Vegetable garden update

Vegetable garden
Vegetable garden update: Definitely knee-high by the 4th of July!

It’s time for an update on how my vegetable garden is coming along…

What’s doing great:

  • Fava beans – As you probably saw on my Facebook page, the plants are robust and blooming. Should start seeing pods developing soon. This is my second year of growing Fava beans. Here’s a link to info on growing and harvesting them: First Fava bean harvest.
  • Carrots – It’s been a week since thinning the plants (also the parsnips since they’re in the same bed) and the plants have already doubled in side. They’ll need minimal care from here on out.
  • Cabbage – Omigosh! You would not believe how much they’ve grown since I wrote about planting them on May 20th (note above photo and cropped image). They’re doing great and there isn’t any slug damage to them at all, which is a first. If you read that post, you’ll learn what I’m using to keep the slugs away. Also, using the tulle (bridal veil) fabric as a cover over them is working great. No aphids, no cabbage worms, it “breathes” well for the plants and I can see what’s going on in there. Nifty!

Vegetable garden

  • Swiss chard and beets – Both are doing great, the plants are very robust. You’ll recall I’m keeping that bed covered with floating row cover to keep the adult leaf miner flies from laying eggs on the leaves. That’s working great. We can start picking the leaves now, which we usually steam and serve with butter and either lemon juice or garlic wine vinegar. Mm-mmm.
  • Corn – I had it covered for about 10 days to keep birds from pecking at the small seedlings and just removed the cover a few days ago. They’re now about 8″ tall and should really start growing quickly now.
  • Onions – I planted the onion starts ages ago (see post on March 26) and they are growing very nicely. We’ve even harvested some as scallions already.
  • Celery – The plants are bushing up a bit and look great.
  • Okra – This is a first for me so don’t have any experience to draw on, but the plants are looking good and once they start blooming, I’ll share photos with you because they’re going to be really attractive! And, of course, I’m looking forward to trying some homegrown okra for the first time.

What’s not doing so great:

  • Bush and pole beans – I’m not used to having problems getting bean seeds to germinate but this has been a lousy year for getting them going. I always start them indoors but used a new (to me) seedling mix that seems to have caused problems with germination. The mix is going to be tested soon and if I learn anything interesting, I’ll pass that along. Anyway, I’ve since planted seeds directly outdoors and am hoping the plants will catch up. Fortunately, beans need a relatively short time before they start blooming and producing, so all will be well.

    Vegetable garden

  • Squash and pumpkins – Same problem with the seedling mix so they’re getting off to a slow start. I have them under floating row cover, though, so am hopeful they’ll hit their stride soon, too.
  • Tomatoes – I hate to include them under the “not so great” list and they’re not doing badly but some of them are taking their time hitting their stride. They should start perking up shortly, though.

Straw bale garden update:

  • As you know, I am experimenting with growing veggies in two straw bales (see May 25 post). They are planted with tomatillos, peppers and lemon cucumbers. Everything is growing fine in them so far and should kick it into high gear soon. The interesting thing is that when I planted everything in the bales — something that’s a little “different” and that I’ve never done before — the plants didn’t experience any type of shock or setbacks. They just looked happy in their new homes!