Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Veggie Notes

I harvested new potatoes from 3 of my buckets last weekend. After a disappointing start, the Red Thumb potatoes came through this time around. Also, I was pleased to find that the All Blues had produced many golf ball sized tubers. Both seem to grow relatively well in pots (though the grand prize would go to the All Blues) so I think I'll give it another go next year but tweak the method a bit. I definitely won't be as heavy-handed when adding more soil to the pots (maybe an inch at a time). They didn't respond well when I raised the soil level by 4 inches all at once. Also, I think I'll skip the straw next year.

Finally, I won't be growing Rose Finn fingerlings in pots next year. The plants grew weak and the tubers were awfully tiny. The ones I have in the ground on the other hand are thriving.

I love cutting into these potatoes. The interior coloring is so striking, particularly in the All Blue. Homegrown potatoes are so delicious; I don' t know if I could ever go back to buying supermarket spuds.

My Florence Fennel have bolted. I'm kicking myself as they looked perfect and large enough to harvest last week. Just goes to show that knowing when to harvest is as important as knowing how to grow a particular veggie.

I'm beginning to understand way wild strawberries are not grown commercially. They generally end up in our bellies before they make it into the kitchen. There's just something about them screams, "Eat me!"

Awful! All of my cauliflower have bolted due to the excessive heat we've had lately. I knew cauliflower was difficult to grow but this is ridiculous. I'm assuming that they are inedible at this point???

I was really looking forward to trying this purple variety. Oh well. Maybe they will do better as a fall crop.

The Piracicaba broccoli on the other hand is still producing many side shoots. I'm trying a different variety this fall but will surely grow this one again next spring.

Earlier this spring, I saved a clump of leeks to divide and plant this summer. Now that space has opened up, these will be moved soon.

Finally, this is a baby Calabash gourd. After it sizes up, it will surely be tasty in a soup.


  1. Thanks for the report on your container grown potatoes. I am still on the fence about potatoes in pots, so I am looking forward to reading about how they did for all of you who grow them this way.

    I suppose you can eat the little cauliflower floretes, why not? Would they turn bitter? Stir fried with a little garlic? If you decide to give it a try, please, report back. In any case, it is indeed a big disappointment to see them bolt...

  2. Looking good over there!

    The small florets of cauli are ideal for using in a piccallili or sweet pickle, so dont just bin them!

  3. I’m guessing that wild strawberries are ones you sowed this spring? If I’m correct, it is incredible how fast they are growing and the fruit that they are producing.
    Does the All Blue potato keep the same color after cooking?

  4. I'm wondering if the coloured potatoes stay that colour when cooked?

  5. Those potatoes look amazing! And the top of your bolting cauliflower resembles a photo of another plant entirely... let's just say the holy grail of horticulture... i.e. an illegal horticultural beauty? LOL! I agree on those wild strawberries, the taste is delicious but I couldn't imagine an actual harvest to bring indoors!

  6. Nice potato harvest Thomas, just curious as to what you didn't like about the straw?

    I will do potatoes in the grow bags again next year, not sure of the end result yet- but it is a great way to add on garden space in a pinch.

    Sorry so any things are bolting on you, this heat has not made for happy gardens!

  7. Bolting. Going to flower? Is that how you tell? Or, do you have to harvest and taste it?

  8. Angela - I just assume that everything turns bitter after bolting but maybe not in this case. I'll have to taste it for good measure.

    Ms. Dobby - hopefully you are right! This is my first time growing cauliflower so I'm clueless at this point.

    Vrtlarica and Shayla - Yes, those are the strawberries I sowed this spring. Next year, I plan on sowing seeds for a variety called Sarien, which looks more like conventional strawberries but easily grow from seed, are day neutral and will produce the first year.

    The color dulls when cooked but are tasty nonetheless.

    Erin - maybe between the two of us, we can come up with a decent harvest of wild strawberries...though I wouldn't count on it!

    Kelly - I just found it difficult to layer it in between the potato branches without bruising or snapping off the foliage. I didn't see any potatoes forming in the straw layer so I'm asking myself what's the point?

    Turling - in this case it means instead of the head swelling up as a whole, it splits apart into many long stems of small curds that will eventually flower. It's practically useless at this stage. I probably have enough for one bite.

  9. It's all looking good to me.
    And that's what I was thinking. Even though the cauliflower has 'bolted', it looks a lot like the side shoots of broccoli. I'd say give it a try. :)

  10. Instead of composting the cauliflower plant now, why not try just harvesting the florets and see if the plants will produce another head or two. That's what we do with the cabbages. Just harvest the nice head, leave the plant in the ground and get two or more smaller heads in about 60 days.

  11. GORGOUS potatoes! Can you even believe those are spuds? Prettier than a flower arrangement. You can't go back now :)

  12. Gotcha. My straw is towards the top only as well, so I don't think I will be seeing much potato formation in it either, but I found it convenient to add in on occasion.

  13. I have neither great soil nor sun for garden potatoes so I was anxious to see how your potted ones fared. Congrats on your harvest, I'll try some All Blues next year -- I'm inspired!

  14. Gorgeous potato picture, love the colors.
    My 1st bag grown potato tubers are mostly at the bottom, couple in the middle, nothing at the top. I'm wondering what if I let them grow longer until the vines die off, maybe there will be some tubers to fill the bag toward the top?

  15. If you haven't tried the white wild strawberries, you should give them a try. They are the hands down favorite in our family.

    Also, I've been disappointed in the results of potatoes grown in pots as well and won't be doing that again.

  16. Looks Awesome. I am a little bit more North of you (NH) and although my cauli has not bolted, it has not produced much of anything at all!