Our garden continues to grow, and it is time to enjoy some of the fruits of our labors.
Peas – We planted peas back in February, when we were still dealing with winter weather and freezes. We started picking peas in April, and our vines have been steadily succumbing to the heat. This will be the last of the peas, as we will pick the rest of them, then clip the vines, leaving the roots in the soil.
Carrots – We planted carrots from seed in mid-February and have been enjoying them for the past few weeks. We will continue to harvest carrots as needed. If you suffer from root knot nematodes, they may start to eat the root if you leave them in the ground too long in warm weather.
Beets – We planted the beets at the same time as the carrots and have already harvested a few. Beets are best harvested when they are 1 ½-2 inches in diameter. If beets get bigger than 2 inches across, they can get woody, and not as appetizing.
Basil – This basil was planted a month ago and is ready to enjoy. You can pick basil leaf by leaf to enjoy or cut down most of the plant if you need a lot of basil. When harvesting the whole plant, cut above the lowest two sets of leaves and the plant will grow back quickly. If you cut down to the ground, the plant will probably not recover. You should be checking your basil frequently for flowers. If you see flowers, pinch them off, and consider a substantial harvesting of the plant. If you let a basil plant flower, it changes the flavor of the leaves and slows the plants growth. Do not let basil flower.
Zucchini – The squash was started from seed at the end of March, and we are starting to get some zucchini. Zucchini is tough to grow in the Carolinas, and we are having some trouble. We get lots of flowers and some small squash, but the squash are shriveling up and turning yellow and brown before they fall off the vine. This is a symptom of a lack of pollinators. Our garden is on a patio off a paved parking lot. We don’t get a lot of bees here. There is a way to hand pollinate squash by identifying the male and female flowers and moving pollen from one to the other.
Green Beans – The greens beans were planted in mid-March and have been producing beans for a few weeks. We will continue to check the plants every day or two and pick beans. This will keep the plant flowering and growing more beans.