Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lima Beans and other things

Hello Blogging world. Sorry to have been gone so long. I was busy traveling and passing the first bit of my 10th grade year in high school, so not much time to blog. Alas here I am! A while ago, I stuck 2 Lima beans into the ground and for what seemed like forever they were spindly little nothing vines. Well not anymore! My plant gets bigger everyday and sports lots of pods all along it like a string of Christmas lights. The first few I picked I decided to pick fresh and then dry, I don't like this method. For one I am a terrible judge at when a bean is "done". Pick when plump does not suffice when telling a teenager when to harvest. Therefore I have resorted to plan B; let them harvest all the way and pick when the pod has turned orangy brown.


Now instead of sad little shriveled Lima beans, I have full, purple beans! (and yes this epiphany was today so I have a total of 3 harvested...) Happily there are countless pods on the plant and more pop up everyday.

Among my Lima beans on the same trellis are those cucumbers from a while back. Quite frankly they are doing terribly, BUT since the Lima beans have shaded the vine, less cucumber mishaps have occurred and more are looking like this little green one below, and less like these shriveled abominations below.



Hopefully I will get at least one cucumber from my experience. Next time I will not start them in the heat of mid-summer. (Bad move on my part) My cukes also may have some sort of disease or bug because the few that grow large have shriveled and turned orange. It may have been my watering them too little with the combo of too much sun, but if you have any tips let me know.

Also in my garden are two itty-bitty clumps of pumpkin plants. I procrastinated so they were planted late and will only be ready for "Fall" not Halloween. At least they are green and flowering.

Also I haven't put anything new and exciting in my menagerie of pots because my birthday was last week and that means my raised gardens are being built this and next weekend!!!! Finally space to plant freely.

Thank you to the few that read my blog. I will do better to post much more often.
Happy Gardening!
Wish Me Luck. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Every Plant's Dream Snack




Last weekend on 4th of July, me and my family harvested worm castings from our worm bin (how patriotic, I know) After the fun but messy experience i have a hefty bucket of worm doo-doo  ready to dry a bit and be worked in as fertilizer. I have found that unmixed or quickly dried unstirred worm castings, end up as little rock like clumps that don't seem to help at all. This time I'm taking it slow and keeping my bucket in the sun, stirring it everyday to keep the top from getting all hard, while the bottom is a puddle. Soon I'll mix it into soil, but until then, it will sit in my backyard baking to every plants dream snack.

CUCUMBERS!!!!!!!!!!



If i were to pick a favorite fruit/veg. of all time, it would have to be the cucumber. There is little better than a sliced cucumber and jalapeno hummus. Mmmmmmm.... The tendrils are strong and rapidly climbing my thrown together trellis. I planted two types, a pickling cucumber ans a slicing cucumber, furthermore two vines of one species are much faster growing than the other (if only i could remember which is which : /    ) Oh well, I guess we'll see when they are ripe. Today has been a floral day, not only have I seen my first sugar snap pea pod, but the first cucumber blossoms are budding up. The sight of them makes me absolutely giddy that i may actually produce cukes at my house! Also when I turned my eye to my eggplant tree, its ever-bearing blossoms have struck up again, soon to give me yummy Japanese eggplant. (see below) The Ola design global bucket is keeping my plants perfectly watered ( but if you try it i would recommend actually painting all the way to 1/2 inch under where the soil will touch to stall evaporation....) I'll just fix mine with duct tape, the magical substance that fixes everything! Well until next time (which is in like 4 minutes) happy gardening!

First Pea of the Season!!!!!




This morning as i was out watering all of my plants I came across an odd sight. Amongst my small sugar snap pea flowers was a itty-bitty pod. :D It's so new the petals still haven't fallen all the way off, so it has a little white boot.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Peas and Carrots!

Its hard to say there are any vegetables I like better than sugar snap peas, and carrots (except maybe a cucumber, but that is for another post), and they have finally made their way into my currently potted garden. They are planted in the original global buckets design (see previous post) and are doing wonderfully so far. There are six beauteous little sugar snap pea plants surrounding and island of carrots. Yesterday I thinned the carrots to a 1 to 2 inch spacing and nearly wept when I had to be rid of the would-have-been orange jewels. Oh well, thinning is a part of gardening. The little peas are at the frustrating stage where I need to train them to the trellis, and the tall carrots don't really help much. Its good to know in a few days that they will be climbing the trellis with no human help at all!

