Autumn has brought a lot of work to me, and not just in the garden! Since the start of autumn, I have plunged into gardening with vigor, joy and happiness at growing new flowers, vegetables, fruits; pruning shrubs and trees, propagating plants, and creating new flower beds. Let’ me show you some photos first.
Lettuce this time has been the pride of my vegetable garden. I planted these under the net, and the growth has been wonderful. Every few days I have plucked the outer leaves that have given me delicious salad, and new fresh green leaves have taken their place very quickly!
Lettuce under the “tunnel”
Washed and ready for the salad!
Radish and “shungiku” have also grown well. I have harvested shungiku twice (cutting off the top up to about 4 cm from the soil) and they have grown fast, ready for the next harvest. The flavor of these leaves in the typical Japanese “nabe” (pronounced na-bay) is delightful.
The leaves were eaten to some extent by insects, but the radish under the ground was safe. The only problem I still have is to know which ones to harvest! I generally pulled out the tallest ones and found that I was generally right. The radish too was delicious. All told, just one month and seven days from the time I planted the seeds to the harvest.
Two rows of radish and two rows of shungiku
Radish just pulled out of the ground and washed!
Next, coming to fruits, I bought some strawberry plants and planted them in a nice planter so that I can take them inside the house when it gets cold, hoping to have an early harvest sometime in early January! I selected those plants that already had flowers. I’ll put them out in the sun as long as it is warm and move them inside when it gets too cold.
Strawberry plants (5) in a planter
Next, I dug up some empty space near the fence, prepared the soil for planting blueberries. I got plenty of peat moss, special fertilizer (acidic with pH4.4) for blueberries, and some bark (couldn’t find smaller bark though) and planted them. I am hoping to harvest at least a few kilos in summer!
High Bush, Rabbit Eye and Myers – varieties of blueberries I have grown in my little garden
Although I would have preferred to grow them in a larger space since they grow to fairly large shrubs, I have no choice 😦 (meaning I have no space). So I hope to regularly maintain these plants in their active growth period and trim them to compact size. No wonder bonsai originated in Japan!
I also pruned Hydrangea and the Rose of Sharon (Mukuge), pruned Hosta (plantain lily) and divided a few to propagate them in planters, collected seeds of the same, planted cuttings of red and white geranium, replanted geraniums in their own small bed, pruned the pomegranate tree, and planted some violas after clearing the overgrowth of mint near the fence. Whew! Lot of work done. Here are the photos.
Hydrangea – pruned Rose of Sharon – pruned
Geraniums pruned and replanted
I have already sowed green peas and broad beans to take the place of radish and shungiku. My Chinese cabbage is finally closing up and should be able to harvest in a week’s time. A good fortnight’s work done. I’m happy with my autumn garden. Until the next post, here’s wishing you a great day!