Thursday, June 9, 2011

Better Late than Never

After a bit of a dry spell, we received some much needed rain today. At times torrential, the parched earth seemed to soak up the excess water like a dry sponge. I always look forward to these powerful late-spring storms as they are usually accompanied by a growth spurt in the garden. And it doesn't hurt that I won't have to break out the hose for next few days.

Today, I noticed that the snow peas were finally starting to make a show of it. By the looks of things, it should be another good harvest this year. I'm looking forward to picking our first crop tomorrow.

My 'Tongue of Fire' shell beans have germinated very well. I love when a bed is filled to capacity with seedlings.

This is my second year trying to grow cauliflower. Last year's crop was a major bust. Boy, they aren't kidding when they say that cauliflower is one difficult veggie to grow successfully. Already, half of this year's crop keeled over and died unexpectedly. The three remaining are still growing, albeit very slowly. I wonder if they will end up bolting prematurely like they did last year.

My three purple sprouting broccoli plants are doing very well. Too bad we have to wait until next year to get a harvest - that is, if we can get them to overwinter successfully.

Several of my beets are starting to plump up. I'm hoping to get a steady harvest well into the fall so I'm starting new seeds every few weeks.

Another of this year's tragedies - only 9 of my potatoes broke ground this year. This from 6 lbs of seed potatoes. About half succumb to disease before I even got a chance to plant them and the rest either rotted in the ground or were eaten by voles. I will never buy expensive seed potatoes through the mail again. I'd rather buy the ones available at our local feed store.

Finally, my cilantro is bolting prematurely again this year. Oh well. I love cooking with green coriander seeds so it's not a complete loss. I have new plants sprouting right now.

This weekend, I'll be sure do an update on our warm season veggies. Until then, happy Friday everyone!


  1. I'm growing cauliflower for the first time this year and am having great luck with "Cheddar Hybrid CF188" from Territorial Seed Company. I'll post photos this week.

  2. In my experience, spring cauliflower needs to be an early variety, planted pretty early, or a fall crop. I suggest you give it a try again with a fall crop, and as Liisa suggested, Cheddar or Graffiti varieties are a bit easier to grow successfully, and taste great in the fall.

  3. Everything looks fantastic! I'm with you on the seed potoates, I bought mine from the local Feed & Seed this year, at least I know they are the right type for our area!

  4. Wow, what a loss on the potatoes. Sounds like you need to dig a vole proof bed for your root crops.

    I am not sure that I will get much a snow pea harvest, critters have done quite a number on the vines and there are not many left.

  5. I usually don't have a problem growing cauliflower. Last year and this year it has been a challenge due to the extreme heat though. I planted 3 varieties this spring. The early variety is only forming small heads before wanting to flower. I'm hoping that the other two varieties will do better. I really don't want to plant a fall crop of cauliflower too!

  6. Your post reads like an engaging catalog of gardening success and failure... mostly success. May I add that everything looks beautiful. Your garden is very attractive.

    We're hoping our cauliflower doesn't bolt too. The heads right now are about an inch or two around.

  7. I don't even bother with cauliflower. It's kind of a ho hum veggie in my opinion to begin with and is so fussy and tempermental that it is just not worth my time or the garden space. Your snow pea patch is beautiful and the pods forming are very tempting looking! Your garden is always so neat and beatiful - a real pleasure to look at.

  8. We got rain, too, and that makes me one happy gardener!

    Your garden is looking great as usual.

    Have a great weekend Thomas!

  9. I'm glad I hate cauliflower. I wish I didn't hate beets though. Such a pretty veggie. My cilantro is starting to send up stalks soon. I love the flowers though. They really bring in the beneficials. So I don't mind. I seeded a couple more rows of it a while ago and it is starting to germinate now. I should have seeded more weeks ago. I should do it every three weeks.

    So sad about the potatoes. I always buy locally because mail order potatoes are too expensive. It means you don't get as much of a choice, but I'm fine with that.

    I love the sage blooms behind your coriander.

  10. I love your garden update! Very excited to see how the cauliflower does. I don't think I have ever seen anyone grow it successfully! Looking good so far!

  11. Your stuff looks nice!
    Gardening can sometimes be a love/hate relationship :)
    I also bought potatoes from local feed and seed and they are growing well, but I am trying in straw this year, so we'll see how is goes.


  12. So sorry about your potatoes, Thomas. I love cauliflower and am rooting (er...) for yours.

    Your garden does look smack down gorgeous, though.

  13. I wanted to say cauliflower is completely "hit or miss" for us, but it would be more accurate it to it's either miss (more likely) or a partial hit that happens only to give me hope for next year :)

    Sorry to hear about your potatoes and potential voles (I hate those dang animals!). We bought seed potatoes of varieties we can't get around here through the mail as well and, while they were OK, the local feed and seed store sells the varieties that do well here and for substantially less than a mail order place. We're pretty happy with this year's feed store potatoes and will likely stick with them in the future. It makes sense to grow the varieties that do best in your area...