Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pumpkin experiments

Spring finally appears to have arrived, with robins in the backyard and men in reflective vests planting colourful flags (in anticipation of a summer of new sidewalks, roadways and water mains).

Jess and I have been splitting out time between exploring some more adventurous trails in the valley and the yard. We're currently in a zone where she's old enough and I'm still young enough to climb the ravines and poke about.

In the backyard, we haul rout the glass for the smaller cold frames and gave it a cleaning. I wanted to try some squash and the cold frame gives us a chance to get them started earlier without too much worry about snow and frost.

This year's garden curriculum is seed saving and genetic selection. We saved a bunch of pumpkin seeds from last year and have planted 12 clusters of three. We're going to select the earliest germinating from each cluster and then, slightly later, the four fastest growing plants (since early and fast are important characteristics if you actually want a pumpkin in Edmonton). Then at the end of the year, we'll pick the best fruit to save for next year. 

Jess seemed to get the idea of inheritance and selection (not bad for a 10-year-old). Of course, she also has a better grasp of how inter-generational poverty works than most of our politicians (figuring the dynamics out from one off-hand story) so I guess I shouldn't be surprised the rudiments of genetics is now within her grasp. Anyhow, we'll see how this works and revisit the results next spring.

The cold frames were all nice and toasty today and the radishes are hauling. The garlic is also growing well, although it looks like a hard neck variety we planted last fall all bite it over the winter. We're off to find some Jerusalem artichokes tomorrow so I think we'll pick up a couple of replacements.

No comments:

Post a Comment