Tag Archives: planting

Grow Your Own Ginger and Turmeric

I bought some freshly harvested ginger and turmeric at the Farmers Market today. It has been delicious in the past and I am looking forward to eating and drinking it.   

I had a discussion about growing it with a gardening  friend and the vendor at th market. I have grown garlic before and have propagated an avocado plant from a seed but am curious about growing these 2 rhizomes.

I have done a little research { played with th  google machine} and found that there are a few simple steps to take.   Now this doesn’t make it easy nor fast but it seems quite simple.

A. Find some seed stock [rhizome with eyes] 

B. Prepare soil in a 12″ or bigger pot, and make sure the soil is rich and alkaline and drains well

C. Place in warm area , with adequate sun

D. Water as needed and be patient

I found a few useful links:

Some easy basics. –     http://m.wikihow.com/Grow-a-Ginger-Plant 

Some more info for garden planting  – http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-ginger.html

And another for growing in a pot or pots…- http://balconygardenweb.com/how-to-grow-ginger-in-pot-growing-ginger-indoors/


Growing Turmeric is very similar as noted in the link here-


Enjoy the journey and the food.

Great food and great medicine……


WINTER GARDEN FUN – Harvest,Prep and Planning


Now that Christmas has come and gone the new year is a week or 2 old, we can relax and look forward to spring and the GARDEN.

Then the mail comes and in the place of Christmas cards and sale flyers….seed catalogs. My favorite is Johnny Selected Seeds…so much great stuff. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

OK so what activities can we do in the garden when te freezing weather, ice and snow are around?

First question: Do we have anything growing over the winter?

Greens, roots, anything “stored” in the soil”

Did I properly clear/clean the garden in the fall?

Second question: What am I planting this year? Anything new? Where did I plant everything last season? [important for crop rotation] When can I plant? Start seedlings?

Third Question? : What work is necessary to prepare the garden for the season? Long term planning= helpful this yer but payoff will be realized over several years.

The following posts and articles address some of these ideas:



Info from another good seed catalog…http://www.territorialseed.com/category/fall_Winter_seed


Enjoy and happy gardening !!


Potato Towers are coming Along Nicely for 2014

After the Potato Tower has been set up with soil/compost and Straw- seed potatoes set in the soil and topped with soil/compost-


Potato Towers with soil/compost and straw- ready for seeds.


Allow for the plants to get started and as the leaves spread and vines grow to about 3-5 inches add a mix of compost and soft-sandy soil as well as a ring or straw around the framework-Up to the bottom of the leaves.
Water well again and **


Potatoes planted-March 2014- leaves poking out

-Allow to grow 3-5 more inches and repeat the process 1 or 2 more times and then let the tower and all of the plants to grow and spread out the top and sides of the tower.

Keep it well watered BUT not too wet. Fertilize with aged manure / compost and an organic fetilizer. Fertilizer should have good mix of Potassium and Phosporous and lower Nitrogen . Too much Nitrogen and you will have a great collection of green and leggy plants but lower output of potatoes. Using any fertilizer with high phosphorus-potassium to nitrogen content will do them well. N-P-K – 5-10-10 or 8-24-24 are good mixes.

If adding fertilizer- make sure to scratch it into the soil and not in contact with the plants growing in the tower.

Option 2 ( add more seedling potatoes)

After the Potato Tower has been set up with soil/compost and Straw- seed potatoes set in the soil and topped with soil/compost-

Allow for the plants to get started and as the leaves spread and vines grow to about 3-5 inches add a mix of compost and soft-sandy soil as well as a ring or straw around the framework-Up to the bottom of the leaves.
Water well again and **

-Allow to grow 3-5 more inches and repeat the process of adding soil/compost and straw and add more seed potatoes and cover with 2 inches of soft sandy soil up to the bottom of the established leaves. you will now have 2 sets of plants growing .
***repeat the fill and cover process 1 or 2 more times to the top of the tower and allow the plants to grow and spread out the top and sides of the tower.

Water and fertilize as before.




ASPARAGUS – The great skinny spears. Still buying mine.

One week until the Charlottesville farmers Market kicks off an 8+ month
run downtown . See https://www.facebook.com/CharlottesvilleCityMarket .
One of the things I look forward to in the first few weeks of the market
is spring asparagus ( beets too) . My current garden doesn’t work for
growing my own asparagus (though I may do this with some friends in their


Young asparagus spears – READY !

Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that pops up every spring , but
unlike much of the rest of the KITCHEN GARDEN it takes a few years to
enjoy the benefits of these delicious spears.

Root crowns are planted in spring or fall and prepared to grow BUT can
not be harvested until the 3rd ( maybe some 2nd ) year. So we must learn
some patience and remember that THIS SPACE IS TAKEN.

So we care for “nothing” while harvesting beans and cukes and tomatoes
throughout the garden. BUT on the plus side- Well planted and cared for
plants can be productive for up to 20 years.

