Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Garden Share Collective - September 2014

It's time for the monthly garden share collective hosted by Lizzie at Strayed from the Table. Every month we report on what we are planting, harvesting, and devise a to-do list for the coming month.

Here's the planting and sowing that I accomplished in August:

Australian Butter beans and Emerite filet beans, both started in paper pots on August 1 and set out about a week later into Bed #2, seen in the foreground below:

These were the third and final succession of snap beans for the year and a bit of a gamble, if we have our usual warm and mild autumn I could be harvesting snap beans from these plants in October.

Also sown on August 1 were celeriac, celery, and two varieties of amaranth. These were sown into 4-inch pots to be separated and set out into the garden. The amaranth is ready, nearly past ready to be set out, but once I get it in the ground it should take off and provide me with greens until cold weather sets in. The celeriac and celery are poking along and are nowhere near large enough to go into the garden. I started both of these late, they should be into the garden by now and it's iffy if they will ever amount to anything this year.

I've been attempting to get carrots growing in Bed #1, but 99% of my first sowing was obliterated by sowbugs and the second sowing has yet to germinate.

Also in Bed #1 is a second round of Fagiolo del Purgatorio, seen below in a protective micromesh tunnel.

These have been challenging to get going also, if it's not the sowbugs munching the stems it's birds or perhaps rats devouring the leaves. I'm not sure that these will recover and grow quickly enough to produce a crop. The trellis behind is covered with the senescent Tarbais beans. I've been harvesting the pods as they dry and now there's just a few pods left on the vines. I've already shelled enough beans to fill a quart jar and then some, and there's more dry pods that I have to get through. I'm really happy with the production of this variety this year.

Other new plantings include my fall/overwintering brassicas. I put in 4 Romanesco broccoli and 2 Tronchuda Beira along the back side of Bed #2 just this past Saturday.

And the Amazing Taste Cauliflower seen in the foreground below were planted out on Friday. I put off setting out the brassica seedlings as long as I possibly could because I'm concerned about exposing the young seedlings to the nasty Bagrada Bugs that have shown up for the first time in my garden. The bugs prefer to feed on anything in the brassica family and young seedlings in particular.

Also set out but not photographed were seedlings of Lacinato kale, also into Bed #2, but I'm fibbing a bit, they were actually set out on September 1.

Over in Bed #3, there's new plantings of lettuce, seen on the left, the larger plants are Kagraner Sommer butterhead and the little ones on the right are (actually center) are Sweetie Baby romaine. The dark green leafy vegetables are Te Yu gai lan, not quite ready to harvest, and on the far right are beets that really should have been harvested weeks ago...

In the corner of this bed are some new cucumber plants, Green Fingers Persian, which I started because I thought the other cucumbers in the garden were going into a swift decline. I'm of two minds about keeping these new plants since the others seem to be getting a second wind, but I really like this variety.

That pretty much covers the planting activity for August, here's the details:


August 1:
Monarch celeriac
Dorato D'Asti celery
Tender Leaf amaranth
Thai Tender amaranth
Australian Butter beans
Emerite filet beans

August 7:
Jericho romaine lettuce
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers
Rotild carrots
Deep Purple carrots
Lunar White carrots
Amarillo Yellow carrots
Muscade carrots
Fagiolo del Purgatorio (Purgatory beans)

All of the carrots were resown, um, I forgot, last week sometime

Planted out in August from July 19 sowings:
Tronchuda Beira Portuguese cabbage
Romanesco broccoli
Amazing Taste cauliflower
Lacinato kale

Harvesting in August:
Arugula, Speedy - 3.2 lb. (1.4 kg.)
Snap beans, Golden Gate, Musica, Royal Burgundy, Slenderette - 15.1 lb. (6.8 kg)
Dry beans, Black Coco, Rosso di Lucca - 2.5 lb. (1.1 kg.)
Broccoli, Di Ciccio - 9.5 lb. (4.3 kg.)
Napa Cabbage, Tokyo Bekana - 2.3 lb. (1 kg.)
Cauliflower, Amazing Taste - 7.3 lb. (3.3 kg.)
Cucumbers, Garden Oasis, Tasty Treat - 11 lb. (5 kg.)
Eggplant, Bonica, Salangana - 15.1 lb. (6.8 kg.)
Gai Lan, Green Lance - 1.1 lb. (.5 kg.)
Garlic, Spanish Roja - 4.6 lb. (2.1 kg.)
Kale, Baby Portuguese Dairyman's - 1.1 lb. (.5 kg.)
Mizuna, Ruby Streaks - .7 lb. (.3 kg.)
Onions, Candy, Red Candy Apple, Superstar - 10.9 lb. (4.9 kg.)
Pac Choi, Purple - .9 lb. (.4 kg.)
Peppers, Padron, Sonora - 8.2 lb. (3.7 kg.)
Tomatoes, Amish Paste, Black Krim, Isis Candy, Jaune Flamme, Sweet Gold - 21.6 lb. (9.8 kg.)
Zucchini, Romanesco, Tromba D'Albenga - 38 lb. (17.2 kg.)

Total August harvests - 152.9 pounds (69.4 kg), making it the most productive month of the year so far. You can see details of my harvests on my weekly Harvest Monday posts, a blog hop hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions. You can find links to my weekly posts on my side bar.

Not included in the harvest tally is Cascade Ruby Gold flint corn. Here's the patch to the left of the Purgatory beans. There's just a few stalks left, most of the ears have been cut and are finishing drying indoors.

My to-do list for September includes:
- Planting out the amaranth, celery, and celeriac seedlings.
- Starting snap and snow peas to be set out when the last of the Cascade Ruby Gold corn is cut.
- Find a spot to sow radishes and fennel
- Sow spinach and chard seeds to be set out in October (hopefully where the melons are)
- Preserving tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers
- Get my annual planting plan worked up, the project that I didn't get around to last month


  1. Michelle, you have such an amazing garden. Here in SoCal, we had bad Bagrada Bugs the first year, but they haven't been an issue for me this year.

  2. I wish I had some of that zucchini bounty. I would have traded a quarter - maybe a half - of my cucumbers in for zucchini if I could. Next year I'm not growing so many cucumbers. And I think I might be trying new varieties too. I love pickles, but I want a change. I'll have to put the Persian on the list of things I might try.

  3. You have so many varieties and they sound so exotic! I need to branch out from some of my generic types and get something more interesting, I think. But I'll have to do a lot of research - I don't imagine just anything grows in our shorter season here in Eastern Canada. Lovely garden space!

  4. How do you use amaranth (the green bits)? Salads, steamed or stirfried? Your garden looks incredible and what a great harvest month you have had. I too have struggled with rodents in the veggie garden recently.

    1. I like the leaves stirfried, just simply with some garlic and perhaps some fish sauce. They're a bit coarse for salads for my taste but the young leaves can be used that way.

  5. You have some really unusual varieties there, Michelle - at least, from my perspective. Lots of ones I have not heard of. I like your "garden hardware" too. Things like that make a big difference to the output of a veg plot.

  6. I'm always amazed by the amount of variety you have growing in your garden. Mine pales in comparison. Sometimes I feel like I need to branch out and try new things. Maybe I'll try growing Romanesco broccoli next year (though if it's anything like growing cauliflower, I might be in trouble).

  7. Wonderful overview of your garden for last month. I so enjoy "taking a walk" through other peoples gardens. You have been so busy in the garden - I'm glad to see that you have recovered from your surgery and it's business as usual once again.


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