Sub-Tropical Fruit in Spring

The plants in the sub-tropical fruit grove have been flowering and setting fruit. 

  1. Bananas flower throughout the spring and summer - this is the first plant to flower this season. The Cavendish bananas that you get in the grocery store are just an example of how a banana can taste. Ours have a smoother, moister flesh with a more acidic flavour. 
  2. Pineapple guavas (not a true guava) or feijoas are my favourite fruit in the grove. These will be ready in the late summer. They have a stony texture like a guava or pear with a moist, gelatinous interior. The flavour is certainly reminiscent of pineapples. 

It’s almost summer - Get outside and plant some peppers!

*See my previous post for full instructions on planting peppers.

Photos

  • Newly planted pepper
  • Good looking roots - make sure your transplants have a well developed root system but still have a plenty of room in the pot.
  • Plant your transplants at soil level and baby the root system; don’t break up the root ball or otherwise disturb the roots and water immediately. 
  • I cover the base of my plants with sand. This keeps the army of pill bugs (they’re actually crustaceans and they’re good for your soil) from nibbling the roots.
  • Until they’re established, I cover the plants with floating row cover to keep rabbits and pests at bay.

The weather’s warming up in this neck-of-the-woods and I want to get some sunflowers in the ground soon. These plants from last summer were the result of three generations of seed-saving from some purchased “Russian Mammoth” seeds. Big huge heads with delicious seeds sit atop some really beefy stalks!

Carrot (above) and buckwheat flowers - some members of these two plant families (Apiaceae and Polygonaceae) attract ladybugs to the garden and we like ladybugs because they eat aphids. So let your carrots flower once in a while… their flowers are also not too hard on the eyes. 

Ladybugs are great for the garden - they eat aphids. Learn how to manage aphids in the garden here. The lower photo is of a (perhaps unfamiliar) ladybug larva (juvenile form).

Artichoke Flowers - Beautiful Food

Artichokes are some delicious thistles. The choke that you eat is actually an unopened flower covered in a tight arrangement of bracts. If you allow the chokes to mature well past the edible stage the flowers will reveal themselves. Just don’t let them set seed as they can be terrible weeds. I have a short row of artichoke plants tucked away in a sheltered spot on the farm. They are perennials which means they grow year after year and provide me with a nice long harvest of chokes in the late winter. I expect them to start producing buds in the next few weeks.