Another Busy Gardening Day…

I started the day off harvesting some Swiss Chard ‘Green’¬†for lunch… My Mom used it in Filipino dish called Nilagang Manok, which literally¬†translated means Boiled Chicken. I really love Swiss Chard, including the stems which remains firm when cooked. They are not stringy like some Bok Choy stems.

After lunch, I when to the garden and did a bunch of seed sowing. A few years ago, I experimented with winter sowing. I used milk jugs as containers, but didn’t have such good luck. I think the base didn’t have enough soil and it dried out too quickly. This winter, I’m going to use 6-8 inch pots as the minimum size. I also used standard 1-gallon containers. I filled the pots lower than if I were to plant a plant in them. This will leave some protection when the seedling emerge. I used plastic covers with elastic sewn in the edges to cover the pots. These were pretty cheap; I think the box came with 12-18 covers for $1. This will keep the soil from drying out and I think the elastic may even help keep the slugs out… which is another problem I had previously. I sowed the following seeds:

Agrostemma ‘Ocean Pearl’
Alyssum ‘Gold Dust’
Zinnia (Fall 2005)
Mystery Flower (maybe Gazania Daisy?)
Sunflower Lemon Queen (old seeds that I found hidden away in storage)

I wanted to get rid of some really old seeds like the Sunflower above and I also found two packets of Radishes from 1984!!! I emptied the two packets (Radish ‘Red Deveil B’ and Radish ‘White Icicle’) into a 12 inch pot… I don’t really expect them to grow, but if any are still viable, here’s their change to grow.

I planted a 10 inch pot with lots of Cilantro seeds that I harvested last year. I hope the Cilantro grows densely so we can harvest a lot. I then replenish one of the 3-gallon GeoPots that we harvested the Purple Bok Choy from and planted a bunch of Lettuce ‘Wildfire Mix’ that I bought a few days ago. I still had a bunch of seedling, so I potted to into large cell-packs to plant out later.

I’m not sure where to plant the other new plants I got, so I divided the small-packs of Kale ‘Rainbow’ and Kale ‘Siberian’ into 3 inch pots, so they can grow a bit before I figure out where to plant them. I was surprise how healthy the young seedlings were. I was able to divide the Kale ‘Rainbow’ into 17 individual pots!!!… and I’ll give some away to friends and relatives.

I also started grafting, since our Asian Plum tree near the storage is starting to bloom. I grafted four total today and will do more later:

Asian Plum ‘Golden Nectar’ (Graft 2012-01)
Plumcot ‘Burbank’ (Graft 2012-02)
Asian Plum ‘El Dorado’ (Graft 2012-03)
Apricot ‘Canadian White’ (Graft 2012-04)

I hope these take.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s Gardening…

Thursdays

After making those newspaper pots, I planted some Grand Rapids Leaf Lettuce, Correnta Hybrid Spinach, Lemon Basil and Miike Purple Giant Japanese Mustard.

I planted some William Guinness Columbine over a month ago and didn’t think the seeds germinated, so gave up on them… When I was looking for a place to put the newly planted seeds, I discovered 2 Columbine seedlings that sprouted plus another mystery plant. So I made 3 more newspaper pots and planted these 3 seedlings into them.

The Tendergreen Bush Beans are starting to sprout and they are just breaking ground. The newspaper mulch is really helping in keeping the ground from drying.

Friday

I didn’t do any gardening on Friday because I took 3 of my friends out to sushi (yumm!!!) for their birthdays… They all have birthdays within a one week period and they live together.

Saturday

I spent the night at my friends and later went to the Berkeley Horticultural Nursery (see previous entry)

I was surprised to see that the Tendergreen Bush Beans that were just breaking ground on Thursday have 2 sets of leaves. Damn! they grew fast!

I also noticed that the bed without the newspaper bed were dry to about 1/2 inch, but the mulched ones were not, so I shredded more newspaper and mulched almost all my vegetables. I think this will help a lot.

Ready to harvest: Peas, White Icicle Radishes, 1 Eggplant, 4 Pepperocini Peppers, 2 Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers