Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gardening thoughts - by Lily

Last spring I planted a few red daikons in my backyard and had a successful harvest. I hadn’t had this type of daikon for years, and my kids had never seen it before. So I was very happy to taste it again and show it to my kids.

This spring I decided to move the daikon patch to the corner closer to the sprinkler head area where the soil is more moist. I was hoping with more water the taste of daikon would be sweeter and less stringent. So I switched the spots of my sunsugar tomato plants with the daikon. The sunsugar only yielded a single grape sized tomato last year. I didn’t have much hope this year and just planted for fun.

The daikon seeds sprouted early and grew very well. They survived the March freeze.  In April, there’s plenty water and sunshine at that corner. The daikon sprouts filled the corner lot. Soon little white flowers started blooming. Later, the flower shoots started to grow tall with more and more flowers. That’s when I got worried. I vaguely remembered that when grown in the spring the daikon tends to bolt instead of producing fruit. Of course this was confirmed by a quick google search. How come they didn’t bolt last year? After some observation, I realized that the southwest corner of my yard got more sunshine in the spring. With all that sunshine the daikon perceived a warm environment and chose the path of reproduction! Well, no daikon for now. But with all those flowers I collected a lot of seeds. When fall comes I’ll remember to get them going again.

The sunsugar plants on the mid-south section of my yard had only one survivor after the March freeze. But it started to grow well in April. Little yellow flowers emerged. Because of its location the plant stayed in shade most of the morning and got sunshine in the afternoon. The coolness of the location allowed pollenization and fruit setting, because tomato plants typically do not set fruits when the temperature rises above 90F which happens early in Texas. In June the sunsugar plant grew huge, plenty of green little tomatoes hang on the bush. Little by little the fruits grew to grape size, the color turned to a golden yellow. When I was able to gently collect the fruits off the plant, I couldn’t wait to rinse them and put a couple in my mouth. They were absolutely delicious!

What a difference a location made. The two types of plants showed different traits and thrived totally differently with such a small location change. I can’t help wondering what happens to people. What about us, our kids? Perhaps sometimes we should be brave, break our routine, make a change, try out new things, or bring on new challenges. And perhaps we will like it J

No comments:

Post a Comment