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:
Swiss Chard 
Jalapeno Pepper
Japanese Eggplant
Rhubarb (new this year)
Garlic Chives,
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. 


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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