After I watched his video. I didn’t hesitate to start growing myself corns!
I wonder how this will turn out because I started them late (end of May I sowed seeds.) I transplanted them on 1st June.
At the end of the video shows how they look like at the moment. They look healthy & happily grow.
I can’t wait until the harvest day to find out how big & sweet they would be. Though I don’t expect high yield for my first year of growing corn. Because I started them too late & they have less time to grow until the winter hits.
I takes it as an experiment (preliminary study) so I can do better in the next year!
Soybeans need about 2.5-3 months until ready to harvest (depends on the climate in your area.)
Note: the hight of mature soybean is about 1 meter. You can put stick to help them stand but can also let them grow freely without any support.
Except for showing how to grow food, this channel is a part of my everyday life that I’m willing to share (mostly happens in the garden!) I hope this could encourage you to start your journey!
I don’t post often as we all know that this time of year is a growing season! That means I am so busy! (In my garden. )
Some days we work from morning until night. Oh by the night I meant about 19-20:00! We can do that here because it’s still bright outside. And that makes me forget about the time!
I only know it’s late when I get home and feel so tired. Even I’m starved but I don’t feel like cooking after the long day. Only want to tuck me in bed and sleep right away! That happens almost every day in the past few weeks.
But here I am. I managed to record some parts of the garden work. More things are going on, not only growing food but some renovation/constructions (all is self-made) to make it the most livable garden. However, I couldn’t record everything!
We are two people working. Many times we separate tasks. And I have only a camera. So every story is only a tiny part of it. (Just like every other story of everyone.)
Some stories were recorded and some were left behind the scene.
Somehow I hope this part of my story can set as an example of living a simple life, the life that well harmonizes with nature.
Last year I’d been working with traditional plant bed which I mention in this video.
We had plenty to harvest from one bed in 2020. Though I wanted to expand the plantation area.
Why I need more bed?
I was thinking about having more herbs in my garden. Because herbs are the magic plants that I love. (And of course, more veggies!)
Not only herbs are used as a home medicines but they also help pets/flies control in the garden! Since I wanted to plant more diversity veggies in my garden and at the summer, as I observed from the previous year, there were fies attack many of my veggies (except for slugs!)
So here are the reasons I wanted more bed (and I am planning to do more):
More food to harvest, save more money on foods
Create more diversity into the garden
Create friendly environment for animals/bees in the garden (diversity in plant/ animal/microorganisms)
Build the healthy habits that help me both physically & mentally
It’s my happiness to see things grow from seed to plant, it’s magic!
This is one of the sustainable practices of mine!
However, I don’t want to dig up the grass this time. I decided to go with no-dig method. I mention in the this post.
And here I am!
Today the new no-dig bed is ready! The good thing about this bed is once you placed the soil+compost. You can just plant your veggies/herbs etc. just right away!
And I did!
After finished up my bedding area. I transplanted some seedlings and young plants that I had and sowing seeds into the bed. I am still learning about it though but as far as I know it’s fun!
Just take a look how my easy-made bed looks. I’m sure you will get inspired, that will make me even more happy!
Rememberwhen you want to start gardening/plant your own food. It doesn’t have to look so neatly, beautifully or professionally. As long as it function to serve it purpose. That matters! Improve comes with time!
Why did I say one-time investment? That because berries are perennial. You grow them once + a bit of caring, they will always keep giving you fruits for years (like trees). Therefore, I say any perennial plants are worth the investment.
After the previous post, I researched a little more detail about plants that can grow in Germany/Central Europe climate. I came to the conclusion that I will start with small & easy care first. That is shrubs! Because trees (apple, peach, plum, etc.) take time to grow & mature.
So I will start with blueberry this year (probably fig as well). Hence, in this post I’d focus on blueberry.
Maybe you’re not but I was so surprised to learn that there are more than 30 species of blueberries in the world! I’m pretty sure there’re more. But many of them might not be identified and recorded. Also, they will continue cross breeding & evolving through the end of the world.
So…when it comes down to plant them in the garden. If you plant more than one species in your area, the cross-breeding will happen naturally. And the best species might not be the best anymore. So my question is what do I do? But my heart says ‘let’s do the diversity way.’ It told me to plant various varieties.
Plus, different types bloom and provide fruits with different harvesting time.
Should you be planting different blueberry species in your space?
My garden is located in the cold country (expected snow). But as I’m concerned about climate change. The world is gonna be burning.
That means the average temperature is higher everywhere in the world. Definitely, in cold countries, plants and animals will be experienced a huge change. To survive, they have to highly adapt, and be tolerant. Hence, except for the popular species, I also want to introduce heat-tolerant blueberry in the garden as well.
