Friday, May 21, 2010

My First Harvest

After 3 days of rain and a spike in heat this weekend, it was time to harvest the cold weather crops. I didn't want the heat to cause the heads to flower.

Kale, 6 brocolli heads, parsley - You can harvest the outer pieces of parsley and as long as you leave the baby growth in the center of the parsley (the heart), it will keep producing. This is awesome because parsley takes weeks to germinate and then it grows all at once when the heat spikes up. Buying nursery started parsley allows me to use it in recipes for a longer period of time. Truthfully I don't use a lot of parsley in the summer because we're grilling. My mom freezes it, so I'll try that too and reserve my parsley for when I make our special Seafood Sauce.

I read that broccoli is harvested at 4-6". On the plant, the head didn't look that big but once I cut it from the plant, the head was quite large as you see in the supermarket. I took this same picture 5 days ago and you can see the difference in growth in as little as 5 days.

Celery - I'm going to make soup with this! I read that you can havest the outer stalks and leave the center for a longer harvest. I thought the celery was very leafy. I think I was suppose to "blanch" them by burying them in a trench as it grew.

One last look at the garden bed before I harvested my broccoli and kale. I moved things around and planted my tomatoes finally. Broccoli really sucks the nutrients out of the soil, so I'm going to pick up some more organic humus to side dress my tomatoes. I moved my Kale and Eggplant around, because the kale was blocking the sunlight and shadowing my eggplants.

Bright Lights swiss chard - I have gotten a bunch of yellow colored ones so far and 1 red one that didn't make it. I really want to get a pink or fuschia one in the mix to brighten up the garden bed. I'm going to sow some more seeds and see if I can get some pink ones.
Since we are now safely out of danger of frost or really bitter cold weather, I am going to transplant all my squashes, peppers, watermelon and sunflowers. I also need to harvest my spinach and other greens and replace them with my herbs. I'm going to plop some Nasturtium seeds and marigold seeds into the garden bed as well. I'm going to start some more Dill near my cucumbers. I hope they reseed for next year too. The zinnias are doing fantastic! I'm looking forward to this summer!

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