Friday, 29 May 2009

Weeding

Today is very cold (14 deg C) outside,  but I have weeded a row of coriander that is growing at the back garden. 
The photograph shows the artichokes at the front.  Some of these could well be divided this year,  but I'll leave it until next season and move them further down to where the onions, coriander and broad beans are now.  I'll grow onions and garlic here later.  That will get rid of any pests that fancy my other vegetables!  
If you look carefully,  you can see the rows of seedlings coming up in the background, but before the broad beans and the fig tree (back left, near the old stump.)
These (below) are the onions, thickly sown, from a plant that went to seed last summer. I'll thin them as soon as the thinnings are worth eating.  I weeded these yesterday.  There are always stinging nettles that grow in this area...
Below you can see the part that I've been doing this morning.  The stinging nettles have round cotyledons with one dent in the end, and slightly serrated 3rd and 4th leaves. 
The coriander has long thin cotyledons that have been folded inside the round seed coat.  They will straighten out later, but these are mostly still bent a little bit.  Look at the one on the left lower side of the picture.  Also notice some pulled out nettles lying on the ground!  It is time consuming,  but much easier to pull them out at this stage than when they are bigger.  It also gives the coriander a better "go" without the extra competition.
I have weeded the whole row now.  
The other thing to notice this morning is that the amaranth (below) is going to flower soon, you can see a little red spot in the middle of one of the leafy rosettes.  
Amaranth is the plant that is eaten with white rice in order to increase the amount of vitamin A in the diet.         http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/2001/3-4/25_vitamin_rice.shtml
I will cut some this week before it flowers (and stirfry it with some other green leafy stuff... kai lan, kale and silver beet, some chilli sauce and prawns or tofu.)  Eventually I will let some of it go to seed so that I have some for next year as well.  The seeds are very tiny and are supposed to be hard to germinate though I haven't had any trouble with them.
Deciding on what to have for dinner often depends upon what is growing in the garden.

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