The hot weather has officially arrived. Hot days like yesterday are great for your heat-loving tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash and zucchini.
However, these plants also suck a lot of moisture out of your garden. This means that it is very important for you to water your gardens whenever it doesn’t rain. A good rule of thumb is whenever it is going to be over 30 and sunny, water your garden (preferably in the morning, so you don’t encourage the slugs).
It is also time to harvest all of your radishes and spinach. It is too hot for them, and they will ‘bolt-to-seed’ (grow flowers and get bitter and tough) if they haven’t already.
Many of you may already have snow peas to harvest. Make sure you pick them early and often – even every day. If they get over grown they will not taste good as ‘mange-tout’ but don’t despair! You can eat them as delicious shelling peas. Just open up the pod and eat fresh. Yum!
To clarify your seed packet gift (let me know if you haven’t received one yet):
The seeds are to replace the vegetables you harvest from your garden. You can either start them in pots or egg cartons to give them a head start, or just plant the seeds directly in the garden. The radishes, beets, peas, spinach and carrots are for a fall planting in late July, early-August and the lettuce seeds are for when your lettuce plants get too old and start tasting bitter. If you want to replace your lettuce plants with seedlings you should start those seeds in pots right away.
I’ll let you know when to plant your fall veggies in a Garden Maintenance email when the time comes.
It is best to start your lettuce seeds indoors. Just sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil. Lettuce seeds are tiny and if you bury them too deeply, they will not grow. If you do start them outside, make sure to water daily, because the don’t like to dry out.
This week we have a special treat – a recipe for a tender spring salad using your lettuce and some of the flowers the pay be popping up as your greens “bolt”.
Green Summer Salad with Flowers and Lemon Vinaigrette
Recipe to Serve 2-3 People:
1 Bunch Greens – you can use a combination of lettuce, finely chopped kale, finely chopped radish leaves, roquette, beet greens.
1 Handful flowers – any of the flowers from the bolting greens will work well for this (In the salad shown in the photo we used romaine lettuce, finely chopped kale and rapini flowers).
1 Lemon juiced
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste
1 Tbs. finely chopped herbs from your garden (Parsley, basil, chives etc)
2-3 Tbs Olive Oil (it is nice if you use a good, fruity olive oil)
Whisk together and dress greens, adding the flowers at the end and tossing lightly. Enjoy!