Preparations for spring!

I’m already excited at the prospect of growing and propagating lots of vegetables and flowers this spring, which will be here soon! I plan to propagate quite a few of flowers in my garden and exchange it for other flowers with friends! I have also got hold of quite a few vegetable seeds from India and hope to try them out. Moreover, I’m bubbling with energy this time because I’m trying out something new – a square foot garden. Yes, I have just started off by marking off and preparing a part of my small patch with 30 cm x 30 cm squares, and have laid a small stone pathway beside it. Here’s a photo:

Beginnings of a square-foot patch  The patch to the right of the walkway of red stones will have 7×2 squares of 0.3m each. Each square will contain one or more plants. I intend to start with potatoes (a first for me) and Komatsuna (Japanese green – Brassica rapa), with probably one potato plant in one square and about 10 Komatsuna plants in one square (5 cm spacing).  The weather however, is still cloudy and rainy.I have still not decided how to demarcate the squares. I’ll probably use bamboo, wooden flats, string or maybe just grooves.

I think a square garden is the way to go because of the variety of plants one can grow and rotate in the patch.


Japanese Photinia (click to enlarge)  Next, I planted cuttings for propagation of the Japanese Photinia (benikanamemochi), which I use for fencing my garden. These plants require very little maintenance, grow well throughout the year, and their tops turn a bright red at certain times of the year.  The photo to the left shows the cuttings.

I hope to exchange some of these propagated plants with others that my garden doesn’t have with my gardening friends. The geranium plants that I propagated through cuttings have already flowered. Geranium is probably the easiest plant to propagate. Just cut pieces a few centimeters each from a healthy branch and stick them in soil; roots develop in less than a week and the plant grows on its own. I have already given away some of the geranium plants that I propagated this way to friends.




Here’s a geranium plant that I propagated from a cutting; a young Begonia is on the left. The cutting developed roots even during winter and has given white flowers (a little difficult to see against the white background).


I plan to propagate others during this spring including Sasanqua, Azalea, Japanese anemone, Hydrangea and some others.




I harvested my first cauliflower today and it was delicious! Here’s a photo of the cauliflower; our family cat too was also fairly interested in the fresh cauliflower!

CauliflowerOur cat giving the once-over









The mint cuttings that I had stuck in a planter in early winter last year, also showed new leaves! I’m looking forward to mint chutney in spring.





Mint plants

I love the fragrance of these leaves, and especially, the mint chutney!





Finally, here’s a photo of the Hina Ningyou or Japanese dolls that adorn my house during the Hina Matsuri (Girls’ Day or Japanese Doll Festival) on (March 3).

Japanese Doll Festival (click to enlarge) 


Hina Ningyou – Japanese dolls set up during the Japanese doll festival (Hina Matsuri) on March 3.


Until the next post, have a great day!


4 Responses to “Preparations for spring!”

  1. 1 Sujatha Deshpande
    March 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Did the Neem Sticks work? I don’t see any bugs on the Cauliflower. Usually the Leafy Vegetables are the first to be attacked by the Bugs.

  2. March 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I didn’t use neem at all for the cauliflower plants because: a) we hardly get any pests in winter; and b) the plants were protected by a tunnel. I found it best to grow cabbage and cauliflower under a tunnel.

  3. March 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Is it just the picture, or does your soil look fantastic? It looks so rich .. like coffee grounds. We have a lot of clay in our soil, so ours looks dry and clumpy.

  4. March 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    This is the sixth continuous year I’m planting in this patch; so every year with the removal of stones, weeds and the addition of compost, I guess it gets better! I’m sure yours will like the same too, after a couple of years! Happy gardening!

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