On new greenery

img_0755The return of the growing season is a fairly level playing field as far as our botanical friends are concerned.  The new greenhouse, cleared out of most of its winter contents, is now a wide-open environment for WEEDS.  Yipes!

And nine out of ten times these weeds are unwelcome opportunists.  But I did have to pause when I saw these little cuties.  They are sprouting in one of the now-empty carrot beds, and look suspiciously like carrot seedlings themselves.  I do seem to remember seeing two carrots go to seed last year: strange enough in a biennial, especially one in its first season of growth.  And as a seed-saver I should never encourage the seeds of something that throws seed so readily.  But still, I paused, sparing them the hoe guillotine.

They also look suspiciously like grass seedlings.  Their true leaves will tell me the difference:  ferny fronds=carrots, or more thin leaves=grass.   We shall see.  A week might be a stay of execution…or not.

10 responses to “On new greenery

  1. Oh, wouldn’t that be nice to have carrots come up on their own.

    I wonder if that would be good or bad. I do know one of the drawbacks of saving carrot seed is that one tends to lose them if not careful before they get into that second year and have their seeds. So, a carrot that would have seeds the first year would be nice.

    Then again, one of the nice things about carrots is that you *don’t* have to worry about them bolting like so many other cool weather crops. So, a first year seeder would introduce that potential.

    Hmm? What do others think? To seed or not to seed?

    Let us know what they turned out to be, yes?

  2. Always around this time of year I get excited to see weeds growing, because that means it’s getting warm. That excitement usually lasts 2 weeks max, until they start to take over.

    I am interested to see what they turn out to be!

  3. You could easily suss out who they are right now – grass seedlings have only one cotyledon (sprout leaf) and that’s the only blade you see.

    Carrot seedlings have two clear cotyledons, and they will be visibly attached to one stem at their base.

    Based on seedlings that appear left and right of center in this photo, my guess is that they’re little carrot seedlings, but you can have a much closer look than I can.

  4. Taste them. Even as seedlings you should be able to taste either carrot or grass.

  5. Yeah! Carrot microgreens. If you have to thin, you can eat the pickings on your salads.

  6. I don’t think I have ever had the thrill of having carrots just show up in my garden row. I would do a cartwheel, I do believe!


  7. That would be so cool if they turn out to be carrots! I hope they do 🙂

  8. There is no mystery surrounding my early spring greenery– about nine million daylilies are popping up around here. Who needs that many daylilies? They are going into surplus pots and onto neighbors’ porches during our flower festival. I hope that isn’t vandalism.

  9. I agree, that would be very exciting if they were carrots 🙂 Do you have another area where you could grow carrots this year and leave this plot open for experimentation with the shoots until you see if they are carrots?

    I saw your response to my last post, and yes, that is something I really do have to get my mind around – that the stored-frozen food is there to be *eaten* not hoarded. I guess I’m more nervous since I don’t know really when the “new” round of veg in the spring comes. I have heard that it comes around late May/early June around here (CT) but somehow its hard to get through the thick head of mine until I see it… but that means I’m missing now what I should be enjoying! You are so right, I need to get over it and use those goodies 🙂

  10. Christy, yeah, my leanings are blooming carrots in first year = bad thing, so, well, if they do turn out to be carrots after all I certainly won’t save their seed. But in the meantime I might eat them, you know?

    Gardenmama, well, we look for signs that help us, don’t we? No sense looking for all the bad in the world. We’re still in the winter world here so even a tiny bit of greenery (like those crocus this morning) helps me, you know?

    Zandt, thank you for your clever research: they do indeed look like carrots if that’s the case. They also could be Queen Anne’s lace (daucus carota) which is so abundant here that I don’t ever bother saving carrot seed: it’s too easily cross-pollinated with this wild relative.

    Ah EJ THAT would indeed be a telling sign. Of course by the time I got out to inspect them yesterday I had corrupted my palate with chives and cilantro (I am a grazer). Maybe today.

    CC, yes, I am all over recycling like that. Some broccoli thinnings made it on the salad last night even. Yomyom.

    Linda, a cartwheel? Now that’s a fun garden sign!

    Hiya Kendra! Yep, me too even though the odds are slim.

    Pamela are they at least different colors? Around here they are literally ditch weeds, and they tend to colonize the hillsides of the highways (not a bad ditch weed therefore). And of course you can eat their blossoms. You know, irises tend to be our particular bugaboo: again, not a bad way to overpopulate the gardens.

    Well, yeah, MC, I will let some of them grow surely, even though the timing isn’t perfect: I tend to plant my carrots in June/July for winter eating as their spring/summer counterparts are pithy and nasty (not nearly as sweet). It only took me two years to figure that one out: their starchy core converts to sugars and softens in the cold. But yeah, I tended to overprotect my first cannings years ago when someone said to me, well, why NOT have peaches every night if you like them so much? And I’m sure many people will tell you it is best to embrace the day and just eat, happily, as if there’s no tomorrow. You’re right though it will be June before you see local goodies, with asparagus and lettuce in May. But that’s only 2-3 months off.

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