Sunday, May 28, 2017

thorns and a bit of a break

after i transplanted it yesterday the carolina horsenerttle looked a bit root shocked ( top photo )...this morning it looks a bit peppier and the thorns are put in full force ( second through fourth )...we will be careful around this one...the chinese yam has suffered a broken vine ( fifth ) i found the missing piece ( sixth ) on the ground this worries...down towards the base of the stem a new vine has sprouted ( seventh )...the plants grow multiple vines s i doubt this was in response to the break, however, a new vine would have appeared...the seventeen leaves on the original vine ( eighth as an example ) will continue to energize the plant...along with whatever energy might be left in an underground tuber ( i will not be digging around for those until fall...the set tubers is an excavation, not just a dig )...they are resourceful and resilient...the plabt will be fine and the trellis will fill...over in the ramp beds the leaves are dying back and the plants that intend to flower ( ten so far ) are investing their energy there...i am, as always, hopeful of many seeds...we will see.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

solanum in the garden

i hadn't been tot he community garden in a few has been militating against a trip but it relented a bit this morning so i went...the fist thing i found was a failure...the replacement tesointe has died ( first photo ) even though it is late i believe i will germinate a replacement and keep trying...the other plant has deployed a fourth leaf and seems happy enough ( second photo )...and the rest of the bed seems to be doing well...the egyptian walking onion ( third photo ) is almost two feet tall and the aerial bulb is coming along...the spuds ( fourth ) are looking robust and there is an ear of rye ( fifth ) racing to finish before it is subsumed by the growing jerusalem artichokes ( sixth )...i looked in on my government spuds this morning and found the time to plant had arrived ( another trigger for a trip ) so i went and planted five more spuds..a dark red ( seventh ) which is not a government, rather a locally procured seed from accession bs286 ( eighth ) ..a blue shetland ( ninth ) from accession gs427...and an early blue ( tenth )...finally i deiscovered some carolina horsenettle growing in the old biology club bed...i took some home..more on that in the next post.

dioscorea and solanum out back

life let me get around to a few things around the yard today too...the chinese yam vine has cleared the top of the cage around the pepper plant by almost three feet( first photo ) i drove in three tomato stakes as the basis for a trellis ( second ) and tied a tier of jute twine around the posts for support ( third ) ...there will be more tiers i am sure...then i trained the vine onto the jute ( fourth ) and that is where it stands until the vine expands its range...then i turned to the carolina horsenettle i brought home from is a deep rooted perennial ( more on that in a minute ) and i dug out as much of the roots as i could when i i collected give it some depth to root without turning it loose in my yard i too an old five gallon bucked ( fifth ) that had a cracked bottom and drilled a few more drainage holes...then i filled i with am mix of potting soil and compost all the way to the top ( sixth )...with a gloved hand ( the thorns are vicious ) i planted them as deep as the roots i got were long ( seventh and eighth )...they still have the same nasty thorns they had when i found them in the garden last summer ( ninth )..they are a nightshade related directly to potatoes...the blooms in the tenth photo are carolina horsenettle but might as well be potato the name infers the plant is native to he southeast of the country it came here is beyond me and it struck me as odd it was here last year...that a non-native, warm climate plant migrated here and then successfully overwintered to reappear again is, for me, a clear index of climate change...we will see how it takes tot he bucket.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


no matter how early or late it is in the season i can always find movement...which isn't surprising since life is movement and mutability...some plants out there are moving towards their "adult' selves...the nasturtium in the first photo and the bogota market mashua in the second are showing a family resemblance that will increase with time..the larger red seedless grape vine has latched onto the trellis with a second tendril ( third and fourth )...that is gratifying after last season's debacle...the lone asparagus plant is prospering well enough to afford a second spear ( fifth )...about three inches tall will "fern" soon...both the northern tepehuan tesointe ( sixth ) and zea mays parvaglumis ( seventh ) have produced a fourth leaf...big news in the zea world...the winter rye ( eighth and ninth ) is coming along well...and there are multiple ears of wheat ( tenth and eleventh ) around the periphery of the yard that promise hours of threshing and winnowing fun...finally the last photo shows that for some of the very early starters changes are coming that mark, not an end, but a shift in the cycle...the leaves on the ramp plant in the last photo are clearly dying back leaving the stem for a bloom shifted from production to reproduction...hoping for many seeds.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

tendrils and a little morphology

i built a trellis from wood and galvanized wire cable this spring to replace the abortive steel and electrical wire contraption of last year ( top photo ) and today the larger if the seedless grapes ( second and third ) showed me i was finally on track as it reached out and grabbed the uncoated cable with a tendril ( fourth )...gratified is too simple an adjective...and while we are on the subject of tendrils, vines, and trellises, the chinese yam is firmly anchored to the cage around the pepper plant ( fifth ) however the vine has cleared the top of the cage by a good two feet( sixth )...the holiday weekend will, in part, be spent providing it something to anchor to...the seventh photo is of a newly hatched mashua blanca leaf while the next two are of leaves on bogota market mashua plants...the tenth through twelfth photos are of newly minted nasturtium leaves...they are young but share characteristics that will become more obvious with age...i will eave it to you to pick them out...finally:
one of the pepper plants is flowering...these, along with potato flowers, prove vegetable blooms can be extraordinarily attractive....just saying....and i see the sixth and sevwenth photos are in the incorrect order...blame the gardener.