Friday, August 19, 2016

Fun Experiment to Grow Sweet Basil

Sweet basil (Genovese basil) or kemangi in Indonesian, is a culinary herb I use for cooking. Last year one of my good friends from Ohio sent its seeds to me. I was so excited as several months ago for the first time I planted it. From all three small pots, all seeds grew well. As they all grew well, I could harvest their leaves and use them for cooking. The leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. A perfect additional herb for spaghetti.

Cultivating sweet basil is not difficult. Besides daily watering, picking the dead leaves, and adding nutrition, I used to watch its leaves carefully. If its leaves have wilted from lack of water, it will recover if watered thoroughly and placed in a sunny location. Yellow leaves towards the bottom of the plant are an indication that the plant has been stressed; usually this means that it needs less water, or less or more fertilizer. The good thing of picking the leaves off the plant helps promote growth, largely because the plant responds by converting pairs of leaflets next to the topmost leaves into new stems.

Because I have three small pots of sweet basil and as I love giving, I was thinking to give one pot to someone who likes cooking. One lucky person who got my gift is a VA employee who cut the grass in our backyard. He went home carrying a small pot of sweet basil on his left hand with happy face. Do you want it too? Wait next year! Hahaha! (*)


Basil-Basilico-Ocimum basilicum-albahaca.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Ocimum
Species: O. basilicum
Binomial name
Ocimum basilicum
Source: Wikipedia

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fun Experiment to Grow Cosmos

I got cosmos seeds from my sister in law, Cathy, several years ago. She used to send any kind of seeds since she knew I liked gardening. Last year I planted several cosmos seeds and when they bloomed, I cut some of their good-looking flowers and displayed them in the living room.

It wasn't difficult to grow this plant and it didn't need a lot of works to take care of it. I watered with washing rice at least once per week and gave little bit of fertilizer, contained Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). I also removed faded flowers routinely so it would stimulate other new flowers blooming. If the plants grew tall, I would need staking them.

Try it and have fun!

Cosmos na Mostra de Flor de Hong Kong.JPG
Cosmos bipinnatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Coreopsideae
Genus: Cosmos
Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Let's Start Gardening!

I used to go to work in the morning, but on Thursday last two weeks I went to work in the afternoon. Because the weather was very nice (not rain, not chilled, and not hot), I decided preparing my garden throughout morning. These pictures below show what I had done.

Having a new Fiber Edge Raised Garden Bed Kit (42" X 42" X 6")

Pic. 1: It contains four 6" tall fiberglass boards, four angle brackets, 16 push fasteners, and black cover (bonus).

Pic. 2: There was an empty spot from construction trash and then I had an idea to use it for my small garden instead of planting grass seeds again.

Pic. 3: Hoe and shovel were ready to be used.

Pic. 4: First, I used shovel for digging, lifting, and moving the solid soil.

Pic. 5: Then second, I used hoe for shaping the soil, controlling weeds, and clearing soil. Can you see the difference of the soil surface after I used shovel and hoe from the Pict. 4 and 5? I'm sure you can.

Pic. 6: I had two ready planting areas for my vegetable and fruit seedlings. The raised garden bed needs top soil and manure before planting.

Pic. 7: I also made three medium holes for my white Hydrangeas that I cut from the strong branches this spring and planted them on the pots. This is a part of my experiments to multiply my white Hydrangea from our old house. The treatment was same which was from cutting but I planted it on the ground in the autumn three years ago.

Pic. 8: Calla bulbs are growing (vegetative growth). My coworker gave the bulbs from her garden last year. I'm so excited waiting to see the color of their flowers.

Pic. 9: My white Hydrangea began to bloom and my bleeding hearts had bloomed already. On the right side is other new white Hydrangea. It grew well after transplanting from the pot (cutting treatment/vegetative growth).

Pic. 10: These are Kale seedlings (generative growth). My friend from Ohio sent its seeds last year.

Pic. 11: I still have some plants leftover from last year. They grew again very well: strawberry (bare root-vegetative growth) and salad leaves (seeds-generative growth).
Done! Then I was ready to go to work with big smile and happy face.

To be continued!