The summer solstise was Sunday and most of us are grateful for the deluge we received Saturday night. I spent Sunday pulling the spent summer crops like sugar snap peas and fava beans. They did relatively well this this year despite the cold spring start. I picked about 5 gallons of sugar snaps from my 30 foot row and got about two gallons from about 60 feet of beans. Both of these legumes were pre-sprouted in the house to assist with outdoor germination. It worked well with the favas but not so well with the peas. See my early GIEI blog.
The yield from the Favas always disappoints me considering the amount of space they take up. Our warm springs and onset of summer heat by June 1 really cuts down on the production. Around May 20 when I was in London, Mary and I went to Hampton Court Place and stopped in to see the Kitchen Garden use to feed Henry the VIII's court. While the garden wasn't in full production, the favas were easily 3 feet tall and producing copious amounts of pods. The other interesting planting was the artichokes which had lots of large buds.
Broccoli and cauliflower are long gone, although I still have a couple of heads of late Dutch Flat head and red acre cabbage in the garden for use in making cole slaw. Found an interesting recipe for Sesame Cole Slaw on the web by would add less sugar and a little bit of jalapeno or other hot pepper if they were ready.
Garlic is doing well and in another week or so will be ready to be pulled. Got lots of scapes this year which were made into garlic scape pesto and some garlic gazpacho.
Prior to leaving on spring vacation (May 15) I planted all my peppers, eggplant, cucurbits and tomatoes. Everything but the tomatoes were covered with insect barrier grade row cover and the cucurbits had totally filled the 7 foot row cover placed over my 4 foot beds. Best part is no cucumber beetles, squash bugs or squash vine bores. Bad news is that after taking off the row cover, I've squished a couple of squash bugs and seen some Squash Vine Bore Moth. Good news is that I have started replacement cucumbers and zucchini which will replace any plants which succumb to the bugs
Only spring crop which is not out of the ground are my potatoes. They are still blooming and look great. I have about 50 feet of double row and can't wait to dig some new potatoes for potato salad. I planted 2 fingerling varieties Austrian Crescent and Banana and a regular variety called Carola.
About the only thing I haven't commented on is my trail planting of ginger. I sprouted the tubers in my basement and put them outside in early spring. They are growing but not vigorously. I'll write a future blog about this.
btw: I will be at the local community gardens during the next several months doing my "Ask A Master Vegetable Gardener" outreach. If you would like to find out were I will be, Just click on this link. The most common problem I have found so far this year is lack of nitrogen. Remember that University of Maryland recommends use of .2 pounds of N per 100 square feet. To determine the amount of chosen fertilizer to apply, just divide the percentage of N on the bag (remember that the fertilizer analysis is NPK and stated in percentage) into .2. Using blood meal as an example, the NPK is 12-0-0 so to determine how much to use you simply divide .2 by .12 to get 1.75 pounds per 100 square feet. Also, don't forget that some vegetables require side dressing during the growing season. Side dressing requirements can be found at vegetable profiles just click on the desired vegetable.