Wild Garden! (Kales and Cukes)

Today’s garden project was somewhat tedious–besides the watering, which I’ve been doing every day in different parts of the garden, I watered, weeded, thinned, mulched, and dusted the wild garden kale I’d seeded between the romaine heads (which are now all harvested except for one or two that didn’t mature along with the rest).

I’m excited by this mix, purchased from Territorial Seed, because it promises to offer a wide variety of what is my absolute favorite fall green. The problem with thinning them, though, is that they all pretty much look alike at this small stage–mostly like Red Russian kale.

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

(This is a small plant that re-emerged this spring in my home garden.)

So, I tried to thin judiciously  and not just take all the small plants–but to thin according to looks (a little lighter stem color, a little crinklier leaf) and vigor, and also optimal spacing.

A happy coincidence is that the bed, which is on the north side of a hog panel trellis where my cukes are going gangbusters, had a couple of wire mesh cages over it to keep the deer/rabbits off the romaine (though they were more interested in the chard and beets anyway).

Those cages were a pain to weed around, but I couldn’t remove them because the first planting of cucumbers is sprawling over them and grabbing them with their tendrils.  The happy coincidence is that with the cages there, the cukes don’t crush the young, tender kale plants with their bounding growth (and give them a little shelter from the boiling sun).

I put a few more of those cages in to protect the kale and give the cukes additional support.  Speaking of cukes–I will most definitely have some for market tomorrow–not a ton (I have a special order to save a couple for one regular customer), but they’ll be there along with sweet peppers, parsley, and a few other things I’ll post on in my regular pre-market post tomorrow afternoon.

I am going to up the price a little on the cukes–I was charging 25 cents each for the cukes I had last week–then I saw the grocery store is charging a buck or two each!  But I won’t charge that much–maybe 50-75 cents, depending on size/variety.

What I really need now is a pickle crock–anyone have one sitting around their garage or basement?  They’re getting hard to find because the antique dealers are snatching them up–I don’t care if my crock is antique–it just has to be straight-sided with no cracks and between one and 5 gallons capacity because I’m actually going to use it (of all thing!) for making pickles.


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