Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Week's Harvest - June 5, 2011

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When I look at this head of lettuce, I'm can't help but be reminded of nature's diversity.

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Lately, it has become a race to eat all of the spring sown lettuce and Asian greens before they reach for the sky. The cleared space will be replanted with more beans and heat-tolerate varieties of lettuce. Our fridge is pretty much patched with greens at the moment. I decided to harvest all six heads of Napa Cabbage as they are beginning to show signs of bolting. Unfortunately, I had to throw about two thirds of each head of cabbage straight into the compost pile because they were covered in holes and slug poo. I must have found at least two dozen baby slugs when I inspected the leaves. I'm starting to question why I even bother to grow it.

In my experience, growing organic Napa cabbage takes a lot of discipline - more than I have apparently. I've been really bad about reapplying the Sluggo every week. Then there are the cabbage worms. I hate to have my beds covered with fabric row cover but when it comes to most brassica vegetables, I'm becoming convinced that it's the only option.

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On the bright side, I think this has to be one of the most finest heads of lettuce I've ever grown. This is an Italian variety called 'Lollo Rossa'. It's pretty mild tasting and the leaves hold up well under the mid-day sun. I will surely grow this one again.

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Late this afternoon, I noticed that my Pskem River hardneck garlic had produced scapes. Still no signs of them on my other two varieties (German Extra Hardy and Bogatyr).

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I also picked the first of this year's broccoli. These crowns aren't quite as big as the ones I got last fall (probably because I planted them much closer together) but I'm still happy with the results. The plants are already sending up plenty of side-shoots. I have nine plants but now I'm wishing that I had grown twice as many.

22 comments:

  1. Beautiful harvest!! I founds lots of baby slugs in my lettuce harvest this week. EEWWWW!! I love the Lollo Rossa lettuce. Purty!!

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  2. Beautiful lettuce! Are you going to collect seeds?

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  3. Your Lollo Rosa lettuce will be fine during summer providing you keep it watered! Italy gets very hot and dry, so it's used to high temperatures :)

    Your vegetables are always ahead of ours - brassicas are are autumn vegetable here. I only planted out my broccolli yesterday and I've still got to get my cabbages into the ground!

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  4. Funny, my Lollo Rossa does not look like yours, yours is much prettier.

    I have scapes, but only on one variety as well. Nice harvest!!

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  5. I don't grow the Napa cabbages any more, they are just too temperamental, and there's plenty of easier things to grow. That Lollo Rossa lettuce is beautiful!

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  6. I just seeded some Lollo Rossa lettuce this weekend. It is supposed to be more heat tolerant than others. We will see. It is very beautiful.

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  7. mmmm, scapes! My lettuce all had to be pulled, too. I'm always searching for something that will do better in the heat.

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  8. Ms. Nutty Gnome - Good to know! I'll definitely be starting more seeds then!

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  9. That Lolla Rossa is stunning! And the scapes, oh I'm envious...

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  10. Beautiful lettuce,
    Sorry about the slugs, maybe fall grown napa would have less pest problems.

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  11. beautiful lettuce. It will be a LONG 6 months before I see much lettuce here again.

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  12. Wow, that's one stunning lettuce. Any recommendations on heat tolerant lettuces/greens? My mesclun mix is already wilting and dying and it's only the first week of June!!

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  13. Love all the lettuces...they're as beautiful as any floral bouquet. Also, those scapes, ahhh, those scapes, I love to cook them, but I also love to put them in vases. They're like dancers.

    All joys,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

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  14. How do you keep your lettuce fresh in the fridge? Mine always wilts away to nothing if I cut it early and try to store it.

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  15. That lettuce is beautiful. I'll have to look for that one.

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  16. Boy that lettuce is beautiful! It seems that the broccoli isn't doing as well as it should this year. It must be the crazy weather! I'm hoping that I will get some better heads. If not there is always the fall planting

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  17. Nartaya - I may next year but not this one since I still have plenty of seeds.

    Carrie - I try to harvest my greens early in the morning or late in the evening when the leaves are most firm. After giving them a good rinse and a few shakes to remove excess water, I store them in regular old plastic grocery bags in the fridge. They tend to last for a couple of weeks this way.

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  18. I gave up growing any of the brassicas out n the open years ago. I still have to deal with slugs though (they are just now finding the garden, but no population explosions yet as it is too dry.

    That lettuce is so beautiful. I really ought to try more lettuces. There are just too many types out there in the world to try. It is like tomatoes. I get overwhelmed with choices and never know which ones to try.

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  19. Beautiful lettuces and yes they are worth growing even if you lose part of the harvest to slugs. We have huge slugs in the rainy coastal pacific northwest and if I did not grow what they seem to migrate towards for eating - I would have almost no garden! LOL! I have to just stay on top of them, and do a good job of trimming and washing the produce before use. Still waiting for scapes here. Have young broccoli heads here too but not quite ready for harvest yet - soon though!

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