I need space for the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and green beans that I want to plant, so I need to take a hard look at the best candidates for removal. While I find some space and prepare the garden beds, tomato, pepper and basil transplants wait in 1 gallon pots in the greenhouse.
Some removal decisions are easy. The broccoli, which started flowering when temperatures warmed up, was bee food and then chicken food. I cut down the plants one by one and fed them to the girls who really seemed to enjoy them.
I have 4 heads of cabbage left, 2 red and 2 green. I grew extra cabbage for the chickens, because they love it so much. When one of the green cabbage heads split, it was easy to decide, which one was going to the girls. The remaining head of green cabbage and the 2 red will go into the fridge assuming I can find space.
These English peas will stay, but some surprise 'wormy' visitors have taken over my lettuce. I could treat for caterpillars with BT, but in this heat, it won't be long before the lettuce bolts and gets bitter. It's probably best to give it to the chickens. Wow, I'm sensing a trend here. Those chickens are going to be eating good.
I really hate to say goodbye to this Salad Bowl leaf lettuce. The greens have been some of the most tender lettuces I can remember.
I can definitely harvest the last of the spinach, beets and radishes. The beets will make a nice side dish and the spinach and radishes will go into salads.
The kale is a bit of dilemma. Most of it looks pretty good, except this one plant that has decided to bolt. I guess I'll be making a lot of kale chips.
The artichokes are definitely staying. I planted these back in November and there are already 4 baby artichokes and hopefully lots more to come.
|Photo from November 2011|
|Photo from March 2012|
|Baby Artichoke Developing|
On the left half of the garden, working from the front of the photo below, the freshly dirted potatoes will stay, but the bed containing the Brussels Sprouts will get cleared out. The next bed containing the broccoli has already been cleaned out. Behind the broccoli is the garlic, which will stay, followed by the cabbage, which will get cleared out. Finally, way in the back, the peas will stay, but the lettuce will get cleared out.
On the right half of the garden, another bed of potatoes, is not quite visible at the front of the photo. I planted one bed with white potatoes and the other with red. The primary rutabaga bed at the front of the photo is looking pretty picked over. Just 6 more rutabaga left and I can clear this bed out. Behind the rutabaga, a bed containing a mix of beets, spinach and radishes will go. The next bed contains onions, followed by a bed containing my beautiful kale and more rutabaga. I'll try to keep these in place for as long as possible. The final bed in the back contains the artichokes, which will stay.
In August, when the garden is fairly empty, filling the beds with tasty cabbages and rutabagas is a no brainer. But, in March, when many of the winter plants are still producing, it's tough to decide what goes and what stays. Of course, the ultimate solution is to expand, and you can bet, I'm already trying to figure that one out.