Last weekend, my neighbor Liz and I worked in the garden. It had to be 80 degrees... unseasonably warm for Portland. We spent the time seeding and transplanting beets and lettuce, as well as tending to our burgeoning crop of dandelions (and if you love veggie jewelry, check out this cuff bracelet made of beets!)
We loved the sunshine. Our Broccoli Rabe did not...it had the kind of countenance a plant gets right before it starts to bolt. I haven't even harvested any yet this year, so I topped the bed with a row cover for shade and made sure it was well watered. I can only hope for the best.
This guy is not Broccoli Rabe...this is green cauliflower. Green cauliflower is essentially a broccoli and cauliflower hybrid. Both are members of the Brassica family and are notoriously promiscuous, resulting in all kinds of (non-gmo) hybrids like this one. I believe this type is Romanesco, the kind that has the spiny, sticky-upy kind of bumps on the top. It really is a site to behold!
Both Liz and I noticed how large our seedlings had grown and how wonderfully healthy and relatively pest free they were. I mean, the Romanesco looked fantastic and these Hubbard Squash are staging a take over in the greenhouse!
And, after mulling it over, I think I know why. This year, I tried a new product. It is an organic liquid fertilizer produced by Alice's Garden. I used it the first time after the seedlings had their first set of true leaves, then once more in the greenhouse, then twice more since setting them out almost two months ago now.
I don't know that I could be any more impressed with a product if I tried. It contains all kinds of nutrients, minerals and microbes...liquid gold, errr, brown. Sadly, I was unsuccessful in figuring out where I could buy it...so I have sent an email in asking for more information...
Now, let me tell you that I received these as samples to trial...and let me also tell you that if I don't think a product is worth reviewing I won't. But this stuff is really amazing...it reminds me of the effect that Rhizogen has on my production. The reason that is so amazingly successful is the addition of Micorrhyzal fungi. This fungus gives plants greater access to nutrients in the soil.
And, in case you haven't heard, next week is the debut of my new podcast Good Enough Gardening! My co-host, the divine Amanda Thomsen (of Kiss My Aster) and I will be chatting about all kinds of slightly crazy gardening goodness! Stop by our blog and leave us a comment...let us know what you think of our first show!
**Now you can purchase Growing, Preparing and Storing Beets as an ebook for only $2.99. Head over to Amazon and download it to your ereader or tablet device pronto.
More about the book:
Beets are one of the unsung heroes of the edible garden. Learn how to grow, prepare and harvest these jewel-toned beauties with guidance from one of America's hottest new gardening authors. Growing, Preparing and Storing Beets is full of great garden knowledge, as well as recipes to tantalize your taste buds. Plus, it's written in a portable format, so download it on your smart phone, tablet or ereader and take it out to the garden (or to the grocery store) with you!
* This post contains an affiliate link to the Artifacts of Life store...and I whole-heartedly believe in and love their products.