Garlic scapes, growing kiwi fruit and digging potatoes

It’s June in mynjgarden and the livin’ is easy! I’ve been harvesting bowl after bowl of salad greens and some of them have started to flower. There’s plenty left though and most of it was self seeded from the ones I let go to seed last year. I’m running low on mulch but have the promise of a truck full of wood chips some time next week.

CAM01558Today I put some grass clippings around the base of the garlic and cut all the scapes off. The garlic scapes are the flower part that comes up from the middle of the plant about 5 weeks or so before I usually harvest them. It’s a solid stalk (instead of a flat leaf, like the rest of the plant) and it has a pointy bulb-like bud on the end. The scape curls around a couple of times before the scape bud will eventually swell and tiny little garlic seed-bulbs emerge from the papery covering. Before this happens, snip off the scapes and use them when you cook as you would use scallions or green onions. They do taste garlicy, but not as potent as the cloves you get from the head. I used 3 of them, minced up, to make sauteed cauliflower for dinner tonight and it tasted awesome!

CAM01556The potato plants flowered last week and though I snipped them off to help the plant direct more energy into the potatoes, I figured this was as good as it was going to get. Potatoes like cool soil and it’s been in the 90’s this week. I also hadn’t been mounding up the soil around the potatoes because I didn’t plant them on purpose and I didn’t know how close to the surface or far below the seed potatoes were. The “All Blue” potatoes that these volunteers came from were originally planted at least 3 growing seasons ago and I always think I’ve gotten them all each time I harvest. I dug them up today and got more than I thought I would actually. It’s probably my best potato harvest ever and I wasn’t even trying. I’m pretty lousy at growing potatoes.

Tiny green tomatoes are starting to appear on the vines and I’ve had to start tying the plants onto the stake-a-cages I’m using to trellis them this year.

Check out this video of the Ken’s red kiwi, a male and female plant, I’ve got in the back yard next to the veggie gardens.