The title just about sums up the topics I’m going to cover in this post.
Isn’t spring wonderful? New leaves and buds seem to be sprouting up everywhere, flowers bloom and there’s a nip in the air! Here’s a camelia that bloomed and gladdened my heart!
Camelia – as perfect as perfect can be!
The peach tree I planted last autumn rewarded me with lovely pink flowers.
Here’s one of them:
The peach flower in all its glory!
And then of course the daffodils. They stand tall, erect and elegant. The first ones bloomed last week. Here’s one:
Daffodil – pretty enough to make you reach for the Wordsworth poem!
And the violas too, which were slightly dull in winter have suddenly perked up in a rash. Take a look:
A rash of violas!
I still have clover, rapeseed and geraniums waiting to bloom in the next few days. My cup of joy filleth over!
On the veggie front too, I started a new sprout project. Made use of plastic bottles – cut them in the middle and used the lower halves to grow sprouts and the upper halves to cover seeds in the garden, give some warmth and prevent birds from eating them.
Tools used for planting sprouts
I immersed alfafa and radish seeds in water overnight. In the morning, I spread vermiculite to cover the base of the recycled plastic containers, wetted the vermiculite by mist, and evenly spread out the seeds on top of the vermiculite.
Next, I covered the containers with aluminum foil – I had hoped to use aluminum foil on all three containers but our kitchen ran out of foil, so I used pamphlets (junk mail) that came inserted in the newspaper. I hope to keep these seeds covered for 3 to 4 days until they grow to a reasonable height and then open them up to the sunlight, naturally after spraying them with water everyday.
I was also happy to see potato seedlings finally making their appearance! This is the first time I have planted potatoes. However I found the seedlings coming out of unexpected locations in the squares of my square foot garden!
Potato seedlings Cabbages, broccoli – healthy growth
The other veggies such as cabbages, broccoli, lettuce are also doing well. The warm weather makes all the difference, I guess.
I planted beans (the climbing variety) in another bed and marked out the location where I planted the seeds with sticks. Soon as I have enough recycled plastic bottles, I’ll remove the sticks and cover the seeds with the necks of the plastic bottles.
Bed with 5 x 2 squares
Four squares with climbing beans and one square containing the leftover radish seedlings can be seen in the left row of squares. To the right, I planted edamame (soya beans) and covered them with the top half of a plastic bottle, which will serve to keep the soil around the seeds moist and warm, as well as protect the seeds from being eaten by birds. I have also put up nets along the wall to take up the beans as they creep up.
Finally, here is a photo showing two rows of radish seedlings per square. These are the fastest growing vegetables, and I should be able to harvest them in about a month from now.
And lastly, the curry leaf cuttings that I had brought with me from India are still fighting to keep alive! When I brought them, it was midwinter here in Japan. Spring has finally come and most are still alive as far as I can see. I am desperately hoping that at least a few will make it up to summer and hot weather in which these plants thrive. Here is a photo of a surviving curry leaf cutting (plastic cover removed – keeping my fingers crossed!):
Until the next post, happy gardening and have a great day!
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