Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chufa and hopniss

What a beautiful day today. It was sunny and even warm enough for me to spend a lot of the day without my coat on. I got some more spraying done on the new seed block and planted some rhubarb and broad beans on there. I have been thinking of ways to keep the weeds down without using Round-up and I think I will have to work on chook runs. I have a few ideas in my head.

 My chufa was almost dead so I decided to harvest it today.
A heap of sunflowers germinated in that bed from last year so I let them grow, forgetting that their roots are alleopathic and stop other nearby plants from growing properly. This meant that the chufa plants didn't grow well and they only grew to half their normal size.

The harvest was also pathetic. The tubers were small and I only got a quarter of a bucket full from the whole bed.
I hear that there is a bigger tubered variety in the US but I haven't been able to find a source. These tubers are nutritious and I want to try to find one with bigger tubers so I will have to keep looking.

The sunflowers were great at stopping the parrots from looking closely at my corn but next season I will have them in their own bed.

I also dug up my hopniss (American ground nut/ Apios americana) and got a good haul of small tubers. I am going to grow them on the new block so I didn't leave any in the ground to grow bigger next year.
The company that wants to buy my seeds is looking to offer these in the future so I am going to make a bigger growing area for them, which I can't do where they were planted. Some will still come up next spring from tubers I missed but it is easy to just pull them up as you see the new growth.

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