Two beards seeds

Two Goat’s Beards

Here are two flowers that couldn’t be more different but they have the same common name: Goat’s Beard.

The Goat’s Beard flower above is Tragopogon dubius, introduced from Eurasia and named for its huge fluffy seed head. It loves full sun and thrives in poor, disturbed soil so I often see it in former waste places planted with wildflower seed mix. The flower above was at Lower Nine Mile Run on June 1.

The Goat’s Beard below, Aruncus dioicus, is a native of North America named for its fluffy male flowers. Four to six feet tall, it requires moist rich soil so I usually find it in the forest where a splash of sun breaks through. Dianne Machesney found this one last week.

Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) blooming, June 2018 (photo by Dianne Machesney)

The flower in her photo doesn’t look very fluffy. Here’s a possible explanation.

Aruncus dioicus is dioecius — some plants are male, others female. The male flowers are the showy ones. This showy flower from Wikimedia Commons may be male.

Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus), June 2018 (photo from Wikimedia Commons

Be careful if you tell a butterfly enthusiast that you’ve found Goat’s Beard. The yellow-flowered Eurasian species is nothing to get excited about but Aruncus dioicus is the host plant for the rare Dusky Azure butterfly (Celastrina nigra).

Two “Goat’s Beards.” Perhaps even more.

(photo credits:
yellow Goat’s Beard flower by Kate St. John
white Goat’s Beard flower by Dianne Machesney
fluffy white Goat’s Beard flower from Wikimedia Commons; click on the image to see the original
)

1 thought on “ Two Goat’s Beards ”

My bats never came back

For years I’ve had a couple of Little Brown Bats swooping over my yard in the evenings. It’s fun watching them from my patio. This year, no bats. Early in the spring I wasn’t worried. I thought they were staying in hibernation until the insects started flying. I miss my bats.

Red Beard

Grow this striking, red-stalked bunching onion at any time of the year. For the richest red colour, plant it in late summer to early fall so it is exposed to a bit of cold weather before harvest. If hard frost is expected, just mulch around the stems with straw. Read More

Matures in 40-50 days

West Coast Seeds ships anywhere in North America. However, we are not able to ship garlic, potatoes, asparagus crowns, bulbs, onion sets, Mason bee cocoons, or nematodes outside of Canada. We regret, we cannot accept returns or damages for orders outside of Canada. The minimum shipping charge to the US is $6.99.

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West Coast Seeds ships anywhere in North America. However, we are not able to ship garlic, potatoes, asparagus crowns, bulbs, onion sets, Mason bee cocoons, or nematodes outside of Canada. We regret, we cannot accept returns or damages for orders outside of Canada. The minimum shipping charge to the US is $6.99.

More details about Red Beard

Allium fistulosum. Grow this striking, red-stalked bunching onion at any time of the year. For the richest red colour, plant it in late summer to early fall so it is exposed to a bit of cold weather before harvest. If hard frost is expected, just mulch around the stems with straw. If whiter stalks are desired, simply hill soil up around them. Red Beard can reach 60cm (24″) tall, with the red portion up to 30cm (12″) tall. The flavour is very mild and the dark green leaves are tender.

Matures in 40-50 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)

Quick Facts:

    • Bright red stems
    • Even brighter in cool weather
    • Open-pollinated seeds
    • Matures in 40-50 days

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    Red Beard

    All About Red Beard

    Latin

    Latin
    Allium cepa
    Family: Amaryllidaceae

    Difficulty

    Difficulty
    Scallions are easy to grow. Bulbing onions and shallots require transplanting in the spring and curing after harvest. By following these instructions, even novice gardeners should have no trouble.

    Timing

    Timing
    Start shallots and storage onions indoors in late winter and early spring, and transplant 2-4 weeks after the last frost date. Overwintering onions need to be started in early summer, and transplanted by the middle of August. Scallions can be direct sown every 3 weeks from two weeks after the last frost date to late summer. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 21-25°C (70-75°F). Seeds will emerge in 6-12 days, depending on conditions.

    Starting

    Starting
    Transplants are preferred for home gardeners. Sow 3 seeds 5mm-1cm (¼-½”) deep in each cell of a 72-cell tray. Transplant as a clump, spacing each 15cm (6″) apart in rows 45-75cm (18-30″) apart. Scallions can be spaced at 2-5cm (1-2″) apart in rows 15cm (6″) apart.

    Days to Maturity:

    Days to Maturity: From transplant date.

    Growing

    Growing
    Ideal pH: 5.5-6.5 (6.0-6.8 for scallions). Fertile and well-drained soil in full sun is essential. Add well-rotted compost and dig ½-1 cup balanced organic fertilizer into the soil beneath each 3m (10′) of row. Keep moisture high in the top 20-30cm (8-12″) of soil. Most of the bulb should form on the surface of the soil, so don’t transplant too deeply. Bulb size is dependent on the size of the tops: the bigger the tops, the bigger the bulb. Provide August-planted scallions with the frost protection of a cloche or heavy row cover as the first frost date approaches.

