James Wong says of Elephant Garlic scapes:
“Steamed and topped with hollandaise sauce, they knock the socks off the most fancy asparagus and are a revelation blitzed into creamy soups.”
High praise! Well two of my elephant garlic plants (which are getting enormous) are flowering and I reckon the rest are right behind them. The flower bud is called a scape and I cut these two at about 5 inches and ate them fried. They are not bad and remind me of asparagus with a hint of garlic. You need to remove all the flower buds to allow the plant to bulb up. The bulbs and cloves are the main attraction of this plant and flowering just holds these back. This year’s growing is so much better than last year, I’ve been scoffing bits and pieces from my garden and allotment since early spring and the amount of food is rapidly increasing.
A couple of my Daubenton Kale cuttings (click here to read about how I went about it) have set down roots and are now happily growing away on the allotment. I wrote the previous post about a week after I took the cuttings so I reckon it has taken about three weeks to get going. Some of the cuttings are being a bit sluggish and I put this down to either sharing a pot with other cuttings (less root space perhaps) or using “used up” compost from last year. The two good ones were on their own in their own pots and with fresh compost. I know, you may be saying “duuhh!”, but from a sustainability point of view we need to think about conserving resources, and that means conserving even such things as compost. I’m trying to stretch my old compost by the use of comfrey tea and worm juice.
I would also like to mention that the post linked to above also mentions cuttings from Kailaan (Chinese broccoli). These cuttings were nobbled by a slug so I’m going to have to start again. I have still managed to avoid using slug pellets this year (which is one less chemical) but I have had to be ruthless with my size 12’s. I think it is a more honest and respectful way to deal with them than poisoning them.
In the above photograph the front, left, smaller plant is a Daubenton Kale cutting. The one right front is a sea kale, again perennial. The one behind it on the right is Ehwiger (or Ewiger) Kohl, which has the same latin name as Daubenton but seems to be less upright and with smoother edged leaves. This is a relief because it cost me £20 to get it sent over from Germany. I was worried I had sent off to such long distances when I already had the same thing in my garden!. The brassica at the top left is a Perennial Broccoli (well a cauli really) called Nine Star Brocolli.
Just to remind all you perennial kale fans, Daubenton and Ehwiger Kohl don’t flower and last 3 years or more. You trim leaves to eat and allow the plant to regrow year after year.
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