Monday, July 18, 2016

Harvest Monday - July 18, 2016

It's interesting how so many garden bloggers have been mentioning the weather lately - too hot, too wet, too dry, or some combination thereof, and I'll chime in with it's been too foggy and cool (dry is the norm here in the summer so I can't really complain about that).

Fog Foggy Fog!

The marine layer (the layer of cold air that sits over the water along the coast) is about 2000 feet thick at the moment and the fog that it generates gets sucked inland at the end of the day. The ridge across the valley is about 1800 feet high so the fog comes rolling over the ridge (the coast is only a few miles away as the crow flies) and sucked up the valley at the same time. During the day the fog gets pushed back to the coast which is only 10 miles down the valley and we have a persistent breeze from the coast that keeps things cool. The high temperatures for the past week have been from the low to mid 70ºF's for a few hours in the afternoon and down to the mid to low 50ºF's at night and well into the morning. The summer veggies have responded by slowing down.

Bush Snap Beans

Fortunately the bush snap beans aren't too sensitive to the chill, but that is the last big harvest from the spring sown beans. I think they have done quite well, I've harvested over 9 pounds of beans from about 20 plants.

Green Fingers Cucumber and Mouse Melons

The cucumbers on the other hand have been slow to produce. I noticed the date on the tag the other day and couldn't believe that I sowed the seeds on March 23 - 4 months ago! I've harvested just over 2 pounds of the Green Fingers cucumbers and the Gagon plants haven't produced one single fruit yet.

Pink Plume Celery

It's a good thing I took a chance on spring sown celery, it's quite happy with the cool weather. I've been harvesting 3 to 6 stalks every few days and the plants just keep getting bigger.

I'm not sure if it's the more consistent (cool) weather or if the new varieties of onions I'm trying are more bolt resistant, but there seems to be less of a problem with bolting onions this year. Although, as I mentioned in a previous post, two of the yellow onion varieties I'm trying are not very resistant. Those two onions above were bolting, but at least they had started to bulb and there was lots of good onion to use, even the greens were still good.

Even the usually hyper-productive Romanesco zucchini is slow to produce lately, just 2 zucchinis in the past week. The little Mouse Melons are coming in now, I've really been enjoying their crisp texture and slightly tart cucumber flavor in salads. The strawberry plants that I have growing in pots are doing ok, the biggest problem is having to share with the critters - sow bugs, birds, and rats, and maybe the Damn Rabbit too. There aren't very many beans left on the plants after that harvest shown above and the pole beans are just starting to climb their trellis, so there will be a gap in the bean harvests for a while.

And of course more celery, eat what's producing!

Here's the details of the harvests for the past week:

Red Swan beans - 5.9 oz.
Roc d'Or beans - 8.3 oz.
Rolande Filet beans - 1.7 lb.
Royalty Purple Pod beans - 5.2 oz.
Slenderette beans - 3.7 oz.
Capers - 6.1 oz.
Pink Plume celery - 2.1 lb.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 9 oz.
Mouse Melons - 5.7 oz.
Ramata di Milano onion - 1.3 lb.
Rossa Savonese onion - 1.2 lb.
Romanesco zucchini - 1.2 lb.

Total harvests for the past week - 10.2 pounds (4.6 kg.)
2016 YTD - 369.2 pounds (167.5 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave on his blog Our Happy Acres, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

P.S. Don't forget a warm sweater if you are visiting coastal California in the summer!


  1. As a transplant New Englander (45 years but will never be a "native"), I would love 70 degree days and 50 degree nights. The difference is you never get the 0 degree days and -20 nights, so you can grow Mediterranean climate plants. With those temps do you have problems with bean seeds, which hate cold temps, or do you pre-sprout them?

    1. I almost always start beans in paper pots and when I don't I regret it. This year I direct sowed one variety of beans and lost nearly 1/3 of them, some to rot and others to sowbugs. The larger seedlings seem to tolerate more chewing from the sowbugs.

  2. So nice to discover your blog through Harvest Monday. Your region feels like a place I could live. We've come to Asilomar annually for a scientific conference for many years. We enjoy jaunts into Carmel Valley. I get the fog. I live two blocks from the ocean in San Diego and in the summer often consider if I should only be growing celery and artichokes. I'll be checking back with your blog!

  3. You would have felt at home here this morning, Michelle. We had fog! My cucumbers are having a bad year - one was destroyed by heavy rain, and two others have just died for no obvious reason. I'm hoping the Cucamelons / Mouse Melons will compensate! I love your "mixed basket" photos - the veg looks so appetising. For some reason they look better en masse than separately, I think.

  4. I will agree with the other posters here and say I would love your climate. I actually believe I have my wife convinced to move there in our later years, or earlier! NC is nice but our summers are brutal with the heat and daily downpours!
    You have quite the variety of plantings, more so than what we grow. It's so great to see what everyone is growing.

  5. The only fog we are getting here is in the morning when the windows fog up because it's near 100% humidity outside! Your garden is amazingly productive, despite the current cool temps. You have obviously learned to deal with the climate well. Those mouse melons are so pretty. They almost look like a striped mini watermelon, but the Green Fingers cuke puts their size in perspective.

  6. I remember when I visited coastal CA in August, which in the southeast is a time of 95+ degree days, oppressive humidity and we're lucky to get down to the 70's at night. I go to CA and discover 70 degree days and think to myself, why don't I live here? And now that I've learned that you have lizards that kill Lyme disease and don't have squash vine borers, I am thinking perhaps we can pick up and move all the way across the country!! Although I'm an odd person that prefers hot and humid to hot and dry. I also went to New Mexico in August one year and felt that I was going to melt into a puddle and that no amount of water would quench my thirst. Our weather here has seemed pretty normal this summer with afternoon thunderstorms and good ole heat and humidity!

  7. We are lucky thar we only have slugs to share our strawberries with - we net our berries as if we didn't the birds would move in.

  8. Gardeners sure love to lament the weather! Apparently more so for me and Margaret as I'd read not long ago that Canadians talk twice as much about the weather on average than other countries!!

    I haven't had any mouse melons yet, thinking that putting them in hanging containers isn't working out. Darn. Glad you are liking them, though.

  9. The small planting of beans did really well, and it's good you were able to harvest some of the strawberries. Sharing with critters is the worse.

  10. Hi,
    Have you seen an increase in rodent activity this year? Over here we've seen a lot more mice and possibly rats gnawing on various veggies and plants. A clerk at the Mid Valley hardware store said they were having a problem keeping rat traps in stock. They sold out as soon as they came in.
    As ever, you garden turns me green with envy.

    Ed Morrow
    Carmel Valley

    1. Hi Ed, There are definitely more rodents this year and I wouldn't be surprised to see more of them as summer and fall progress and the supply of food in the natural landscape runs out. That was my experience in 2011 when Zeke and I caught nearly 100 of them from the end of July through the end of the year. I've already trapped at least 10 of them in the past few weeks, bleah.


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