Weather is fluctuating quite a bit in the Bay Area. Temperature soars to low 70’s and dips to high 50’s. With this I’ve had plants that are a bit confused, but several thriving. I have a steady harvest of spinach, truck loads of chard from my chard jungle, French and red viened sorrel, vitamin greens, cilantro, Okinawa spinach, parsley, sage, oak leaf lettuce, frissee, and various other greens easily half pound each time. We harvest the greens atleast couple of times each week and either prepare salads, or saute with mild spices. The peas are still producing flowers when the temperature dips, and slows down when they rise. My son loves to snack on them routinely, straight from the plant. This week we harvested purple cauliflower, which had formed 3-4 inch heads, totaling to about 1.5 lbs. In this bed I plan on sowing okra once the temperatures are consistently warmer.
Strawberries are growing and ripening, and between slugs, roly polies and pests, we are harvest atleast 4-8 oz of berries every couple of days. The cinderblock idea for strawberries are going great so far, however when temperatures rise, I will need to figure out a consistent watering schedule as the cement blocks could scorch the tender roots. The dwarf mulberry tree is loaded with goodness. The blueberries have started to ripen, and with that is our regular visits from “Blue the bluejay”, as my kids fondly call it.
March planted cabbages are thriving. The 45 day cabbage is almost getting ready to be harvested, with heads firmed up and about 4-5 inch in diameter. Tomatoes are thriving, and are loaded with flowers, with promises of juicy harvests. A volunteer tomato near our air conditioner has overwintered successfully and is happily growing again. Surprisingly this spot does not get much direct sun, barring for couple hours of intense heat in the afternoon. Overwintered peppers have taken off and started to produce flowers. Moringa has shown signs of life after being dormant for months. Curry leaves are prolific with new growth and shoots. Eggplants have set fruits, and so have the summer squashes. Onions planted in December last year have set good sized bulbs, and I will be harvesting them as needed. The consistent rains have helped. Garlic seems to be ready, with most of the leaves losing its bright color. Icicle and watermelon radishes are consistently producing in the canopy of tomatoes, and in between lettuces, and just about every where. Cucumbers, winter squashes, melons and cantaloupes successfully transplanted and are growing slowly but steadily. Couple of them got eaten up by pests however, and I need to direct sow. All home grown eggplants and peppers have had a slow start, but I think there is adequate time for it to take off once the hotter summer kicks in.
The tindora root I had purchased from ebay has produced shoots and is steadily growing. Sweet potatoes vines have rooted and I need to transplant them into the soil this week. I think I might be a bit late for the sweet potatoes, however there is no harm in trying. Ginger has produced shoots and are ready to go in the soil as well.
On the not so rosy side of gardening, something has been eating off all the bitter gourd, ridge gourd, gavar beans, and pole beans. I am truly puzzled of an insects affiliation towards bitters! I was very confident that no pests would bother a bitter gourd plant, but I was so not right! Perhaps the insect kingdom knows the value of bitters and chomps them off to balance their blood sugars!
Feb through April being very busy with starting seeds indoors, preparing beds, sowing and transplanting, May onwards is the time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of labor. Happy gardening my friends!