Showing posts with label bolting brassicas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bolting brassicas. Show all posts

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Advantages of Starting Vegetables From Seed After the Summer Solstice

Many of us have been there. We start out with great intentions. We're going to grow our own food. We have plans and tools and seed catalogs. We can almost taste the luscious vegetables we are going to harvest from our gardens.

And then stuff happens. Other things come up that require our attention. The weather is too something - hot, cold, wet, dry - and we don't get the garden planted. Or maybe we do get it planted, but our crops  "bolt," start going to seed too early, resulting in disappointing flavors and textures. So here it is, the end of June, it seems too late to start a garden and we give up on our dream of growing vegetables.

But according to Ryan, the Garden Coach at Botanical Interests (a Seattle Garden Ideas affiliate), many vegetables do better when planted now, after the summer solstice. These include: vegetables in the Brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), vegetables that form heads (lettuce, radicchio and others), and vegetables that like cooler conditions (carrots, beets, spinach, etc.)

Ryan explains why this is a good time to be sowing vegetable seeds in this article, "Second Chances." There are several factors, including day length and soil temperature, that make it likely that planting now will result in a better harvest than was possible earlier in the year. And of  course, if you need seed, Botanical Interests is an excellent source. They carry many organic and heirloom varieties. Absolutely NO GMOs.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oh, no! It's the Return of the Cone Heads!

It's a sure sign that spring is on the way in Seattle when you begin to see these in the garden.
These pink cones are ornamental winter cabbages that are nearing the end of their life cycle and are getting ready to flower. These bolting Brassicas will keep getting taller and pointier until either the gardener pulls them out and replaces them with something else or they go to seed.

In the past, I didn't like the cone heads very much, but I'm beginning to now. Maybe it's because this particular planting looks pretty good. Or maybe it's because they match the color of my rain coat.