Archive for May, 2014

Fresh Garlic Scapes

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One of the greatest things about growing garlic is the harvest of the flowering stalk of the garlic plant…the scape.  Garlic scapes have so many uses as they make a wonderful pesto, are tasty when grilled, do very well in a hummus, and they can be used as you would green onions in stir fries or soups.  They have a very light, garlic/onion flavor and are one of the true delicacies of the garden.

scapes

I picked a bunch of scapes this morning and this will be the only time I’ll be offering these this year as they are a one time harvest crop.  Scapes are difficult to find at farmer’s markets as you usually have to be first in line to have a chance at buying them.  I put a baker’s dozen in each bag and have them priced at $5 a bag.  E-mail me at kctomatotimes@gmail.com and I’ll tell you how to pick them up.

 

 

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Tomato Plant Maintenance and Disease Prevention

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It looks as if we’re headed into the hot and humid part of the growing season and that means that fungal problems will likely start to show up on your plants.  If you start to see any yellowing on your lower leaves, trim off the entire branch immediately and dispose of them.  Keep all foliage from touching the ground also to avoid more diseases form creeping up your plants.
Here’s a video I made a couple of years ago on pruning tomato plants

In addition to pruning your plants, I highly suggest a weekly regimen of spraying fungicide on your plants.  You have several options ranging from home-made remedies such as baking soda or store bought organics like Serenade or Liquid Copper.  You can also go the non-organic route with Daconil or Mancozeb.  Whatever you use, spray once a week and again if it rains.
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It’s time to mulch your tomato plants as well.  There are many options available including straw, grass clippings, paper, and plastic.  Whatever mulch you choose, make sure your mulch does not touch the stem of the plant.  I personally prefer to use silver reflective mulch film and have used it for many years with awesome results.  The silver film reflects light under the leaves which repels insects reducing or eliminating the need for pesticides.
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It is also a great idea to grow your tomato plants vertically instead of letting them sprawl on the ground.  Use  sturdy stake, the Florida Weave, or a sturdy tomato cage to support your plants.  If you tie them to a stake, use a stretchy material to tie them instead of twine s twine will cut the stems.
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For cages, you have two basic options…concrete reinforcing wire or Texas Tomato Cages.  Do NOT try using those little cages they sell at the box stores as your plants will bend them like a paperclip!  The concrete cages take a lot of work to build and are very bulky to store, but they are a fairly cheap investment that will last you 20 years or more.  The Texas Cages are very expensive, but are simple to install, and easy to store as they fold flat.  I use both of these cages in my garden and am very happy with both.
Visit your plants a few times a week if not once a day if possible to keep them supported, check for disease signs, and to watch them grow.  Gardening isn’t just about the end result of ripe fruit, it is a journey of growth and learning throuhgout the year.

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The Garden is IN!!!

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With the exception of some sunflowers and melons going in a corner of the garden, everything is planted finally!  I’ve pulled a lot of the early season crops and planted summer crops behind them.  The garlic will be harvested in a month or so and I’ll plant more beans and corn in behind those as well.

Here is a breakdown of everything planted so far:

64 tomato plants in raised beds:

Cherokee Purple (2), JD’s Special C-TEX, Carbon (3), Bear Creek, Chocolate Stripes, Sara Black, Brandywine Black, Brad’s Black Heart, Ananas Noire (2), Goose Creek (2), Mariana’s Peace, Eva Purple Ball, Soldaki, Lithuanian, Budennovka Pink, Arkansas Traveler, Grandfather Ashlock, Amish Paste (4), Brandywine Sudduth, Marmande Garnier Rouge, German Giant, Heavenly Delight (Rayskoe Naslazhdenie), Bolseno F1, Stump of the World, Cero Blackburn, Banana, Heidi, Boondocks, KBX, Pineapple, Pineapple Pig, Cherokee Gold, Cherokee Green, Absinthe, Green Moldovan, Malachite Box, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Grub’s Mystery Green, Anna Russian, Rosella Crimson (2), Hippie Zebra, Kiss the Sky (2), Honeydrop (Medovya Kaplya), Juanne Flamme, Weisebehaarte, Green Tiger, Pink Tiger, Lucky Tiger, Sungold, Purple Haze, Blush, Sunrise Bumblebee, Purple Bumblebee, and Pink Bumblebee. PHEW!!!

