Vegetable garden update

Vegetable garden

Definitely knee-high by the 4th of July!

I think it’s time for another update of how my veggie garden is coming along. Most crops are doing great while a few are being a bit sluggish. And can you believe all of the rain we’ve been getting lately?! Moisture is always a good thing but I think the plants would like some nice sunny days for a while now.

What’s doing great:

Vegetable garden
Cabbage plants are forming heads
    • Artichokes – These guys took a while to get going but suddenly are taller and the plants are quite stout with larger, prickly leaves. I’m watching for any signs of stink bugs which were a problem last year.
    • Cabbage – The plants are starting to form heads. The tulle (bridal veil fabric – see above photo) is still working really well at keeping out cabbage butterflies and aphids, plus I can keep an eye on the bed better than by using floating row cover.
    • Carrots and parsnips – The plants are doing great, lots of foliage. I actually picked one of the carrots a few days ago — it was about 1/2″ in diameter and 10″ long. Very sweet and tasty.
    • Celery – Plants are getting kind of bushy, with lots of developing stalks. We should be able to start harvesting some of the stalks within the next couple of weeks.
    • Corn – it’s a little taller than “knee-high by the 4th of July,” which is terrific. No problems whatsoever. I’ll soon put some stakes at the corners of the bed and run twine around the edges to give the plants some extra protection when it’s windy.
    • Fava beans – Mama mia! They are producing pods like crazy, which I won’t harvest until they’re particularly large and “lumpy.” Will keep you posted on those.
    • Leeks – The plants are finally getting going, with about 1/4″ thick stalks and are maybe 10″ tall. As they grow, I’m slowly filling in the trench with soil around the bases of the plants, which will blanch (turn white) the lower half of each stalk.
    • Lettuce and arugula – We’ve been harvesting both for a few weeks now and really enjoying it. I’ve noticed that the arugula is trying to go to seed so have been pinching off the flower stalks. I believe this crop prefers to grow during cooler weather so will grow some this fall and see how it does.
    • Onions – All of the plants are growing well and we’ve been harvesting some as scallions, which has been a treat.
    • Potatoes – Lots of foliage so far, hopefully lots of potatoes developing underneath!
    • Tomatoes – Almost all of the tomato plants have really hit their stride. Most plants have tomatoes developing on them and some are just starting to turn color. We even have our first ripe ‘Sungold’ cherry tomato on the vine! You should see how many paste tomatoes are growing already on the ‘San Marzano’ and ‘Italian Pompeii’ plants. Can you say homemade sauce and catsup? Mm-mmm.
Vegetable garden
Fava beans
  • Winter squash, pumpkins and melons – all of the plants are growing beautifully. Looks like we should have plenty of squash and pumpkins to get us through next winter! I initially struggled with spotty germination but now the plants are making up for lost time. One new variety this year is ‘Cream of the Crop’ which is a white acorn squash that grows as a bush; you can either harvest it young as a summer squash or let it mature as a winter squash. Those plants are the largest (see foreground of squash photo at bottom).
Vegetable garden
Squash bed doing great!

What’s doing so-so:

  • Pole beans – I mentioned in my last update that I had an odd problem with germination, so that really threw me off my schedule. Now the plants are climbing the arbor but still seem like they’re taking their time. Hopefully they’ll kick it into high-gear very soon. I should also mention that the ‘Scarlet Runner’ beans are starting to bloom.
  • Bush beans – These also took a long time to germinate and the plants are growing slowly.
  • Okra – This is my first year for growing these. There are a couple of developing okra on the plants but the plants themselves are growing verrrry slowly. Not sure what the problem is.
  • Straw bale garden – The plants in my 2 straw bales (tomatillos, peppers and cucumbers) are growing quite slowly, which is a bit of a disappointment. I’m hoping they’ll perk up soon.