This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

quickly growing vegetables

onions fava beans
spinach popcorn
red cabbage celeriac
bibb lettuce beet
cherry tomato prizehead lettuce
broccoli pumpkins
potatoes carrots
garlic asparagus
These vegetables are growing fast now in my community plot. Maybe you can guess what they are. I notice some bug problems here and there.


Blogger Log Homes said...

Great blog post! I love learning about this online as gardening/landscaping are not only hobbies of mine but I actually do a little bit of work like that during the summer months as a second job. I appreciate your content in your blog and wish that you would keep up the good work :)

May 27, 2009 3:38 PM

Blogger Dan said...

Your plants are looking great. Just a little heads up on the 'surprise seeds'. Mine had a rosette about the size of my hand and looked just about ready for harvest. I put the harvest off a few days and they all bolted. Being that they are specificity a baby variety I think they have to be harvested small. I hope to have better luck with them this fall, everyone has been telling me they are better as a late crop.

May 27, 2009 8:38 PM

Blogger MUDNYC said...

What types of things are you doing about the bug problems? Something is eating my basil and squash, and it's BUGGING me!!!

May 27, 2009 9:28 PM

Blogger Sally said...

No bugs yet for me, just a problem with my organic spinach, probably a fungus.
Great looking plants. Is it just me, or are many plants in our area maturing sooner?

May 27, 2009 10:14 PM

Blogger Hoz said...

I'm in Indiana. My first planting of Mustard went immediately to bolt, leaves the size of squirrel ears and already flower stalks and heads.

Same thing with the "Toy Choy". No heads to speak of, just a few leaves and then a seed stalk.

I'll replant the Choy again in the fall

Weather? There's been lots of rain here and then a couple 80 degree days. I don't know. But we're eating baby greens tonite!

May 28, 2009 4:17 PM

Blogger Tiff said...

I had the exact same bug problem for spinach -- leafminers!! I decided to stop growing spinach after eating my salad and discovering a worm *inside* the leaf. The leaf looked like it had a birth defect/ fungus -- it's actually a worm wiggling and eating in between the leaf membranes.

There really is no way to stop the infestation except by picking off the eggs on the underside of the leaves.

May 28, 2009 5:49 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

Kathy, I love your site, so much useful information. I started my own garden this year finally and seeing your garden grow is such an inspiration. I saw on your 2009 seed list that you were growing soybeans, any tips? I'm trying to grow them this year but not sure what to expect from them or how they are suppose to look. Thanks!

May 28, 2009 9:21 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Hey Sarah, I LOVE soy beans. I can;t wait til they ripen.

I planted seeds for soybeans ("Butterbeans" is my favorite variety) last weekend in my home garden. Last year I had terrible probelms at my communitiy p[lot because the chipmunks (I think) ate them all as quick as I planted them, They do fine with a little shade at home (sun 11-4).

They do tend to all ripen at once, so plant in succession, every 2-3 weeks. They ar super as fresh edamame. Pick and then steam in the shell for 3-4 min as eat with sea salt and martinis.

Only one problem - the frozen ones will never taste good any more....

BTW They will look just like bush beans, but hairier pods.

May 28, 2009 9:46 PM

Blogger kathy said...

And about those leaf miners - I HATE them too. That's the reason I don't usually grow spinach. Yuck.

May 28, 2009 9:48 PM

Blogger kathy said...

And the bolting problems - some of my spinach bolted this year, but I saw it start to bolt as I transplanted it out to the garden. My error was that I don't have a light timer and I grow all my seedlings myself. My lights were often on 9am to at least 9, 10 or 11 pm. Whenever I remembered them. The long light length makes the spinach bolt. (Spinach will bloom with a day longer than 14 hours.) I don't know how may 14 hours days are needed, but about 25% of my plants bolted as tiny little seedlings. :(

May 28, 2009 9:57 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Dan, The cool thing about thing about those surprise plants is that they are under covers with my broccoli. I only check on them every couple weeks. I can sorta see they are getting big under there. I'll give them a check soon. I'll make sure to harvest before the bolt. Nothing like fresh baby grilled surprises greens ....

