Kitchen Garden Guides

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Seeds, glorious seeds; what more could you ask for....

... so the song from "Oliver" goes... well, it would've if I'd had a say!

I must have written this same kind of post a dozen times, with reference to that song! To me, seeds are the elixir of life. I am never happier than when messing about with seeds.



Here are some of the tomato seeds I have collected this year and it is interesting to see how different the colours of the fresh seeds are. It has been a shockingly cold summer for tomatoes here and these tomatoes have all behaved differently...



The Jaune Flambe ripened first by far but were not all that flavoursome (although people tell me they usually are). Next came the Rouge de Marmande which outperformed all the others by miles.... or by kilograms. Every Rouge de Marmande bush was laden to breaking point with hands of big, luscious tomatoes that have ripened  quite well late in the season, giving me at least a few bottles of passata for winter and plenty of fried tomatoes to have with my mushrooms for breakfast. Those which were here in my hothouse when I moved in a year ago I named Kate's Medium Prolific. They have ripened sporadically but I have never seen so many medium sized tomatoes on a plant before. Last year they continued ripening right into winter in the hothouse but this year I planted them outside as well. Hillbilly  is popular here but failed to impress me this year, there being few fruit and lacking flavour. Green Zebra I found to be less than ordinary, having a squishy texture and very watery.


I love vegetables that form beautiful seed heads like this carrot. Who would expect one carrot to shoot a spike up to 3m into the air and top it firstly with a mass of fine, white flowers and finally settling to this cap of soft, faun seeds? Nature is incredible.




This is the first time I have seen garlic bulbils "in the flesh". The garlic we usually grew in Adelaide did not do do this....well, mine never did! So, as well as a good, strong heads of garlic, I have ended up with  solid balls of baby garlics, wrapped in brown paper, each on a nice little stick.



I will be planting them out into foam boxes this week. This is a cheap but time consuming way of increasing your planting stock for future years.


Patrick said...

Those are pretty small bulbils, maybe from a porcelain type garlic? Anyway, they will take several years of replanting to get full sized bulbs. Purple stripe type garlic has larger bulbils, and from this you can sometimes get good sized bulbs in 2 years.

You might find these bulbils make good fresh or 'spring' garlic, that is garlic harvested fresh when it's still immature.

Kate said...

I don't know the variety it came from Patrick but they grew in the Cygnet community garden and the heads were full of big, meaty, nice strong purple garlic cloves. I will certainly try some of them fresh, as you suggest and grow some of them on for future years.

Tanya Wade said...

Hi am your newest follower and am so looking forward to reading your blogs....I am in Tasmania and i agree we did not have a good summer for tomatoes.....
My blog is

Kate said...

Hi Tanya, welcome to my blog. I look forward to reading yours too.