Sunday, February 27, 2011

Giant Zucchini!

Almost a month ago I give it a try on manual (hand) pollination on one of my button Zucchini. Since it grows big, I decided to save the seed. I let it grow mature in order to get the seed. Until yesterday I decided to harvest it since it does not grow big anymore. The button Zucchini actually weight about 920 grams which is almost a kilo. We did actually cut it open to get the seed and also did an experimental cooking for this matured Zucchini. It is kinda hard on the outside but soft in the inside. So what we did was peel the skin off and fry the inside with butter. Surprisingly it tasted like a pumpkin but less sweet and the texture is almost like a honeydew. So it is still edible actually.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Green reading

It has been a while that I did not read anything on gardening. After save the seed week post by MKG in January it make me realize that it is important that you save your own seed. The posting that MKG did was really an eye opener. From the links in the post it leads me to many other resources. It was very informative and at the same time very overwhelming. So I decided to get myself a book on seed saving. Few bloggers suggested that the book "Seed to seed" is the best. So I did a search for it in the nearby book store and it was not available. However, I found 2 interesting book on sale, one is "Joey Green's Gardening Magic" and another is "Organic Gardening in Australia". Instead of buying the seed to seed book I actually bought both of the book.

Gardening Magic book is actually different from any other gardening book as it has a list of tips on how to use a household product for your garden. One of the example from the book is how to use flour and women sock to kill caterpillar that eat your cabbage. Another tips that really useful is that you can use coke to boost your compost heap. It is very interesting and I thought maybe I can share some useful tips from the book in my future post.

The other book is Organic Gardening. This is a very comprehensive book touches every single aspect of gardening especially the organic way. It does have a section on seed saving but not as much as seed to seed (obviously). I haven't not really finished reading this book yet but it helps to enlighten my knowledge on the area that kinda fuzzy to me.

I personally think that gardener need to read some book once in a while to get some new ideas and information regarding gardening especially in the natural way. Anyway Happy gardening!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I made a pledge to myself

I made a pledge to myself, for every bulb of garlic that I bought from store or sow from the garden. I will make sure that I save a clove from it for planting. I'm just glad that the clove that I planted in my garden turn into a bulb. Though some of it is not as big as I expected but I'll do better next time. Hopefully If I keep doing that I can have a cycle of garlic supply fresh from my garden.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yellow fever!

The title sounded a bit corny though but I thought it is more or less describe how excited I am to harvest such a big zucchini. Not really sure whether this is too old to be eaten or it is just big Zucchini. This is actually my first time to plant and harvest such a big zucchini and in fact this is the first time that I saw such a huge zucchini. To be honest with you guys this is second large Zucchini that I have in my garden. I have a bigger one that keep growing and growing. I just want to see how big It can get and of course I wanted to save the seed. The size is almost double of this one.


I reckoned that the long zucchini is getting old so I harvest it to encourage a new batch of Zucchini to grow. Anyone can tell me whether these two zucchini is too old or not? and how do we know when should we harvest a good zucchini. I really have never planted any zucchini before and therefore I'm quite not sure what am I doing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Carrot affair

This is my first experience growing a carrot and I did not start from seed but instead I bought the seedling from the shop. I am aware that to plant a carrot you need a soft soil structure so that the shape will be pointy like a regular carrot. The other day after 2 months I did check on the carrot and surprisingly the head of the carrot has shown. As what I read in the book they said that once you see the head out of the soil then it means that it can be harvested. As excited as I get I carefully dig the soil and the carrot seems to be so loose with the soil. When I finally managed to get it out from the ground my carrot actually looks like a radish instead. This tells me that the soil is not soft enough for the carrot to penetrate through. Though I've watered the soil and make sure that I would not harden but I guess you never know what is going on deep inside the soil.

So based on this experience I make a conclusion. If you cannot control what is inside you can always go upward. My plan is to start sowing in a shallow soil inside a pot and once it grow taller I'll add soil to it a level at a time. This is to ensure that there will always be a soft soil on the top layer and they can always go upward. So lets see how this experiment is going to turn out. ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Corn baby corn!

I have to be honest here the reason why I planted this corn is because I wanted to grow a baby corn. My daughter Safiyyah loves baby corn so much and I thought why not grow something for her too. Being so ignorant about corn before I thought baby corn is one type of corn. Especially when you see this label here with the picture of a baby corn. You would be convinced that this the baby corn plant.

Anyway, after few month growing it I got a little curious about the baby corn because I wanted to find out how to harvest it. So after few readings I realized that baby corn is just the young corn of any type of corn. It is harvested early before it form into the true form of corn. For a matured corn, it is ready to be harvest when the silks of the corn turn brown. So yesterday before the great rain in Melbourne I harvested one matured corn and one baby corn. I just wanted to see how does both tasted like. 

Since my daughter like baby corn so I asked her to peel the baby corn while I peeled the matured baby sweet. I had to teach my daughter if you want to eat you have to work for it. Nothing comes for free ;). Just kidding, though that is the reality of life but just wanted her to have fun in the garden. Else she will not appreciate the beauty of home gardening. That is what my mom thought me.

After few serious peeling she finally manage to get the baby cob. While I did peel the matured one and to my surprised it looks almost similar to the baby corn but bigger. I'm going to save this seed for sure. Surely I am going to plant another batch of corn tree but maybe this time would be a sweet corn. I will leave some to mature and some will be harvest as a baby corn. Hopefully I have enough time to grow another batch of corn before the autumn start. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

My vision of vege garden ecosystem

I always have this vision of creating the ecosystem for my dream vegetable garden. It should be a complete end to end system that provide fresh organic fertilizer and a watering system. Which the excess of our garden can be recycle back to the garden.

Back home in Malaysia my mother used to use rabbit dropping as a fertilizer. The best thing about this rabbit dropping is that it can be used straight away without having to cure them first. One thing about rabbit though they basically eat many leaves and sometimes even flowers. So to feed the rabbit we can use the cuttings from our vegetable pruning, weed or maybe the grass clipping (make sure that it is free of poison). Of course you might want to add some rabbit food to top up the leaves that is been used to feed the rabbit. Maybe you would want to reward your rabbit by giving them a whole carrot or even the whole bunch of cabbage that you harvest from your garden?. After all you know that it might just end up back in your garden is a form of fertilizer.

Watering is really crucial to your garden too. So I figure building a pond can help to create a micro climate and also act as the natural watering system tank. Whenever I read article on rainwater harvesting there is always this issue of mosquito. The solution is always put a fish in the tank. I figured instead of using tank why not create the whole pond as the holding tank for the rainwater harvesting and the filtration tank can be modify to become an irrigation tank as well. The best part with this water in the filtration tank is that the water is rich with fish dropping. Which means more good stuff for the garden. Your garden will look pretty with the pond and you can plant some water plant too. Pond would also create a micro climate for your garden.

I can imagine how lushing the vege would be in this kind of setting. Of course in the dream everything will looks nice but until you give it a try you will discover the problem. But I think it is going to work and surely I'll give it a go when I have the opportunity to do it. Until then I should just explore on some other things that I can include as part of my dream garden. A bee hive maybe?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New plot

My front yard is an uncharted territory. It is has a layer of sand on top of the bed. There are bunch of roses were planted by the previous tenant and I don't intent to take it out but I've been itching to plant some thing there. Right now I've planted Zucchini and pumpkin to provide a shady area for the bed so that I can sow something. Also I have few ginger plant and garlic. I've been planning to plant a lemon grass there as well. What do you reckon to be planted there?