The garden is now changing on a daily basis and it is so fun to watch. I think my tomato plants grew 6 inches just in the past 3 days. The anticipation of a fresh tomato from my back yard is killing me! It’s a good thing I have other things I can eat from it now. What are those things? Glorious radishes, hearty kale, the most perfect snap peas and more lettuce than you can shake a stick at. ( I have never understood that phrase but it makes me laugh when ever I say it. I’m laughing right now thinking about saying it)
Someone asked me recently what to do with the radishes in their CSA share. If you like radishes, I think the best way to eat them is sliced thin in an arugula salad or dipped in salt. My brother-in-law is fan of radish and butter sandwiches, which I have never tried, but I plan on it when my second crop is ready. I realize that not everyone is a radish fan, but I do believe I could convert one or two of them. Last year, when I was looking for ways to use them, I decided to try roasting them. I cut off the tops and stems, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for about 20-30 minutes depending on their size and you have something that tastes nothing like a raw spicy radish. They are sweet and amazing. Try it. Just once. See what happens.
Speaking of salads, we’ve been eating a lot of them. Lettuce is one of the easiest (and cheap) things to grow and it grows fast. Once you cut it, it grows back. After 2 or 3 cuts, you should replant as it can get bitter. If you stagger your plantings, you will always have lettuce. (FYI – the same goes for arugula) My snap peas are now coming in and they are a great addition to my daily salad. Did you know that snap peas grow really tall and like to grab on to things? I didn’t either until they started attacking my snap dragons. Off to Home Depot I went and now I have something for them to climb.
I do have a few things that are NOT going well in the garden. My spinach, beets and swiss chard are being eaten by leaf miners. Apparently you are just suppose to pinch of the leaves they are feeding on, but that seems to be all of them. So, I’m going to try Neem, which is what good ol’ Mother Earth Gardens recommended. If you’ve ever dealt with this issue or with Neem, I’d love to hear from you.
I also have something that is snacking on my brussels sprouts. I am speculating it’s a caterpillar of some sort, but I need to catch it in the act to really know how to treat it. You can tell in this picture where the little bugger is going for his meals.
Any advice on how to get rid of my pests without the use of chemicals is welcome. Also, if you have a garden, what have you been eating?