Happy belated Thanksgiving! I’m getting out of my writer’s block by posting a garden update. It has been a strange year as most of the seeds that I have planted before with success have not spouted. There has also been some unexpected successes where I have fallen flat before.
Annuals like my Hawaiian Super Pepper plant are doing well. It is become more like a pepper tree. Just two of these is enough to heat up a whole dish and I use them with care. I give them away to coworkers as there are way more than I can eat.
And I am getting yields from cucumber plants. Still not fully grown ones, but this cucumber was tasty. I’m calling it a win.
I have a higher yield of beans this year. Just harvested my first batch and they are nicely sized.
I planted a few packs of arugula seeds and only a few popped up in places where in previous years there were so many that they were borderline invasive. I think there is an intense hot spot in my garden where seedlings get burned from heat stress. As an experiment, I put a small potted Travelers Palm tree to shade the area where I am trying to grow the arugula. I got the idea when I put a leafy heliconia plant near a Ti plant I was trying to grow and the shade helped it grow heartier.
Another experiment is trying to grow seedlings, then transplanting. And after I felt that I am just planting seeds to feed my beetles in the soil, I am trying a new method of starting seedlings in this egg tray and repurposing a rusty old grill into a raised bed contraption using the old grills to weigh down the egg tray during strong winds. If there is a stormy night with gusts, I can simply close the lid until morning.
What I like about gardening is that it turns you into some sort of scientist that experiments with different methods and techniques. Every garden is different and needs to be adapted by trial and error. Most of my experiments fail, but I learn a lot from each failure and adapt.
I want to share a few resources that have helped me learn more about plants and gardening:
Here is a lecture on the eight rules of botany. This may be dry if you have no gardening experience, but after a year of gardening this information will supercharge your knowledge–particularly if you are growing fruit trees.
Growing your greens is a youtube channel from John Kohler, who started as a novice gardener to overcome health problems. His channel is a fantastic resource with techniques and interviews with master gardeners.
And of course, here is the pdf of One Straw Revolution from Masanobu Fukuoka, whose theory of “do nothing farming” is the one I am applying to my garden.