Archive for October, 2008

14
Oct
08

Autumn flowers, cauliflower and leafy vegetables

I finished planting vegetables for autumn last week – there’s no more space in my tiny garden to plant any more! Let’s see the final layout, a view of the vegetable patch from the second storey.

Veggie patch

I have the top two rows of “shungiku” – just found out that the English name is “crown daisy.” Next come two rows of radish (the small red ones, which I hope to harvest with in a month); another two rows of “shungiku” and two rows of Chinese cabbage that I am hoping will start closing at the center to form the core. The net has kept out all pests and the cabbage leaves are healthy and large!

Next, the oblong patch against the wall (photo left below) has three parts: a lettuce patch covered by net, a two-row spinach patch and a covered cauliflower patch. I’m growing these three kinds of vegetables for the first time, and am hoping they come out fine.

Patch against wall

Lettuce

The photo to the right above is the lettuce patch – one has kind of failed but the rest of the lettuce plants are doing fine.

Here are the other two patches:

Spinach

 Cauliflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

The photo on the left above shows two rows of young spinach plants that I transferred from pots to ground, and on the right a single row of cauliflower plants that I purchased from the nursery.

I found that the net on the cauliflower patch had not been fastened tight against the ground and a green worm had worked its way into one of the plants. Suffice to say that green worm will go hungry today.

Yesterday, a friend presented me with four kinds of flowering plants. I’m really excited about them, especially the fragrant flower with the cryptic name Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Apparently,  flowers start dark purple then fade to lavender then to almost white.  Here is a photo:

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

The second one was a splendid growth of blue/purple flowers in bunches; called “Ruri Matsuri” in Japanese; I found its English name: Plumbago.

Plumbago

The flowers seem to be in full bloom in autumn; I’m looking forward to taking care of these plants and enjoying them through autumn. Thank you, Utiyama-san.

I did want to show readers of this blog two other flowers in full bloom in my garden – here they are:

Japanese anemone

This is photo of the Japanese anemone in full bloom in my garden.

Toad Lily

And here is the “Hototogisu” or the Toad Lily in all its splendor!

And that’s it for today! Have a wonderful day!

 

03
Oct
08

Autumn is here!

Summer’s over and autumn is here. Autumn marks cooler nights, leafy vegetables in gardens, mushrooms, persimmons and peanuts to me in Japan.

The summer vegetables are all gone – here is a snap of the last harvest of green peppers and bell peppers.

Bell peppers and green peppers

With a tinge of sadness, I took off the pepper plants – they were still going strong, but the temptation to plant the autumn veggies was too strong.

I started off first with Chinese cabbage. No chances this time; planted eight of them under a tunnel. Here is a photo I took when I partially removed the net for maintenance :

Chinese cabbage

I expect a good crop of cabbages this time -free from pests.

 

In the adjacent spot, I prepared the soil for Shungiku the Japanese name for edible chrysanthemum.  I grew them in pots first and transferred them to the patch in two rows at a distance of about 5 cm between plants and about 30 cm between rows.

Shungiku

They are quite small now, but should grow to about 20 cms in two weeks if everything goes well. The leaves can be plucked off when partially so that new leaves grow to take their place. Books say that these are hardy plants and are not attacked by insects; since this is my first time to grow Shungiku, let’s see how it goes.

I prepared the soil with limestone to reduce acidity a week before planting these.  On the day of transfer from pots to the ground, I mixed the soil thoroughly with compost and also an adequate amount of fertilizer, leveled the ground and then planted them.

 

 

Next to the Shungiku, I made room for planting radish seeds. It appears that radish can be grown within 30 days and this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss! I planted two rows of seeds with the same spacing as the Shungiku. I have room for one more row in the patch and am contemplating whether to grow cabbage, broccoli or some other vegetable!

Next to the wall, I have planted lettuce in two rows and a row of mini cauliflowers with black protective sheet.

Lettuce  Mini cauliflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I intend to cover these two types of plants with the protective net to keep out pests. I’m not very sure whether the cauliflower does require the black protective sheet or not, but since it would keep out the weeds, I thought there would be no harm in using it.

Between the lettuce and cauliflower, I have sowed two rows of spinach – I hope to see the shoots of young plants in three to four days.

I was delighted to find “Hototogisu” (probably “toad lily) starting to bloom in my garden. This is a delightful looking flower and I enjoy looking at it. Here you are:

Toad lily

 

The Japanese anemone (shuumeigiku) are also in full bloom, the pink flowers lighting up the environment.

CIMG0545

And that’s it from my garden in Kisarazu City, Japan this week. Have a great day!




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