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Thinning. May 7, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, homesteading, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Sadly, the title of today’s post refers to my garden, not my figure. Here at Hawk’s Haven, our friend Ben and I have a garden bed devoted exclusively to salads, since we love them so. We grow tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, and summer squash for our salads in other beds, but the “salad bed” is home to our radishes, scallions (green onions), snap and snow peas, arugula, parsley, cilantro, and innumerable greens of all types and stripes.

For the past week, as the bed has been getting fuller and fuller, I’ve been telling myself it’s time to thin—in this case, to take the first harvest—to give the remaining plants more room. Mind you, I hate to thin plants, pulling up the healthy, hopeful little plants by the roots and denying them a chance to reach maturity. But at least in this case we can use them in our salads instead of consigning them to the compost heap, in full view of their more fortunate relatives.

So last night, our daily salad was enlivened with our own organic homegrown baby radishes and spicy baby radish leaves, an assortment of greens, including tiny lettuces, red-leaved mustard, arugula, and mizuna, and some volunteer garlic chives. If I’d had enough young pea vines, I’d have added some of them, too, since I understand that they’re quite tasty. And there are plenty of walking onions ready to harvest as scallions, but since I had scallions in the crisper, I spared them.

Needless to say, the salad was delicious. And the good news is that I’ll need to do lots more thinning as the plants continue to grow, so we’ll have many great salads to look forward to, even before our radishes and greens mature. I just wish I didn’t feel so bad about cutting their lives short. Maybe I should try to think of them as weeds…

                ‘Til next time,




1. Daphne - May 7, 2010

I can’t wait for my first salad. I didn’t plant the lettuce close enough to thin this year. I keep telling myself every year to do that, just just haven’t.

You’ll have another chance when you plant more this summer for the fall harvest, Daphne! Obviously you’re a much more conscientious seed-sower than I am!

2. joey - May 7, 2010

A bed of greens fanatic, I am salivating reading about your charming/tasty cutting garden. Loved the guilt reference to weeds!

Ha! Thanks, Joey!

3. Dave@TheHomeGarden - May 7, 2010

Thinning is torturous sometimes! Our greens desperately need thinned and I’m just hoping that we can eat enough salad so we don’t waste it! Things are getting hot down here though and if we don’t get the greens out they’ll be bolting soon. Time to make haste and make salad!

So right, Dave! And I’m so glad your garden isn’t underwater!

4. nancybond - May 8, 2010

We even ate the rainbow chard seedlings I thinned last year…delicious in a salad when they’re that young and tender.

I can see that they would be, Nancy! Thanks for the tip!

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