Two of the vegetable crops I grew this year are known for loving the heat: okra and eggplant. I grow eggplant in pots on my deck, to avoid flea beetle infestation, and okra directly in the ground in my community garden plot. Both of them produced adequately over the summer. Now it’s fall; we’re having days in the 70s and nights in the 50s, and there are fewer hours of sunlight in the day. Time to pull the summer crops, right?
Except – boom! Both the okra and the eggplant are going gangbusters. More flowers, more fruits than in the hot summer months, by far.
So why aren’t these plants following the rulebook? Do they not know how to read? Or have the rules changed?
This has been a tough year for bean-growing, at least around these parts; both the Derwood Demo Garden and my community garden have seen large populations of Mexican bean beetles, as well as hungry rabbits. Continue reading →
A Master Gardener friend who recently traveled to the UK brought me back a packet of seeds. Specifically, ‘Gowrie’ rutabaga seeds from a company called Mr. Fothergill’s.
Except because these are British seeds, they’re not called rutabaga, they’re called swede. The packet does include the botanical name of the plant (Brassica napus napobrassica) so if you’d never heard of swedes and didn’t recognize the picture, you could look them up – I hope all our American packets of rutabaga seeds do the same!
This got me thinking about vegetable names that separate us by a common language, or divide us by different ones, or in general confuse us. I’ll give a few examples below, and please tell your own stories of vegetable name mix-ups in the comments.