Wednesday, June 11, 2008

weeds and parsnips


The photo above is my parsnip bed. Parsnips were my new plant challenge this year. I've never grown these before. Not even sure what the seedlings look like. I've seeded them twice now in this bed. I'm afraid to pull the weeds because I'm not sure if its a parsnip. Can anyone spot a parsnip seedling here? I think the seeds probably did not sprout.

Its just amazing how fast weeds grow in my sunny garden! They grow several inches just overnight. And some of them are very nice looking weeds. My weeds include beautiful tall sunchokes, parsley and cilantro, potatoes, blue flowered ground ivy, horse nettle is just sprouting now, the usual ugly prostrate spurge and common lambsquarter, several types of chickweed, field pennycress, lots of wild garlic, etc etc. (I just got a nice book of New England weeds.)

My garden chores today:

1. Weeding
2. Watering
3. More weeding....

I have some interesting weeds that I have left growing just to see what they are and if they will flower. A little scary. I hope these don't overgrown my garden.

Along with watering and weeding, I do also need to remember to fertilize soon. Tomorrow would be good. I have some 5-10-5 I'll scatter and cultivate into the soil. The plants are definitely using the soil nutrients rapidly right now.

wildflowers, weeds, invasives and natives


kathy said...

I've been doing some googling and I found a parsnip seedling photo! I am shocked. I was not expecting a seedling like this. I think I spot some in the patch!!! Yippee. I love roasted winter parsnips. Here's parsnip culture info.

Silli said...

I am a big fan of google image search for seedling photos. What a help.

kathy said...

I can't wait to head over to the garden and pull up all the weeds in my parsnip patch, now that I know which ones aren't. I think I see at least 5 or 6 parsnips in this photo. Thanks to google.

Vic Phelps said...

My weeds are mostly stinging nettle and dandelions. In the spring garden I wait until these are about 8-12 inches tall and then pull them all at once, as many as I can find. I keep the separate, nettles in one bucket, dandelions in another.

Rather than composting, I head for the kitchen. Carefully strip the leaves off the nettles into a large pan. Wear gloves for this. Steam the leaves for 10 minutes.

In another pan saute 1 chopped onion and a couple of slices of bacon, also chopped, until the bacon is crispy and the onions are browned and wilted.

Dip the nettles out of the first pan and allow them to drain for a minute before adding them to the onions and bacon. Toss in all the young dandelion greens and cover. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes until everything is well wilted. Stir everything together and serve with a fried chicken leg and some crusty garlic bread.

I freeze as much nettle & dandelion as I can get.Cook the greens and use a food processor to chop them up small. Drain(Use the liquid to make a batch of bean soup.) Form the greens into golf balls, squeeze out excess moisture and freeze on a cookie sheet. Add balls of greens to soups, stews, bean dishes and meat loaf for sneaky nutrition!

Funny, the more "weeds" we eat out of the garden, the fewer weeds we see!

I would like to remind everyone, dandelions are not native to the Americas. Our early ancestors brought dandelions with them to grow in the garden as the first greens of spring. "Bitter Lettuce" has 5-10 times more of all essential vitamins and minerals than true lettuce has.
Stinging nettles also contain huge amounts of minerals and is very good to combat winter fatigue associated with the long dark months. Bitter taste is kind of out of fashion right now but it is still good for us!

kathy said...

Thanks so much for this comment about eating weeds! I have been meaning to look into this. Weeds can be very nutritious and why not eat the plants that grow as volunteers in our gardens.

Mark said...

does anyone know how I can tell a cultivated parsnip from a wild or cow parsnip seedling