Garden update – May 2017

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May God bring progress and blessings.

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Splitting and Dividing Plants Part 1

Plant Care, Uncategorized

Many plants, especially perennial herbs, are suitable for dividing and splitting.

This then gives the original plant more room, can rejuvenate it, helps new growth and gives a few extra plants to be planted elsewhere or even shared with others.

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Here, the original lungleaf plant has sprouted a smaller plant. This smaller plant can be split and planted elsewhere.

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A fork is used to lift up the small baby plant.

 

There was also an extra shoot as well, giving 2. These are potted up, they could have also been planted straight in the ground, like this one;

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Eventually they will be potted on again or planted.

 

 

 

Herb Indentification

Herb ID

 

 

 

 

Flower Bed Tips – Weeding, Edging and Covering

Garden Care, Planning & Beginning a Garden
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From top to bottom; Edging Spade (Half Moon), Edging Shears, Hand Fork, Fork, Spade, Rake. Also wheelbarrow for turf – and bucket for weeds and roots.

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Begin clearing the bed of weeds and their roots using the forks and bucket.

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Roses, aquilegia, and other flowers.

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Chive plants grow well with roses, as do most onion type plants.

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Now use the edging spade to make a fresh edge.

 

 

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Begin removing the turf where it has been cut.

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The new edge will begin to form.

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The turf can be put in the barrow for using elsewhere or composting.

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Now the edging shears can be used to cut off the overhanging grass on the new edge.

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Usually it is best to place them on a slight angle.

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Now the trimmed bits of grass can be removed.

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The gravel around the other edge was managed by using a rake, and also hands and gloves.

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Rake some of the soil in the bed toward the edge, to fill in the depression.

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The plants can now be given a live covering. At this job, the customer orders this product (strulch) for their trees and beds. Also, woodchip can be used – see here and here.

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This is the covering on a different bed. Use plenty of covering.

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This bed was done previously  (the other bed is not going to have covering applied yet, as the owner would like to plant some plants in the gaps first).

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Using Shredded / Chipped Wood and Branches for Live Covering / Mulch

Plant Care, Uncategorized

Use wood and branches that have been prepared by machinery such as a chipper or shredder as soil covering. It will keep the soil protected in many ways – see here for more information. Different plants, shrubs or trees will create a different end materiel, some will be mostly wood (bramble/hazel) ranging through to leafy and green (elder/conifer). Additionally, properties in the cells of wood will help prevent weed seeds from germinating (see: lignin – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignin). When it is very woody, mix it in with some green material. A mature erbal border will also be a good source of material, after they finish flowering.

a IMG_2844 A Garden Shredder

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A different shredder using conifer

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This has been through a chipper, which is more heavy duty than the 2 machines above. This would be a little to woody on it’s own – it would need to be mixed with some greenery.

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A Row of Broad Beans on Left and Potatoes on Right, Reggy for a Covering

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Broad Beans (Right) – Potatoes (Left)

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Now the potatoes and beans are grown up. Mustard from the pear tree bed has grown into the sight of the beans, but they are fine and happy.

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Peas (Left) – Radish (Right)

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Potatoes (Left) – Peas (Middle) – Radish (Right) [there is also a field bean with the radish – the odd single annual plant like this bean is fine to leave growing in place. Also this can be done with any annual erb like dill, mustard, qanneh-besem etc. The odd one here and there will bring great benefits.]

Removing and Dealing With Un-Necessary Roots

Planning & Beginning a Garden

Tips for removing roots from the soil,

Turn over soil, to expose roots. Roots like bindweed, dandelion, grass etc are removed. Once a garden is becoming mature and having regular toppings of shredded / chopped branches / twigs / herbal flower heads etc, this type of thing will be much less of a problem.

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The roots can be dealt with in various manners, however, they should not be put into compost, as they will likely carry on growing;

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Compost Pile – Try to avoid these type of roots getting in compost

One way to dispose of them is to feed them to animals for food:

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Another way, is to leave them to dry out in a dry place, like a pathway for example:

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And also, they can be burnt:

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Remove any stones along the way, rake the soil level and sow cover crops like mustard, field beans, lupin, clover etc.

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Strawberry plants can also be made out in this picture. They enjoy growing with mustard, leeks, onions etc.

