Clark Hollow Ramblings: The wet spring vegetable garden

My peas have started to bloom. I almost got tired of waiting for them. They got so high they fell over, and I think they are a little too thick. Next year I want to put them up on a little piece of chicken wire. I am hoping by the end of this week to have a few flat pods to put in my salad. I like them as much as the snow peas that some folks plant.

And compared to ones you get at the grocery store that taste like they were picked last year, I will take some fresh flat pods from the Wandos, any day. They taste fine to me. I hope I have a few to put with some new potatoes when they are ready. Speaking of which, I have already picked off a few Colorado potato bugs. I haven’t sprayed for them yet, but I am sure I will have to when they start laying eggs on the underside of the potato leaves. I hate those things.

Everything else in the garden just needs to dry out a bit and get some good sunshine. I am not looking forward to humid days in the high 80s, but we will have to put up with them to get the veggies on their way. We have had lots of good lettuce and radishes, and I keep looking at my beets, but there isn’t anything there yet.

It looks like I will have plenty of beets this year, if they make. I planted some early, from some old seed that I had, and I didn’t have much luck getting them to come up. I thought it must have been the old seed. It was several years old, and Gwen, at the co-op, has told me more than once not to keep seed for over two years.

Anyway, I went and got some new seed and put in some more rows. Then, I took the old seed, which I had decided was no good, and spread them over the ground around my peppers and cucumbers and squash and raked them in the ground. It looks to me like every one of the old seeds came up. I have beets growing everywhere in the garden. It is a very good thing they are one of my favorite vegetables from the spring garden. Maybe I can put a few in some canning jars.

Last fall a friend gave us a head of Chinese cabbage. It is also called Napa cabbage. We had never had it before and found it to be quite good. We cooked some of it and made coleslaw from some. Both of the dishes were quite tasty. So, when I saw the co-op had some plants in last month. I bought four or five and set them out. They grew like the dickens, but they have gone to seed, with no trace of a head. This cabbage doesn’t look much like the regular Stonehead cabbage that we get, but I cannot figure why it has gone to seed so early. I think I am going to pull them up and put them on the mulch pile.

And I am still waiting for several days of dry, hot weather so I can get my lima beans in. Again, I had some old seed, and put them out early, but nothing came up. I went back to the co-op and got some new seed, but I don’t want to put them in the ground when it is as wet as it has been lately.

We did have enough fresh strawberries to have some over our cereal one morning, but that was about the crop. There are a few more on the way, but I don’t expect to get enough to make any preserves out of them. If I don’t, I hope I can get enough to try out the ice cream maker my brother brought me the other day. He was cleaning out some stuff, and figured he wasn’t going to use it anymore, so I am already smacking my lips hoping to make a bit of fresh strawberry ice cream. It’s making me hungry just writing about it.

I hope you have been able to scrape the mold off of everything and get dried out. That was a long wet spell. I expect the farmers are going to be busy for awhile with cutting and making hay. Hopefully, we will have a long enough dry spell so they can get it on the ground and let it dry a day or two before they bale it. Looks like another good year for hay.

Try to get out and enjoy some of the fresh air before it gets so hot we have to sit in the house with the air conditioner running full blast. I’m not complaining, but I expect it is going to get hot and dry before much longer.

See you in the funny papers.

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 154 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.