edible garden, no. 3, 2011

First of all, no comments on my bad transplanting technique, if you please.  It’s the result of growing seeds in re-purposed take-out containers.  I realized much later that separating the babies was going to be impossible.  So, I plopped them down as is.  Next year, I will definitely invest in some biodegradeable pots for seedlings.  Plus, I think it’ll be good for experimenting with succession planting.

Anyway, let’s get down to the garden update!

These little things are zucchini!  I’m so happy.  I had two packets of zucchini seeds, one I bought last year of a faster growing variety and one that my mom’s friend gave me.  I planted the ones I was given just to see if they would grow – the packet was from 2008-2009.  I figured that my worst case scenario was being left with dead seeds and then planting the faster growing variety later.  I put down four seeds and two came up.  I suspect that I’ll snip down the one on the right next week.  Zucchini needs a lot of space to grow, but I am waiting to see which of the seedlings ends up being the stronger plant.  (err, yes there is a small hole in the dirt behind the right seedling.  I moved my plant nanny further out before any roots could start growing around it, and did not refill the hole before taking the picture.)

The little plant in the background toward the left is a random seedling of bak choy.  I didn’t know where else to put it.  I figure that it’ll grow up before zucchini does, so I stuck it in the same pot.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how fast they both grow.

I think the naturstiums are doing well.  Don’t you?  They look very cute growing in the cinder block.

haha, I think my thyme plant needs to be pruned badly.  No worries, I have a plan for all the sprigs that I’ll be cutting off.  I have bookmarked an onion-thyme jam that sounds really yummy.  I can’t wait to try the recipe out.

This is mizuna.  I had started it indoors.  You can eat this as a micro-green but I want to try growing it to full size.  It’s all tangled.  This is the result of dumping seeds into dirt into a re-purposed take-out container.  So, not a great method for stuff you know you want to transplant, but take-out containers are perfect for growing micro-greens.  As the seedlings grow, I’ll snip down anything that looks weak.  These seeds were started inside around May 10th.

Do you know what else was planted around the time I planted my mizuna seeds?  Purslane.  You might remember that purslane was the first plant to germinate.  Guess what?  It’s barely grown since.  (>_<)
I think it needs a lot of direct sunlight that it wasn’t getting indoors.  As I started to harden the purslane, then and only then, the seelings started to perk up and exhibit more growth.  I think I want to grow purslane again next year, but I’ll have to start it in… I dunno… March with a grow light.  At this rate, I’ll be surprised if I get to eat any purslane before the frost comes.

Mint is a great plant to grow if you’re worried about growing things, or you are just starting out.  I had purchased, not a plant, but mint sprigs from the produce section of Russo’s (a very awesome market in Watertown, MA) around mid to late May.  I put four sprigs into water, so that they could grow roots.  About ten days later, I had about 1/2″ roots growing so I planted the sprigs into dirt.  It has not even been a full month since I’ve been growing the mint and it’s already twice the original size.  HOLY COW!

My borage plant and my strawberry plant.  Isn’t that single red strawberry delicious looking?  Yeah, I’m going to eat it tonight.  I’ve been very lucky that no creatures have munched on it yet, and I’d like to keep it that way.  I should be the only creature eating my garden!  As for the borage plant, it’s growing but I don’t really know what’s the best way to prune it yet.  It isn’t really growing up; it’s growing out.

And baby bell peppers!  (^_^)

Basil is doing fine.  I’ve added the purple basil to the container garden.  I should have taken a photo before I pruned it – it looks less pretty once the tops are missing.  Actually, a lot of the tops of my basil plants have been pruned, so I deemed them unworthy of a photo.  haha! 

There’s nothing interesting on the tomato plant to photograph, and I snipped off the dried flowers from the rosy chives.  I’m going to see if I can save the seeds and use them next year.  It looks like a new rosy chive plant sprung up though. 

Shiso is very slow growing.  I finally was able to get sprouts on the seeds I planted.  Unfortunately, I think they have all ended up being red shiso (I wanted both red and green).  Not all of the seeds germinated, but I’ll take what I can.  Next year, I think I’ll depend on picking up shiso from Hmart instead of growing my own.  Then again, I still have seeds left over so perhaps I’ll grow a little anyway.  I’ll have to start it at the same time as purslane.  When you grown shiso from seed, make sure that the seeds are NOT covered by any dirt!  That was totally my fault for not reading directions.  The shiso seedlings (except for one) are from a second round of planting.

As for the shiso plants that my mom bought from Hmart, they are doing well.  But they are not growing nearly as fast as basil.  I’ve decided that shiso is just a slow plant. 

Rosemary and lemon thyme continue to live, so I think that covers everything that is growing in the garden right now.  (^_^)


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