Gardentalk – Preparing for early vegetable and garlic scape harvest

By June 3, 2019 Food, Gardentalk
Super close-up view of pollen and a very small, winged visitor which have landed on garlic planted in a North Douglas garden. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

Super close-up view of pollen and a very small, winged visitor, which has landed on garlic planted in a North Douglas garden. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

In this week’s edition of “Gardentalk,” a heads-up about harvesting the first, early crop of spinach, arugula, mustard greens and radishes. Master Gardener Ed Buyarski said those cool weather plants may be early this season and could start bolting soon with the longer daylight hours.

Buyarski also recommends gardeners start harvesting their kale and spinach that was planted late last summer and left in the ground over the winter.

And don’t forget to feed your other vegetable plants.

Listen to the May 30 segment about garlic and early vegetable harvest:
“We can give them a little boost to keep them going if we’ve had a lot of rainfall,” said Buyarski, who admits that it’s not the case with this year’s dry conditions. But Buyarski said if your vegetables start turning a little yellowish-green, then it may be a sign they still need a nutrient supplement, like liquid fertilizer or homemade weed juice.

Garlic scape is all curled up in a North Douglas garden.

This garlic scape is all curled up in a North Douglas garden in this picture taken in 2017. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

For garden vegetables, he recommends a balanced, commercial liquid fertilizer, like 4-4-4 or 4-6-2 with a little more phosphorous. Leafy greens may prefer more nitrogen than root crops, which is reflected in the higher first number.

If you use a granular fertilizer instead of a liquid, apply it just before it rains or before you water your garden.

“You should be watering it in,” Buyarski said.

Buyarski said he’s already harvested some green garlic. He’s looking forward to harvesting scapes in the next few weeks.

A garlic scape will have a small, bulbous form that will grow about midway up (see picture right above) as it begins to curl or loop on itself. Each scape can be pinched off and made into a spicy pesto or chimichurri, and Buyarski said harvesting the scape will also allow the garlic to devote more energy to bulb growth in July.

Do you have a garden question for Ed? Fill out the form below, and he’ll answer your question in an upcoming segment.

Listen to past episodes and subscribe to the podcast on the “Gardentalk” page, so you’ll never have to worry about missing Thursday’s live radio broadcasts.

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