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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.