Tuesday, January 7

What not to do when planting broccoli

Just this morning, I read a book about gardening. The centennial edition of Yate's Garden Guide, although very informative, some of its guidelines just won't work (for me) being an Australian book made for Australian climate. And I'm here in Bohol, Philippines. Still, I find myself reading parts and pages and looking at photos of broccoli, big ripe tomatoes, crisp-looking lettuce and of  beautiful flower and herb gardens. And I do it again and again for inspiration that at times I forget that I'm here in the tropics. One time, I asked a friend working in Canada to send me (as a gift!) a pack of broccoli seeds. She sent me two! At the back of the packets, it says early dwarf variety, big and compact bright green heads. I sowed one packet. They sprouted but just a few made it. But there was enough for the 18- meter plot.

They grew just like the previous broccoli I had, only taller and slimmer. So much for a dwarf variety! And instead of forming into heads, the flowerets spread out. For a moment, I was wondering what went wrong and whether or not it tastes different. Not really different as I found out later. I mean, you'd know what you're eating is broccoli.

So I didn’t ask my friend for broccoli seeds again or any other seed for that matter. And the other packet of Canadian broccoli? I didn't throw it either. The picture on it looks too gorgeous. I just let it peacefully expire inside a plastic box. At least I learned a very important lesson: never assume that the big difference in climate, soil and temperature between here and places like Canada won't matter because it does. And it could cost you a planting season.

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