Archive for July, 2014

18
Jul
14

growing fruits in my home garden

Why am I writing this blog? I’d like to introduce some of you the pleasures of growing organic vegetables and flowers/fruits; additionally, the photos and dates in this blog serve as valuable reference for me when I plant again next year; and the bonus of course, is make new friends who write from all over the world. About 35 persons from various countries read this blog in one day, and I’m especially happy when somebody puts in a kind word through comments (do you see a bubble and the words “Leave your comment” just below the title? Just click on it and you can leave a comment for me while reading this blog).

I have several fruit trees in my home garden. These include fig, peach, blueberry,  persimmon, Hassaku orange, and melon at various stages of growth. In this post, I will write about melons. But first, some photos of flowers in bloom or have just started blooming.

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Now in bloom – Plumbago

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Yesterday, today and tomorrow – the chameleon-like scented flower has started blooming

Here are some photos of veggies – I thought it would be interesting to do a before-and-after comparison. So the first photo shows what the vegetable plants looked like when just planted and when they were fully matured – the cucumber plants are almost over and are likely to be removed soon.

Bell pepper

Bell pepper just planted May first week

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Bell pepper in full growth – July second week

Tomatoes

Tomato plants – May first week

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Tomato plants – July 2nd week; nearly two meters tall

Eggplant

Eggplant or brinjal plants – May 2nd week

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Eggplant or brinjal plants – July 2nd week; about 1 meter tall and still growing

Cucumber

Cucumber plants – May 1st week

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The same cucumber plants in July 2nd week – nearly 2 m tall and time to go

Lessons learned from growing these four kinds of vegetables this year

1. Remove leaves and branches at the base, especially cucumber leaves that deteriorate quickly,  as early as possible

2. Snip off new branches that appear between stem and branch early so that tomato plants grow tall quickly

3. Expect tomato and cucumber plants to grow to nearly 2 meters. Snip off the main stem at the top to restrict vertical growth.

4. Tomato plants can be propagated very easily by taking the snipped off branches and planting them in fresh soil. (Click on this link to see the earlier post how to multiply tomato plants).

5. Eggplants could be propagated the same way through cuttings, but it was a little harder to do so.

6. Grow the plants at a different location next year.

7. Use root accelerator such as Root-On to promote propagation from cuttings, and use  plastic to cover eggplant cuttings fresh inserted in pots for propagation. This will give humidity and promote growth of roots.

8. Keep off ants from eggplant especially when the eggplants are young (don’t use chemicals or pesticide). Just drive them off everyday – they’ll get tired and relocate!

Water melon seeds

I was in Bangalore, India, until February and carefully saved seeds from a water melon I had eaten. I brought them over to Japan and planted them sometime in June. And fortunately, quite a few sprouted!

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Water melon saplings

I gave some to my friends Toyama-san and Uchiyama-san. I hope their water melon plants are doing as well as mine below.

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Water melon plant in planter

Yes, I am growing it in a deep planter. I will rig up a kind of hammock to support the water melon when it appears! Watch out for future posts. Exciting to grow an Indian water melon in Japan!

Lastly, here are some photos of daily harvests in the last week.

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Daily harvests

Until the next post, have a great day!

06
Jul
14

continuing harvests and introducing a friend

In this post, I’ll continue with photos of my little home garden and also introduce some offerings of a good friend, Toyama-san. First, let us say it with flowers!

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

This is the first Rose of Sharon that has bloomed this year. I love the faint pink and splashes of red in this elegant flower.

Aster

Aster and Begonia

The Asters have bloomed next to the Begonias. I read somewhere that one could propagate Aster through root cuttings. I’ll probably try it soon after the flowers end.

I have already propagated Begonia and will  present some to friends introducing them to the world of flowers, fruits and vegetables!

Petunia

Petunia

I neglected to remove the stubs of Petunias after they faded and found some seeds in pods where the flowers were. I’m going to try raising new plants through these seeds.

In the meanwhile, here are some daily harvests – the fresh tomatoes are delicious!

Daily harvest Daily harvest
Daily harvest Daily harvest

Daily harvests of cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper and eggplant (brinjal)

Now let me introduce my good friend, Toyama-san. He has a large area of land in the same town where I live. He has also started growing vegetables and flowers in earnest – and I’m pleased to introduce some of his offerings here. The photos from here onward are from his field and have been taken by Toyama-san.

 

Toyama'san's garden

From Toyama-san’s garden: Green pepper, eggplant, tomato and cucumber plants

Bitter gourd and morning glory

Bitter gourd and morning glory

These plants rise up on the net and provide a “green cover.” Keeps the room behind the plants cool in the dry summer.

Cat's Tail

Cat’s tail in a planter

Cherries Hibiscus  

Left: Cherries; Right: Hibiscus plant (flowers yet to bloom)

Thanks, Toyama-san. Hope to receive such lovely photos from you in the future too.

Have a great day, and feel free to comment.




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