Friday, September 30, 2011
Succession Planting, Broccoli
A nice head of broccoli forming in September.
Will a frost sweeten up this Tuscany black kale?
I didn't do near enough succession planting as I should have this year. All season I struggled with what I felt were tough, crappy growing conditions. We had tornadoes in April. It was bitterly cold and rainy or snowing in May. We had a upper 90s heat wave the first week in June. We recorded record rainfall in both June and July and a drought in August.
The first crop of broccoli bolted. Lettuce quickly seeded out, too. I had spring-planted carrots set flower heads! The radicchio just never tasted right. The black kale went from fairly good juvenile leaves to very bitter adult foliage very quickly. Fennel formed seeds without setting bulbs. The peas got buried in the rambunctious growth of grape leaves after waiting an extra six weeks for the buds to unfurl their leaves. The mesclun mix I planted early season was over-run with leafy, fast-growing mustard.
During the small windows of good weather, I planted, transplanted, weeded, attempted to rototil. I couldn't get out to the garden to plant a second planting of sweetcorn, the rain never let up.
I did plant a couple additional seeding of mesclun, a fall crop of peas, and a second round of carrots at both gardens. I replanted cucumbers and honeydew after the first crop did not sprout.
The broccoli continually tried to bolt until the weather started to cool. I had kept cutting back the shoots that seemed to bolt out a foot tall and burst into yellow riotous bloom overnight. The few heads I harvested in August seemed riddled with the worms of cabbage moth, a result of the rainy June and July. Now that the weather has cooled the worms seemed to gone on vacation. Eating broccoli is no longer like walking through a gastronomic mine field.
The mesclun seedlings have been turning out a bowl of greens every couple days in my potager and the family garden. The 'China Rose' radishes I planted also just get longer while maintaining a sweetness that bolted from my grasp in June.
A second planting of dill would have been nice. Planting more carrots would have been nice. Onions have not yielded anything near my expectations.
In small spaces, succession planting is key. I have not made good use of all my space resources. I could have done better.