Friday, May 18, 2012

The Garden Update

I planted early this year--my first year planting in this climate. Of course, it was radishes, which are an early crop to begin with.I learned from my brother that you plant radishes early and cover them with floating crop cover (a spun-bonded fabric of polyester threads that allows light and water through the weave). The crop cover does two things; it offers maybe a degree of frost protection and it doesn't allow pests to get through. So you end up with radishes without worms.
In Alberta, we would lay out our pieces of crop cover, mark their size, and then plant to that size. The crop cover was carefully re-folded, and stored for next year, as we only had so much and could only get it in massive commercial rols that I could never afford. So the pieces from my brother (Frank Klassen of Sunnyside Fruit and Vegetables) ended up lasting us most of a decade.
Crop cover is very light (a few grams per sq. metre)--important, because it has to lay directly on top of the plants and mustn't interfere with their growth. It's now available pretty much everywhere (here in Victoria at Buckerfields and Lee Valley) and in home garden sizes. Which I think is a real boon to small growers.

Radishes at three weeks under crop cover

I was in a hurry when I planted the radishes this year and over-planted. They're far too close together. But they came up nicely, and delivered what they're supposed to--that first blast of colour and flavour in the spring after a winter of preserved food and store-bought vegetables.

The Big One

We had the last of the first crop of radishes for dinner last night. A couple of small rows will go into the same bed for eating in June. But Paula found the radish above while cleaning out the last of the radishes. Normally radishes like this would be woody and inedible, but this one was still crunchy and tasty.Actually the flavour was less intense than the smaller versions of the same cultivar. This one was more like a daikon radish--lots of crunch, less intense.
Currently, under a tunnel, we've got some transplant pepper plants, beets (up), shallots (up, from sets), Royal Burgundy beans (bush beans that produce purple beans that turn deep green when steamed. Also up.), and carrots (Paris Market, I think, but not up the last time I checked).
Paula's transplant peas (at the far end of the crop cover picture above) are huge and ready to flower. Should have fresh peas before too long! We've also got some tomatoes in with more to go, potatoes in (some yellows that sprouted in the cupboard) and squash. The medlar tree has leafed out and should make it through the summer (assuming I water it regularly), but has taken a bit of a hit from an insect attack to the leaves. Nothing fatal, though. Summer's starting to look tasty.....

No comments:

Post a Comment