Signs of spring

The temperature today was 20 degrees Celsius and buds have started sprouting all over the place beckoning spring. The plants that I had grown before winter have woken up touched by sun in the mornings. All through winter these plants had very little sunlight; but they have made it through winter. Here’s what my veggie patch looked like last week. 

veggie patch

Veggie patch with lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, peas, onions (covered with straw),  Brassica napus and fava beans

The lettuce and Brassica napus form part of my morning breakfast. The Brasicca napus (thanks to seedlings given by my friend Utiyama-san) also called Norabouna here, have large leaves and makes a fine salad component.  I also harvested broccoli and a cauliflower a few days ago cutting off a nice huge ball at the center. Needless to say, the harvested vegetables were delicious.

In a small adjacent patch, I had planted many small seedlings, covered them with a net and forgotten all about them throughout winter. Last week I removed the net and found that they had successfully negotiated the winter and were growing with gay abandon.

salad patch

Salad patch – Ruccola, sunny lettuce, and shungiku

The Ruccola and sunny lettuce seedlings were again given by Utiyama-san. Ruccola leaves have a spicy tang and together with sunny lettuce, green lettuce and Brasicca napus, make up a delicious green salad for my morning breakfast everyday. These plants are easy to grow and hardly need any care. They are likely to become a permanent feature of my vegetable garden every year.

What else is on in my garden? Daffodils are coming up and so are the clover and Brassica rapa (nanohana).

Daffodils Clover and nanohana

Daffodils                                                                          Clover and nanohana

I sowed the seeds of clover and nanohana in autumn last year dividing the patch in approximate half, the boundary in the shape of an “S”. I’m hoping a spectacular display of red clover and yellow nanohana around April/May this year.

Here are some closeups of the veggies:

Cabbage Broccoli
Cabbage Broccoli


And here are some plants I propagated from seed:

chikoo Grape fruit
Chikoo or Sapodilla Grape fruit

The Sapodilla is a popular fruit in India. I picked up  a few seeds and planted them after arriving in Japan. I have no idea whether this plant will grow to bear fruits. I also saved grape fruit seeds after eating the fruit in Japan and planted them.

In the meanwhile, full-fledged preparations are on at another site. I have planned 4 square-foot beds (each with 4×8 = 32 squares) and hope to start with a lot more veggies and at least 8 hours of sunlight every day. This is a topic for the next post. Have a great day!

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2 Responses to “Signs of spring”

  1. March 14, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Your brassicas always look so fabulous. What’s your secret? I have yet to harvest any brassicas from my garden. Do you normally have them under a row cover? Congrats on your seedlings, they’re looking really good. It’s always exciting planting things like that and seeing them germinate. 🙂

  2. March 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Lzyjo, thanks for dropping by. Yes, this time, I had them covered by net throughout winter, and generally ignored the veggie patch. This is because sunlight during winter at my house is very poor, and I did not expect much growth in the plants. The moment I removed the net, I was surprised to find that most vegetables had made it through the winter. The seedlings are fun; I have no idea whether they’ll grow and bear fruits. I intend to plant them at my new site which has lot of space. By the way, have you changed your blog site? I visited a few times but didn’t see anything new. Look forward to your posts.

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