Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cool Weather seeds

This is the first time any cool-weather crops have survived a winter in my garden, and several are now making seeds... something I usually don't get to see (much less save any seeds from them!).

Red-stemmed Swiss Chard

Carrot, looking feathery and ready to flower and make seed

The leaves on the cole plants are so eaten by insects that I cannot tell what is cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts. They all have formed long skinny pods that look alike. I don't really care which is which because I'll sow them for this fall, and eat whatever comes up! I will try to save the seeds from each plant separately and label them A, B, and C before I plant a few to see if I can ID them later on.

Elsewhere in the garden, the garlic, shallots, onions and leeks are doing fine. In between the rows of garlic are some Belgian Endive, outlined by the white box in the photo below. The garlic will come out shortly, and give the endive tops plenty of sun to grow deep roots. I'll dig the roots this fall and put them in a tub of sawdust in the dark root cellar. With any luck, I'll have lovely blanched endive heads by January or February.

Belgian endive and Pear Salad, Photo by ExperienceLA

The Jerusalem artichokes I planted last spring have multiplied greatly. They should be a bright spot in the garden when they flower! In the fall they will be dug from this location, and many will be re-planted along the white rail fence (barely seen in the background) as a hedge and windbreak. I'll save a few to eat, of course!

The Babington leeks I planted last fall have shot up 1 flower stalk so far. The top of the flower stalk is 4' tall, and it looks like the flower will be gorgeous! The globular seeds in the pod will drop to the ground and root after the flower is gone.

Here's the Babington Leek seed pod 12 days earlier. Most of the seeds that I sprouted this spring died from neglect of a place to plant them, so I'm delighted to see some seeds from last fall's planting.

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