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.
22 lbs. for $15.
Peaches did not grow in Minnesota (too cold) and were shipped in from Colorado or California back then. We did not eat many fresh peaches. Now I see peaches readily available and at very reasonable prices. Yesterday I got a 22 lb. box of Freestone peaches for only $15. At Olmsteads fruit stand (and nursery in Poulsbo). I also learned the difference between Cling (which ripen in June/July) and Freestone (which ripen now). This is an important distinction, because I planned to process them for freezing.
Planning ahead before you start is the key to success. For me, it was like setting up stations at school.
Crate of peaches (cut an X at top of each peach. This will help with peeling), water boiling in a large pot (blanch 40 seconds) , large bowl of ice water to stop the blanching and bowls to drain the cooled peaches.
Plastic bag in a pot to contain the mess of waste, skins and seeds. A bowl with Fruit Fresh (dissolved in water as stated on the package), the glass container used to freeze sliced peaches overnight before cutting them in Ziplock freezer bags for storage.
I got all the peaches processed to the end of station one, or to the draining point, before I peeled and cut any.
This has been a very satisfying preservation project that took about 1 1/2 hours to complete. Tomorrow I will transfer the frozen peaches to Ziplock bags for storage.
Mostly success to report about my Spring garden. If you have any questions about what you see, leave a question or comment below. Let’s dialog.
This should be my lesson to NEVER pull a weed without gloves on my hands. If there is one weed we need to learn how to identify, it stinging nettle. OMG! But it was in my prized exhibition mini and miniflora raised bed and I don’t want weeds there. Right. But then… I decided to deadhead roses.
Yes somewhere along the way a bee decided he did not like what I was doing… Enough gardening for today. I am indoors nursing my owies!
Some years things just fall into place. In January I planted the seeds and now near June, they bloom. Success!
‘Denim Blue’ petunia
‘Rose Star’ petunia
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.