Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A few maturing sprouts from the umbellifer family

These were all planted five or six weeks ago. 

Here's a parsnip with one true leaf and another on it's way.  The parsnips start out slower than the others, but then will pick up speed and grow into huge plants, and by October or November, will have huge taproots to harvest.  I don't plant parsnips at school gardens, because I have heard that the leaves are very poisonous (as the umbellifers also include Poison Hemlock, Queen Anne's Lace, and some other toxic plants), and they leaves and plants look way to similar to edibles.  It would probably taste bad, but still better to be safe.

Below is a cilantro plant.  It already has many true leaves, and will start to be harvested soon, and then start to bolt by late Spring or early Summer, giving us the coriander seeds, to eat or replant in the future.  At this point, cilantro and parsnip leaves look very similar, but the parsnip is slightly bristly.  Our parsley is growing slower than these others, but will resemble the cilantro.  I won't bother trying to show the differences between parsley and cilantro, because there's different varieties, so any particular visual rule may not consistently hold true.  When comparing a flatter-leaf parsley, my only way to tell the difference at a store or in the garden, when not labeled, is by taste or smell.  Maybe there are some better rules, but I just haven't bothered figuring this out.

The carrots below are starting to resemble carrots.  As root vegetables, they may need to be thinned out.

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