Sunday, April 25, 2021

Finally a first harvest

 After 20 days of unusually cold weather, we can say that spring has finally arrived. Temperatures are finally around the average for this period of the year. The mornings are still a bit cold, but this is no surprise knowing that the cold period didn't allow the ground to heat up. At this time of the year, the soil temperature should be 14-16°C (57-60°F) and this year we can barely reach 10°C(50°F). Of course, this means that the sowing of the most vegetables will have to wait and that the already sown vegetables are progressing slowly, or showing no progress at all.

In the fall I've sown and planted 5 beds of vegetables that were intended to be ready for harvest in the middle of spring. I've planted garlic, onions, leek, and sown a bunch of lettuce and lamb's lettuce.  My plan was to harvest lamb's lettuce during March, baby lettuces during April, and onions in the middle of May. Once the onions and lettuces were harvested I'd plant tomato and pepper seedlings on the bed (after the last frost date in the middle of May). 

My plans, of course, didn't come true. The cold March stopped all of the plants and there's no way I will be able to harvest anything as planned. The lamb's lettuce has just started growing, almost a month later than it usually should grow. By the end of April, we should be already done with harvest and the remaining plants usually started growing seeds, but this year small plants have started showing up a week ago.

The even worse situation is with onions. There's no way I'll be able to harvest them in May. "Majski srebrenac" (May silver onion) is, as its name clearly shows, meant to be harvested in May. But this year this will not happen as my onions are still the size of green onions. I'm not even sure they will be big enough by the end of May and early June. This means that I will not be able to plant tomatoes on this bed. I'll have to rearrange my vegetable layout to accommodate the missing tomato bed. 

The COVID garlic(planted while I was sick) is actually progressing better than the onion, although it wasn't meant to be harvested before onions. By the looks, I'll be harvesting both the onion and garlic at the same time, somewhere in the middle of June. 

The slow progress of the sown plants is the reason why I don't transplant anything that doesn't desperately need transplanting. The only plants I've transplanted this week are sugar peas. They don't mind the colder weather we've been having.

I bought just one small bag of peas since we haven't been having very good results with the peas. Usually, the June heat kills them before they have time to flower, but maybe this year will be different. 

Although the weather is weird I did manage to have a small harvest. First harvest this year. 
Chicory which I've sown 3 years ago grew back again, so I continued harvesting it the same way as I did last 2 years. I leave the roots in the ground and only take the leaves. I'm really curious to see how long it will continue to grow. 

So with a bit of chicory, a couple of baby lamb's lettuce plants, and a couple of young garlic I had enough for a first harvest. Small, but it makes me happy knowing this should have been harvested in March.

I'm hoping that the cold period is finally over and that we'll continue having some warm days. They don't need to be sunny, just warm. We need warmth for our vegetables and flowers. My tulips are finally opening and I can't wait to see how they look. 


  1. You are making perfect sense of the chaotic seasons we are experiencing. I had given up on autumn sowings because they always seemed to fail, with the exception of garlic. But last autumn I tried some onion sets and some broad beans. The onion sets seemed to disappear although the broad beans looked strong and had maximum security with a wire cage to protect them from pests. This spring there was no trace of the broad beans, but the onions have reappeared and are growing away nicely! The garlic is doing well too. I do like your tulips.

    1. Wow I had no idea broad beans can tolerate cold. I thought they were sensitive like runner beans. Broad beans are not very popular here, but now that you mentioned them I went googling and it seems that they would actually work better during winter than in the summer. If I cover them with some agrotexitile they should be fine during the winter.
      The garlic is like a weed, it grows no matter where you plant it and doesn't mind any type of weather. I had garlic growing even in the food waste bucket when I didn't empty it fast enough. 😆

  2. Our night temperatures are still below freezing - not good for raising plants.


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