...

lovely garden plants,
Best wishes!
Happy Saturday!