Early Summer Garden Tasks
This alternating rain and sun has been an absolutely boon to the garden. The greens are growing visibly on a daily basis. I don't grow a ton of anything, since the garden is mainly for our family, but there are some extra greens and garlic scapes this weekend.
You might have seen garlic scapes at the farmer's market in the past and wondered what in the world to do with them.
If you've never had them before - imaging a garlic-y green bean. They are the flower stem of hard neck garlic, and must be removed in the last month of the garlic's growth cycle to ensure large, juicy garlic bulbs. Happily, they're also delicious!
They can be simply steamed, chopped and added to pasta dishes, pickled (beauty on a charcuterie board with an old cheddar), sautéd with sesame oil and a little hoisin and topped with chopped peanuts or blitzed with Parm or Pecorino, olive oil and your nut of choice to make spectacular pesto.
I use Pecorino and walnuts - less spendy than the traditional combo of Parm and pine nuts and makes the best pizza or quick pasta for soccer night with zero effort in the depths of winter. It freezes really well in a simple ziplock. Just be sure to quickly blanche or steam the scapes first and remove the flower buds to ensure a smooth final result.
(Here's a link to my favourite pickle recipe - it's for peppers but I use it as a mother recipe to pickle just about anything that crosses my path. It's EASY and super quick.)
For all you gardeners Take advantage of this rain for easy weeding - it's cool out and those weeds will give way with little effort in nice damp soil. It's also time to do the following:
- Harvest your scapes (just cut the stem close to the leaves)
- Thin your carrots and beets
- Start planning your winter garden - yes, really! Winter squash, cabbages, broccoli, beets and more can start to go in the ground starting in July.
- Don't forget to prune those tomato plants. You can start to stake them now as well if you haven't already.
Remember - cultivate regularly and you will rarely have to weed. Stay on top of those weeds for a couple of weeks more and you'll have a lazy summer in the shade of the garden instead of one spent hunched down pulling your own weight in weeds in the heat of summer!