My brain can't help but jump ahead to when I will be plucking plump little pods of the vine and plucking carrots from their bed. mmmmm... there is little better than oven roasted carrots, or eating snap peas cold from the fridge with hummus.




Global Buckets

So I've been using the global buckets designs for a few weeks now, but I didn't think it made any sense to write about them if I didn't know how they worked. Global buckets are some designs made by a set of teenage boys, fixed on saving the world. For all of our sakes, it make it a lot easier to be able to put the pot wherever you want, and have it water itself for days. I decided to try the original stacked design, and the Ola irrigation design (pretty much two terracotta pots glued together). Both designs have their pros and cons, and furthermore, certain plants are definitely better suited to one system vs. the other.


original design, seen from top
planted: peas and carrots

original design seen from side view

1. The original design is very efficient at watering itself once the plants have roots, and hold a very substantial amount of water. I say when the plants have roots because, although basic osmosis contributes to how this set-up works (two buckets stacked, the space between is the reservoir, a cup with dirt links the two cavities and when the soil dries, water is pulled into it) the roots will also draw the water up. This is not so true as to with seeds. The other downside is that there is quite a bit of set-up involved. Drilling, and carving and measuring.... I could go on. But once the system was a go, it worked swimmingly.




Ola design
planted: cucumbers




Ola design,
 Here you can see the water darkening
 the soil as it is doing all through the
 bucket under the top bit of dirt

2. The Ola design is definitely my favorite. no drilling or anything that complex. Put plainly, I took the two pots... and wait for it.... glued them together with one of the drainage holes sealed. That was it. After a coat of white paint over the top two inches or so to stall evaporation, I was done. Then I took a five gallon bucket and buried the contraption except for the painted (don't be like me, bury all the non-painted pot to stop evaporation) bit so I could fill the cavity through the drainage hole.
Now if you think that cheap self watering containers that you can ignore for days at a time are a cool idea then I would head to the link below. If you then decide on the Ola system (which I highly recommend) you can use the following substitutions if you don't have tile or caulk. For the tile just go out and find a rock big enough to cover the drainage hole (not hard to do), if you don't have caulk, hot glue from a crafting hot glue gun works just as well and its more likely you have it on hand (or a friend that does). As a final note, you can directly plant seeds in this system without having to water by hand until they sprout.
                                                          
When it comes to what plants work in the global buckets, the sky is the limit. Pretty much anything will do. The only limitation is that when using the Ola system, you will be planting around the bucket unless you bury the system using the bucket-saucer method, and then glue some PVC as a channel so to fill the reservoir. (easier than creating the original system in my humble teenage opinion)

Right now:

in 1. I have peas around the edge, and carrots in the middle as filler (can't waste an inch of soil!)
             ( I was thoroughly pleased when I discovered I placed peas and carrots together.)   :)
in 2. I have cucumbers

      If i haven't said it enough, I like the Ola design better, it is cheaper, easier to make, and holds plenty of good old H20.


http://www.globalbuckets.org/p/new-designs.html

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Poha Problems

I bought a Poha berry plant at Ko'olau farmers yesterday, and to my dismay, upon re-potting i discovered a colony of ants lived below my new plant. :( Today I tried drowning them out, but am scared to go so far as to drastically over water my plant. I may just have to re-pot it again, but let the root bulb sit in a bucket of water for a while along with the dirt to get the little buggers.
 

Normally I am fine with ants, but when I re-potted one bit me, and I do NOT need biting ants as part of my garden. *Sigh*

What's Growing?

Right now in my garden I'm growing:
3 tomatoes (one unknown, one grape, and one UH variety large) big square pots
1 eggplant tree (from Frankie's Nursery, its a Japanese eggplant grafted to a close tree forming relative) behind tomatoes
Strawberries window boxes
Carrots 5 gal bucket and window box
Basil behind borage
Borage foremost pot
Lilikoi fence
3 Pineapples pots
Hawaiian peppers  small pots
Sugar Snap peas 5 gal. bucket
And as of yesterday... Poha Berries cage

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well This is Where it All begins, kind of...

Here it is. I have finally entered the garden blogging world. If you couldn't tell from my title, I have little experience, and in the past have not been blessed with a green thumb, but instead a thumb of death. It is quite sad because I do love gardening, and now I am going to change it! Our house's old garden was replaced with a water feature, because the ground there was treated with termite repellant. Not the makings for scrumdiddlyumptous food. So I have began my own container garden until my birthday when i get a raised garden!!!!!! (unless I find a better way of gardening) So with that I must begin to blog.