26. Peas + beans harvest in July

This year we got a great yield of peas. Probably because of a long winter.

A few days before harvesting were stormy. My plants got plenty of water. And the harvest day was slightly rainy + cloudy. It’s a perfect harvest day!

I harvested a nice amount of beans for soup and about 1 – 1+ 1/2 kg of peas! That’s quite a harvest!

How to store beans & peas

For the amount, of course, I couldn’t eat all within a day. So I store them by separate peas & beans from the pods. Blanched & froze them after. This way you can store up to 12 months. You can also freeze them without blanching but the color might be changed a bit after.

After this harvest day, I felt like the summer is ending. Well, it isn’t.

But since it’s constantly raining in my area. The cloud covers most of the light. It’s gloomy as in fall. I feel the day is getting shorter. The light is out about 9 pm or even before.

Yesterday was nice though, the sun was shining during from morning until five before it started to rain. However, I did not visit the garden since I had pain in my back, leg muscles, & abdomen. So I stayed home.

Today (07.07.2021)

I feel so much better. The pain is mostly relief. I can start physical work in my garden in this weekend. If the weather allows I would be out for sure.

Since I have got so many things to take care of as I listed them in this post.

How are things going on your side? I hope July bring you a nice harvest as well!

And thanks for visiting! 🥰😃

25. Spinach harvesting

This time of year (June), the ground is heating!

Many plants are so thirsty and burned out as well as my spinach here. Under this heat, they start to bolt. They produce flower buds.
Even you can slow down this process of the plant getting bolt by pinching off the flower buds. But the veggies would not taste good as they were young.

For example, radishes are cold-weather plants same as spinach. They usually bolt fastly in the summer. The radish becomes woody. It happens to me as well. Especially growing a long radish e.g. daikon. I made the mistake to sow radish seeds in (too) late spring (around April was already too late in my area for sowing radish seeds. Because now they all give flowers.😣) Means I will not get a nice, long daikon radish to harvest.
I should have sowed earlier as soon as the soil was workable. Lesson learned!

But I still have a chance to grow them in late summer for the fall/winter harvest. That is now added to my plan! 😃

However, for the small radishes, you can still grow them throughout the year. But you have to give them shade or plant them between the plants that have big leaves like the cabbages family, they will provide shade for your radishes.

Usually, spinach will grow back after you cut/pinch off some of its leaves. So you can keep them in the bed to get a few more rounds for harvesting. But that works in a cold season like spring or fall. In the summer, they bolt fastly. Yet, you might enjoy their beautiful flowers, but the taste is bitter.

So in this video, instead of keeping them, I pulled out the whole plants here because they produce some flower buds. Keeping them longer, bitter the taste would be.

And in this space, I sowed some salads afterward.

Let’s see what I will get from my garden this year. Keep watching!

And have a great day!

This time of year (June), the ground is heating!

Many plants are so thirsty and burned out as well as my spinach here. Under this heat, they start to bolt. They produce flower buds.
Even you can slow down this process of the plant getting bolt by pinching off the flower buds. But the veggies would not taste good as they were young.

For example, radishes are cold-weather plants same as spinach. They usually bolt fastly in the summer. The radish becomes woody. It happens to me as well. Especially growing a long radish e.g. daikon. I made the mistake to sow radish seeds in (too) late spring (around April was already too late in my area for sowing radish seeds. Because now they all give flowers.😣) Means I will not get a nice, long daikon radish to harvest.
I should have sowed earlier as soon as the soil was workable. Lesson learned!

But I still have a chance to grow them in late summer for the fall/winter harvest. That is now added to my plan! 😃

However, for the small radishes, you can still grow them throughout the year. But you have to give them shade or plant them between the plants that have big leaves like the cabbages family, they will provide shade for your radishes.

Usually, spinach will grow back after you cut/pinch off some of its leaves. So you can keep them in the bed to get a few more rounds for harvesting. But that works in a cold season like spring or fall.

In the summer, they bolt fastly. Yet, you might enjoy their beautiful flowers, but the taste is getting bitter.


So in this video, instead of keeping them, I pulled out the whole plants here because they produce some flower buds. Keeping them longer, bitter the taste would be.

And in this space, I sowed some salads afterward.

Let’s see what I will get from my garden this year. Keep watching!

And have a great day!


24. How to grow lemongrass in cold climates

This is my first time growing lemongrass in a cold country like in Europe.

For self-sufficient gardeners in this area, growing tropical plants like lemongrass outdoor are unusual. Especially in the winter, when the temperature goes below 0 degrees Celsius.

In case you don’t have a greenhouse, growing tropical plant is quite challenging in this climate.

Lemongrass | Citronella grass | Oily head

Cymbopogon spp.

Lemongrass is a tropical plant in the grass family. The species I got is the East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus.) It is also called Cochin grass or Malabar grass. This species is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Burma, and Thailand. In my country, we call it ‘ta-krai’ according to the genus Cymbopogon.

Except for for cooking, we use it as herbs

I experience lemongrass since I was a child. I would see my grandma knotted it and threw it into the boiled water, making a hot bath. It smells like heaven, refreshing, and healing. I love its fragrance. We use it for cooking especially in meat dishes

Moreover, it is used as a mosquito repellent from lemongrass oil. One of my friends in Bangkok is researching in this niche as well.

I sometimes crave it when I want to cook meat. However, buying lemongrass in the store is quite expensive here in Germany. So I had an idea to grow them and wish they will continue growing year after year like in my hometown.

Though lemongrass is a tropical plant. In a warm country, it is a perennial plant. It grows back every year. But in a cold country, it usually would not survive the climate during the winter months if leave it outdoors.

Somehow, I wanted to give it a try. And I think we can manage to keep it alive over the winter in the house and bring it outdoors again in the summer.

