Harvesting expanded

Garden Harvest

Getting into edible flowers, herbs, garlic greens

First some important notes: If you have any radishes left, they definitely need to come out. If they are in the garden for too long, they get tough and very spicy! And, if you have any heads of lettuce that are sharing space with peppers or eggplants, they need to come out too. If your eggplants or peppers are crowded by other plants, they will not grow well and will not produce very many fruits. Please continue to wipe leaf miner eggs off of your swiss chard, and remove any leaves damaged by larvae.

The slugs seem to be starting, I’ve seen some little ones in my garden, so start hunting! Search and destroy. You can also bury a small yoghurt container or beer can filled with beer in the garden in a couple of spots as a beer trap. The trick with slugs – like everything in the garden – is to act early and often so that they don’t get out of control.

Perhaps most importantly: Keep on harvesting. Take advantage of the vegetables you have while they are in season. Harvest and weed enough to give each plant the space it needs to grow.

Adding flowers to your salads or desserts, not only adds a splash of colour and beauty to your dish but they are very delicious as well. In addition to harvesting the large outer leaves off of all of your lettuces, kale and swiss chard, you can harvest your edible flowers and herbs and add them to your salads. All the flowers we plant are edible. You can pull apart the larger flowers like the zinnia, chive and viola and sprinkle the petals on the salad. I like to leave the baby blue eyes, nasturtium and small marigolds whole for visual appeal. If you have yellow mizuna or roquette flowers add those in as well.  I like to add dill, parsley and oregano to salads in addition to the flowers with some olive oil, salt and pepper to make those leafy greens, flowers and herbs sing.

Garlic scapes are ready to harvest. It is important to remove them all from the garlic plant so that the plant’s energy goes into producing bulbs instead of flowers. The scape is the curled end above the top leaves, see photo below. Simply snip off. You can chop it up to add to any dish, or blend all of them together to add to a pesto. We have onion fly larva eating our garlic scapes and leaves. If you see a small yellowish larva on your plants, search and destroy.

In the driving rain over this past week, your tomato plants may have been knocked over and require some extra support. If you do not have peas, you can attach your tomatoes to the trellis by wrapping the growing end around the trellis strings. See my video for more info. If you do have peas, you can provide a stake for tomato plants for support if needed, until your peas finish fruiting. Once you have peas, harvest them early and often for maximum harvest. Here is a video from last year to see how to handle trellised snow peas.

Phew! That was pretty long. Thanks for reading! I’ll try to be more concise next time.

Greens in the Garden