The First Harvest of the Season

May 12, 2017 Posted by: Jan Elder and Ellen Jones

"The company gardens are looking very well and if the weather continues favorable will yield a good supply of fresh vegetables."
Acting Assistant Surgeon J. H. Collins, June 1872
"…A little later these storms are preceded by a shower of large hail which often covers the ground…"
Assistant Surgeon W. H. Forwood, April 1869

The good news is—the spinach, radish, and peas are up and look promising. The bad news is—a mid-April hail storm shredded the cabbage plants and did damage to the onions. Most of the cabbage plants did not survive; we replaced these with the cabbage plants planned for an April planting. We are hoping the onion plants will recover and still give us a good crop.

We planted some of the warm weather crops on April 19: Golden Butterwax Bush Bean and Stowell's Evergreen Sweet Corn. The Golden Butterwax bean was commercially available by the mid-1870's and the description stated: "…praised by gardeners for superior flavor, impressive yield and natural disease resistance…" The sweet corn was described by Fearing Burr (1863) as "…tender and surgary…" and we have successfully grown this corn in prior years. (What we have not been able to successfully do is to HARVEST the corn before the local raccoons!)

The early spring and the recent ample rain has given our garden a good start and allowed us to plant warm weather crops a few days earlier than other years. But Kansas weather can be unpredictable—as the hail storm reminded us!

gardening, Fort Larned garden, company gardens

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Last updated: May 24, 2017

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