Some good things happening in the garden this week:
It’s taken about 3 and a half weeks, but the nasturtium is finally starting to show itself. I’m really surprised because I’d read they were pretty easy to grow and would start to germinate 7 to 10 days after being planted. I’m glad I kept putting down new seeds every week and lots of them. If things are going to be this slow going all season, it won’t get to a size where it can be beneficial in the garden as a flowering plant that attracts pollinators or an aphid trap. The calendula are coming along, but the borage and cornflower haven’t come up at all. I think the borage is not getting enough light as they like full sun and I’ve planted the seeds on the shady side of the sage bush. The cornflower are just over run by weeds. I’ll have to weed and do a new planting.
Strawberries are coming along as well. Some interesting information about alpine strawberries from Vegetablegardener.com. Apparently I’ll be able to tell when they’re ripe by their smell, which is supposed to “rival the most intoxicating of flowers”. I don’t think I added kelp meal to the strawberries like I did with the other transplants. The article mentions that they like fertile soil with lots of organic matter.
A tiny little strawberry bud at the centre of this flower. So cute!
Looking more like a strawberry now…
Wonder how long before they are edible?
Sage is the one plant that’s done amazingly well in my uncle’s back yard. You’ll notice some mint mixed in among the sage leaves. I’ve been enjoying mint tea the past few nights. My aunt tells me I should boil the leaves so the tea will be stronger, but I’ve never heard of that. I’ve been steeping the leaves in boiling water in a covered teapot . It’s pretty good after a few hours (I’m enjoying some right now!). I took some sage leaves home to Toronto last weekend for the purpose of making tea but I haven’t used them yet.
Sage – who knew it had such beautiful flowers!
The sage has been picking up the slack for the edible flowers in attracting pollinators. I noticed this bee last Friday. He didn’t stick around for very long. Maybe he didn’t like getting his picture taken; I was following him pretty closely with my camera.
First pollinator of the season (or more accurately first pollinator I’ve seen this season)
The best sight this past week — hands down! — has been the appearance of garlic scapes! A bit about garlic scapes from About.com. The ones in my garden are still young. I had been told in the past that they are ready to harvest once they start to curl, but this article says they will be nice and tender if harvested young. Harvesting the scapes puts more energy into bulb formation, which is what we want.
A little taste of garlicky heaven!
I used to roll my eyes when foodie friends talked about garlic scapes (foodie, I am not) — until I tasted them. They have been the most flavourful product to come out of my garden to date. If you love garlic, you’ll love scapes. If you’re not a big fan, you might enjoy the milder flavour of the scapes.