Next will be to plan and mark out rows if not done and then sow crops throughout the season. See;

PLANNING & BEGINNING A GARDEN

Tu B’Shebat – ט”וּ בִּשְׁבָט / Hebrew Tree New Year = ראש השנה לאילנות = Rosh Hashannah La’iylanow’at

Uncategorized

Rastafari Gardening

Tu B’Shebat is the Hebrew new year for trees, and represents the 15th day of the month; ט”וּ / Tu = 15, while שְׁבָט / Shebat, is the 11th month of the Hebrew calendar. Today, which is 4th of February 2015 in the Gregorian calendar; is currently the 15th of Shebat in the Hebrew Calendar.

ט = Tet = 9,

וּ = Wau = 6.

Zechariah 1:7)Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat (שְׁבָט), in the second year of Darius, came the word of YHWH to Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 8) I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

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hebrew-calendar2At this time of year, most trees are…

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Tips For Growing Runner / Climbing Beans And For Saving Seed

Plants

Runner Beans (also known as climbing beans or multiflora beans, latin – Phaseolus coccineus) are bean plants which grow by ‘climbing’. They use support to climb up or will creep along the ground and other plants or anything they can use as support.

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Beans Growing Up Corn

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Beans Growing up Bamboo support

As well as physical frames and supports that can be constructed out of materials like wood, metal plastic etc, they can also be grown up corn plants and sunflowers (also trees and other tall, strong plants). check regularly to make sure the corn is not being strangled anywhere by the plants, as they wrap around.If there appears to be any parts where the plants are wrapped to tightly, gently un-tangle them and re-route them.

They are one of the latest seeds to be sown (in UK they are nearly always sown in May, if the weather is fairly dry and warm at the end of April then it may be worth sowing then). The seeds are prone to rotting in the ground if it is damp, which is why direct soil sowing in May is advisable.

When sowing the seeds, sow them closer than any recommended spacing’s, so that any seed failures / losses will allow there to be other seedlings nearby.

When the flowers have emerged, they can be lightly sprayed with a hose or something similar to help the flowers set. Rain will also encourage the flowers to set.

These plants often do not require heavy feeding, especially if grown with plenty of live soil covering.

The roots of these plants will establish a relationship with bacteria within the soil which will restore nitrogen from the air, and fix it into the surrounding soil. See – Field Beans, Nitrogen (የናይትሮጅን – Yenatirojen), Legumes, Nodules and Bacteria. This nitrogen can be utilized next season by a suitable crop, like qanneh besem, corn, potatoes etc.

A pre-crop of mustard is suitable for runner beans, and then mustard afterwards, if the weather allows for it to be sown.

Runner beans enjoy growing with radishes and kohlrabi.

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Plants sown in pots, to be planted out, can be sown much earlier, maybe as early as March if protected. We nearly always sow the seeds directly into the ground, and then have some in pots as backups and gap fillers, because when sown directly into the soil, there can sometimes be gaps.

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As they grow, individual plants may require guidance, by gently wrapping them around their support. Also plants can become tangled if they slip off their support, they will tangle with each other. Gently un-tangle them and re-train them to their support.

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Kanneh Besem Kat Cat

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Harmony – Corn, Bean and Cucumber

IMG_0464IMG_0670Runner Beans

Towards the end of the season, after various harvests and pickings, some pods can be left on the plants to mature into the autumn. These pods will allow the beans to mature into seeds that will grow next season. This technique of leaving some pods on can also be achieved with most other types of beans, and peas too. If there is enough, they can be used for cooking, or instead of harvesting the beans and eating them when they were green, they can all be left for food. Remember that regular picking is what encourages more flowers.

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Dwarf / Bush Beans

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Peas

First the green pods will become more and more rigid as the time passes. Finally they will become brown and crispy, while containing the seeds for next season.

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While harvesting, keep checking the pods and beans. Some pods may contain no seeds at all, or very small, undeveloped seeds. And individual seeds may be undeveloped or not proper for use. They can be checked by gently squeezing them, if the seed is soft and squeezy, it is probably underdeveloped. Most of the seeds will be firm, and after a day or 2 of drying, they will be hard if they was not allreaggy rigid when harvested. The seeds of runner beans have a  mottled affect of black and pink / orange.

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Examples of dud seeds

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Use finger or thumb to slide the seeds out of the pods into a catchment container

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The harvested seeds are dried, and then stored.

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