I was delighted to see our over wintered red Belgium endive has started to flower, seeds should follow shortly. Actually, past experience with saving endive/chicory seed serves as a reminder of just how long it takes for the many flowers to bloom and finally form seeds. Last year I had to wait until September to harvest the seeds off my wild garden chicory, but everything is a good two weeks ahead this year... so far. I briefly discussed this magnificent plant in a previous post. What's Growing On?
A taste test was performed on the four types of peas we are growing this year and all passed with flying colors. From left to right, two blue podded pole peas, Tacoma afila bush, Alaskan bush, and an Alderman pole pea that I have saved seed from for many years now. I was a bit surprised to find the Alderman's not only had the best flavor but were so much larger then the rest. So once again it will remain my faithful standby, even if I do have to help it climb every step of the way.
I will definitely be planting the Tacoma pea again as it was one of the best bush peas I have ever grown. Not only did their many tendrils help them clamber up and over a 3' fence with ease but they also put out a decent amount of pods for a bush pea. The Alaska bush is taller then me, so I am not sure what that's all about, it was easily second best in taste. My heirloom blue (they really should be called purple) pole peas grew quickly and are a very colorful addition to this year's garden. It will be interesting to see exactly how many peas they put out as they are still growing up, almost 7' now.
It must be a good year for peas as they have all grown much taller than expected. One of the main reasons I am growing the Tacoma pea is its short stature, the upper echelons of the taller peas can and often are severely damaged by the winds in our area.
My heart sank as I awoke to a windy thunder storm late last night. I rushed out this morning to see how much damage was inflicted on the garden, especially the tall plants like peas. Miraculously, everything was in good standing... that makes my day. Maybe this really will be a good garden year, that would be nice for a change. Well, I'm off to slog about in today's much needed rain.