Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Unusual

I do like to try a few new and unusual varieties of vegetables each year.  After all, that's the fun of having your own garden!
Last year I grew a Litchi Tomato that is still growing and going strong.  What a specimen that plant is -- covered in spines, the ultimate protection from predators, including humans! It's even stronger this 2nd year, survived many below 20 degree nights all winter long, and right now it is covered in blooms.
 Definitely in the night shade family, right?
The small berries are very sweet, although full of seeds.  If I ever got enough of them it might be better suited to jelly or jam of some type. 

This year I'm focusing on a few interesting new spinach varieties in the garden.  I've had some success and plenty of failure. I ordered some of these unusual seeds from an Etsy vendor, but have had almost no luck in germination with them, so I probably won't order from them again.

This is the Good King Henry spinach I had read about and was anxious to try.  Out of 12 pods only one has germinated.  Not very good results.  Its a perennial, so if I can keep this one alive, maybe I can get them going.

According to the write up, Good King Henry is an interesting example of a once-common food that has since been forgotten and is seldom cultivated, although it is a perennial and can still be found growing around abandoned homesteads. It was a typical ingredient of medieval vegetable soups from the 12th to the 16th centuries, combining with leeks, chard and bread in a tasty, vitamin-rich broth that sustained the peasant farmers in their labors.  Who wouldn't want to try it after reading that?!

Another new green for me this year is New Zealand spinach, also known as Botony Bay spinach.  I've only had one germinate out of 12 on this one too, although I read that it is very slow to germinate, so I'm going to give the others a little more time.
Planted on 3/10/15 and didn't emerge until 4/22/15.  That's pretty slow!  

And finally I've got another new spinach, a Green Stemmed Malabar Spinach.  These did fairly well, and I've got those going in a big tub by the fence, since they will be climbers.  

Are you trying anything new or unusual in your garden this year? 

1 comment:

  1. I barely garden at all, but your blog makes me think I should reconsider my priorities. :) Good luck with your spinach plants-hope that tricksy Good King Henry behaves itself.