Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jensen Garden Update

The Jensen Garden June 16, 2010.
It is amazing how much a square of land can change in a few short weeks. This is taken from the same spot as the picture posted as a blog entry on May 24th. The potato plants were barely out of the ground and the onions were just thin little blades. We weren't battling a horrible weed problem then either!

The weeds have been amazingly abundant this year. I swear every drop of rain that has fallen in the last week has created 50 new weeds. Two in particular invade our garden - Pigweed and Purslane.

Purlslane is sold as an annual in many garden centers. We received a Purslane plant as a gift many years ago and overwintered it for 4 years before it died. It was a lovely cascading plant with orange flowers. The Purslane that is invading my garden rarely gets the opportunity flower, but I understand that wild Purslane has yellow flowers. If you look closely at the picture you will see mounds in the background -- that is almost all Purslane pulled from the garden! You can still see plenty of it still growing in the foreground (the back can only take so much weeding in a day!).

Interesting thing I discovered while trying to figure out how to rid myself of this pesky plant. Purslane is an edible plant! I found this on Wikipedia:
Although purslane is considered a weed in the United States, it can be eaten as a leaf vegetable, providing sources can be found which have not been poisoned deliberately. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, Asia and Mexico. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all good to eat. Purslane can be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach, and because of its mucilaginous quality it is also suitable for soups and stews. Australian Aborigines used to use the seeds to make seedcakes. Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant.
So, I am thinking, perhaps we aren't bad gardeners after all!  I don't know if I am brave enough to actually eat this plant I have been pulling out by the handful, but it is good to know that if we fail to grow anything else, we can eat the Purslane!

Another garden pest we have had trouble with is moles. The little critters are not only tearing up my yard, but have snatched a large number of seeds out of the garden. We have planted corn twice and have only about 8 stalks growing of the 5 rows we planted (twice!). Mr. Mole ate part of the first and all of the second batch of peas and beans as well as all of the peanuts. I believe we have several of the little buggers out here. Any suggestions on getting rid of them are welcome!

Garden pests aside, we did get a good crop of strawberries this year. The radishes grew nicely, but were HOT even though I selected a mild variety. We have already been using the onions and herbs - it is so nice to walk down and pick what you need to use right away to make supper! The raspberries are just now ripening enough to eat. Just a few at a time now, but soon enough it will be by the bowlful. The cherry tree is going to be chock full of cherries this year. Time is just flying by, it seems the tree was just in full blossom, but the cherries are starting to turn red.

An exciting time of year for a gardener, new discoveries every day. Even if it is weeds!

Have a super week!
Keep it green!

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