Sunday, April 26, 2015

Early Planting 2015

This week was a wet week in my neighborhood. We had tornado watch and lots of rain the other day.  The temperature remains between 40 and 50 degree F.  This temperature is too cold for pepper and tomato plants. But I still planted my pepper seedlings and tomato plants in the garden.  I covered them with empty bottles from wind and cold temperature. I checked on them yesterday and they seems to be growing very well.

I have yet to see the lettuces and radishes seeds sprouting. Even the peas are not coming up yet.  I am sure the seeds will break out from their dormancy as soon as the temperature remains high for several days.  It surely does feels like winter at times despite being in April. For this year’s growing season, I will plant all of my cucumber and squash seeds. I have so many collections over the years and I think it is time for them to hit the ground.

I did sow the yellow pear shape cherry tomato and the Carolina Gold tomato. These two packets of old seeds sprouted beautifully. I am giving away some of them to my co-worker. I have planted some in the garden with protection from the milk jugs.  I still have some more in my kitchen that I am waiting for the soil to warm up more before I planted them in the garden.

Besides cucumber, squash, tomato and pepper, I also plan to grow more watermelon. I have a few packets of old seeds of watermelon that I need to use.  I have sowed about 4 30-foot rows of peas. They are mostly sugar snap peas. I will also grow snow peas for my mother in law. I still have a few more pea seeds that need to go into the ground.

A friend of mine gave kang-kung seeds. I am growing them in a container at home. The garden is too dry and might not be suitable for them. She also gave some red a-foot long beans. That is very interesting and I cannot wait to grow them. In returned, I gave her my favorite purple string beans. In the past, I never get any disease or bugs on the purple string beans. Their beans are prolific. The taste is great. The purple beans will turn green when cooked. It was very easy to grow them.

I have planted all of the onion sets. I hope they are going to grow well despite the cold temperature. In between the onion, I sowed the beet, kohlrabi and the carrot seeds. I am pretty much finished putting in the seeds in the garden.

Once the weather is warmer, I will plant the Malabar spinach, lemongrass and stevia plants. They are rooting nicely in my kitchen. Soon they are ready to go into the ground.

Happy gardening!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Curry Leaves Plant Update

Last year I have sowed the seeds of the curry leaves plant. Today, I repotted them in a bigger container.
 There are about six plants sprouted. I might get another 2 more if the seedlings survived. You can read on my previous post on the seeds I started. During winter, I have the seedlings tucked inside the Ziploc bag. Once a month I check on the plant to make sure they are not dry.
 The weather is better today. We get about 40 to 50 degree F. I don't think the baby curry leaves plants need the zip loc bag. They look healthy. The curry leaves plants are moving from a 2-inch pot into a 4-inch pot. The root of these plants are very good. Some roots are long and spiral or stringy. I could as well transplant them in a 6-inch container.
 I used a piece of paper towel to cover the hole at the bottom of the container. I am using the miracle gro potting soil mixed with some perlite. I find these soil less mixture provide better health to the root.
 Since the weather was very nice this morning, I go ahead transplanting the babies from this mother plant into their individual pot.
 There are too many baby plants at the base of this curry leaves plant.
 Those babies I pulled that do not have the root went into the glass jar with some warm water. I hope they will develop the root in the water.
 The baby curry leaves plants that has some roots are transplanted into their individual container. I am using an empty 2liter soda bottle for the container. I made some small holes at the bottom of the bottle for drainage and removed the top part since the plant is too tall and not needed moisture.
I left a few babies at the base of the mother plant so that she will not get lonely. I also did a drastic pruning to the top of the plant. This pruning is needed for the plant to produce more branches and more healthy leaves for harvesting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Seeds for 2015

Once again, another year of growing season is about to begin. Although there is snow everywhere at this moment, I know I will have a very good summer time. I have visited the store and bought some seeds. I have carrots, beets, string beans, zucchini, peas, lavender, romaine lettuce, radishes, peppers and swiss chard. I also have some old seeds that might still viable like tomatillo, eggplants, sun flowers and spinach.

There is no special plant I am adding to the garden this year. I am planning to grow regular plants I normally grow each year. Last year, I have tried growing Roselle, a tropical plant. I found out that the plant requires longer time to mature and produce fruits. With the shorter summer time here, the plant did not give me any fruit. However, I am happy to consume the sour taste of the leaves. I still have the left over seeds and will plant them this year.

Brussels sprout and the purple cabbage did very well last year. I may try them again this year. I will use the same method I did, that is to use a row cover. It will keep the butterfly away from laying their eggs on the plants.

I have sketched the layout for the garden. I am rotating the 4 quadrants of Heavy feeder, Light feeder, Medium feeder and Soil Amendments. I have started this method since last year. It is said that this method will keep the bugs at bay and improve the soil fertility.

Another technique I try last year was to create a trench and bury food scrap in it. This method is also to help boosting the soil.

I have been collecting a lot of the empty soda bottles throughout winter. I am planning to use the soda bottle to cover the young plants. The soda bottle will protect plants from wind damage and cut worm. This technique has been working great in the past. I will continue doing this.


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