This is the list of robust types of blueberries
H x W: 2.0 x 1.8 m, heat tolerant, large berry
H x W: 1.5 x 1 m, juicy, sweet
H x W: 2.0 x 1.5 m, sweet-sour
H x W: 1.5 x 1 m, sweet
H x W: 2.0 x 2.0 m, sweet-sour
H x W: 1.5 x 1 m, drought resistant, a bit sour
H x W: 2.0 x 2.0 m, best freeze tolerant, sweet-sour
H x W: 2.0 x 2.0 m, mild sour
After study, I would select a few of them that provide long harvest period. I, now, understand why Hortblue is popular choice in every garden. Because it provides two sets of fruits and has longer period to harvest. Reka gives fruits early and long period too. Then in August, we should also have at least fruits with Ozarblue & Hardyblue. Late winter, in September we should have fruits of Goldtraube.
Blueberry is a bush. They stay small (vary in species). The good thing is you can plant in the pot, in case you don’t have a yard. But if you have enough space, it’s great to plant more than one species and plant a few plants of each species. This way will increase the pollination rate and you will get more fruits during the harvest season.
One thing to be aware of is: blueberry (& all berries) loves acidic soil. To have the best harvest you have to give the right fertilizers and amend the soil to be in the pH range of 4.5-5.5.
What to choose if you have limited space but still want to grow one or two.
In my opinion, I suggest Hortblue since they provide two harvesting period.
If you want to have another species to get (have more than one plant also increase the rate of pollination hence more yield). If your first choice is Hortblue, then I suggest you have Nui species to add on. According to this study, Shiryl Miller et al. (2011) showed the best yield was obtained from coupling Hortblue with Nui.
Thanks for reading!
Do this once & it will take care of you for all of your life!
Plant the edible perennial plants!
What plants should you start?
It depends on your location. Because plants are picky about the climate.
In the warm countries, you’re lucky! Because you can plant widely ranges. If you have limited space though you might want to pick ones that you enjoy eating.
Sempervivums in my garden are incredibly expanding! I’ve never seen a flower from them yet. But I learned that this plant once they flower, giving seed, then the plant will die after.
Like humans, right?
We are born, aging, giving babies, sick then die.
I meant the traditional ones. These days are a bit different though. There is a huge ratio of humans who choose to live lives and die without reproducing.
I don’t think it’s wrong.
Everything that happens, by the time, is a part of nature. At some point, when it’s too overcrowded, all the livings start to control themselves (or by other species as well e.g. virus vs. human, virus vs shrimps.)
It is the natural process of ‘population control’. This process a repeat. Though humans feel weird & sad about this only because they have perception. While plants, organisms, & animals might or might not have this system in them (the perception, awareness, etc.)
Probably, yes or no… we do not know…
But nature continues doing its job no matters how this thing makes you feel.
(9. May. 2021)
It is over 20 degrees Celsius today. Under the sun like this probably 25 (that’s how I feel).
My main mission for today is to expand the veggies plant bed. This year I wanted to experiment with a different approach.
Last year, we amend the soil, dug, and flipped the grass. And we put the collar to protect slugs. (Slugs are very ingressive in this area.)
As you see now in the front of the video. (The on that cover with a black sheet.) That bed is (supposed to be) a slug-proof bed.
Does it work though to keep slugs away?
Not really. I meant, they were laying eggs already inside the bed. We could not get rid of them completely before start growing veggies. I found plenty of them eating my cabbages & kales, like a troop! Honestly, I was scared.
Well, I learn over time. They hate some plants that have a strong smell like herbs as well as hairy plants.
So I have a plan to grow more of those plants this season. Especially in the slug-proof bed, by the end of this year, I’d grow garlic, onion & herbs in there and leave them over the winter.
When the new growing season hits. I hope that slugs in the bed would flee away. If not, I’d repeat the process in another year.
How I make plant bed this time
Last year we covered the slope (the area in front of the basement) to get rid of wild blackberries. They all died after covering with a sheet for (almost) one year. Since they lack sunlight, they couldn’t produce food.
I then think that would work with these grasses area too!
If I cover them from sunlight, grasses couldn’t grow. So I just blurry them under the bed.
I started researching as well. I saw this method is very popular called ‘No Dig’ by Charles Dowding. He wrote many books as well. You can find it here.
It’s the same strategy that I explained above about cutting light from grasses and weeds. They won’t grow. Dowding tried different methods to cover the ground: plastic sheets, cardboard.
But I want my plants to be able to dig their roots into the ground later when the paper (that covers the grass) on the ground decomposes.
