Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kitchen Garden: On a Good Start



Fig. 1    Colorful chards.
 
Many times in the past I was deceived by our spring weather.  It would start to get dry and warm by March and I've interpreted those  as a signal to plant warm-season vegetables.  Then we would get a sudden cold temperature damaging young plants.  This year however, has been mild that I was able to grow cool-season crops before it got too warm.  The temperature is staying consistently pleasant and gradually increasing.  The weather has been very favorable for starting new plants - both annuals and perennials.  As I write this post, the temperature outside is close to 80 degrees F - the warmest day of the season (in our area), so far. 
Here is a list of the vegetables and herbs that are currently growing in my garden:
 
Lettuce
Swiss Chard 
Arugula
Tomato
Cucumber
Raddish 
Potato
Jalapeno Pepper
Japanese Eggplant
Zucchini
Strawberry
Rhubarb (new this year)
Onions
Chives
Garlic Chives,
Cilantro
Basil
Italian Parsley

Fig. 2   Swiss chard 'Rainbow' (Beta vulgaris)
This is my first time planting 'Rainbow' Swiss chard in my garden and I am glad I did.  They are very healthy and colorful (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2).  They are very nutritious and yet they look so ornamental.


Fig. 3     Arugula (Eruca sativa)

I have a pomegranate tree growing in a large pot (Fig. 3) and I thought of planting a fast growing annual crop with it.  The tree was still leafless at the time of sowing; now its leaves provides a slight shade for the arugula.   This arrangement works really well that it will surely be repeated next year.  I did the same thing last fall when I planted bok choy with a Ficus tree.   

  
Fig. 4    Lettuce (Lactuca sativa 'Red Sails' and 'Black-Seeded Simpson')

I planted two varieties of lettuce namely, 'Red Sails' and 'Black-Seeded Simpson'.  Both varieties have similar growth habits (Fig.4); the leaves are crumpled with edges that are frilly.  'Black-Seeded Simpson' has bright and almost-neon green leaves.  'Red Sails' is an award winning variety with glossy red-purplish leaves.  It is fast maturing (45 days) and resistant to bolting or flowering which allows for a prolonged season of great tasting lettuce.

Basil are just emerging with their first set leaves, pole beans seeds were planted last week. 

Fig. 5    Easter Sunday: Kids invaded the vegetable garden in search of eggs.

It's that time again when plant parts that we consider food begin to find their way to the kitchen. 

5 comments:

dona said...

Hi Helen, I see you are growing a full vegetable collection! Your Rainbow Swiss chard is really nice.

One said...

This is the first time I notice you have that many vegetable beds. I envy you. I recenlty bought many big pots to grow vegetable so that my dogs stop trampling over them.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

I used to be a big vegetable gardener and then the deer came. We finally have a deer fence so I am slowly increasing what I grow. Your photos have inspired me to do more.

HolleyGarden said...

Very nice looking vegetables - great looking beds! Cute pic on Easter egg hunting. I agree it's hard to figure out the exact right time to start vegetables - the weather is so risky.

jaya said...

just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

Kitchen Garden

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