Tag Archives: rhubarb

Horseradish and Other Vegetable Progress

I was gone last week at a conference for work, and I feel like the garden is getting away from me! There is weeding, thinning, planting and other work to do as soon as possible. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks here.

Horseradish Root

I love horseradish sauce on my meat sandwiches, and decided that it would be a good perennial addition to the garden. Caroline picked up a horseradish root at the grocery store, and the boys helped me plant it in the garden the next day.  I forgot to take pictures before and during planting. The root was about 1 foot tall and already had some small green buds on top. as can be seen in the picture.

Horseradish Root
Horseradish Root

Beans

We planted the same Purple King pole beans as in previous years. The boys helped me take back the bean patch from the creeping charlie and cover that had popped up this spring. We only finished planting this one little strip so far. I’ll get to the rest this week.

One patch of pole beans
One patch of pole beans

Garlic

The garlic I planted last week is now 3 or 4 inches tall. Hopefully it will get along well with the rhubarb.

Garlic Sprouts
Garlic Sprouts

Sunflowers

These sunflowers sprouted from the seeds I collected from the sunflowers we grew last year. The seeds seemed so small I wasn’t sure if I had collected them too soon, so I planted extras in hopes that some would sprout. I’ll need to thin these out this week so they’re not competing with each other.

Sunflowers to be thinned
Sunflowers to be thinned

Spinach and Peas

The spinach and peas are both coming along. The spinach is coming in nice and thick.

Spinach Growing
Spinach Growing

Not all of the peas sprouted (possibly due to squirrels?) so I’ll sow some more pea seeds in the bare spots this week.

Growing Peas
Growing Peas

Flowering Rhubarb

One of our rhubarb plants is flowering. This fall I’ll collect its seeds and start them inside next spring. Most rhubarb related websites seem to discourage planting rhubarb from seed saying that most rhubarb these days are hybrids and that the seeds won’t be true to type. That may be the case but I’m willing to see what will sprout.  I’m not picky about the color or size of the rhubarb, as long as it tastes good. This rhubarb plant was grown from seed and the stalks are good. Hopefully its seeds will also produce something good.

If your rhubarb is flowering and you aren’t collecting seeds, you should cut the flowering stalk so that it doesn’t waste energy on flowers and seeds. Cutting the flowering stalk will give you more edible stalks.

For the curious, the rhubarb flowers smell like some kind of unpleasant industrial soap.

Flowering Rhubarb
Flowering Rhubarb

Tomatoes and Peppers

The tomatoes and peppers are still under lights in the basement. The tomatoes are starting to reach the lights.  I need to start hardening them off so they can live outside, or raise the lights some more. 4 of the 18 tomatoes didn’t sprout.

Tomatoes under lights
Tomatoes under lights

6 of the 18 peppers are coming up. This week I will replant in the cups where they didn’t come up yet.

Peppers
Peppers

 

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Cherry Blossoms and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Our cherry tree is in full bloom with lots of pretty white flowers. With any luck we’ll get some cherries this year already. Does anyone have recommendations for cherry tree netting?

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

 Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Caroline made Strawberry Rhubarb pie Sunday night with rhubarb from our garden, and strawberries from the store.

Caroline Cutting Rhubarb
Caroline Cutting Rhubarb

I didn’t know you needed to peel rhubarb. But Caroline knew!

Peeling The Rhubarb
Peeling The Rhubarb

We served the pie hot, with real whipped cream on top. Caroline used this recipe from Allrecipes.com.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

 

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Tomatoes and Peppers Finally Planted

The packages say to plant tomatoes and peppers indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date. Fridley’s average last frost date is about May 21st, so I’m late this year. Better late than never though, and I’m happy to say that my tomatoes and peppers are finally planted. They’ll have about 4.5 weeks inside before transplanting this year instead of the 6, but maybe we’ll get a warm fall that will still give them the needed time to mature.

Planting Tomatoes and Peppers

I picked up a bag of dirt from Home Depot. This year it was Scotts Moisture Advantage. I don’t have a favorite, this one was just one of the cheaper ones in the size I wanted.

Potting Soil
Potting Soil

A few years ago I read on a blog about mixing the dirt with water in a bucket and filling the pots with already damp soil. It seemed like a good idea and so I’ve been using it. The soil being damp makes this less of a messy project for the kids (no dusty dirt on the table) and means I don’t have to water 36 little pots full of water.

The trick is to get the dirt wet enough that it stick together, but not so wet that it drips out the bottom of the pot when you fill it up.

Mix up the dirt with water in a bucket, then fill the cups
Mix up the dirt with water in a bucket, then fill the cups

I used to use the black plastic multi-cell planter pots, but they were pretty flimsy, tore easily and my plants always grew out of the small ones. It was much cheaper to just buy a big pack of party cups and drill a hole through the bottom of them.  You can wash and re-use the cups. They’re not black, so it’s easier to write on them with a sharpie, and they’re a good size for 6-week old tomato and pepper plants.

This year we’re doing more beets, peas and basil, and less tomatoes and peppers. We planted 9 Sweet Million tomatoes, 9 Beefsteak tomatoes, 6 Sweet Banana Peppers, 6 Hot Peppers and 6 California Wonder bell peppers.

Tomato and Pepper Seeds
Tomato and Pepper Seeds

What’s Growing?

The carrots are coming up.

Carrot Hairs!
Carrot Hairs!

Lettuce Lane is our name for the path that goes between the garden and the trees, up to the spigot. On either side we’ve got a 6-8 inch strip of dirt where we fill with lettuce. Here it is popping up already.

Lettuce Lane
Lettuce Lane

The Rhubarb and Chives have awoken from their winter slumber. Hopefully this will be the year I get my strawberry rhubarb pie.

Rhubarb and Chives
Rhubarb and Chives

Lastly, the cherry blossoms have started cracking open. I would love to get cherries this year, but I know it’ll take a few years before this tree really kicks it into gear.

Cheery Cherry Blossoms Popping Out
Cheery Cherry Blossoms Popping Out

Happy Gardening!

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