As the cool temps transition into warmer days and nights, it is time to transition planting areas as well. My dwarf bok choy has bolted. Planted in the tiered garden bed near the driveway, it gets a lot of sunlight and lots of warmth compared to other garden beds.
How do you cook dwarf bok choy? You can steam it, but yesterday I ate some for lunch and dinner. For lunch I made a pan of organic quinoa (with sauteed onions). During the last two minutes of cooking I placed the dwarf bok choy on top of the quinoa in the pan and put the lid back on. After a minute, I stirred the succulent greens into the quinoa and they immediately wilted and were ready to eat. What a lovely, delicate flavor, requiring nearly no cooking at all. I made fried rice for dinner and did the same with the dwarf bok choy; I laid the greens on top of the rice, allowed it to steam them for a minute, stirred, added the cubed pork chops and served. They were delicious.
The Aichi cabbage is beginning to head up. I am not sure it will have time to finish before it gets too hot and it also goes to seed. Even if I never get to eat them, they are lovely.
I will be planting cilantro and parsley in the spaces left by the harvested dwarf bok choy.
Now let’s see what is happening in the back yard garden. The bean teepee is seeing a lot of life. Looks like 6 of the Romano bean seeds germinated and are now growing. The really exciting part are all of the cucumber seedlings, and the dill coming up.
Potatoes growing like crazy. The center grow bag is almost ready to have shredded leaves added.
One of the new raised beds had the Early wonder beets transplanted (mole infestation in garlic bed turned me into a crazed Elmer Fudd and I dug up that whole corner to block the mole’s entrance to my raised bed — the beets had to be moved to safety). But if you look closely you can see sugar pumpkin seedlings. We love our sugar pumpkins during the holidays for fresh pies, muffins, pumpkin bread, and more. The pumpkin plants will escape from the bed and pour out into the yard.
Spinach. Lots and lots of spinach. Spinach omelettes are the new favorite breakfast around here, especially when combined with sauteed onions and cheese. I don’t pull out my spinach plants to harvest them. Spinach can be continuously harvested by cutting the outer leaves off allowing at least two inner leaves to remain. The plant is stimulated to grow more leaves, and you can continue to harvest until they bolt from hot weather. You can see in the photo below how many leaves have been cut off. I harvested two leaves from each of these plants yesterday morning. They grew that much in 24 hours. I do feed these with a fish emulsion once every week or two.
Look at how big the snow peas have grown! Hoping for flower buds any day now. And while seed packets tell you to thin seedlings to 6-8 inches apart, I use the intensive gardening method and will allow them all to remain. The soil was amended with manure and compost before planting and should support all of these plants. If necessary, I will give them a little fertilizer, though peas and beans fix nitrogen to the soil, so they do not need much fertilizer if grown in healthy soil.
Squash seedlings are coming up after the last few warm days. Oh, how I love squash. These are Cocozelle Di Napoli summer squash, an heirloom variety that grows a green striped squash. In the same bed are yellow summer squash that are just breaking through the soil.
I still have not planted my tomatoes and peppers, but hope to accomplish that this week. I am recovering from a pretty bad flare-up that has me struggling (persistent Lyme disease). But I will get through it and my garden will get planted, eventually. Yes, it is frustrating after waiting for warm weather, but life is like that, isn’t it? In the meantime, I enjoy pulling weeds for a few minutes each day and planting what I can.