Are We There Yet, Is It Summer? Tomatoes Lying Down, Beans Climbing Up, And Spinach Bolting.

spinach bolting to seed

Wow, this sounds like a lot of action in my little corner of the garden. The last time I wrote was three weeks ago; yes we have made progress in the slow creep into summer, and finally the tomatoes and cucumbers are actually, officially planted out into the garden.

Surprisingly, the tomato plant will right itself almost before your eyes, at least by the next day, standing straight and enjoying the chance to flex its little roots into diverse territory.  Of course, before planting you had soaked the root ball and the waiting soil, right?

It’s not too late to get more tomatoes into the ground, especially all those juicy little cherries that ripen quickly.  Run out of space in your garden? Growing veggies in containers is the new black, you know, so get out those big plastic pots and fill with soil, compost, and healthy amendments such as seaweed elixir, and watch those little nuggets of flavour grow.

Remember my magnificent bean roots straight out of vermiculite? Well, look at how happy they are once planted into the soil, reaching ever skyward, twining around the poles of the teepee. (well, not quite twining yet) I put 4-6 seeds at the base of each pole, and you can see how they are already putting on good growth, just two weeks later.

Ahh, spinach, that easy crop we all love to grow from seed.  Plant in early spring before it gets too hot, right? Well, not quite that easy. Spinach (just like we do) looks forward to the lengthening hours in the day, leading up to June 21, the year’s longest day.  As the hours lengthen however, the spinach panics—“yikes, I better make my seed now, so I can reproduce my kind”. So the spinach plant does the only thing it knows how, and that is to bolt— yes, to bolt to seed. Does your spinach look like mine does?

Picking off the flowers does nothing to halt the inexorable march to the preservation of its species, so just use the crop as quickly as you can, put a tomato plant in its place, and remember to plant a fall crop of Spinach in mid-August.  How many recipes for spinach do YOU have?

Hard to believe, but once you get these crops of summer well on their way, it will be time to start seedlings for winter harvest. Check the recent blog on The Great Canadian Refrigerator, and stay tuned.