Saturday, July 11, 2009

Snow Peas in July by Heirloom Fan

As we all know, this has been an unusually cool and rainy spring. One good thing though is that my cool weather crops are hanging in there. We are enjoying a nice crop of snow peas – I planted them a little later than normal in May and then they recently seemed to like the right combination of rain and temperature and began blooming and producing handfuls of crisp pea pods. The variety I planted was Burpee’s “Snowbird”. The packet promised “large yields of edible pods” and they fulfilled their promise nicely. We have had some to eat ourselves, to share with friends and I may try to freeze a few bags for the winter.

Our lettuce and herb beds are also doing well. Some of the varieties that I planted that are still going strong include Burpee’s Buttercrunch, an organic small head variety, and a baby Romaine called “Freckles” (Lactusca sativa) which is a green romaine with maroon red splotches. This one comes from a seed company called Botanical Interests and is labeled as an heirloom. I also planted a mixed variety of loose leaf lettuce and it yielded some interesting types including a ruby red and an oak leaf type. I included some spinach which is mild and tender when picked young and included with the salad greens.

July is always the month for my garden to pick up speed and for the warm weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash to also begin an accelerated growth. The cool wet spring kept things growing but my tomatoes and cucumbers are finally blooming and setting fruit and I can see tiny Butterstick zucchini on the plants. So this is an exciting time for the garden. With the very warm weather predicted this week, we should be seeing some fast progress.

Now if we can just keep the hailstorms away!