Thursday, May 7, 2015

Carrots again and Chinese artichokes

Going back to my last post where I was telling you about how I select my Juane du Doubs carrots for seed, it has been playing on my mind that these carrots were not the bright, lemon yellow they are supposed to be. I have it in my mind that I didn't tag this bed until a few weeks after they were sown so, although I thought when I was digging them that their orange/yellow colour was an environmental effect I am am not absolutely sure that I didn't make a tagging mistake, so I pulled them all up and will sow the bed to something else.

If I was only keeping the seed for myself I would have left them but as I would be selling the seed I can't afford to keep them if I am not totally sure of their variety. Lucky I have more seed of this variety.

Today I dug my two beds of Chinese artichokes (Crosnes) I am very disappointed with the harvest. For some reason the tubers are smaller this year than they should be so I only got 1.5kg from one bed of three metres (you usually get a harvest of around 1kg per square metre), and the other bed only gave half a kilo because many of the plants died off early for some reason before tuberising.

 I think much of the problem was that I seem to be having a bad year for curl grubs in the soil (Cockchafer larvae) and they could have been munching too many of the roots.

I really like Chinese artichokes. They don't have a strong flavour but are great for adding crunch/texture to salads and stir-fries.

They are a bit invasive as they do spread a bit but they are not very vigorous and if you want to get rid of them from a place they shouldn't be either don't water them during the summer, or place some netting wire around them adn let the chooks in for a while. The roots and tubers are not far under the ground and chooks like to scratch them up and eat them.

Today I am sore and tired. I have been trying to get some roundup sprayed on the new seed block to try and get rid of the buffalo grass but with the cold fronts dumping showers and wind on us I haven't been able to. I need to get seed in before it gets too cold so today I started digging a few beds. My muscles have forgotten the work of making virgin beds and are punishing me for it now.

With the beds made on my other blocks made all I have to do between crops is to loosen the soil. I don't need to turn it unless I am adding compost or manure so it is pretty easy.

At least the buffalo grass roots aren't as deep or difficult as couch so I got 5 beds dug today. I will have to find a trailer and borrow a friends rotary hoe to get it all done soon, but I will plug away for now until I have enough beds to get some silverbeet and mustard seeds in at least.

No comments:

Post a Comment