A couple of days in the high 80’s and my garden (and this gardener) are wilting in the sun!
Not this bad, but my sugar snap peas are complaining, and the San Marzano tomatoes that are waiting for the space currently occupied by the sugar snap peas are complaining and my tomatoes in Walls of Water have outgrown their protection, which they no longer need. Gardener, get to work!
I will always be a vegetable gardener. I still get a thrill from being able to go out into my garden and pick a salad for lunch. I am able to do that about eight months of the year and I would like to up that as I know there are gardeners on the Pacific Northwest who are able to do year round harvesting. Every year is different in some way. This is the first year I have has a good crop of radishes that the slugs did not find. In my hopeful sort of way, I put down a few radish seeds every spring thinking they will be my trap crop to be sacrificed the slugs but not this year.
My big success this so far this year has been sugar snap peas. I planted two varieties, the early Super Sugar Snap that I began harvesting today and the slightly later Cascadia which is blooming now.
My struggle this year is with cucumber seeds/transplants. I started way too early and the first transplants were ok for about three days in the ground, then died. Next I tried direct seeding and that was a bust! Today I went back to indoor lights and heat mat with germinating mix. Seeds are cheap. I hope the third time is a charm.
I love growing in my raised bed veggie gardens and sometimes the slugs love my veggies too. The smaller the starts, the easier they are to be destroyed. So last fall I found some copper tape on clearance and figured out that the roll contained just enough to encircle two plastic “flower boxes” and enough to surround the drainage holes on the bottom. This has been very successful! I have basil and a few lettuce plants that are growing in this prime real estate. When I want a few lettuce leaves to put on a sandwich, I do not want Swiss cheese lettuce.
These plants will be ready for April planting outdoors. I can’t wait!
So much of what I do feels like trial and error. I harvested the last of my butternut squash and hope I prepared it well for storage. After cutting from the vine I washed them and let them dry overnight. Hesitantly I made a weak bleach and water solution and I dipped them in briefly and dried the off. I wanted to kill any remaining mold or fungus spores but I was concerned about food safety since these were grown organically. As I write this I realized that vinegar might have been a better choice. I made shelf space available for a few months storage. The shelves will allow air flow and the squash are not touching one another. I hope this is successful 🙂
I’m almost starting to feel like a food blogger, but just realized that the last part of being a veggie gardener is the harvest 🙂 My butternut squash plants were purchased from the garden club plant sale. Thanks Mary Ann! The little $1.00 plant has given me 8 good-sized squash. Some will be stored for later use, but I am roasting one today. Simple, recipe with my comments below.
400* F oven roast for 30 to 45 minutes turning cubes every 15 minutes
1 butternut squash, cut in half, seeded and peeled and cut in one inch cubes. The potato peeler worked well, being only slightly more difficult than peeling a potato.
I put the cubes in a bowl sprinkled on some olive oil, salt and pepper and massaged the squash before putting it on the foil lined tray.
You can see that I got tired of peeling and chopping when I got to the bowl part of the squash so I massaged open squash with olive oil and the sprinkled a bit of cinnamon for a different taste.
What did you do with your harvested squash?
There will be one more week of The Fair, but I will not be attending or taking roses next week. Driving the distance, the entry fees and parking would just be too much. I did have fun for two weeks however. So today I decided to celebrate and have dessert for lunch.
Fisher strawberry shortcake for lunch!
There were lots of cute displays by junior exhibitors.