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.

Monday, July 20, 2009


beet harvest harvest

These are vegetables I harvested last week. A big perfect beet and a big odd ball beet. (Lutz and Chiogga) I suspect both will taste delicious.

Also a nice bunch of radish. Half of my radish this year are very tough and fibrous. So hard I can't get a knife through to slice them. The other half are nice and crispy. I don't know what's wrong with the fibrous ones.

And some more lettuce. This year I have way more lettuce than I can use. One of my goals for this year's garden was to grow more lettuce than I needed. So far, so good. The challenge will be the next few weeks. The midsummer heat is always a challenge for my lettuce supply.



Blogger TSannie said...

Newbie that I am, I'm TOTALLY following your garden prowess next far my freshman year has been a failure...(sigh).

July 20, 2009 11:30 PM

Anonymous Marian(LondonUK) said...

If you have got too many Romaine; Little Gem type lettuce - these are delicious gently wilted down with peas and spring onions (salad onions I think they are known as scallions over there?).
We are getting lots of courgettes at the moment, I remembered your potato and squash casserole, so that's on the dinner menu this week, thanks!

July 21, 2009 4:28 AM

Anonymous Daphne said...

My lettuce is already starting to slow down a bit. It always does around the solstice. Then the heat of summer keeps it from growing. Some year I'm going to get that shade cloth to help it grow over the summer.

I never even try to grow radishes this time of the year. They never grow for me. I might sow some later in August though for a fall crop.

July 21, 2009 8:02 AM

Blogger Sue said...

I wonder what the difference in our zones means for growing lettuce. I am in Nebraska, zone 5b, and enjoy planting lots of varieties of lettuce as early as I can. I did a good job with succession planting, but no matter when they get planted, the lettuce, spinach, and radishes are finished by the first or second week in July. They all want to bloom, and then get bitter. When I plant for a fall crop in August, some years it grows, and others they don't.

Please let me know if you have a way to extend the season.

July 21, 2009 10:37 PM

Anonymous Dawnie (CT) said...

@ TSannie: Mine was pretty much a failure last year at my 1st attempt too. It's all trial, error and research. : ) And Kathy's blog is a great help!

I've harvested a BUNCH of lettuce thus far. And I'm on my 2nd crop of radish and turnip. Topcrop & Romano beans are doing great! Kentucky Wonder pole beans are starting to yeild. And I harvested 3 HUGE heads of broccoli last week. Cukes and toms have started.

July 22, 2009 12:40 AM

Blogger Thomas said...

Hi Kathy, I'm trying to decide on fencing for my new garden and was looking over your old posts on building the fence around your community plot. I was wonder where you bought the metal posts & 2" by 3" wire and whether you used 5'or 4'posts. And more importantly, how has it worked out for you. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks! Thomas

July 22, 2009 12:09 PM

Anonymous Dawnie (CT) said...

I came across this from the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extention Center. GREAT photo's of Late Blight.

July 22, 2009 2:35 PM

Anonymous Dawnie (CT) said...

Dammit! It doesn't show the whole address. vegpath/photos/lateblight_tomato.htm

Omit the space in the address.

July 22, 2009 2:37 PM

Blogger Deborah Bier, PhD said...

You wrote: "The midsummer heat is always a challenge for my lettuce supply."

Midsummer heat? Are you hogging all of that hot air over in Belmont? Here in Concord, we seem to be hovering around 60 degrees much of the time. I was thinking I should have sown spinach last month at the rate we are going weather-wise!

July 22, 2009 9:15 PM

Anonymous Heather's Garden said...

That's assuming the midsummer heat arrives. Here on the shore in CT we've only made up above 80 degrees a few times!

July 22, 2009 10:57 PM

Anonymous Adriana said...

If your funky beet a result of too much nitrogen?

July 23, 2009 6:42 PM

Blogger pjkobulnicky said...

Kathy ... I've found that the old looseleaf lettuce varieties, when planted in the early summer will stay good to eat in all but the most extreme conditions. Try Black Seeded Simpson, Oak Leaf, Forellenschluss, etc. In addition, head lettuce, like Crisphead, does fairly well in the heat. You just have to avoid the really good Cos or Bibb varieties.


July 28, 2009 1:55 PM

Blogger kathy said...

It seems like my funky beets is because I planted them in freshly manured soil. I just pulled another one - luckily only about 1 of 20 of my beets are funky. I still have way too many.

Even with the cool summer, my lettuce is still bolting. Maybe its the day light length, though there's not much of that either.

But maybe my real lettuce problem is that I ALWAYS forget to plant seeds when the lettuce is abundant. I think that's the key to a constant supply.

July 31, 2009 10:13 PM


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