90 peppers in containers:

Serrano Del Sol (2), S80D, hot Rod, Serrano, Sweet Banana (5), Large Red Cherry (5), Jalapeno (5), Jimmy Nardello (5), Canary bell (5), Purple Beauty (5), California Wonder (3), Cascabelle, Carmen, Trinidad Scorpion (2), Padron (2), Peppadew (3), Stavros (2), Anaheim (2), Pimento, Krimson Lee, Chimayo, Yellow Peter pepper, Red Peter Pepper, Hot cowhorn, Mellow Star (3), Shishito (5), Chocolate Habanero (2), Numex Joe E. Parker (4), Santa Fe Grande (2), Hot Wax (2), Hungarian Cheese (2), Carolina Reaper (3), Chocolate Moruga,  Pot Burgundy, Queen Laurie, Chinese Naga, Brazilian Ghost, Malawi, White Habanero, Billy Goat, Thai Hot, Tepin, Yellow Pequin

10 eggplant in containers:

Long Purple (4), Florida Market (2), Nadia, Black Beauty (2), Rosa Bianca

Other veggies too numerous to name by species: Summer Squash (12 varieties), Bush Beans, Sweet Corn, 6 varieties of cucumbers, Oregon Giant snow peas, 4 types of beets, tons of onions, asparagus, cardoon, elephant and Russian red garlic, rhubarb, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, okra, kohlrabi, 3 kinds of kale, myriad herbs and probably some more I forgot about!

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Last of the Radishes

I’m already out of my lettuces for this week, but I did manage to make a big haul of Cherry Bell radishes and green onions from the garden this morning. Radishes and Onions are $2 a bunch.  Stop by today between 8 and noon to get some crunchy goodness to add to your meals this weekend!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Green Onions, Lettuce, and Plenty of Plants

I’ll head to the garden Saturday morning and pick a few gallon bags of lettuce and several bunches of green onions.  The lettuce will be $5 a gallon bag and the onions will be $2 for  bunch of 5 onions.  Stop by tomorrow between 8 and noon if you’re interested.

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I also have plenty of plants left.  Hopefully everyone covered their plants last night and tonight, but if you lost plants or still need to get plants for your garden, stop by tonight between 5 and 7 or tomorrow between 8 and noon.  I’m down to about 75 varieties, but the plants are in great shape and ready to plant after tomorrow morning’s chance of frost.

I’m at 215 East 97th St., KCMO.  See you this weekend!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Mid May Garden Progress Videos

It is the morning of May 15th and we’re supposed to have frost tomorrow morning and possibly Saturday morning as well.  This evening will be spent covering everything up with Agribond19….lots of work, but it’s better than losing all the plants to the frost.

 

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Lettuce, Lettuce, annnnnnnd more Lettuce

Red Tide Lettuce Tsunami!

Red Tide Lettuce Tsunami!

Baker Creek Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson, and Pac Choi

Baker Creek Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson, and Pac Choi

It’s a lettuce bonanza this week!  I am harvesting a bunch of my lettuces from two beds to make room for summer crops.  I have lots of varieties in all shapes and colors.  I’ll harvest them with the roots on and wash them once.  Keeping the roots on them allows them to stay fresher longer and keeps the head together.  You’ll need to give them a second washing, and chop them or tear them up for your salads.  $5 for a gallon bag stuffed full of lettuce!

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No need to e-mail to get them, just stop by Friday night from 5-7, Saturday from 8-3, or Sunday from 8-noon.  Get there early for the best selection!

215 East 97th St., KCMO

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