So I choose to cover the area with cardboard.
Right not I have a limited amount of cardboard and paper. Though when I have more, I plan to expand the plant bed area by doing the same. Just laying the papers overlap to each other, then topping them with soil and you can already plant on it.
Easy, isn’t it!?
After laying the cardboard, I used leftover pieces of wood placed around. Some of them I placed inside the bed since they started to decompose already. The (previous) owner of this garden left a pile of woods unprotected. They got wet & mold. Finally, decomposed.
They are not good for making fire anymore. So I took them and use them for another purpose like this…
I have also branches collecting from around the garden. Some of them are too long. I’d cut them short.
Then I put them under the new bed.
You can put old leaves, branches, anything that can naturally degrade including food scraps.
It’s baking in the late afternoon. I couldn’t work under the sun any longer.
Even the bed was not completely built. I would continue the next day.
When the growing season started. I could take my mind off about the garden and my young plants easily.
Even in the past few days it has been snowing here 🌨 and the weather is too cold and windy to work outside. My mind is still working in the garden.
I would keep checking the weather many times a day waiting for the sun to shine and the warm weather. That’s annoying, isn’t it?
This is one Form of attachments. Even with something that makes you happy. But one attachment is formed, the happiness seems to be blurry. Just like my state now.
I’m always excited about growing something in the garden. It sounds fun right? Yes, it is! And I really enjoy it.
But gradually the attachment is formed between your happiness and the task and/or the result, or whatever that you’re waiting for.
Instead of happiness, it becomes worrying.
Waiting is one form that telling you are attached to something. Hence your mind is not at peace.
Well, I am reflecting on this. I do not say that attachment is a good or a bad thing. One could not even judge it. I would say it depends on your state of life.
However, one thing we (as a Buddhist) need to develop for sure (all the time and until the end of life) is the ‘awareness‘.
‘Sati‘ (awareness mind) is the most important thing to practicing parallel with meditation.
In my view, practicing ‘Sati‘ is the most important than meditation (in terms of living life in this materialistic world.). You may ask why…
Here is an easy explanation.
Meditation is to focus on one thing, increase the power of the mind. On the other hand, meditation is also the process that you practice to slow down your mind and be able to see things clearly and understand them as they are (no judgement, no opinion, no ego, no you, no me, no mind, and nothings.)
Sati (awareness) is mindfulness, sensibility to see the whole truth (the sharpness mind). To see things clearly, see through, see the consequences throughly.
It’s like a breaker when you driving a car.
While you driving the car (the mind), you need full attention on the road. And your mind is alert for whatever would happen on the road and you can react rightly and quickly before accident happens. That is the Sati. And it requires a lot of energy, that your mind awakes the whole time.
But once a person master to this state of mind. He/she becomes the wise. That’s where the wisdom begins. That’s why in the Buddhist culture, we have a saying ‘สติมา ปัญญาเกิด – The wisdom is where the Sati is presented’ ‘สติเตลิด เกิดปัญหา – Problem happens in the absence of Sati’
That is the explanation why Sati is important to practice. It is the point where your life will be. Disaster or beautiful life. Accident or secure. One second of loosing Sati (awareness, self-awareness, mind, mindfulness) will bring you anywhere that you might not like it.
Hence, no matter what you do, have Sati. It means know what you do. And when I say know what you do. I mean know the whole truth. Know all the consequences of that action that you make. Know all the deep + the wide and see from all the perspective. That’s ‘Sati‘
I used to hate weeds when they grow all over the garden.
However, when I started working with them. I realized that they are not really harmful or do so much damage.
They are the indicators of soil and location that plants can grow. Moreover, some of them even help to protect from heat plus shovel the soil.
Look at the picture you see the roots. This kind helps to shovel the soil. Especially if your garden is packed with clay. Having weeds is a blessing.
After I dug so many of them today preparing the space to put my plant out. I felt different when working with them.
When I looked at them, instead of feeling annoyed or disturbed by them. I felt thankful to them that they grow help make the soil better.
In the dry season, they cover the soil and keep it moist. In the meanwhile, they feed the soil and also indirectly feed the organisms and animals (like earthworms, etc.). I found that earthworms love being around their roots.
Even some of them are very aggressive plants like wild berries. They have deep roots and branch out their roots under the ground. I still like to think that they help to shovel the soil that none of the other plants can do that job with this kind of soil in my garden. (The soil here is clay. It’s really hard when drying. It needs a lot of improvement. I have to say that without weeds. I could barely improve soil all on my own.)
Hence, I don’t worry and have hard feelings about weeds anymore. Instead, I’m grateful and happy working with them🌱🦠🍃💚