AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Transition from Spring to Summer DATE: 5/19/2009 09:25:00 AM ----- BODY:
My spring garden is just coming into full swing: I'm harvesting salad on a regular basis and cutting mint for drinks and dinner seasonings. The tarragon and scallions make regular appearances in my cooking. The radishes will be ready in less than a week. I planted cucumber seeds and jalapenos in the last few square feet of garden space.

Meanwhile, the tomato plants grow patiently on the deck, waiting to be transplanted into the yard for their final growing phase. The first flower bloomed yesterday: a predecessor to the summer fruit.

For the last few mornings, I've studied the garden trying to figure out where I can plant all the tomatoes, as well as the basil and eggplant I have waiting in pots on the deck and in windowsills. I don't want to disturb what's already in the ground.

So much to grow, and so little space. The brussels sprouts are tucked away in the back corner --and will take a full six months to mature. Kohlrabi, the nemesis of many home cooks, is a personal favorite, and occupies a few feet in the front of the yard. The kale, which I have not grown successfully before, seems to be growing nicely in a cooler patch of the garden.

I planted beets for the first time this year. Unfortunately they are not doing very well. It's all my fault, really. I know exactly what happened. When I was planting the lettuces a few months ago, I spilled a handful of seeds right over the beets. The two have been battling for space ever since, and the arugula was winning. Until I stepped in and pulled up the arugula. Hopefully the beets will recover and grow, despite the stunted start.

And then it hit me! I know where I can plant the rest of my vegetables! As I was trying to capture harvesting lettuce in pictures (but failed), I noticed a row of arugula is starting to bolt. That is, the temperatures have gotten so warm that the arugula wants to go to seed and its growth will slow down. I will pull up that row of plants and replace it with eggplant. Because this patch bolted sooner than the others, I know it’s warmer than the rest of the garden and will be a great spot for the heat-loving summer crops.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:5/19/2009 10:42:00 AM I'm enjoying watching your garden come to life. Good luck with the beets! I'm now to the point that I couldn't live without them! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:5/19/2009 07:09:00 PM I still have hope that our president will come around on the beet issue. Perhaps we can sneak some into the White House garden. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Katie DATE:5/19/2009 07:11:00 PM Wow! Sounds like you have quite the garden! That reminds me that I've been wanting to try some kohlrabi... and you have some amazing ideas!

I'm dying to get some tomato plants from the farmers' market and get them into containers, but it keeps freezing here. Must. Be. Patient. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:5/20/2009 10:47:00 PM Wow you do have lots going on out there. How wonderful. ----- --------