Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Vegetable Garden in Late May

It's been almost two weeks since I last posted about the vegetable garden. My, how things have grown! I really like going back and looking at pictures of the garden in different stages of growth so please bear with me when I offer up these photo laden posts.

The photo above shows the Green Beauty and Magnolia Blossom peas starting to reach past the tops of their trellises. The beans and golden beets have about doubled in size. The Dewings beets are poking along and becoming hidden by the bean foliage. The serpent cucumbers are starting to take off at the base of the column. And the parsley patch shown below needs to be thinned.

Above is the pea patch shown from behind. Sweet alyssum "Summer Peaches" are spreading out at the feet of the peas. The bees and other beneficial insects love sweet alyssum.

The Magnolia Blossom snap pea is developing a bit of a purple stripe. Not all the pods have that.

Here's a Green Beauty snow pea. It's about 5 inches long, not quite the 7 to 8 inches described in the yearbook, but still impressive and tasty as well. Perhaps they reach 7 to 8 inches if allowed to fully mature.

This is the Golden Sweet snow pea - a bit smaller. The vines of this plant are shorter as well.

A golden beet growing between the peas and beans. Growing like crazy and starting to become a tasty treat for leaf miners. Cilantro is growing behind the beets. I didn't think the beets would get so big so quickly.

An itsy bitsy teeny weeny Landreth Stringless bean!

Tuscan arugula in full bloom. I liked the flavor of this arugula so I want to save some seeds. The flowers are pretty as you can see below. These cross-shaped flowers demonstrate why this family of plants was named "cruciferous".

Most of the potato pots have been filled with soil. Above are shown "Purple Rose" (top) and "Red Thumb". Below are, from top to bottom, "Negresse", "Lumper", "Ambra", and "Cherries Jubilee". I chose heirloom and rare potato varieties. Why grow potatoes that I can get at the farmer's market?

The "Cocozelle" zucchini has grown huge already and has started to bloom. The "Gigante" kohlrabi is happy also. "Golden Chard" is poking along.

Looks like the zucchini harvest will begin soon...

The peppers are growing, not quickly, but they are doing ok. I took out the "Superaguadulce" favas and have started to put in eggplant. There's a couple of "Thai Round Green Petch Parisa" and a "Lao Purple Stripe" planted. I've got some "Diamond" plants hardening off before I put them out.

Typical morning and evening weather for this time of year - fog. It usually burns off in the valley by mid-morning. The cool nights (and sometimes days) make for slow growing peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes which is why my tomatoes are only as far along as shown below.

Above, the Cavolo Nero kale is growing nicely - they need a final thinning. In the middle of the bed is a Portuguese kale originally from the Azores. On the far side of the bed are newly planted "Piracicaba" broccoli plants. What fun, plants with their origins in Tuscany, the Azores, and Brazil. And nearby, plants from Japan - Senposai (a cross of Komatsuna and cabbage) shown below. And another representative from Italy beyond - di Jesi cauliflower.

The remnants of the winter garden are shown above. Garlic, carrots and Crimson Flowered favas. I'm not concerned about this patch of garlic maturing to full size, they are intended for picking "green".

I've pulled all the "Cosmic Purple" carrots since they had decent sized roots and had a tendency to bolt. There's a few "Atomic Red" left - a number of them bolted as well. The "Lunar White" carrots have been slow to size up and the "Amarillo Yellow" are only a little bigger. I need to pull the carrots and garlic in a few weeks so that I can plant some edamame there.

The Crimson Flowered favas finally have beans to harvest!


  1. I thought about Senposai this year, but instead put in Komatsuna. How do you like it?

    Your garden looks beautiful. I love seeing all the different beds.

  2. It all looks wonderful! I see what you mean now about tomato cages - I've never seen them before. And you have tiny beans - ours are just about to flower. Our peppers are growing very slowly too this year, and we've bought plants in case the ones we've grown from seed don't do well enough. You seem to grow so much and it looks so tidy! I'm envious!

  3. Your garden is so beautiful, a real work of ART!
    Love it!

  4. It looks so beautiful! I love to wander through gardens and your pictures make that almost -- almost -- possible. Gorgeous.

    We like the quail, too.

  5. Your zucchini harvest will begin soon and I have just put out my zucchini seedlings this past week. My how I miss gardening in California....

    Your garden is beautiful this last week of May.

  6. Ooooo! Fantastic!
    You must be about a month ahead of us here in Suffolk, England.
    I've just spotted your list of Cook Books - Mmmmmm! Definitely my sort of thing!


  7. Daphne, I like the Senposai. I haven't tried Komatsuna so I can't compare the two. It's been a while since I've harvested anything from the first planting so I don't remember well enough what it tasted like to describe it - I don't recall a mustard taste though.

    Chaiselongue, I experimented with starting the beans early this year. I've read that bush beans can be started earlier than pole beans. I tried starting them in paper pots and planting them out soon after germination - it seems to have worked. Tomato cages are really popular here. You can buy them but they tend to be too small and flimsy. I make my own from concrete reinforcing mesh.

    Jezibels, thank you!

    Stefaneener, thanks, I love to check out other gardens as well - glad you liked the tour! The quail were inspired by the local bevy (or is it covey?). My steel birds have fooled a few people when seen from a distance :)

    Cynthia, Thank you! It is lovely to garden here, but I bet you don't have to set out all those pesky drip irrigation lines...

    Celia, thank you too! Cook books and veggie plants, my two obsessions. I can list all the vegetables I'm growing but the cook book list is a tiny sample of what's on the shelves. I always like to see what books other cooks have.

    Thanks everyone for the lovely comments. I love it when other gardeners look beyond the hodge podge of my garden - miscellaneous retaining materials and stuff laying around - and compliment the growing things!

  8. That green beauty peapod is huge! You're lucky to have so much space for growing your own produce. Cheers!

  9. Hi! Just came across your blog and had to comment and say that your veg garden is amazing! We started one at the end of last year, had our first pea the day before yesterday, which was very exciting and delicious. I'll keep checking in now to yours - really inspiring!

  10. Hi Michelle. I just love looking at all of your unusual veg varieties! Thanks for sharing. -Jackie

  11. What a stunning veggie patch! I have enjoyed the 'tour' tremendously! Thanks for sharing with us, Kim


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