Spring is a busy time in the garden

No time for photos today. I’ve been going full steam on my garden the past few days, planting scads of things. Since my garden in coastal southern California goes year round, I’ve harvested a few firsts this week too, like the first artichoke of the season. I boiled it and ate it with a store-bought lemon dill dipping sauce. YUM. And I couldn’t resist pulling a couple of baby Dutch Redhead and Pink Summercicle radishes to see what they tasted like.

The Redheads were so cute they made me giggle. They were perfectly round, about the size of marbles, with a sweet crunch quickly followed by heat. They aren’t mild like my German White Icicle radishes, but they sure are pretty with irregularly patterned rose-colored tops and pure white bottoms. I liked them enough that I planted more today.

I harvested just a few pink Summercicles to thin them. I’m growing them in a pot and they’re doing fine there. They are sweeter than the Redheads, with a sweetness that lingers even once the radish heat takes hold. They weren’t as hot as the redheads, but hotter than the white icicles. Very pretty with long, straight, untapered, blunt-tipped roots like fingers, red on the outside but white inside. I planted more of them as well.

I’m getting ready to leave for Europe  in a couple days, going with my camera club. I’m nervous and excited at the same time, as I’ve never been to Europe. Australia and Japan, yes, plus Mexico and Canada, but I’ve never made it over the pond. Hubby is staying home to take care of the garden but my blog is going to get neglected for a bit. I’ve been anxiously watching the Iceland volcano, but our flight is supposed to leave as planned. Let’s hope it returns as well. This will probably be my last post until I return, as I’m really busy trying to get everything done that I want to get done. HA, like that’s going to happen.

Meanwhile, here is what I am (or have) grown in my garden so far this year. Some crops are all harvested already, but most are just getting started. I’m copying and pasting this from a Word document, so apologies for any formatting that is lost in translation. The dates in parentheses are when I planted them.

Artichokes

(planted 2009)

Arugula

(10/15/09, crop failure)

Beans

            Golden Wax (2/19/10)

Beets

Chiogga ( )

Golden (4/15)

Lutz Green Leaf (2009; 2/8/2010)

Bell Peppers

Five colors (planted 2009)

Bok Choy

Baby White Stem (2/8; 3/8/2010)

Broccoli

            Green (tiny heads, fed to hens)

            Purple (small heads, ate them)

Cabbage

Chinese, Fluffy Top Kaisin Hakusai (3/31)

Chinese, Loosehead Chiramen (3/31)

Red (transplanted Jan 2010)

Green Savoy (crop failed to make heads, fed to hens; plant 1 transplant that I grew from seed 4/22/10)

Carrots

Danvers half-long (1/10/2010, possum dug up; 4/22/10)

Kyoto Red (4/15/2010)

Cauliflower

Candid Charm

Cheddar (from seed)

Snow Queen (ate it already)

Violetta (from seed)

Chard

Lucullus (Jan 2010)

Rainbow (2009; 2/8/2010)

Ruby (Jan 2010)

Collards

Champion (2009)

Cucumber

Tendergreen Burpless (4/15/10)

Eggplant

Black Beauty (from seed, 2/19/2010)

Ichiban (planted transplant 4/22/10)

Millionaire (2009)

Pingtung Long (from seed)

Garlic

(11/?/2009; replanted 4/22/10)

Ginger

Silver Softneck (2/9/10; 4/22/10)

Horseradish

(2/9/10)

Kale

Chinese Ryoko (Kailaan) (3/19/2010)

Italian Lacinato (3/19/3010)

Scotch Blue Curled (2007; 3/31/2010)

Komatsuna

Green Boy Hybrid (4/15/2010)

Leeks

Blue Solaise (2009; 1/27/10, 3/8/10)

Lettuce

Black-seeded Simpson (10/15/09; 11/17/09)

Green Oakleaf (transplants)

Lollo Rossa (11/17/09)

Red Salad Bowl (transplants)

Red Sails (possum dug up)

Royal Oak Leaf (11/17/09)

Mesclun

(1/10/10, crop failure)

Mizuna

(11/17/09, crop failure)

Onions

Bunching Green seed (2/9/10)

Italian Bunching Red of Florence seed (4/15/10)

Red sets(11/17/09; 1/30/10)

Yellow sets (11/17/09; 1/30/10)

Parsnips

Hollow Crown (1/10/10, possum got all but three)

Peas

Mammoth Melting Sugar (2/19/10)

Snow Wind (3/24/10)

Super Sugar Snap (12/8/09)

Potato

Blue (2/15/09)

Radish

Dutch Redhead (3/24/10; 4/22/10)

French Breakfast D’Avignon (3/14/10)

German white icicle (2/20/10)

Pink Summercicle (4/15/10)

Spinach

Olympia (11/17/10)

Squash, Summer

2 Clarinette Lebanese (4/22)

3 Early Prolific Straightneck (4/22)

2 Gold Rush (4/22)

6 Patty Pan (White, Yellow, Green)

Sunchokes

(2/15/10)

Tomato

1 Better Boy (transplant, Jan?)

2 Black Krim (seed, 2/19/10)

2 Brandywine (seed, 2/19/10

1 Champion (transplant, Jan?)

2 Early Girl (planted transplants 2/10/10)

2 Mortgage Lifter (seed, 2/10/10)

1 Roma (planted transplant 4/22/10)

1 Yellow Pear (transplant)

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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6 Responses to Spring is a busy time in the garden

  1. Daphne says:

    Wow you plant tomatoes in February and over winter your peppers. You really are in a warm climate.

  2. Ali says:

    Have a great trip!

  3. You’ve never been to Europe? Well, I’m glad you’re remedying that oversight 😛 Have a fabulous trip! I promise to watch for some wonderful blog updates when you return!

    • Thanks, Clare. Nope, never been to Europe. Got married young and divorced young. Two small boys tied me down and sapped my budget. My priorities were raising my boys and completing my education (BA, then PhD). When Vic and I got our doctorates in 1981, we moved to the West coast, and it just never happened. I’m back from France and now I can say that I’ve been to Europe. Fabulous photo ops.

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