Posts tagged ‘arugula’
Tomato season is upon us at last! Those really red & ripe ones are sooo delicious. The Early Girl variety I tried for the first time this year did start ripening first, but only by a couple of days, so now I have Amish Paste, Marinara and Early Girl’s coming fast but not too furious as yet. We had some sautéed in butter for breakfast at the weekend – exquisite! I made a Kale frittata to use up some of the kale and leftover potatoes – that was pretty good, I haven’t mastered that kale cooking quite yet – but it is extremely good for you and very easy to grow, it is a must!
The peaches are ripening up nicely – unfortunately they are covered in bacterial spot and the stones don’t look too good – not sure if that is disease or insects, however we tried a couple of unripe ones the other day (after grilling) and they were super sweet – so I think they will be OK to eat – just not that great for snacking on prior to surgery! A quick internet search revealed that peaches do not ripen off the tree, so more patience is required. My twin sister is leaving to go back to the UK next week though, so hopefully they will be ready before that.
I sowed most of my fall/winter vegetables late last week – turnips, swede (rutabaga), arugula, kale, spring onions, beets and romaine lettuce (I keep trying to sow lettuce throughout the summer but I’m not having much luck so far – I even refrigerated some of the seed but it still refused to germinate). My brassicae (cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli & cauliflower) seedlings are looking a bit pathetic – they are in the cold frame, I’m not sure whether their poor state is due to the heat or the fact that I have them shaded too much or could be due to something else entirely. Who knows. Maybe I will uncover them and see what happens – I may end up buying some seedlings otherwise.
I am in the process of building a new raised bed near to my deck – I am planning to put overwintering vegetables in it, so I’d better get on and finish it soon so I can sow them in time! I am using concrete blocks to frame it out and will cover it with both row cover and plastic to see if I can get the temperature to stay near freezing in the middle of winter. It is an experiment worth doing I think – lettuce in the middle of winter would be rather nice don’t you think? I am also getting my winter storage sorted out – I am having someone dig me a hole big enough to bury a galvanised trash can to store root vegetables in – another experiment! Stay tuned for exciting results (hopefully not too mushy!).
It is raining tonight, which is good – I have been watering the last few days – it always pains me to use our precious treated tap water for the garden, I do have rain barrels set up but they don’t capture enough for the whole garden. Must do something about that…
Today I did some more sowing of seeds – both in the cold frame and in some newspaper pots to put under shop lights in the basement. I sowed marigolds (I’m trying a 60 day variety to see if they will actually flower in time to help out my early veggies), parsley and beets in newspaper pots. I decided not to heat the seeds in the basement to see if it makes a difference – I normally use Christmas lights under the trays – I’m too cheap to spend the $40 on a heating mat (so far).
In the cold frame I sowed some lettuce, leeks and parsley. The soil temperature has reached 50F, so hopefully some of the seeds I sowed earlier will start germinating now too. (Still only the arugula showing any signs of life.)
Exciting news from the cold frame. I checked it yesterday – gave it a bit of water and guess what – there were three little Arugula seedlings poking their little leaves up through the soil! The soil temperature has dropped to around 40F, so I’m not sure there is going to be much action with the other seeds – but we will see – nature is just one miracle after another!
The cosmos seedlings were floundering in the south-facing window, so I bit the bullet and put them under the lights in the basement – amazing what a bit of light from above can do – they are much happier now!
I’m afraid to report that the sweet potato slips are not doing very well – I keep changing the water and even turned one upside down to see if would make a difference, but I’m not holding out much hope for these. I did order some, so I fear that will have to be it for this year..
OK, so today was the big day.. I actually sowed some seeds in the cold frame – kale, arugula, mache, spring onions, beets and carrots. I am a bit worried about the fact that I filled a lot of the “head space” with growing medium – but I figure, by the time they are that tall, it will be time to take off the lid anyhow (hopefully!).
I was checking out the temperature inside the cold frame and of the soil itself – it was 30F outside today (with a nasty cold wind), but once the sun came out it was 80F inside the frame! (It probably would have got even hotter, but the automatic opener had done its job and was ventilating the frame – cool!). The soil is 50F – just warm enough to germinate those seeds I sowed today – but with a 65F day on the way, I think this is likely to rise (at least temporarily – it is not spring yet!).