May 28, 2009 10:01 PM

Blogger Diana Bauman said...

I have really been enjoying following your blog. We have alot in common! I'm from Des Moines, Iowa and have a couple of plots in our community garden as well as plots in my folks backyard as they have sunshine!! Many of our plants seem to be in the same stage of growth. First year planting fava beans and am super excited about them!! Thanks for the updates!


May 28, 2009 11:25 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks Kathy for the tips! I checked my seed packet and I am also growing "Butterbeans". Mine currently look tall and stringy and wasn't sure if I should be training them up something because they seem to want to climb. I think I might just in case, I don't want the wind blowing them over and breaking the stems, this happened to one already unfortunately.

I decided to grow them after having edamame at a Japanese restaurant and then being shocked at the price afterward! I tried the frozen ones which were okay but can't wait to try them fresh from my garden!

Thanks again!

May 29, 2009 8:59 AM

Anonymous Mary in Toronto said...

Kathy and folks, try planting by the moon phases and you won't have problems with bolting - above-ground crops to be planted by light of moon (new to full); day after full moon, plant root crops, that is, by dark of moon - my mom, born in Slovenia, used to remind me of this method of farming as she was growing up in rural country - also, plant fava beans to keep insects at bay, particularly tiny black flies - don't know the translation of "mishice", but my mom would plant a fava bean plant here and there throughout her garden - check out Farmers' Almanac site for planting info -

May 29, 2009 9:41 AM

Blogger Kelly said...

I often attend a monthy lecture on sustainable gardening. Planting according to the lunar cycle was breifly talked about one evening. I believe the farmer was going to do some experimental planting and see if he had greater success vs. traditional methods. I may have a good web site for a reference in my notes....if so I will come back and post it in case anyone is interested in learning more on the subject.

Kathy, once again you are full of useful information, I didn't realize spinach could bolt from grow light exposure.

May 29, 2009 3:40 PM

Blogger Kelly said...

Ok, he mentioned the "Stella Natura" Biodynamic Planting Calendar when talking about the lunar cycle. I was just on their site and it is very interesting....might be worth a try in 2010!

May 29, 2009 3:46 PM

Blogger KAES said...


I love all of the pictures and suggestions you post on your blog. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with slugs?


May 30, 2009 1:12 PM

Blogger Joseph said...

I know KAES, the slugs are everywhere in my garden this season. I can't keep up with em!

May 30, 2009 8:29 PM

Blogger HappyHermit said...

I was wondering if you could Identify the Plant in this post. have so much to learn !! Thank you for having this great resource and sharing.

May 31, 2009 8:25 AM

Blogger Jaime said...


Have your sugar snap peas flowered yet? I have tall plants but no flowers. I'm getting worried!

May 31, 2009 9:27 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I hate to say it, but I use the regular box of slug and snail bait. It gets rid of them. Once you use it one year, they aren't a problem in the next few years. I got tired of walking across my patio in the dark barefoot and stepping on a six inch slug. I use it sparingly in the locations where there is a problem. They especially like my basil and zinnias.

Please post organic solutions if something works well for you.

May 31, 2009 10:37 PM

Blogger kathy said...

HappyHermit, It looks like common milkweed to me. A great native for monarch butterflies.

Jaime, My peas are not growing fast at all! You're lucky to have tall plants. I did see some very tall plants in someone else's garden today with LOTS of flowers. Most others have no flowers yet though. I wouldn't though. If you have nice plants, they'll flower soon.

May 31, 2009 10:48 PM

Anonymous Dawnie (CT) said...

Slug problems? I have read over and over again....that if one puts beer in something like a saucer or a tuna can (things like that), that the slugs are attracted to the beer, and once in the container they can't get out and then drown. I haven't had any slugs yet. But I've kept a bunch of the plastic caps from my kitty litter containers to use for that reason.

June 04, 2009 3:15 PM


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