Sunday, April 13, 2008

Summer in Spring. Tips and Tails.

I transpanted my carrot tops yesterday from my shallow water dish to my outdoor box. One thing to remember is only half to three-quarters are likely to make it once transplanting into soil.

here are the victors:

and here lie the slain:

Carrots are basically large "tap roots" (actual scientific name), with little tail roots that branch out. My friend Maryanne is trying to do this top-recycling method with her beet tops. I saw them yesterday and they are amazing. The great thing about beets is their leaves are very much edible. They are delicious and very nutrient rich. I think I should have tried the beets first.

For the growers in other parts of the country: count your blessings. Although the winter was tough and snowy, our riverside springtime has been curtailed. It is now summer with temperatures above 95F. I dread the over 100F temperatures just around the corner.

For you living in Riverside, please please please remember, NOTHING should be left out in full sun, unless it's a cactus or other desert friendly plant.

My best advice for growers interested in veggies is to plant against the north side of your place. There should be adequate morning sun and good evening shade shelter for 1pm and thereafter. The east wall might be ok but at all costs, avoid the south and the west.

Here is a scientifical diagram to help you plot out your growing areas.

Find out what side is north and go from there. Either that, or go outside at 3pm and see where there is shade. That way is the easiest and very scientifical-professional.

Another tip for dry-area gardening is to stack your pots. This is a trick I actually learned by accident. This is great for those humidity-thirsty plants like ferns.

The trick is to put a bit of soil in the bottom pot. Make sure your drainage is good enough to deter mold. I usually find a rock the size of the hole made when you connect your index finger and thumb. I stick the rock on top of any drainage holes the size of a dime or larger. I know a lot of books tell you to use broken pottery or gravel, but I'm a beginner and it doesn't bug me.

Ok, so this is what the bottom pot looks like:

Also remember that during the dry season I know your first instinct is to water your plants like crazy. Try not to do that. I've killed more plants by overwatering than underwatering. In fact, if one of my plants seems to be dying, I move it outside or inside depending on where it was, and just kind of let them tough it out without me.

Since I'm usually clumsy it seems to do the trick. I guess it depends on what kind of person you are.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pictures Finally! Funtime Happy Carrots!!!

Make sure there isn't too much water. About a centimeter of depth should suffice.

DON'T FORGET!!! CHANGE THE WATER EVERYDAY! otherwise, there will be mold and slime!

Side view:

Check out the auxiliary roots!

Recycling Carrots

My carrots are all about ready to transplant. They all have little auxilliary roots sprouting. What would really be lovely is if I had some kind of plexiglass raised bed so I could watch to see how they grow.

My apologies for not showing any pictures. I have taken a few, and I promise you'll see them shortly; I am still without a USB cable.

Are any of you guys growing recycled veggies?
I've tried bok choy in the past. Here is a link to that post:
Attack of the Baobab!