Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can It Get More Disappointing?

After a couple of months of waiting, these are what I got.

1 weird looking radish. The others didn't work out at all. Two beetroots, 1 is quite sizable while the other is smaller. The rest failed too.

The disappointment did not end here.

The larger beetroot was rotten. Spotted tiny ants outside and inside. They ate my beetroot and damaged my otherwise fine-looking beet!!! Why are there ants in this world? What good have they brought to mankind? They crawl everywhere - in the sugar jar, on the cookies and even inside the soil. Hate them, hate them, hate them!!!!!!!! Right now, they are like my biggest nemesis!

I was left with the other tiny beetroot, which I juiced with an apple and an orange. Manage to yield 1 cup of juice which I shared with my dearest hubby - 3 gulps each. The taste of the beetroot was slightly bitter and it certainly over-powered the taste of the apple and orange. Weirdly, I would describe the taste of beetroot as the taste you would imagine when you smell some rain-soaked soil. I wouldn't be sure why would you smell the soil but basically, it has very earthy taste, thus not many people like beetroot BUT it is loaded with good nutrients and vitamins.

Also, I just read somewhere that beetroot doesn't like manure. Probably now I know why I got such disappointing results.

So if you plan to grow beetroots, just use the usual fertilizer or compost and avoid using manure.

If the above disappointments were not enough, my winged bean seedling has also died. And my two long bean seeds failed to sprout. Need to start them again. Gardening really teaches you patience!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Growing Ginger In Container

Growing ginger is as easy as not growing it! So, it'll be a waste to not grow it if you have the right growing condition, which is essentially warm weather. The rest is just loamy soil, water and occasional feed of fertilizer. They thrive in partial shade or full sun. Basically, the same concept applies with growing turmeric.

I started out by planting about 5 or 6 small knobs of ginger (about an inch in size) with at least 1 visible 'eye' on it. An 'eye' is the part where a sprout is going to grow. Plant each knob half an inch deep in the soil and about 6 to 8 inches apart. Make sure the 'eye' is upwards so that the sprout can easily grow out of the soil. From my experience, it'll take about 2-3 weeks for the sprout to grow. Or could be slightly shorter or longer. During this stage, keep the soil moist but not water-logged. Ginger plant grows slowly but steadily. The leaves are quite ornamental and very fragrant. As the plant grows, you can lightly feed with chicken manure, but not too often. Once the plant is established, it can even withstand temporary drought in case you forgot to water. As the rhizomes grow and multiply, they will appear slightly on the surface of the soil. And the anticipation in wondering what lies beneath begins!

Below is my container of ginger after about a year of planting. Ginger can be harvested after about 8 months but I delayed and just left them in there.

I dug out half the amount of ginger rhizomes in the container on 9 March and below pictures show the harvest - before and after washing. My container was so compact as it was full of ginger.

Below is the pot with leftover plants on the right.

Today, I harvested the rest of the ginger.

And I replanted a few small rhizomes with the sprouts which I separated from larger rhizomes. But before that, the leftover clumps of roots in the soil need to be removed so that they will not hinder future growth. I just need to add a little bit more soil and the growing starts again.

One might think what did I do with so much ginger? Well, I gave some to my sisters and kept some for my own cooking. Many Asian food uses ginger and I read that leftover ginger can be frozen for longer usage. I'm so happy with my ginger harvest. Hoorah!!