garden update

Decided to take a leap of faith in the garden based on what the certified chief meteorologist on the tube said. According to him, it looks like about 10 days ahead of weather staying above 50 at night and touching 80 during the day. Based on that I took half of the summer squash that I had started in the house and transplanted it to the garden. That would be 3 plants, each a different variety. I have 3 more in reserve just in case these guys meet an early demise. For the past two years I’ve had near zero success with summer squash for several reasons but mostly nematode attacks. So this planting is designed to fix that problem. First I dug a much deeper than normal hole and sprinkled it liberally with sugar and fertilizer. Then I laid down a couple of sheets of newspaper, the WSJ to be precise, and soaked it with a mix of Miracle Gro and water. My idea is to make a barrier for the nematodes which will eventually degrade but not until the plants are firmly established. Next I filled the hole with fresh compost so none of the surrounding soil will touch the plant for a while. Supposedly one of the cures for nematodes is to use highly organic soil and this compost is 100% pure organic material. Last I set the peat pot holding the squash plant on top of the compost and surrounded it with potting soil. So the plant is sitting maybe a foot away from any of the old soil which I assume holds nematodes. I’m also hoping that this approach keeps away the feared and dreaded cutworms as well. According to the seed company, these varieties are roughly 50 days from seed to veggie so my thought is that all these precautions plus giving the plants a couple of weeks in peat pots in the house will allow them to start producing before the nematodes even know they’re there.

One of the upsides to using the library wi-fi approach to internet access is that while Nancy is picking up all the tidbits on Facebook, I check out gardening magazines. I picked up two new recipes a few weeks back and tried them both this week. We’ve taken to roasting many veggies on the Holland grill and really have loved them cooked that way. The recipes I found use that same technique with kohlrabi and with whole carrots. Generically you coat the veggie with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and maybe garlic powder and then roast at 400 degrees for a period consistent with the particular veggie. I didn’t remember that we still had a kohlrabi in the refrigerator veggie bin. I thought we had eaten the last one back in December after the crop was done. So I wasn’t sure it was still edible but figured I’d find out soon if it was spoiled inside or had turned to wood. I peeled it and cut it into French fry sized strips. Looked just fine and I guessed it would be a 20 minute roast. Perfect. Since you can eat Kohlrabi either raw or cooked, not sure cooking time makes much difference. At 20 minutes a couple of them had started to brown and look nicer but also softer. With the carrots, we had used the roasting technique on nickel cut carrots and it worked fine but had never tried a whole carrot. To peel or not to peel? I decided to try both ways since the whole thing was an experiment. I guess these at 45 minutes, about the same as a small potato, anticipating that same texture at the end. The tasted ok, not spectacular, and were not the softer texture of a potato. Maybe they will never get soft but next time I’ll try cooking for an hour or so.

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