Our own field of gold - Spring Wheat (Alsen) (OG)
Alright, maybe it's just a nugget of gold. What?? You say it's a flake if we're lucky?! Well, dear reader, you may have a point. And if you are in the Midwest or are from the Midwest, no doubt you are doubled over laughing with tears streaming out of your eyes. AHHH HA! HA! HA! I can hear it now. You are correct to laugh but we are also correct to plant. If we get one small loaf of bread out of this patch of crappy dirt with the 5.2 soil test, our experiment will be hailed as a success and we will have learned a little bit about this plant, Wheat, upon which we depend so much for food. This picture is of the wheat patch (Spring Wheat available at Johnny's Seeds) a few weeks ago before it was weeded. Indeed, it is planted in rows for easy weeding just like the ancient Chinese did, although next year we'll hand-broadcast the seed in one big square. We've since finished weeding 2/3 of it and have been bothered by the fact that we haven't had time or energy to finish. It would look so good to see the neat rows of wheat, seedheads waving in the soft breeze. And what a conversation piece! Alas, after surveying the rest of the gardens and seeing some unstaked tomato plants heavy with green fruit, we've concluded that the wheat will survive the weeds. Not only will the wheat survive, but you can put animals out to graze it for a few weeks after it is 6" or so high and it will still have time to produce new seedheads by fall. (This fact was proven to us by the local deer who ate the wheat down to 3". It has now grown back and all the plants have seedheads on them.) The tomato plants, on the other hand, need attention now and their fruit will rot on the ground if they are not staked. To put it in more modern terms, time management is the key from now until frost. As hard as it is to do, forget the cosmetic look of the garden and focus on a well rounded harvest. Any extra energy can be spent gearing up for the August canning & jamming marathon.
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Posted by Mary Ellen at July 21, 2008 7:43 AM