How to grow lemongrass from seeds

This is how I grow my lemongrass from seeds. First, have your seeds ready. I got my seed from a garden center nearby.

You can also buy a young plant. I saw some online shops have it available. But growing lemongrass from seeds is easy. Here’s how I did it.

  1. In spring start to sow seeds indoors. Sow lemongrass seeds on top of the soil without covering. Then water them and keep them moist until the seeds germinate. Place them in the bright area.
  2. If the root reaches the bottom of the pot. Repot into a bigger pot and keep them moist.
  3. Watch out for the weather. If it’s frost-free, you can put them outside. (I waited until the night temp. reaches 15ºC then I placed the pot on the balcony. But you can put them out when the night temp. over 10ºC.)
  4. In summer, you can grow them in the pot throughout the season or plant them in the bed where they get full sun.
  5. In the fall, pot them and bring them into a greenhouse (or in the house at night, and bring them out in the daytime for getting full sun.) 
  6. Preparing them for winter by trimming the leaves. In the winter, place them indoors where they get bright light. Water them only when the topsoil is dry.
  7. Wait until the next season, when the night temp. reaches 10ºC then plant them outdoors in full sun.

The video below shows grown lemongrass (in the pot), ready to be transplanted to the bed. See the root health at 5:19.

23. Snow peas finally give some pods! | Made my garden a ‘Garden of Philosophy’

Hi Happy gardeners!

Here is the latest update from my garden!

Last two weeks I was very busy in the garden, working full time! By full-time, I meant I work every day from the morning to the evening. Because I wanted to finish up my bedding area.

Except for adding new beds for getting greater yield this year. I did something I was planing for a long time. Yes, I made an art veggie bed.

I now have two veggie-art beds. They were freshly built though, I have to wait until my veggie seeds sprout to see the shape of my pieces of art more clearly.

I don’t know if this will come out nicely as I thought. Somehow I already feel proud of myself for doing hard work disregarding the result.

And this video shows how I created one of my artwork in the garden bed.


Well, I was too excited about what I did. I forgot I mentioned the snow peas in my title 😀


Snow peas or sweet peas are one of the easiest crops to grow. I had them also last year. I also have nice harvesting. And the small trick is the more you pluck them, the more they produce new pea pods. So after growing, you only have to wait until they give some pods. You should pick them up and eat them right away!


They are sweet, crispy & juicy!


It’s so lively to have them in your garden space.


Moreover, they are resilient as well. As my garden is a slug farm (not actually, but there are thousands of them. So I think it’s not wrong to call it a ‘slug farm’.) These peas are one of the survivors (from slugs.)


This year I have made an experiment. Comparing growing snow peas inside a slug-proof bed and outside the bed without any protection (I let peas grow on the free space, let’s say with the grass.) They all survive! Peas outside the bed are doing great as well as inside the bed.


So the next year, I would save my slug-proof space for slug susceptible plants like cabbages and salads.


Okay, here are some of my snow peas shots. They are giving some pods now.


Enjoy!


And because of that, I then dance in the garden! 🤣😉🥳

22. Can we grow corns in a cold country?

Sure, you can!

And here it is. In this video shows you how I grow corn in Germany.

I got inspired to grow corn from Dr. Ieuan Evans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3rqt2cCinQ&t=0s. He showed us how to grow any veggies even you have short season. (He lives in Canada.)

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!

Enjoy your season!

😀


21. How to grow soybeans | New video on YouTube

I finally created some videos about planting veggies. In case someone wants to start his/her journey of growing food.

This video shows how to grow soybeans from seed.

How to grow soybeans from seeds

  1. Have your space & soybean seeds ready.
  2. Sow seeds and cover with soil (about 2-3 cm deep). (To get the best yield, sow the seeds between 0.75-1.75 inches deep by https://manitobapulse.ca/2020/05/soybean-seed-depth-assessment/)
  3. Then keep them moist.
  4. 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.

🙂

19. Update on my homestead garden: I have a magic stick!

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):

  1. More food to harvest, save more money on foods
  2. Create more diversity into the garden
  3. Create friendly environment for animals/bees in the garden (diversity in plant/ animal/microorganisms)
  4. Build the healthy habits that help me both physically & mentally
  5. It’s my happiness to see things grow from seed to plant, it’s magic!
  6. 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!

Remember when 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!

Report from the south side, Germany.

Love,
Daughter of The Soil

18. One Time Investment: Plant Some Berries and You Will Never Starve Ever! + Blueberry hardy types

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?

Yes!


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

SpeciesCharacteristicHarvest period
OzarkblueH x W: 2.0 x 1.8 m, heat tolerant, large berryAug
Hortblue/PoppinsH x W: 1.5 x 1 m, juicy, sweetJuli-Aug, Sep-Oct
AmaH x W: 2.0 x 1.5 m, sweet-sourJuli-Aug
PuruH x W: 1.5 x 1 m, sweetJuli-Aug
HardyblueH x W: 2.0 x 2.0 m, sweet-sourAug
GoldtraubeH x W: 1.5 x 1 m, drought resistant, a bit sourAug-Sep
AuroraH x W: 2.0 x 2.0 m, best freeze tolerant, sweet-sourShort period
RekaH x W: 2.0 x 2.0 m, mild sourJuli-Sept

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.

Tip!

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 studyShiryl 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.


Resources:


This is a repost from my personal blog.

Feel free to visit my main website here where I talk about garden, plants, writing, & giving deep thoughts about life (sometimes) 🙂


17. Making New Plant Bed (No Dig) | A Thought On Sunday | New Youtube Video Updated

Good morning Sunday!

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.


This is a repost from my personal blog.

Visit my main website here.

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