Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

Planting seeds

After yesterday’s weeding, I finally have some garden bed space back!!
So the obvious next thing to do, is plant some seeds! I have just done an audit and threw out all the expired seeds a few months back. What I’ve got left were either not expired at the time, seeds I saved myself, or given by/swapped with others… those ones have no expiry dates on them.

I used to carefully plant seeds in rows, or seedling trays, and timed my sowing with the moon calendars ~ I don’t have the time for it now, and I don’t think it really did help me before, since I used to miss the planting days half the time, so have to wait for the next planting period and ended up sowing my seeds late, or left seedlings in their trays for too long and ended up outgrowing the trays and died…

So, my approach now is more relaxed. I just chucked some eggplant, pak choi, and what I think are coriander seeds onto the bed. Scraped the top soil a little with the hoe, and that’s it. Will see what will germinate.



Snake Beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis)

Snake bean is the best performer out of all the beans in summer at the Subtropics ~ At least in my experience ~ This bean is also known as yard long bean, or asparagus bean, and are generally eaten as green beans when they’re immature.

I’ve been growing the brown and black seeded climbing variety in previous years, and saved seeds from them. Last year, I’ve saved seeds that were neither brown nor black, but mottled kind of pattern …

Snake Bean Seeds

Snake Bean Seeds

The image is showing brown seeds on the left, and black seeds on the right. In the middle are the mottled seeds I planted this year ~ There were about a dozen of them. I’ve split them into two successive sowing about a month apart. The first sowing was done in mid September, which germinated very quickly, within a week if I remember correctly, but were very slow growing in the first month.

They were so slow to start off with that I thought these seeds were going to be dwarfs…but they’ve been growing very quickly all of a sudden in the last couple of weeks. I have even noticed a couple of flower buds forming ~ I don’t think it’s got anything to do with weather though, because the second sowing is still growing very slowly. I think it’s taking its time to grow roots, and forming nodules with nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil (I hope) ~

My first home grown hairy gourd

Hairy gourd, also called Hairy melon… I believe it is a variety of Winter melon ~

This is the first time I’ve successfully grown it… this is the first one on the vine….  I harvested it when it was a little over 1.3 kg ~

Hairy Melon won't fit into my mixing bowl....

Weighing in at 1.3 kg

Stuffed with pork mince, seasoned with dried mushroom, scallops, and shrimp… Yum~~~~

Yum ~~~

Recipe can be found here ~

Volunteered Mustards

After I was satisfied that I’ve got most of the seeds off them in my seed saving exercise I’ve left the bunches of ’empty’ seed pods in the polyethylene box for a month to see if any more seeds would come off, but I only got about 1/2 a teaspoon more over that month, so I’ve given the bunches of Chinese mustard seed pods a few last shakes above the garden bed then popped them the compost bin ~

Apparently, I didn’t do a very good job seeing how much seedlings are growing where I’ve given the pods a shake…

Anyways, I’ve prepared a dozen of salted eggs on the weekend, and they should be ready in about a month’s time.  Hopefully, I’ll have lots of Chinese Mustard greens to make this soup

Volunteered Mustard ~

Seed saving Chinese Mustard

We’ve grown Chinese Mustard over winter at my mum’s place, these veggies are a tiny little bit bitter when mature, and a bit peppery when young.  I like to use them to make soups with pork and salted eggs.

We’ve been harvesting the outer leaves rather then the whole plant, and the warmer weather in late winter have triggered them to flower.

Chinese Mustard Flowers

Chinese Mustard Flowers

The flowers grew into seedpods and were dried over the last few weeks, I’ve then harvested these seedpods still on their stalks, and put them into a clean polyethylene with lid.

Mustard seed pods in polyethylene box

Mustard seed pods in polyethylene box

The box is very light, and I just pick it up and give it a few shakes every time I walk passed it.  The seed pods splits and the seeds and some of the broken seed pods falls to the bottom of the box.  I then tip them into a small colander in a container with lid, and give that a shake as well.

Mustard Seed pods inside colander

Mustard Seed pods inside colander

Mustard seeds falls to the bottom

Mustard seeds falls to the bottom

The seeds falls to the bottom of the container with the colander catching the broken seedpods and larger chuffs.

Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

The smaller chuffs which fall through with the seeds can be lightly blown away as they’re lighter than the seeds.

The seeds can then be collected into ziplock bags for storage until ready to plant or seed sharing with other gardeners ~~ pods and chuffs can be used as mulch ~

Mustard mulch & seed packets ~

Mustard mulch & seed packets ~