Archive for June 10th, 2009


Corn, peanuts and yam

After returning from a four-day family trip to Malaysia, I found rapid growth in most of the vegetables and flowers. I harvested potatoes, shungiku (edible chrysanthemum) and broccoli and promptly replaced these with yam, corn, green pepper and peanuts (yes, Chiba Prefecture, where I stay grows lots of peanuts so why not try them in my little garden, I thought). Today, here’s what my main vegetable patch looks like (click to enlarge).

Main veggie patch

Main veggie patch

Before I left for Malaysia, I made sure that the white butterfly didn’t make a mess of my cabbages by leaving eggs all over the leaves and turn them into minefields. I covered them with a net and firmly tucked the insides so no caterpillars could get in. I also placed all my planters on the walkway and requested a kind neighbor to water the plants while we were away. Here’s how the patch looked like.


Main veggie patch before the trip to Malaysia

I was delighted with the potatoes – a first for me! The smaller ones were utterly delicious. Unfortunately, I won’t be growing them next year, in the same patch because I read that you need to grow them once in three years.

Happy with the beans too because I harvest about 8 to 10 one day, just enough for breakfast and the next 8 to 10 are ready the next day. Radish, beans, shungiku (edible crysanthemum) and lettuce will be standard veggies in my patch every year. My neighbors and friends were happy too with the shungiku I presented them this year. You cut off the tops and after a few days, these plants grow back to the same size. Remarkable! This is the first time I saw a shungiku blossom (see photo at bottom right below).

Fresh potatoes Beans and mini tomatoes
Shungiku (edible crysanthemum) Shungiku blossom

Clockwise from top left: Potatoes, beans and mini-tomatoes, shungiku, blossom

Isn’t spring wonderful? Anything and everything seems to grow well in my garden this year. Here are some new arrivals:

Strawberry Blueberry
Grape Tomato

Clockwise from top left: Strawberry, blueberry, grape, tomato

The grape plant is in a large planter that I keep on the balcony ledge. I planted strawberry, grape, and fig, and peach last autumn; all except the last in planters.

Here are some flowers in bloom:


My favorite flower – Hydrangea


Plumbago in bloom

I also started off on a lasagnia-type bed. Set up a stone border, laid wet newspapers on the ground, built up a layer of dried leaves, weeds, crushed egg shells, coffee ground, a layer of used soil, and so on. And I put in another one of my favorites – coriander in my small herb garden.

Newspaper layer Brown layer (leaves, twigs)
Black layer (used soil, coffee ground) Herb garden

Clockwise from top left: Newspaper layer, brown layer, black layer (soil) and herb garden with coriander

I’m pretty sure my garden is going to look neater henceforth, since I have a place to dump all the weeds!

Finally, I leave you with a photo of my favorite flower bed with lilies just about to burst into bloom!


Happy gardening!

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June 2009