Mini Friday PhotoEssay

I think this is the first offical Friday PhotoEssay of the year! Of course, you’ve been seeing a bunch of construction pictures, but I think it’s high time we moved on to plants, don’t you?

This is a bit of a “mini” photoessay because I’ve only got 3 pictures to share, and they are all of baby plants – seedlings. All of the seedlings I planted last week have germinated, so I thought we’d take a look since they aren’t your common, everyday seedlings.

This is the Thunbergia (aka Black-Eyed Susan Vine). Those big seed leaves look kind of chlorotic with the dark green veins and pale yellow areas between veins. However,  want to get some true leaves growing before I start with any fertilizer. You can see those first true leaves starting to unfurl. Since this is a vine, it is going to get rather gangly rather quickly. That will be a challenge with the lights!

This is the Thai Red Roselle seedling. It has its first true leaf already and while it isn’t red yet, you can see that tinge of red in the leaf petioles (stems) and starting into the veins of that true leaf.

This is the Jicama. If it looks a little bit like a pole bean, well there’s a good reason for that. Jicama is a member of the Legume family (the same as peas, beans, vetch, etc). Theoretically that would mean that it fixes a little bit of nitrogen from the air like other legumes, right? The seed packet does specifically say that it does not like too much nitrogen. I wonder….

After a quick internet search, it would appear that jicama does have the ability to fix nitrogen like other legumes. That ability results in a tuber that has more nitrogen than other edible tubers, theoretically making it more nutritious. I found a couple sources citing it as being more nutritious because of the nitrogen…I wonder if they are equating more nitrogen to higher protein? Nitrogen is an important building block in proteins.

So, even if we don’t get a great yield from our jicama plants this year, we should get some nitrogen for our new garden soil out of the deal!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on April 6, 2012, in PhotoEssays and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My Thai Reds are a little bigger than that, and they’re already a very rusty green (if that makes any sense). I don’t have any jicama or black-eyed Susan vine, but I think I make up for that in the eccentricity department with cardoon and borage and Lebanese squash and bitter melon and yard-long beans and…

    This is why I’m gardening out front this year, so I have room for the normal green beans and tomatoes and stuff.

    • I bet ours will be that rusty green color in another few days as they age. Where did you get your seeds? That might make a difference too. I think you’re doing well in the eccentricity department! I’m excited to see our Litchi Tomato when it gets growing.

      • Southern Exposure, last year (those died, but five of the six seeds I planted germinated this year).

      • Er, wait, that sounds like last year’s planting sprouted. I ordered the seeds last year. I planted all but eight last year. All those seedlings died. Of the remaining eight, I planted six this year, five have sprouted. There, that’s clearer.

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