Monday, August 16, 2010

8/16/10 Harvest - California Garden

This week's harvest is from my "other" garden at my mom's house in California, where I spent this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed some civilized weather (highs in the 70s, lows in the 60s) after enduring months of brutal heat in Middle America.  Anyway, I sowed the seeds for carrots, sugar snap peas, and zucchini about three months ago during my last visit, along with some onions sets.  That plus asking my mom on the phone how "my vegetables" are doing once a week is about the extent of my involvement with these vegetables.

The onions didn't size up much.  The sugar snap pea vines are about 3/4 dead (brown and brittle), but the remaining 1/4 of the vines are still putting on new growth, blossoms, and peas - they just keep going like the energizer bunny!  The zucchini plant has gotten very big and is just about covered with powdery mildew, but they are still growing new fruits.  The carrots just amazed me with their size.

Look at these carrots!  I discussed the Girthy Carrot on Saturday.  After pulling the largest carrot, I stopped at five, because I didn't know what my mom would do with so many big carrots all at once.  There are still another dozen or so of these in the ground.  Ugh, why can't I grow carrots like this in my garden in Indiana, instead of the puny little matchstick ones? 

I didn't sow these seeds, but this salad mix is also from my mom's garden.  All kinds of lettuce seem to grow really well here, pretty much all year long.  It's kind of bizarre, really.  I would love to give credit to my mom for having a green thumb, but I honestly don't think that she does - she still waters everything from the top with a garden hose!

Visit Daphne's Harvest Monday for more harvest stories.


Robin said...

The veggies from your "other" garden look great! I'm sure that the nice weather and the person that sowed the seeds...were the reason :)

Anonymous said...

I would love to grow lettuce all year long. But I grow it in spring and usually I don't have time to sow fall lettuce.
That carrot is still amazing! When I'm pulling my carrots, it seems that I just can't stop. I want to ses next one, and next one... but I usually find some way to use them in the kitchen.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Too bad Mom didn't live closer, you could crop share!

kitsapFG said...

Those carrots are the perfect size to grate up and make carrot cake with! Its nice that you have the gardening interest that you share with your mom, even if you are into it a bit more than she is at this point.

Engineeredgarden said...

Gosh, i'm still impressed by that carrot.....

Kelly said...

Wow, I can't get over the size of those carrots! The lettuce mix looks soooo nice.

Prairie Cat said...

We're getting a cool front and maybe even some rain this week in Missouri, maybe you will be, too?

Jeez those carrots are huge! If they get that large, do you think it affects the flavor or texture very much?

My carrots were a bust. I'll probably try some for fall but put them into a container. I think our soil has a little too dense for proper tuber development.

debiclegg said...

I wish I could grow carrots, too. My one attempt delivered tiny matchsticks, too, and very bitter. Maybe I will try again.

Shawn Ann said...

It all looks very nice. I did a blog post last summer on my mom's garden! I pick on her about trying to grow a garden in the woods. But she does well with what she has.

Annie's Granny said...

"she still waters everything from the top with a garden hose!"

Granny holds up hand and proclaims "Me too!" Only I water everything from above with my sprinkling system, which is on timers. I do have 5 tomato plants on drip lines, and some of my pots need to be watered with a hose (from below), but about 99% of my garden is watered from above.

Daphne said...

I never get to travel and eat my own veggies too. What a treat. I've been watering from above this year too. I don't have an irrigation system in yet. I hope to though. It takes me forever to water by hand.

Dirt Lover said...

Hey, sounds like carrot envy!! Me too!! Watering by hand is way, way too much work for me. I've got my beds on automatic drip, because, deep down, I'm a bit on the lazy side. If there's an easy way to do it, I'll be the first in line! Trouble is, this year, I have bunches of new beds, which means I dug trenches for new PVC to each bed, which means..... more work! But only once, and next year, most of them will be all set up and ready to go.

thyme2garden said...

Robin - aww, you're so kind! Maybe it's all the encouragement and positive vibes I got from fellow bloggy friends like yourself!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - I know what you mean. I had to exercise self-restraint not to pull any more carrots. It was really fun!

* * * * *
Apple Pie Gal - that's a great idea, but I'm not sure if that's a reason enough to move, you know?

"Why did you move back to California?"

"For Carrots."

* * * * *
kitsapFG - I totally thought of carrot cake, too, but I just didn't have enough time to make it. It's been fun to get my mom excited about vegetables growing in the garden. I even taught her about the male and female flowers on the squash plant, and how they have to be pollinated in order for a fruit to set. It's like reverse parent-child conversation about the birds and the bees!

* * * * *
Engineeredgarden - thanks! Me too!

* * * * *
Kelly - thank you!

thyme2garden said...

Prairie Cat - I just checked the weather forecast after reading your comment, and you're right, the highs are in the mid 80s this week, with the lows hovering around 60. That's definitely cooler than last week.

