Monday, September 22, 2014

Salal and pumpkin seeds

It was a beautiful sunny and warm day today.. a bit scary really as we have not had the rain that we should have had this month. Oh well, there is not much I can do about that.
I will have to start watering tomorrow as it is so dry for this time of year. I dread to think of the water bills for the next six months.

 My usual asparagus is not shooting yet this year but the seedling purple asparagus that I grew from seed last year is up.
After some trouble with the seedlings I only managed to get 3 plants to this stage but I might try with some more seed shortly. They do look interesting.

 I bought a Salal ( Gaultheria shallon) plant from the nursery last time I was in Mt Gambier. I don't generally buy 'Pick me' plants as the company doesn't usually have the variety names but this one caught my eye and I have been wanting to get or grow one for ages.
This plant is native to Nth America and grows best in shade (I have planted it with my mountain peppers) and with plenty of water.
Aparantly they were a favoured food of the native peoples of the area. I hope it does well for me.

 I had a couple of pumpkins stored for seed from last summer and since it has been pretty warm I thought I had better set the seeds out of them. Lucky I did as the seeds were already germinating inside the fruits.

This is 'Silver Edge', a pumpkin grown for its edible seeds rather than for the flesh. Luckily the seeds are large enough to be worth the effort of peeling.
The only problem with this pumpkin variety is that it produces so few female flowers, two seasons ago the plants produced no female flowers at all.

I am going to persevere with it in the hope that I can produce a line suited to this climate the is very fruitful. Last time I grew pumpkins (another variety)  for edible seeds they had huge fruits but very few seeds inside so they were not worth growing. Even though this variety has husked seeds, the fruits are small and filled with seed so I think I will find them worth growing.

Many of my silverbeet plants are now bolting to seed with this weather so I am hoeing out all that I see. If I find any individual plants that are resistant to bolting I will keep them for seed, but the rest are coming out to make room for other crops.

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