Friday, 7 September 2012

Tulip & vegetables

It is definitely looking like spring,  despite the fact that we are still more than two weeks from the equinox.

Overnight we have had 12.5 mm of rain.   This is wonderful for the garden.  It will be good for farmers here too.  The canola is just beginning to flower, the grain crops are tall enough to "wave in the wind" and this rain will give the vines a good boost when the buds burst.  I have been out to check on my tiniest plants that will benefit the most from this....
These are tiny carrot plants.  They have germinated fairly quickly (for carrots) and have been protected by "bird wire"  for the past few weeks.  I appreciate the birds' efforts in controlling insects (they seem to love earwigs, caterpillars and even aphids (though ladybird babies are the best predators for aphids) but in rummaging amongst the mulch,  the birds can do a lot of damage to baby plants like these.  The baby weeds are still there (they'll go when I remove the wire) but at least the carrots are safe.

The latest broccoli crop is very ineresting.  I have been cutting the main heads regularly,  but this particular crop seems to be producing plenty of large "side shoots" as well....
These were hybrid seedlings that I bought from the nursery, so they aren't much use for seed,  but it's interesting that even these seedlings can be so variable.

I checked my broad beans, of course.  So far I haven't even tasted one.  This must be a record because I usually can't resist the fresh taste of a tiny bean when they are forming.  There are quite a few that are well over an inch long, and I will try one soon.
There will soon be plenty though and I'll be freezing the excess for next winter.  (They make beautiful risotto with frozen artichoke hearts and a handful of herbs.)  I ate the last of those from last year less than a week ago with the last of the artichoke hearts that usually appear at the same time.  So far I can't see any buds on the artichoke plants, but it shouldn't be long.

I checked the cobra lily again.  This is the one that I have never seen flower. (I have a  couple of different kinds, it seems.)  It is getting a third leaf....
... my hope is that with the extra foliage (and maybe more to come) it will have the energy to flower this year.  (You can't get something for nothing.)

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