Saturday, February 26, 2011

Garden Update

Chicken Egg thief gets nabbed.

We have just finished transplanting our second batch of vegetable seedlings to their garden beds.  These seeds were sown in our starter box the first of February.  We started some lettuce, bush beans, basil, cilantro, tomatoes, zucchini, snap peas, and collards.  I want to plant a few zucchini every month because they get a fungus (powdery mildew) and don't last too long no matter how healthy the plant.  I love to eat zucchini so am trying this strategy, a few plants each month.  Lettuce too, they don't get fungus, but they will bolt, get tough and leggy if they get too old.  I concentrated on planting large amounts of basil and cilantro as I love pestos and making our own salsa.

We are eating from our first batch of vegetables sown on January 1, 2011.  We have regular salads from our lettuce, zucchini several meals per week, and tones of bok-choy for stir fry.  It takes about 3 to 4 weeks before transplanting, and then about 3 to 4 more weeks for the plants to be edible and producing.

I will sew more seeds this weekend including my first batch of sweet corn for the year.  That will be exciting.

Wainaku Grass being removed from Garden Bed

Double Dug Garden ready for IMO and planting
I have been spending evenings after work preparing my outside garden beds.  Drake had used some of these beds last year and let them go natural, weeds and all.  The problem here is that we have a particularly nasty weed called "Wainaku Grass".  It sends runners deep under the soil and keeps coming up and eventually takes over the bed from underneath.  The process of reclaiming these beds is slow and painstaking.  The bed must be double dug, shovelful by shovelful, and each shovelful must be deweeded, removing the white roots by hand.  These beds had been used before with the Korean Natural method so the soil structure is excellent.  There are many many worms!

I planted a bed of basil last week into one of these outside beds.  The flat of seedlings was given to me by a friend and were not looking so healthy.   We'll see if my Korean Natural Methods can bring them back.  I did my cane chipping, IMO #4 application, and grass clipping cover on several beds last weekend.  I am trying to stay ahead with prepared beds lying in wait to receive the seedlings when ready.
Basil Seedling from Friend
Basil in IMO bed

New Bed with grass clippings, pineapple in next row

I also harvested our ginger and turmeric last weekend.  Those root crops take a year to grow.  We pulled out the roots, cleaned them, and put them on a rack to dry.  Then we placed those into a paper bag in a closet to use in cooking for the rest of the year.  I will take little pieces of that harvest and plant into beds this weekend, for harvest again next year, continuing the cycle.  We make a very flavorful and cleansing drink from Ginger & Turmeric, grating then boiling it in water and finally adding a little sweetener.

Ginger Root and Orange Turmeric

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