The flax in starting to bloom! These photos were all taken yesterday, June 12th, at our community garden plot at Amethyst Brook. The first variety to flower was the non-specified variety from Richters. It’s a tad shorter than the other two varieties overall, and as you may recall, it came in a little thin. This has meant that the individual stalks have more room to spread out, and the leaves seem larger on the v.n.s. than on the other two varieties. Spreading isn’t considered desirable with fiber flax, because the more branches the plant develops, the shorter the fibers will be.
Here’s one of the first beautiful flowers on the v.n.s.:
Last year I learned from Cliff Hatch at Upinngil Farm that flax flowers are pollinated by bees and other insects, and will not produce a lot of viable seed without them. I am not trying to save seed this year (hence I am growing more than one variety close together). There aren’t any beehives near the Amethyst Brook gardens, but as you an see, we get a few other pollinators.
The Evelin was full of buds yesterday, but no flowers yet:
The v.n.s. is about 33 inches high:
I decided not to do anything to correct the problem (for example, staking). The point of the whole exercise this year is to see how different varieties compare under similar conditions. The Marylin came in very thickly compared to the other two varieties, and grew much faster initially. I think this may be have due, in part, to the competition between the plants. In theory, you want to sow thickly so the plants will grow as tall as possible and as straight as possible, without branching. However, perhaps they outpaced themselves, and got too tall for their own stalks to support. Maybe Marylin needs to be planted less densely.
Anyway, that’s the news from flax land.