No April Showers, But Harvests Go On

Despite a scarcity of rain this month (only slightly over an inch so far), April is shaping up to be a great month for the garden. The star of the harvests has to be the asparagus. We’ve been harvesting it a little over 5 weeks now, and so far we’ve hauled in over 18 pounds of it! If this rate of growth continues, we could wind up with 25-30 pounds this year, a big improvement over the 20 pounds we harvested last year. We generally harvest it for about 7 to 8 weeks, as long as the size of the spears holds up.

some of the 2012 asparagus (click on any image to enlarge)

I attribute the great harvest to two things. First, the plants are a year older. Two rows were planted in 2007, and the third was planted in 2008, so the planting is just now getting up to its full potential. And second, last years record rainfall kept the plants growing more lushly than usual. All that energy got stored in the roots, and they have pushed up lots of spears this year. Whatever the reasons, we have certainly been enjoying all that asparagus. We’ve frozen some of it for making asparagus soup when winter comes around.

salad of mixed greens, radishes and egg

We’re also harvesting greens as needed, like spinach. Last week I pulled some of the bolting spinach and sauteed it with some mushrooms and a little butter. The leftover spinach went into a frittata. And more spinach went into a salad, along with some radish greens and lettuce. I’m growing the dual purpose Saisai radish (from Fedco seeds), which can be grown for both the mild, smooth greens and for the full-size daikon roots. I sowed this batch thickly for greens, though I may thin a few out and see how the roots develop.

spinach(L) and radish greens(R)

I also harvested some Shunkyo radishes, and some from a radish seed mix I planted. Those were nice on salads too.  The Shunkyo radishes are the long red ones in the below photo. Their taste is supposed to be “both hot and unusually sweet” according to the catalog description, but so far ours have been rather mild tasting. I’ve got some April Cross daikon radishes planted that should be ready to eat here in a couple of weeks.

Shunkyo and Cherry Belle radishes

In other garden news, the Beedy’s Camden kale is finally bolting. That’s good news, since I’m saving seed from this variety for growing again. I pulled up all the other brassicas that were blooming so they wouldn’t cross-pollinate with the kale. We’ll be eating some more of that kale too. It’s been a good-tasting, star performer for us.

flowering Beedy's Camden kale

I also let some fall-planted arugula go to seed. This was a planting of two hardier than usual varieties, Ice Bred and Even’ Star. Whatever seed I get should make for arugula that is tasty and hardy. Though Arugula is a member of the Brassica family, it won’t cross with any other Brassica except itself, so I don’t have to worry about the kale and arugula crossing.

arugula for seed

That’s a look at what we’re harvesting here in late April. For more gardeners harvests from around the world, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of Harvest Monday’s.

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15 Responses to No April Showers, But Harvests Go On

  1. Robin says:

    You are very lucky at HA with all that asparagus! Mine all survived the transplant. But there won’t be much harvesting from it this year.

    We are now getting some much needed rain! It started Saturday evening and is continuing as I write this.

    • Dave says:

      I though about you and the ‘dust bowl’ when I saw the national weather map. I’m glad it’s raining somewhere!

      • Robin says:

        We got lucky and didn’t have really hard rain. It would have just run off. It looks like I may get over there later this afternoon. Hopefully it won’t be the mud bowl!

  2. Liz says:

    Your radishes are a really nice shape. I’ve been growing French Breakfast radishes but they are pretty funny looking. I’ve got an Easter Egg mix to try next, should be fun.

  3. Amber says:

    What variety of Asparagus do you have? Looks great! Don’t really have the bed space to dedicate to asparagus but I do love it. My neighbor is not have much luck with her’s in the 3rd season.

    • Dave says:

      We have three varieties: Jersey Giant, Jersey Knight and Jersey Supreme. It is hard to tell much difference in them, they are all doing quite well.

  4. Norma Chang says:

    Jealous of your asparagus harvest. I should try the dual purpose Saisai radish next year. How long do they get when reached full size?

  5. kitsapFG says:

    I actually remembered to sow some radish seeds this year – I usually forget about them altogether. Totally jealous of all that asparagus. Love them but they did not thrive here so I ended up taking out the bed. They were much easier to grow in my old homestead in central Washington. I may have to try it again in another location on the property and see if I can get them to grow and thrive this time.

  6. Jenny says:

    Love all that asparagus! Mine is ver poor performer this year so I’m jealous of yours 🙂

  7. Barbie says:

    Wonderful harvest this week! Your asparagus looks monsterous – or maybe that is because our weatheri s so warm here I’m used to seeing it so puny? Either way it’s impressive!

  8. maryhysong says:

    what a great asparagus harvest! I only have a few plants and they are just beginning to produce but I’m finding baby plants scattered everywhere so I’ve been digging them up and putting in pots until I settle on where I want another bed of them.

  9. I have tried planting radishes 3 times, because my middle daughter really wants to taste some. So far, I have had no luck whatsoever. I hope to try again in the fall. It’s too hot here already for radishes. (Though it doesn’t feel like it today.)

  10. Bee Girl says:

    Everything looks fantastic. I really can’t wait for our asparagus to be ready…but I guess I have to since we just planted it, ha 😉 Love those radishes! I forgot to plant some this spring and the ones we planted last fall failed quite miserably. Ah well, there’s always next time 🙂

  11. Daphne says:

    Beautiful salad. I wish my radishes were ready to pick, but I forgot to plant them until late. Hopefully in a week or so.

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