Friday, September 14, 2012

Gardening: My Broccoli Bolted

I awoke this morning after a couple days of tropical storm winds and heavy rain to a broccoli plant that had bolted. This happens during extreme temperature shifts which we did experience here in coastal Nova Scotia. I did not mulch around the broccoli which probably would have helped. I cut of the top and although it is late and might not grow new sides, I'm going to leave it and see if it does anyway. You can't eat broccoli once it has flowered. As is the case with many herbs and plants, once it goes to seed it becomes extremely bitter. It really ruins the taste of the plant.

I am very grateful for the rain that fell though, my muscles have been achy. I have been in dire need of a muscle soak in some Epsom salt. Since we have a well, we monitor our water consumption quite heavily during the dry season and conserve where ever possible. After all of that rain, the land is replenished and our well has risen quite a bit. I am looking forward to soaking my sore muscles a great deal.

I harvested some more of my tomatoes, as early as the shine develops on their skin they can be harvested. This is the time to put them away in a dark cool place. When you want a tomato grab any that have started to turn red. If none have turned red just bring a couple up into the light and they will turn red in a few days on their own.

I brought a tomato plant in the house last year and successfully coaxed it to blossom and I harvested an additional two tomatoes, slowly over the course of months using natural lighting. It wasn't much of a yield and the tomatoes were very small but it was really neat to know that I could do it. Maybe someday I'll get a low wattage vegetation light for inside and get a really good start on my crops over the winter.

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