Aparagus is planted as “crowns” (year old plants) in a clean garden bed
in trenches 6″-12″ deep and separated 18″-24″ . The soil should be well
drained as the plants don’t like to have WET-FEET. Dig the trench and
work in 3-6″ of compost, manure and/or soil mix. Spread the soil in a
ridge in the trench. Place the “crowns” on this ridge spreading the roots
over mounded soil.        Cover with enough well composted soil and mulch 4-6″
and water well.


Asparagus crowns ready to be set.


Do not harvest the spears in the first year, allow them to grow and cut
down dead foliage in the fall. At cutting top dress with compost.

During this year letting the asparagus go to seed will give the crown a
chance to establish and get strong. This will set it ( and you) for long
time supply of spears.

During the second year, keep the bed thickly mulched, side-dress with
compost/manure in spring and early fall, and cut down dead foliage in
late fall. You may be able to harvest and enjoy a meal of two of spears.



Asparagus plants- fueling and replenishing the crowns.

The asparagus can be harvested for a relativley short period (2-3 weeks)as soon as the spears start to show. You will want to keep a close eye on the bed, Clean it after winter so mulch and debris are not too deep. After harvest allow the “ferns” to grow- these plants feed the crowns/roots for future spear production.


Found a few blogs with similar info. ENJOY !!




LEEKS – Growing Leeks for a Delicious addition to the Garden and Kitchen

Planning on adding Leeks to the garden to share the space with onions and garlic( as well as the tomatoes/basil and other delicious goodies)

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum) are fun plant and beautiful plant in the garden and a delicious addition to the kitchen- they can also be stored over the winter for some delicious garden freshness during the snowy season.


Leek Seedlings for Transplant



Trench for row of Leeks

Leeks are easily started in soil-less mix. When they reach the thickness of a pencil, they can be transplanted outdoors(they can also be purchased in pots with several seedlings per pot).

Grow them in soil that has plenty of compost and nitrogen.Add manure throughout the growing seaqson to feed and grow.
• Water and weekly
• As they grow add some material around the stem every 2 weeks or so to blanch the plant. Add about 1 inch every time. The mix can be soil.mulch,compost,manure (make a mix)

Space leeks 6 inches apart.


Leeks growing to maturity

To produce a tasty white stem, leeks must be blanched—in.This is done by protecting them from the sun- To do this, plant leeks into deep holes 6-7 inches deep. This can be in a trench or individual holes. Plant to the depth of the first GREEN leaf

Let a few leeks in the garden go ahead to set seed. They grow a good looking starburst of tiny whitish flowers on a long stem. When the flower opens it will take a few weeks until the tiny black seeds are mature.



Mature and going/Growing to seed


Plan and Plant Your Garden for Non-Stop Veggies- Like a Tasty Buffet

Plan and Plant Your Garden for Non-Stop Veggies- Like a Tasty Buffet

I have been gardening for a number of years and have been reading about it, watching TV / now online videos about it. It is a lot of fun and interesting AND OF COURSE DELICIOUS- but I am learning to make the most of all my efforts and fill the fridge and {now learning to make fermented veggies- KIMCHi/ kraut etc}

I recently read an article about SUCCESSION PLANTING  and was intrigued- I  realized i read about it before but never “caught” it before. Now I am making a plan to try it this year and season.  

Onions, greens, cabbage family plants will be my first trial partners.

* I like this article about Doubling the harvest. I am also adding some of the books mentioned( that I don;t have now)


** I have been experimenting with Square Foot gardening and some of the ideas in Mel Bartholomew books and website, but not the succession planting ideas( I reread a few pages just a few minutes ago.


^***And one more i found that has a lot of great info- i will download and use for my plans and hopefully for my kitchen ( even share/barter with friends)




Flooding June 7 2013 B

Snowy day- Garden Planning, Reading and Dreaming


I spent a little time at my garden plot yesterday – dropping off coffee grounds from the coffee shop and mixing with dried leaves as I build up the beds for spring and summer.

The beds being developed are for beans, peas and squash. They will also have poles/teepees to climb and maximize the space.

My favorite poles are bamboo cut from a local “wild”patch.

I have been thinking of adding some potatoes to the garden this year. This is just for fun since they are quite inexpensive to buy at the Farmers Market- BUT they are such a rewarding plant. I have seen a few plans for building towersto maximize the growth of spuds in small spaces- The following was the first I found on a random search.


I am also adding a 2nd layer of wooden pallets to raise the beds in the garden to provide for deeper roots and protect against the flooding like we had last year. Hopefully I will grow some full sized veggies this year , rather than the stunted babies I got last year.



Some of the following ideas I found with a quick search. I may add starwberries as well as potatoes. Pallets make great sense for this sweet treat.


This article has a lot of fun ideas- many of which i have seen and read and tried in the past.