What’s Growin’ On?
Written by: Sumati Shah
How is it June already? Nevermind – tis the season when the squirrels try to boss me out of my garden and it’s both harvest and planting time all at once.
By now you might be enjoying fresh salad – lettuce and many greens are doing nicely – harvest the outside leaves and leave the central core intact for so many loose head lettuce varieties and you can just keep picking through until the heat causes them to bolt.
A nice mesclun mix is my favourite – it has arugula and endive as well as less bitter green leaf lettuce like red and green oak leaf – I really like that whatever the weather there’s things in the mix that do well. I broadcast a small patch so there’s no lines to follow – just pick and thin as needed – eat while it’s growing for the best part of early summer.
As a bonus, I end up with some early volunteers the following spring and they’re always great for a mixed greens gathering to sauté before the deeper roots on chicory or endive plants are pulled up for the new plantings.
Radishes are another easy peasy lemon squeeze early crop – Easter egg variety is my choice – because just look at them – so pretty – and variety is the spice of life. We only eat a few at a time so why not have a choice of colours? Plus – each colour tastes just a little different – some more spicy and sharp and others more mellow.
Strawberries – I’ve never grown them before and they’re doing wonderfully – Another week or two and I expect some deliciousness. So far I’m 50/50 for the squirrels seeing the berries setting before I do and so while some of them are lost, the others are now protected with netting from the grocery product onions and avocados – the little squirrel and even mouse fingers don’t like getting into all that tangly mesh – ReUse for the Win – and I’m planning on at least 1/2 a dozen berries from my 3 tiny plants so it’s a win for year one! Yes – we take the small wins as big successes – and enjoy the spring’s bounty while watching the cucumbers and tomatoes take root for the bounty ahead.