Monday, June 30, 2008

Books on Vegetable Gardening 菜園參考書

Organic is good, organic is great,
bottom line: common sense rule.

Everything you want to know
about seeds is in these two books

Good reads for die hard gardeners

All you want to know how to grow
Asian (mostly Chinese) vegetables is here,
detail discussion.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Japanese Maple Tree 日本楓樹


One of the two Japanese maple trees I purchased last month.
The new leaves are sprouting in red, and the
older leaves are slowly changing color from green to red.
It would be very pretty in autumn.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Eggplant Blossom 茄子花

Eggplant blossom


Japanese Ichiban eggplants

Bitter Melon Flowers 認識苦瓜花


Wide shoulder green bitter melon (male) blossom,
the petals are broader and overlapping each other.


White bitter melon (male) blossom,
the petals are narrower, irregular length,
and spread apart, the blossom color is
a shade lighter than the green variety.

Leaves and fruit size
Green melon: larger and broader
White melon: narrower and smaller

Judging from the leaves and blossoms,
the green melon will produce larger fruits,
the white melon will produce smaller fruits.

Creeping Thyme

Low maintenance, easy to grow,
not fuzzy about soil and nutrients,
happy with just water, creeps
over rocks and cracks, fills in color
at places where one cannot grow flowers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Would You Do This? 蠢材


Only lazy dummie (yours truly) will broadcast seeds by the handful!
These seedlings will be plowed under for green manure.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


What kind of bug is this?
I don't think it's ladybug.
The Lady's body is more round,
I am not sure about the white
spots on its head and shoulder.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spring Quarter Report 春季成績單

Asparagus Pea flowers
aka "Winged Bean"


First time I grow this bean for fun,
I don't know what to do with the crop yet,
but I read somewhere it says you can eat
the entire plant; beans, leaves, roots and all.

超迷你玫瑰花, 很會長喔

Micro mini rose Popcorn showing off
its flower power; a tiny plant with a big punch!


These bok choy were harvested for dinner tonight,
all together 13 plants in 2 sf EB.
It took 30 days from seed to harvest,
pretty good return on investment.


Mexican Squash
The reliable performer


Successful goji (wolfberry) propagation.
I took some cuttings from the old house
and root them in potting soil, that's it!
Do you see the tiny flower buds?
The berries are coming!
Hopefully I can get to them before the birds.


Jalapeno peppers are happy in EB,
first time I grow peppers in container,
I've been growing them in raised bed previous years.


Japanese Ichiban Eggplants doing very well,
the fruits will be ready for harvest soon.


First heirloom paste tomato San Mazano.
My favorite paste tomato is San Remo, but I cannot
find the seeds anymore, so I settled for the second best.


First heirloom Brandywine tomato of the season,
it is the best tasting tomato in my family's opinion.
I grow it every year. The black tomatoes
have not shown up yet, they are a little late this year.

包得不緊, 鬆鬆的沒看頭

Brussels Sprouts are not doing well,
the heat is getting to them, the heads are
loosely wrap, I don't expect much from them.
Will try again in August to catch the cooler
growing season before frosty old man shows up.


Kohlrabi is still going strong,
I think I have about 10 plants left.


Yellow onions are forming bulbs,
they will be ready for harvest soon.


End of cilantro season for now.
They have had many haircuts this Spring.
I'll be pulling the roots for Tahai's cilantro paste.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Garden Kimchi 韓國泡菜

Korean style pickles
kimchi from our garden.
Top left: sweet and sour kohlrabi
Front: squash & blossom kimchi
Right: kohlrabi kimchi


I have been harvesting squashes every other day.
This is the size my family enjoys,
we absolutely dislike market size summer squashes,
we like them small, tender, and crunchy.
I only have 2 plants, there won't be enough
for friends and neighbors, so no one has to worry
I would secretly drop off squashes at their doorsteps.


The accidental baby---pulled by mistake
didn't mean to do it!


They don't like to be squeezed!
That's why they grow upward instead of sideways,
talk about picky....... sheeeeeeeze!!!!!!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Some Greens in June

Short bok choy 短腳白菜 with thick flesh leaves,
I picked 8 of these for dinner. Simply flash fry them
in a wok with some oil and minced garlic is best.

See the lower right 白菜 is different from the rest?
It is a green stem Shanghai bai cai 上海小白菜 and
the lone surviving seedling
from last month's 50 mph gusty wind.
The rest are大白菜which I experimented with
growing them in a clay pot earlier in the Spring;
This time I'm experimenting with Earth Boxes.
Seeds were planted directly into the EB
about four weeks ago, they should be ready
for harvest in a few days. These babies are super
easy to grow; the seeds are from China
which I purchased in SF earlier this year.

Another variety of small bok choy 小白菜
they are getting crowded and need to be thinned out
soon or else they will bolt from overcrowding. A different
strain of BC from the top two pictures;
they are lighter in color, and the leaves
are thinner and more fragile.
I wish seed catalogs has more information and
description as to which variety of BC seeds they are selling.
When growing BCs I have to number the seed packages
so that I can differentiate BC1, BC2, BC3.......etc

I don't remember planting cabbage at all,
but there are four of them in my garden,
a pleasant surprise! We ate two of them already;
they were sweet and crunchy, the best I've
tasted so far (I am not a cabbage fan until now).
I'll have to dig out the seed packet to see the variety
and which seed company it came from;
I have too many seeds can you tell?

Some of you must be wondering
why don't I label my seedlings and plants.
I do! Here's the scoop:
Gardening in high desert is challenging,
Spring is windy season; the PMS weather
is unpredictable, it might be nice and sunny
one moment and be quite windy next;
whatever seedlings are not brought indoor
immediately will be blown away.
We are at mercy of the weather
as Chinese says 看天做人.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

101 Fava Bean 原來是蠶豆

I started two fava seeds in March along with other beans,
unfortunately all the seedlings with labels were blown away
by strong wind, I picked up whatever was left lying on the ground,
and I have absolutely no idea which seedlings survived;
I've lost more seedlings than I care to remember.
Life goes on; I started more seeds and nurse
the wounded ones back to health
and transplanted them to a permanent location.
I have never seen a fava plant or its flowers before,
It was fascinating to watch the mystery plants grow.
At the beginning I was puzzled
by the black dots on the flowers,
I thought the black "spots" were some kind of disease or bugs,
I sprayed the flowers with strong streams of water hoping to
dislodge the "bugs" (stupid idea). D u u h h h h h h h h !
The plants didn't budge and grew more flowers with black "dots"
OK, I gave up~~~not gonna spray water on flowers anymore!
Something caught my eyes today, what's this LONG BIG
"thing" hiding in my mystery plants? Got closer and
took a good look........O O O H H H~~~ (V-8 moments)
It's a fava bean~ it's a broad bean~ it's a 蠶豆~~~~ Stupid!

差點拔掉, 是唯一沒生病的豆豆