I was out in the garden yesterday an noticed flower buds on a couple of plants that I didn’t expect to see buds on. Not just that they were early budding, but that they typically would flower only rarely or not at all.
The first one is the garden sage. I have certainly seen other sages bloom, but it is pretty rare to see the culinary garden sages bloom. It has these rather angular, purple-tinged buds right now that will lengthen into flower stalks in time.
Also, the ‘Sante’ shallots are budded. I don’t see any signs of buds on any of the other shallot varieties, and I didn’t expect to see them on these either. Garlic often puts up a flower stalk, but I’ve never heard of shallots doing it! My instinct is to remove the flower stalks like we will on the garlic later on. A little bit of research seems to indicate that would be best, although some people have had trouble with rotting of the bulbs when blooming occurs. We’ll have to wait and see. That would be tragic, because the ‘Sante’ shallots are already huge compared to the others!
Speaking of the garlic…
After thinking about the shallot buds for a few minutes, I realized that maybe the garlic is starting to put up flower stalks too. I checked the ‘Maiskij,’ the variety that seems to be the earliest so far, and was initially disappointed that I didn’t see anything. Then I looked closer and realized that there are some flower stalks (called “scapes” on garlic) starting from the center of some of them. You’ll have to take my word for it, but the newest shoot in the center of the plant is a flower stalk, not just a new leaf.
We’ll be talking more about garlic scapes in the weeks to come, including a recipe, I hope! But what about the sage and the shallots? Why are they blooming? My initial thought is that the blooming is primarily due to the temperature fluctuations we’ve experienced, although the shallot planting stock we got could have been biologically ready to bloom.