A Tramp in the (Organic) Garden

Seeds, Smack Talk and Assorted Gardening Madness in South Pasadena, Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This Tramp Is Going To India

Tomorrow I leave on a 28 day journey to India for work. This trip will take me to Mumbai/ Bombay, Jaipur, and Kerala. I just finished packing right now and I'm about to hop off to bed. This should be a very interesting odyssey and I know I'll see many interesting plants along the way. Tea plantations, crotons as tall as a house- lets see what this holds in store!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

THURSDAY: Illegal Swiss Iceberg Lettuce

This is what the little winter bed looked like after Thursday morning, when I woke up a little earlier before work, and leaped out of bed and into the backyard to plant a stripe or 2 of Iceberg lettuce seedling, whose seeds I smuggled from Switzerland. At least I think that's what it is! I've never grown Iceberg of all things, so this should be interesting.

Tomorrow , if all goes according to plan, I'll be on to some radicchio and frisée!

WEDNESDAY: Graffiti Cauliflower and Rainbow Swiss Chard

Wednesday during lunch I planted the little Graffiti purple cauliflower seedlings and some Rainbow orange, fuschsia, red and yellow Swiss Chard. What happened to me??? I'm brazenly planting an F1 hybrid! I mean it's going to be beautiful, but have I sacrificed my gardening integrity?

F1 hybrid just means the first generation of seeds or plants produced by cross pollinating 2 specific parent plants. It just means first generation of a cross. People grow F1 plants because they often display stronger productivity and strength than either parent. This is why many conventional farmers plant these types of crops. However, if you try and plant another generation of plants from seeds you've saved from the F1 crop, the next generation will be a genetic crapshoot- the genes are scrambled and you'll get plants that display a wide variety of genetic traits. All open-pollinated seeds basically started out with a first generation of plants and were eventually stabilized over many years. I'm not going to get into open-pollinated varieties right now, but I'm sure you know there is a big debate over open-pollinated VS hybrid.

TUESDAY: Mascara and Batavian Lettuce

Tuesday I raced home at noon to plant a row of Mascara, this sexy red oakleaf lechuga and the Batavian crisphead. I have to say, I was pretty proud that my plan was working so far. I also planted a little row of beets in between the lettuces that I know are way too close together, but f it, I 'll harvest those little suckers young.

MONDAY: Forellenschluss Heirloom Lettuce

This week I had my Master Plan- every day I would have lunch at home and sneak in a row of lettuce planting, and by the weekend I'd have part of my big Winter Garden Plan underway before I leave for a month.

So Monday was the 2 rows of Forellenschluss lettuce. It's an Austrian heirloom romaine lettuce, beautiful green leaves freckled with little burgundy spots. Gorgene and tasty, too.