A Quick Look at Jason’s MN Garden

This is some arugula that recently flowered.  The leaves will be more bitter now, because the plant is putting its energy into producing flowers.  The nutty flavor of this green is nice for spicing up a salad or bowl of pasta.  When cooking arugula make sure to add it to the dish late in the cooking process.  It is not quite as robust as spinach and can only handle a quick braise.

Flowering Arugula

This Blue Dwarf Kale is just about ready for harvest.  I used mulch around the plant to retain moisture and to reduce the competition from weeds.  The mulch is nice to use on beds that you do not plan on turning that same year.  If you don’t have mulch, try straw. It is a great alternative and breaks down much faster.  I look forward to sauteing the kale in some toasted sesame oil or bacon grease.

Blue Dwarf (Imp) Kale

The spring mix and spinach are dealing with some encroaching grass.  I need to do a better job of containing the growth in between my beds.  These crops have already been big producers for me this spring.  It is one of the better raised beds that I dug. I hope to get another couple weeks of production out of these guys, before the soil gets too warm.

Spring Mix

The butter leaf lettuce is doing pretty well.  I am going to let them get real big before I harvest.  The weather is going to stay cool, so there is little risk of them going to seed anytime soon.  However, once they do start to produce seeds, the plant will be way too bitter for consumption.

Butter Leaf Lettuce

Here is a cuke seedling. As you can see the cotyledons (original 2 leaves) have not dropped. Growth should start picking up in the next couple weeks.  I transplanted my toms and peps over the last couple weeks as well.  Minnesotans don’t have the benefit of a Mediterranean climate.  We have to wait for the soil to warm up into the 70s, before the cucurbits (Cucumbers, Zucchinis, Watermelons) and nightshades (Tomatoes, Peppers) start to show any significant growth.

Cucumber

Mint grows like a weed.  I had to pull up half the mint in my garden today to make room for tomatoes and cucumbers.  This perennial is great, even in northern climates, and helps make a mean mojito.  Just grab some rum, sugar in the raw, limes, and club soda, and you will be ready to mash up a tasty summer refreshment.

Mojito Farm

These peas were planted in late March, as soon as the soil thawed.  Snow peas take 60 days to reach maturity, which means I have been harvesting away this week.  You can plant peas multiple times throughout the season. So, stagger your plantings and make sure you start getting some in the ground again in late July, because peas are very cold tolerant and will survive into late October.  Peas also serve another purpose in the garden besides providing us with a good source of protein.  All legumes (Peas and Beans) put nitrogen back into the soil.  For this reason, it is a good idea to rotate them around your garden from year to year.

Peas
Peas

 

3 thoughts on “A Quick Look at Jason’s MN Garden

  1. NICE PICS! How much of your green garden makes it to the table compared to the trash (dead)? With the arugula flowers do you add them to a salad or can you cut them off so the flowers don’t pull the nutrients. I believe we are on the fence in SD with cutting off flowers from the tomato plants.

  2. Thanks. Most of my greens make it on somebody’s table. At least 90%. I give them away to my friends when I have more than I can eat. I have never ate the arugula flowers but it would be interesting to see how they taste. If you catch the arugula flowering early on, I would say cut them off and the greens will continue to producing nicely. Same goes for basil. With the tomatoes, I have always heard that cutting flowers and fruit early in the season will allow for the plant to grow bigger, which ultimately leads to greater overall yields later in the year. Thanks for your comments and questions.

  3. Great post! Out in San Diego, we do our mint in pots because it will take over the garden. How long have you had your plant in the ground? I’m curious to see if the mint will resurface where you pulled it up. We have four pots of it at the garden. My neighbor in my apartment has a huge plant on their deck, Ill get some pictures.

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