It was another wonderful week of gardening.  I can safely state that the vegetable garden is now fully planted.  Some holes in the pepper patch were filled with seedlings that got a late start thanks to some lack of attention on my part.   I neglected to check the viability dates on a couple of seed packets and was rewarded with total failure.  New seeds were ordered, planted and coaxed along, but I lost a couple of weeks in the process.

Let this be a lesson.  Every Winter, check the dates of issue for all of your seed packets to make sure that the seeds are sill viable.  There are plenty of viability charts available on the Internet and many gardening books contain them as well. I won’t make that mistake again.  I’m reminded of the expression, “There’s no fool like an old fool”.

Garlic Scape Harvest

The biggest news from “Greg’s Garden Party” this week was the harvesting of over 100 garlic scapes.  Because we grow a type of garlic known as “hard neck” garlic, we have the advantage of a double harvest from the garlic patch; scapes in June and garlic in July.  Luckily, scapes will keep well in the fridge for a month which will give us time to research new and interesting ways to use our scapes.  My friend, Vicki Dyer, is also a scape advocate and has promised me a recipe that I can share with you.

This week, we made scape compound butter, fresh pea soup with scapes, a white bean and scape dip  and a premavera with peas, broccoli and scapes.  Noodling around the Net, I found a recipe for savory Japanese pancakes that uses scapes.  Can’t wait to try that.  I also noticed that there are quite a few references for grilled scapes.  Gotta try that.

Garden Maintenance

Weeding, weeding, more weeding.  Plant supports for late plantings of peas, supports for peppers, feeding leaf crops, harvesting, harvesting, harvesting.  All in a gardening weeks’ work.  Our second and third plantings of peas are starting to come into production.   I put up side supports to keep the plants upright.  Nothing special, just using resources that I had hanging around.

PEAS

ROW OF PEAS WITH SUPPORT

Protecting the Glacier Tomatoes

Last year,  I harvested my first “Glacier” tomato on June 8.  It’s June 22 and I have yet to enjoy the first real tomato of the year.  In addition to the cat bird incident reported on this blog recently, we have been visited by a larger, four legged creature who also has an appetite for fresh tomatoes.  I discovered plastic poultry fencing at one of the “Big Box” hardware suppliers.  It is three feet tall, easy to cut and easy to apply.  I just made a surround to  enclose my three plants and attached it with large plastic clothes pins.   I have three tomatoes ripening as I type and I am going to enjoy the heck out of those “bad boys”.

A SIMPLE SOLUTPION

PLASTIC CHICKEN FENCING USED TO PROTECT TOMATOES

GLACIER TOMATO

NEARLY RIPE GLACIER TOMATO

Nurturing the Next Batch of Leaf Crops

This week I transplanted lettuce, cabbage and broccoli seedlings from 3/4″ soil blocks to 2″ soil blocks.  So that we can enjoy these crops over a long season, I start seeds every three weeks or so.  I also pay attention to the recommended season for the seeds I select.  For instance, “Bay Meadows” broccoli is recommended for Summer Planting whereas “Amadeus” broccoli is recommended for Spring and Fall.

Speaking of lettuce, I harvested the last of the “Black Seeded Simpson” lettuce which was started in early Spring.  We now have “Nancy” and  “Truchas” lettuce almost ready for “prime time”.  “Allstar Mix” mesclun direct seeded in May will be ready to harvest next week.

What I Harvested this week

Garlic Scapes

3 Full colanders of Peas

Broccoli

lettuce

Kale for juicing

Asparagus

Tomato Plant Maintenance

Every week, I spend some time pruning and clipping my tomato plants.  Otherwise, they will quickly get out of control.  We don’t allow that here at Greg’s  Garden Party.  Seriously,  a little time spent each week caring for your tomato plants is time well spent.

This past week I also sprayed my tomato plants with “Oxidate” fungicide to prevent early blight.  Next week I will spray with Copper fungicide and continue this alternating strategy right through the season into late September.

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All the best,

Greg  Garnache