It has been almost 3 months since I started my vegetable garden. And couple weeks ago I was able to fill this whole basket with all different kinds of lovely fresh greens – baby beet greens, crown daisies (ssukkat), red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and baby perilla leaves. Because of the late start of summer in CA this year and the fact that some of the seedlings had to wait in pots for weeks until my 2nd vegetable garden box was built, I think the plants ended up growing much slower. But I am very happy now… as they say “better late than never”..This whole basket of greens was served to our dinner guests the next day – we had these leaves as ssam with some BBQ Kalbi (ribs) and Samgyupsal (Pork belly). It was to die for.. The lettuce leaves were smaller than regular lettuce that you buy at the market but they were ever so tender and much more flavorful. My guests thoroughly enjoyed them and even went home with some leftover lettuces which made them very happy.
Growing these greens have been surprisingly easy other than fighting with my arch nemesis – the evil snails!! And then of course, my dog who likes to eat tomatoes..sigh..I didn’t want to use any kind of snail bait- not even the organic ones- because I really wanted to keep the bed free of any unnecessary stuff even if it was meant for “organic” gardening. So, I have been just picking the snails out by hand as I water them each morning and so far it has been manageable.
Remember how I planted some seeds way back in March/April? Here are the pics of the crown daisy seedlings after couple weeks:
The crown daisies now have fully matured –
but the Seoul ruby lettuces are not looking so great..it dries up really quickly and the leaves just seem too wimpy. Perhaps the CA sun is too hot for this Korean variety..not sure what the problem is..
My favorite of all veggies –the Kkatnip (Perilla) plant– is also doing well after growing pretty slowly. Again I think it was due to colder weather and waiting in the pot too long.
A friend of mine (Mrs. W) gave me a tip about growing Perilla. She told me that if you pinch off the top of the plant when it’s still young and the plant will grow crazy afterward. So I did it! Even though it broke my heart… ;(
Let’s hope the plant will grow vigorously as promised by my friend. If you want to see how it produces perilla seeds in fall, check my Fall is Here post.
Finally, here’s a picture of a full grown romaine lettuce that I harvested from my garden at approx 10 weeks after it was transplanted. Doesn’t it look totally amazing?!