Monday, May 30, 2011

Garden Work/Seed Planting & Tips on rooting Basil from the Grocery Store

Yesterday I planted "Salada Musume" Gobo (牛蒡 or ごぼう, burdock) seeds. They are a short variety and don't get as long as the normal burdock which can get as long as 4'!  They were planted in the back area of the pond bed. That area was *supposed* to grow Echinacea, but all but one plant failed to grow!  I never seem to have luck with Echinacea...  We purchase supplements from our Nutritionist and thought how great it would be to grow our own, but alas we've failed once again. Sigh....  I'll keep trying though. Does anyone have any tips besides placing it in the fridge in moist potting soil for 4~6 weeks?

Today, I started trimming the Loquat tree. It's hard work to trim trees and I run out of steam quickly, so I'll be doing in over the next few days.  We've decided to cut the branches far back so we can keep the tree small and the fruit accessible.  I transplanted a few bulb onion seedlings to the carrot bed, I don't know how they'll do, I know Anne and Kathy commented that I should be starting my seeds in Dec, but I'm learning as I go.  They *may* be ready to bulb next year. I also planted Four Seasons Lettuce in a few gallon sized pots and placed them on our seedling rack which has been moved to the shade for the hot summer months.

I also planted a few Comfrey seeds under the fig tree (yes, they can be invasive) but they are said to be excellent compost/mulch makers since they draw up minerals from deep within the soil. I want to use it as a slash and mulch plant. It's a vigorous grower from what I read and it can be slashed to be used as mulch and will grow back quickly where you can get 3 "harvests" of mulch in a season. Why under the Fig? Our fig, (we think it's a dwarf strain of Brown Turkey) has a very shallow root system, and we thought it can benefit from the deep rooted Comfrey's ability to draw up the minerals from beneath. The fig tree roots are so shallow, we can't plant anything there unless we seed it directly. Comfrey can be used medicinally, it's alternate name is "Knitbone" as it has potent ability to hasten wound healing, but there's a warning to those with liver problems to stay away from it.

We have some yellow 4 o'clocks planted there under the fig tree also (yes, they can be super invasive as well!) as they have very tap root systems.  My Mom dreads that I have brought home the seeds from one of my walks around the neighborhood, because they are so prolific.  4 o'clocks bring back childhood memories of wild ones growing right by my house across the street in Japan.  They were hot pink or yellow or streaky ones with with both hot pink and yellow. The young leaves can be boiled and eaten, but only in emergencies (It's just not yummy).

I  planted Mexican Coriander (Culantro), Dill and Cumin. All these are part of the Carrot Family (Apiaceae). I plant seeds, yet sometimes I'm caught trying to figure out WHERE I'm going to grow these plants once the seedlings are large enough.

I planted 2 pots of Asparagus Pea just to try. Supposedly they grow fine in the heat. I've also planted Spilanthes which is a creeping ground cover that is supposed to have benefits to the immune system and is called the "Toothache plant".  I seeded a few Purple Orach as well in small pots to start them, and will prick them out as they grow.

Tomorrow I will plant the Blue Basil cuttings since they have rooted only from letting the cuttings sit by a  bright window sill in a cup of water.  Try this next time with Sweet Basil too! If you don't have any Basil already, this is a FAST way to get a new plant going, and you'll get to use most of the basil leaves before you do it so you're getting food and a few plants!

1) Purchase some Organic Basil in the herb section of the fresh produce area inside)
2) For each sprig of Basil herb, take off the larger leaves and side shoots. You can use this for your culinary purposes. Leave only the top  3~4 leaves (they will be small; just be coming out of the tip) 3)Keep them in a clean glass of water by a bright window and in a week or 2 you'll have roots growing from them.
4)Once they have roots, you can transplant them into pots and harden them off for a few days and you're ready to plant them outside if it's warm enough.
This is a great way to multiply your plants quickly, as growing them from seed can be frustrating as they do take some time to grow and are susceptible to slugs.


Anne said...

Onions you can harvest at any time.. and you can basically plant them at any time... it is just if you are planting them for bulbs vs greens.

Can never have too many onions!

You can however... have too many chicks in a bathroom.

Hope you get chickens soon! April chicks bring September eggs. No doubt your son will love them.

AJK said...

Yeah, Chicks someday!! We really want bulb onions, green onions we eat in moderation, but bulb onions we use in cooking almost everyday!