Bolting and a surprise.

Bolting and a surprise is what the garden gave me for Valentine’s Day this year. The bolting was expected and the surprise was unintentional.

So which crop bolted due to our winter heat wave, do you ask?

The Tendergreen mustard greens and Chinese kale.

tendergreen mustard greens

tendergreen mustard greens

The Tendergreen mustard was a surprise because I didn’t notice the flower stalks coming up. Which I usually do, so it seemed to happen overnight. I was looking at the garden from the kitchen window and bam(!), there it was. A big yellow flower stalk holding it’s head up proudly. Job well done, eh? I guess that’s 1 point for the greens.

And the Chinese kale? I guess I either didn’t understand how it grows and when to harvest or it bolted really, really fast. I planted the seedlings, they grew a little and then went crazy with flowering. The bees seemed to be enjoying them so I stopped keeping an eye on them. When I went out to congratulate the Tendergreen on winning that round I noticed the Chinese kale was looking funny. Hmm, seed pods? Sure enough, they are! I’ve never seen seed pods like that before so I’m a little intrigued. I’m disappointed we didn’t get to eat the kale but found the seed pods (for seed saving) and Google search (to better educate myself for next time) to be worth the effort and room in the garden. Haha, looks like I’m down 2 points now!

chinese kale seed pods

seed pods

Now for the surprise…

From my lack of wanting (laziness) to really clean up the garden it seems the sweet potatoes have sprouted(!). I originally planted the sweet potatoes in grow bags. So at the end of summer I harvested the potatoes and put the grow bags inside some of the galvanized tubs that weren’t being used. That was enough tidying up for the time being, right?

Do I get a point for that? Anywho, fingers crossed that my laziness pays off.

sweet potato sprouts

sweet potato sprouts

The rest of the garden is doing well. The broccoli and cauliflower are big and healthy and haven’t been eaten by the squirrels. (I think I have Crackers to thank for that! ) The cherry tomato is covered in dainty yellow flowers, promising delicious rewards for my patients. …and I’m eagerly waiting for my reward.

gardener's delight

gardener’s delight

first cherry tomatoes of the season

first cherry tomatoes of the season

The seedlings for the summer garden are a hit or miss right now. The weather has been all over the place. We’ll get 3-4 days of 80° weather then it will drop to 60° and windy for several days. Usually I leave them in the laundry room (on top of the washer and dryer)  with the grow lights on when it’s too cold or too windy.  But Crackers needed a warm place to nest on cold days too. So we set him up in the laundry room.

Crackers' "room"

Crackers’ “room”. Not amused with my photo taking kitty?

Which has worked out well. It gives him a place to hide from the elements and the dog. Crackers and Einstein still haven’t met and keeping the dog away from the cat has been a struggle. My (very) temporary and ridiculous (plant) barrier is working for now.  Sigh, my sweetie isn’t happy about it. …Hehe, it is ridiculous.

…But at least the pets are safe?

hiding from Einstein

hiding from Einstein

plant barrier

plant barrier

The seedlings?

They are now residents (seems less daunting describing it that way) of the dining room.  If it’s too cold or windy during the day they hang out inside with the grow lights on. And at night when it’s cold we set the lights up in the laundry room (facing up) for Crackers to stay warm.

residents of the dining room

residents of the dining room

And lastly, I found this little fellow hanging out on the red mustard greens.

Makes me smile!



Categories: Tour the Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Bolting and a surprise.

  1. Pingback: Business as usual. | Emily's Vegetable Patch

  2. Crazy weather indeed! We have had a long stretch of warm dry weather…not hot, just nice and warm but altogether too dry for our poor garden. I love that Crackers is fitting in so well and he is a really lovely looking cat as well :). Poor Einstein! He must be desperate to have a good sniff of the invader. I bet he wouldn’t be so keen if he got too close! That lady bug is a certain sign that spring has well and truly sprung in your neck of the woods…if that is the case…can we please (on the other side of the world) have a bit of your rain now? ;)

    • You can have the rain if we can have your warm weather. It dropped to the low 50’s over the weekend. And our surrounding areas had freeze warnings! Can you believe that? Fingers crossed you get some rain soon.

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