Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Arrowhead or Duck Potatoes

Matron left a comment about the Duck 'Potatoes' getting stuck in the bills of ducks if they tried to eat them...so I've here's a post about them and the other Aquatic plants I'm growing this year. biggrin

July 08: Doc managed to find me an old bath tub so it went into the shadehouse on Bed 9 to grow some aquatic food plants in summer.

August15/08: I prepared the bathtub for growing by plugging up the drain hole and two-thirds filling with good quality garden soil (from one of the beds that is no longer in use) which was mixed with Cow manure.

Aug 17/08: I lined a plastic crate with shadecloth to allow for easier harvesting of the Duck Potatoes. Hopefully this will keep them contained in one area. I filled the crate with the same mix as the bathtub.

August 22/08: I planted some Duck Potatoes Sagittaria sagittifolia (from Green Harvest), along with a few Waterchestnuts Eleocharis dulcis (from Cornucopia Seeds.)
Matron: I hope you can see by the photo these 'potatoes' are not very big at all, so I think that ducks would manage to eat them easily! wink

As it was still quite cold outside I covered the bath tub with plastic...as the weather has warmed up I've been removing this during the day and covering it only on cold (frosty) nights.

September 13/08:
The shoots of both the duck potatoes and water chestnuts were just emerging.

September 30/08:
I popped some Kangkong Ipomoea aquatica (seed from Phoenix Seeds) and Water Cress Nasturtium officinale (from Cornucopia Seeds) in their pots into the bath tub. I read that Lebanese Cress Aethionema cordifolium will grow in water too so I put a pot of that in as well.

The Water Chestnuts have also been planted into broccoli boxes one per box with a pot of Watercress and Kangkong...I'll be putting these containers in various areas around the garden (when the frosts end) to compare their progress in different levels of light and shade.

This will be an experiment to see how well these aquatic plants will do under 50% shadecloth.
I haven't been able to cover the house yet because of the strong winds we've been having here for the last month but with temps set to head into the 30C's this weekend I think it's time to sort that out.

In our very hot and dry summers evaporation levels are so high that I feel I would be spending too much 'water' topping up containers if they are left in full sun. Also the constant evaporation would lead to too much salt being left behind.

October 8/08: Today's photo



Find more information on these plants on the following links:

Green Harvest: Arrowhead Growing Information
Also: Waterchestnut Growing Infromation
Lebanese Watercress Available from Greenpatch Seeds
Northern Territory DPIFM Fact Sheet on Kangkong
Herbs Are Special: Watercress

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