Friday, March 1, 2013

We're Getting Close

Seed Heads in Sight

When this season’s wheat growing in Agoura Hills began, on the next to last day of November, I scavenged a handful of seed, from a bit that was spilled on the ground, and planted it in two pots in the backyard of our Los Angeles home. 

It sprouted bountifully and seemed happy with the warm South Bay conditions.
Growing a bit faster than our wheat in Agoura Hills, it has become a control group to watch and measure.


At the end of February, the first seed heads emerged from the FLAG leaf.  Actual kernels are visible.  Quite thrilling, with many of the plants swelling, indicating that more heads are about to come out. 

Back when I pocketed the spilled seed, I was not sure whether it was Sonora, Red Fife, or Glenn, the three varieties planted on November 29th.  Now that the heads are coming into view we can identify them as Glenn because of the beautiful, long, and abundant awns – or beards – up above the emerging heads.  (Sonora has no awns and Red Fife has only two or three short ones.) 

So our control group, covering a formidable one-ten-thousandth of an acre, is showing its stuff and, depending on how warm it is, could have ripe kernels of delicious wheat in 3 or 4 weeks.

The question is: when will the Glenn Wheat planted in Agoura Hills be ready?  Checking a couple of those plants, the inflorescence – or developing seed head – is well advanced up the pseudo stem, with only about an inch more to go. 

Developing seed head within Glenn Wheat pseudo-stem

In two or three weeks they are likely to begin showing their seed heads, and the kernels could mature in a month.  

Glenn Wheat Plot     2/26/2013
Yay, Glenn.

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