I have read that large overgrown carrots (like most other overgrown vegetables) can be tough in texture and not tasty at all. I just don't know when a carrot crosses that line over to the overgrown side, you know? I didn't taste the biggest one, but I did slice the next biggest one and ate it raw - it tasted pretty good.

* * * * *
debiclegg - My matchstick carrots in Indiana weren't bitter, but they were really tiny. I still have more in the SFG beds, so I'll pull some up next week and see if they've grown any more. Maybe practice will make perfect (if not, at least better) for both of us!

* * * * *
Shawn Ann - Thank you! I've decided that it's nice to have access to more than one garden, even if not always on a regular basis.

* * * * *
Granny - You?! Really?! Even your peas, squash, and cucumbers? I was under the impression that these vegetables needed to be watered from below to avoid getting their leaves wet, which makes them more susceptible to mildew, fungus and other diseases.

* * * * *
Daphne - my Indiana garden is still small, so it's not that much work to water by hand, especially when Keith does it for me while I'm gone. :-) Your new garden and harvests have been so fantastic, maybe you should just stick with what works and keep watering from above!

* * * * *
Dirt Lover - I don't even have to go deep down, I know I'm on the lazy side when it comes to a lot of things! :-) It sounds like all your work this year is going to pay off next year!

Annie's Granny said...

Plants are much healthier with drip systems. However, the way my garden is laid out, I find it nearly impossible to install them. I should have thought about it before I built the beds! My butternut (Waltham) is resistant to powdery mildew, and I've never had a problem with it. The yellow crookneck doesn't seem to be bothered by it this year, and neither does the Black beauty zucchini. However, the Gray zucchini (right next to the Black Beauty) got pulled this week, and had powdery mildew...but no zukes, so no loss. I've always watered my gardens with overhead sprinklers. I don't garden by rules ;-)

thyme2garden said...

Granny, you're giving me all kinds of hope that I can continue to water by hand or garden hose without a fancy drip system and still maybe someday grow vegetables half as well as you do. I should find more of those varieties that are resistant to powdery mildew and other diseases. This year, I chose my seed by picking out the prettiest pictures on the seed envelopes - next year, I'll know better!!

Annie's Granny said...

Did you think vegetable gardening began when drip systems were invented? LOL, rainfall is overhead sprinkling. I do lose a few tomato plants on occasion, but by the time they start dying, I'm sick of them anyway ;-)

I still pick out many of my seeds by pretty pictures.

thyme2garden said...


"rainfall is overhead sprinkling"

Wow. I have nothing to say to that... except that you're TOTALLY right! You just gave Keith the perfect excuse to revert back to his garden hose watering method. Ugh, after all the hard work I put into convincing him that all our precious vegetables needed to be hand-watered by a watering can to ensure best survival against the big bad world of pests, diseases and mildew!

Anonymous said...

"rainfall is overhead sprinkling"

Exactly! I've made that same point more than a few times.

Thanks Granny!

Time to get the hose back out....



Mr. H. said...

Sure wish I could get my mom to grow a few veggies in her yard, she flower gardens all day everyday but won't plant a single veggie...too bad. All your veggies look great.

Annie's Granny said...

Kieth is my new BFF! ;-)

thyme2garden said...

Mr. H - if your mom lives anywhere near you, then she wouldn't have to grow her own vegetables. I've seen (pictures of) the quantity and the quality of your vegetables!

thyme2garden said...

Graaaaaany - don't encourage Keith!

Keith - You can use the hose when we rig up a rain barrel so we don't have to water our veggies with chlorinated tap water. :)

Dan said...

That is some carrot!

thyme2garden said...

Dan, I thought so, too!

Stefaneener said...

Wow! Where in CA is she? We can grow carrots almost all year round in my part. But I've never seen them that big. Is it woody?

thyme2garden said...

If by woody you mean dry, then no. Well, at least I don't think so. I didn't slice open the biggest carrot, but I did cut and eat the second biggest, and it was still pretty juicy, crunchy, and sweet just like a good carrot is supposed to taste. I'll have to ask my mom how the big carrot was, when she gets around to eating it.

Vanessa said...

OMGGGGG That carrot is HUGE!!! Mine got pretty big but they were long and not fat like yours. I am very impressed!!

thyme2garden said...

Vanessa - Thank you!

Thomas said...

Nice harvest. That carrot is HUGE!

thyme2garden said...

Thomas - thank you! I think this carrot ruined it for all the other carrots for me. How will any of the others ever measure up (literally)? :-)

Ottawa Gardener said...

Thyme: Yes, that carrot is positively rude... What kind of soil does she have.

Nice harvest and for such little work.

thyme2garden said...

Ottawa Gardener - "rude" is a good way to describe this carrot, I think. The soil in this garden is more sandy than clayey - it does not hold together at all. Maybe that is what carrots want (I don't know, this is my first time growing them), but this particular variety was "bred especially for heavy or poor soil" so I don't really know what's going on.

I'm also growing the exact same variety in my Indiana garden, where I sowed the seeds in my SFG box filled with Mel's mix, and the last time I checked (two weeks ago), they were about matchstick-sized.

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