Sunday, December 14, 2014

Calabrese Broccoli
The recent rains followed by fog are doing a world of good for this gardener, the garden, and the State of California as a whole.  I haven't had to irrigate for some time now.  I was worried that the Bagrada bug that decimated two beds of mustard would ruin my bed of broccoli and cauliflower before cold weather arrived.  They have done damage to seedlings that got a late start; but the mature plants are thriving.  It could have been the applications of diatomaceous earth or the recent cooler weather that has slowed them.  Probably a combination and the fact that there are very few seedlings that remain.

The Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli is an Italian heirloom brought to America in the 1880s.  It should produce many side shoots and produce heads 5" - 8". *
Waltham 29 Broccoli
I thought I also spotted a head of cauliflower. After checking some planting notes, this looks to be broccoli.  Waltham 29 is a standard type that produces 4" - 8" green heads that are nicely flavored.  Compact plants also produce some side shoots.  Introduced in 1954.*  It certainly is much different than the Italian variety.  There are two varieties of broccoli and two varieties of cauliflower planted in the far east bed. Cool, foggy/rainy weather is expected to continue this week providing ideal conditions in the winter garden.
Red-Cored Chantenay Carrots
At the head of this bed, is a variety of carrot that is suited for heavy soil.  It's a stubby variety that helps to break up the soil.  This bed was solarized over the past summer to drive out nematodes.  Don't know if it worked; but the carrots show no signs of the wee beasties.  One of the sweetest, this variety was introduced in 1929 and is a large stump-rooted carrot with a deep red-orange center, great for juicing or fresh eating. A good market variety that is smooth and refined in shape.*
The western most bed was also solarized this summer and then planted with a cover crop of mustard.  Unfortunately, the Bragrada bug destroyed the mustard.  I've used this opportunity to plant garlic.  Once the rains started, the garlic sprouted.  Hope this is a good sign.
Sunshine Blue Blueberry
Previously, I had mislabeled this potted blueberry bush as Pink Lemonade.  It's a product of Dave Wilson Nursery out of Reedley, California.  They describe this variety:  "Southern Highbush cultivar.  Great flavored firm berries.  Ripens May 10 through June 15 at Gainesville, Florida (?).  A semi dwarf evergreen bush with great fall color.  Showy hot pink flowers fade to white in spring.  Self-fruitful.  Estimated chilling hours needed 150 hours, but very cold hardy as well."

There is lots going on in the garden during the most wonderful time of the year.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.


daisy g said...

When I heard about the onslaught of rains out there, I couldn't help but think of you and the other gardening bloggers I follow. So, so, so happy to hear that you have gotten much needed rain. Your broccoli looks quite scrumptious! What a wonderful gift for the holidays. Continued blessings...

David said...

Susy, ha, my plants are on their own. They either make it or they don't. So to be a plant under my care, it has to be tough and durable. I'm just not one to protect or make life easy for any of my plants. So far the ones that I've planted have been tough enough to survive and grow. Of course, I don't push the limit on planting zones at all. I might clean off the dead foliage in the Spring but that's about all I do for my plant care. Not really much digging and dividing either. I have some flower beds of Tulips, Daffodils, Iris, Hosta and Crocus that are nearing 10 years old without much attention given to them at all. Every year they give me a beautiful display of color. Not a single shovel full of compost or soil amendments as been added since I planted the beds a decade ago. They have never disappointed me with their ability to make the Spring months enjoyable. So when plants come to live at my house they aren't living the ritz that's for sure. :-)

Have a great garden protective day.

David said...

Oops, sorry, wrong comment for you. Here's the one I meant to post.

Maybelline, glad to see your garden doing so well. Gardening is done here in Nebraska until February when the seed starting begins. I like to start with cabbage and onions on or near February 1st. I've already begun the task of making that area ready to start the process. I purchased a sack full of garden seeds from my daughter's work again this year. They sold the once $2.20 packs of Burpee seeds for a quarter a piece at the Spring end clearance. So I bought a few packs. I can't help but buy a few more as the seed catalogs come in. My favorite catalog is the Baker Creek catalog.

It's raining here yesterday and again today. With the temperatures in he upper 30s, it's still not bad weather but any day that could change and the roads would be ice covered. One of the advantages of be retired is to be able to just stay home warm and cozy with the roads are icy.

Have a great California garden day.