Goodbye Fall/Winter, Hello Early Spring!
By this point in the season, the artichoke and several herbs should be well formed and ready to produce some tasty treats in the coming months! Knowing when to pull out your other plants can feel tricky since you've spent the past season caring for these plants.
It's best to pull out and compost plants when the harvest has been fully picked off a plant, or when the plant starts to look diseased or dying. That's because you wouldn't want that disease or pest to spread to other plants.
You may also have an abundance of veggies left that you have no clue what to do with!
Realistically, you don’t have to pull out what’s still growing and what you are continuing to enjoy, like the kale, but things like the cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage are a one and done type (though you can also enjoy eating the leaves and stems!). So go ahead and pull out what’s left and throw it into a compost pile to decompose and put to use in a new way! You'll want to plant your next box in around half of your avaliable space.
This being said, if you still have your cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and kale in your garden but they’re not growing or are attracting disease or pests: pull them out.
Now that those are pulled out, make sure to give your soil some TLC. Keep watering it, add fertilizer (either store bought or homemade compost). Doing this will help get your soil ready for your new plant babies arriving shortly. Be sure to pull out any weeds as well.
The upcoming box is going to have some veggies and herbs you’re familiar with, and some that may be new! Here are some tips to keep in mind with the upcoming season:
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are about 81% water, so you have to make sure to water them well. The variet we're sending is SUPER fast. It's a small, compact plant that will be giving you tomatoes in no time (about 4-6 weeks faster than almost any other out there!). We're sending you this now so you can start enjoying fruit right away. In the spring box, we'll be sending some additional types and variations that will carry you through the spring and summer seasons. But for now, we think you'll love this incredibly fast and impeciablly delicious variety!
Water: A water meter is a great tool to monitor the water levels to make sure you’re not over watering or under watering. Underwatering can lead to plant heaven (and not really in a good way!) and over watering drowns your plant roots and can cause disease issues. Just like us, plants and their roots need oxygen to survive, but if they’re drowning they won’t be able to get the oxygen they need.
Here is a link to a water meter we recommend. It gives you the peace of mind knowing that the water levels, pH and sun levels are what your plants need!
Broccoli: We sent some in the last box, but since early spring still has some cold days they do well now too! Broccoli also requires lots of water. You may have noticed last season that your broccoli grew but it was small. If you waited for your broccoli to get bigger it might have resulted in something that looked a little different (florets). As the broccoli head starts to separate and grow, they have started the bolting (flowering) process. Bolting happens at the end of that plant's life. The moment you see separation in the cluster of bulbs, it’s ready to harvest, even if it is smaller than usual. PRO TIP: broccoli growth can be stunted due to a lack of watering or invasive pests! (Ahh, those pests). Try enjoying the broccoli leaves and stems as well in stir-fry's. They're delicious!
Endive: Is a part of the lettuce family and has unique tasting leaves that go great in a salad or stir fry! It may not be something you usually buy, but here’s to 2021 and trying new things! Since they are in the lettuce family, they require a great amount of direct sunlight to get the best results. Make sure you place them in an area that gets sun for most of the day, even if that means planting them separately from the rest of your garden in a pot that can be moved to an area that gets lots of sun!
Like last season, some may have seen that their lettuce bolted (started to grow upwards very quickly) and that is because plants know that the sun is above them, so they start growing upwards in search of the sun. We have a reel on instagram that shows examples! Follow us over on Instagram: @leafedbox
Swiss Chard: Also a part of the lettuce family. Follow the instructions as the endive, make sure they have enough space and water and all should be well!
Celery: Celery likes shade and cooler temperatures. So when finding a spot for them in your garden, plant them in a spot that gets more shade than sun. Celery is about 95% water so make sure to water them PLENTY! The water will also help in keeping them cool.
I hope you're as excited for your upcoming box as we are! Don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!