    Harvest

    Harvest
    Stop watering in the beginning of August to mature the bulbs in dry soil. After half the tops have fallen, push over the remainder, wait a week and lift the bulbs. Curing is essential for long storage: Spread bulbs out in a single layer in an airy spot out of direct sunlight. Once no more green is visible on any of the leaves, and they are dry and crisp, the onion is cured. If weather is poor, cure indoors. Storage: Keep onions in mesh sacks or hang in braids so they get good ventilation, and hang sacks where air is dry and very cool, but not freezing. Check them regularly and remove any sprouting or rotting onions. Well-cured storage onions should keep until late spring.

    Seed Info

    Seed Info
    In optimal conditions at least 75% of seeds should germinate. Usual seed life: 1 year. Per 100′ row: 260 seeds (scallions 1.2M), per acre: 76M seeds (scallions 1,045M).

    Diseases & Pests

    Diseases & Pests
    Botrytis blast and downy mildew are common leaf diseases. One starts with white spots and streaks, the other with purple-grey areas on leaves. Leaves wither from the top down and plants die prematurely. Separate the overwintered and spring crops because disease starts in older plants and moves to younger. Avoid overhead watering and plant in open sunny locations. Use lots of compost and practice strict sanitation and crop rotation.

    Companion Planting

    Companion Planting

    The pungent odour of onions repels many pests and also protects nearby garden vegetables. Plant chamomile and summer savory near onions to improve their flavour. Onions also work well alongside beets, Brassicas, carrots, dill, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes. Don’t plant onions near asparagus, or peas of any kind.

    How to Grow Scallions

    Step 1: Timing

    Start shallots and storage onions indoors in late winter and early spring, and transplant 2-4 weeks after the last frost date. Overwintering onions need to be started in early summer, and transplanted by the middle of August. Scallions can be direct sown every 3 weeks from two weeks after the last frost date to late summer. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 21-25°C (70-75°F). Seeds will emerge in 6-12 days, depending on conditions.

    Step 2: Starting

    Transplants are preferred for home gardeners. Sow 3 seeds 5mm-1cm (¼-½”) deep in each cell of a 72-cell tray. Transplant as a clump, spacing each 15cm (6″) apart in rows 45-75cm (18-30″) apart. Scallions can be spaced at 2-5cm (1-2″) apart in rows 15cm (6″) apart.

    Step 3: Growing

    Ideal pH: 5.5-6.5 (6.0-6.8 for scallions).

    Fertile and well-drained soil in full sun is essential. Add well-rotted compost and dig ½-1 cup balanced organic fertilizer into the soil beneath each 3m (10′) of row. Keep moisture high in the top 20-30cm (8-12″) of soil. Most of the bulb should form on the surface of the soil, so don’t transplant too deeply. Bulb size is dependent on the size of the tops: the bigger the tops, the bigger the bulb. Provide August-planted scallions with the frost protection of a cloche or heavy row cover as the first frost date approaches.

    Step 4: Germination

    Days to maturity: From transplant date.

    In optimal conditions at least 75% of seeds should germinate. Usual seed life: 1 year. Per 100′ row: 260 seeds (scallions 1.2M), per acre: 76M seeds (scallions 1,045M).

    Step 5: Harvest

    Stop watering in the beginning of August to mature the bulbs in dry soil. After half the tops have fallen, push over the remainder, wait a week and lift the bulbs. Curing is essential for long storage: Spread bulbs out in a single layer in an airy spot out of direct sunlight. Once no more green is visible on any of the leaves, and they are dry and crisp, the onion is cured. If weather is poor, cure indoors. Storage: Keep onions in mesh sacks or hang in braids so they get good ventilation, and hang sacks where air is dry and very cool, but not freezing. Check them regularly and remove any sprouting or rotting onions. Well-cured storage onions should keep until late spring.

    Disease & Pests: Botrytis blast and downy mildew are common leaf diseases. One starts with white spots and streaks, the other with purple-grey areas on leaves. Leaves wither from the top down and plants die prematurely. Separate the overwintered and spring crops because disease starts in older plants and moves to younger. Avoid overhead watering and plant in open sunny locations. Use lots of compost and practice strict sanitation and crop rotation.

    Companion Planting: The pungent odour of onions repels many pests and also protects nearby garden vegetables. Plant chamomile and summer savory near onions to improve their flavour. Onions also work well alongside beets, Brassicas, carrots, dill, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes. Don’t plant onions near asparagus, or peas of any kind.

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