Monday, February 4, 2013

What's planting now?

Can you guess what kind of seeds those are? Here are a few hints:

  1. You can eat the leaves, stems, and roots. 
  2. People used to call them "Blood Turnips." 
  3. Some varieties can be used to make sugar, as an alternative to sugar cane.
  4. I grow them every year.
Think you know?
Correct answer:

If you guessed "Beets!" you're very smart. If you guessed "Grape Nuts!" that's also a very good guess, but wrong. But maybe you can guess what the seeds below will grow into.

More hints? Sheesh, you're demanding. Um... okay:

  1. You eat the roots, but not the leaves or stems. Most people don't, anyway.
  2. In the movie "Shoot 'Em Up," Clive Owen kills some of Paul Giamatti's henchmen using these as weapons. The full-grown vegetable, not the seed. 
  3. Speaking of Paul Giamatti, did you see Cold Souls? You should. 

Correct answer:

Carrots! I grew Bolero Nantes and the Carnival Blend last year; the Kuroda variety is a new one for this year. All of them are damned tasty.

And I also planted some of these seeds, below. Hints:

  1. They go from seed to harvest in just 28 days. 
  2. They taste kind of spicy, peppery, or mustardy. 
  3. Most people eat the roots, but you can also eat the leaves when they're young and tender. 
  4. The variety I like the most is called "French Breakfast," although I have it on good authority that the French do not, in fact, eat them for breakfast. But if they did, I'm pretty sure they would slice them very thin and eat them on a freshly baked baguette spread with extremely good butter. 

Correct answer:


The Watermelon ones are a new variety for me, sort of. I tried growing them last year, but it got very hot and I didn't get around to harvesting them quickly enough and they got all woody and too spicy tasting and they didn't even look like watermelons anymore. And really, if your radishes don't look like watermelons, what's the point? Trying again. If you want to grow them, be aware that they take longer than other radishes — about 2 months from seed to harvest.

And  here they all are, planted in the right-hand veggie bed, near the driveway. Sprouts should start appearing in 5-10 days for the radishes, 10-25 for the carrots, and 10-20 days for the beets. If you see pokey green sprouts that look like grass, those aren't sprouts, they're weeds. Evil, evil weeds.

Pro tip: don't put seedy hay in your compost pile unless it gets hot enough to kill them.