Monday, May 9, 2011

5/9 Harvest - Two Parsnips

Two parsnips, that's all I harvested this week.  This is a brand new vegetable for me.  I've never bought one from the store, and I'm not sure that I've ever knowingly tasted one before.  It's one of those "new" vegetables that I learned about through garden bloggers, so I bought some seeds last year and planted it in my mom's California garden last fall.  They took forever to germinate (at least 4-5 weeks), I'm sure I disturbed the original sowing site several times in the meantime by planting other things on top of them because I thought they all died, and we may have pulled several of its seedlings by accident because we didn't know what its seedlings looked like and thought maybe they were weeds.  Long story short, we ended up with only two parsnips from a dozen or so seeds I initially sowed.

Parsnip One looked okay, kind of like a very long carrot but with much more pronounced tapering to its tip.

Parsnip Two, hmm, not so sure about this one.  When I pulled it out, my first thought was "alien tentacles!"  Upon further inspection, my second thought was still "alien tentacles!"

Head on over to Harvest Monday to see what others harvested this week!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tiny Seedlings

I'm still mourning the loss of so many tomato seedlings, but am trying to make myself feel better thinking about all the other vegetables that are direct sown and growing in the garden.  April was a very rainy and cold month here in Indiana, so the seedlings, with the exception of sugar snap peas, haven't had much of a chance to put on decent growth.  But at least the seedlings are still alive, and just waiting for those sunny days to put on some serious growth. I just know it!

In the mean time, these are some of the tiniest babes in the garden.  So little, yet with so much potential!


Red Russian Kale


Scallop (Patty Pan) Zucchini

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


More like Epic Fail.  Most of my tomato seedlings that seemed so happy and healthy after germination have slowly withered away to something pathetic and sickly.  Some have yellowing leaves.  Others have leaves that just shriveled up and died.  There are also some with leaves that have some darker spots, like they are diseased.  But none of them really grew after about 3-4 weeks.  I'm not really sure what killed them.  Maybe they didn't like the Jiffy peat pots that they got transplanted into after about 3 weeks.  Or maybe we watered too much.  Or too little.  Or maybe our soil mix was bad.  Or maybe our grow light wasn't good enough.  Or maybe they caught some horrible fungal or bacterial disease.

There are just too many variables here and I honestly don't know what caused most of my seedlings to die, or at least get very close to dying.  I did notice that some of the pots had a few roots showing through the bottom hole, but when I peeled off the peat pot, it didn't look like the seedlings were rootbound at all.

As a last, desperate measure, I picked out most of the better looking ones (still not all that much better than the one pictured above) and transplanted them into the garden last weekend.  I don't have high hopes for their survival because they are all still too small and the outdoor weather is still too rainy and cold.   Still, I'm hoping that natural sunlight and raised beds can work some miracles here.

If not, then I'll just have to go buy (gasp!) some transplants from the store later this month.

Ugh, if there is such a thing as mass seedling failure induced depression, I think I have it.  It's really sad to see all these dying seedlings.  It makes me especially sad to think about how so many of these seedlings were from seeds shared by other generous garden bloggers - I had such high hopes for these seeds to grow into healthy vegetable plants!

Monday, May 2, 2011

5/2 Harvest - Green Garlic

I harvested some green garlic and overwintered parsley this weekend.

Green garlic, as I've only just recently learned, is just immature (young) garlic that looks like an overgrown scallion or green onion.  When I first read about it, I was really curious to try it myself, but I hesitated to harvest any because we only planted 22 garlic cloves last fall and I didn't really want to sacrifice any of them before the garlic bulbs matured.

But this weekend, I noticed that some of the garlic greens (leaves) had already bent and broken on their own, either because they were getting too big or because it's just been too windy/rainy in Indiana the last several weeks.  I suspect both, actually.  Anyway, so I thought, well, if some of these leaves are already damaged, then I won't hurt any by harvesting some, right?  So I snipped a few leaves just below the damage.  In case you're wondering, green garlic really does smell just like fresh garlic! 

I chopped up my first green garlic harvest into small pieces and used them as one of the toppings for our homemade pizza this weekend.  The green garlic flavor was very subtle, much less than garlic, but we enjoyed it all the same.  I wondered if the white part (immature bulb) of green garlic would taste similar, but I won't know until I actually pull a whole plant out.  Hmm, I probably should try it next week, just to see if it's worth planting a lot more garlic next year to harvest some as green garlic and some as fully mature garlic bulbs.

Happy Harvest Monday!


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