The cool season is finally here, and here’s whats growing in my square foot raised bed garden..
Look at what homemade compost does!
Finding these giant sprouts in my unfinished compost pile growing this large overnight is shockingly amazing! I’ve never had sprouts this large. This goes to show you how important it is to make your own compost, sprouts will never grow as fast and large as these in store bought compost.
Take a look at the stem and leaves! These cotyledons are huge! This plant is not in its true leaf stage and it is strong.
I found several of these sprouts in the pile, they’re probably butternut squash or maybe watermelon, it will show soon.
One of my very special readers Ahmed Alkandari who also blogs himself is starting his own square foot garden in his home.
He is following the Mel Barthalomew method, and has been seeing its Kuwaiti results through my experience.
This is truly the best feedback I can get; that I’ve proven to you that it does all grow in Kuwait, and inspired you enough to try it for your self.
Lets take a look at Ahmed’s work,
Everything looks amazing, I am personally very proud of Ahmed, who is now inspiring me. Excellent, clean work. I am looking forward to seeing his happy garden grow.
I’ve hit composting jackpot!
Look what I found in my compost, Earthworms!
The growing season is here! And this means its time to get those seedlings planted outside, but before you do that, make sure you harden them off..
Your seedlings have been pampered indoors for weeks. They need to be introduced slowly to the elements of wind and intense sun.
Initially, you will put plants outdoors only for short periods of time, perhaps for a couple of hours. You’ll want to set them in a semi-shaded area. Gradually, you will increase the time plants are kept outdoors; you also will gradually increase their exposure to sun. after about a week, these plants will be ready for the outdoor life
As part of acclimating the plants to the outdoors, you also will cut back on watering. This will allow plants to toughen and will prepare them for being transplanted.
If you still havent prepared your soil, now is the best time; work some compost and mineral rock dust in your soil, turning it and preparing it for those hungry seedlings.
To get pepper seedlings growing strong and healthy before making their move outside, prune them back for bushier and lower plants that branch out and give much more fruit.
With all plants, go for low, bushy plants instead of tall single stemmed. This is especially applicable for basil plants, the more pruning you do, the more basil you get.
A green fingered student from Kuwait is taking the blogosphere by storm with her ‘It All Grows’ blog. Filled to the rafters with gorgeous photos of lovely fruit and veg, recipes, and gardening tips, Alzainah wants to prove that “good fruits and vegetables don’t have to travel across the world to make it to your plate.” I caught up with her to find out how she got hooked on gardening and her insider tips for growers in the Middle East.
I’ve always been fascinated by nature and wildlife, but never by gardening and how food is produced because, just like most people in Kuwait, the idea of growing food was quite foreign. I used to think that it took large expensive greenhouses a hundred kilometres away in Wafra with countless staff and complicated fertilizers to produce vegetables in Kuwait, until one of my relatives mentioned her 10 year old grandson’s cherry tomatoes, I was baffled! He grew cherry tomatoes in a container – I followed with questions like “outdoors? In our weather?” “Is it possible?”
I was completely shocked, and thought to myself, if a 10 year old can do it, I can at least try. The next day I went and bought seeds of whatever I found. I planted them in my back yard, under some palm trees, and with skepticism, I checked on them every other day. Once the seeds sprouted I started taking beautiful Micro photos, to show to my family. In a short time with a lot of research, I managed to turn my entire indoor pool into a greenhouse of cherry tomatoes.
First, it was figuring out what grows when. All the research I was doing left me hungry to learn more, but I was having trouble relating general gardening principles to our desert conditions. Plant care is so different, and the seasons are the complete opposite. It took me a while to figure out the seasons here, its like this; a short warm season, a long cool season, then short warm again, and then summer during which gardeners take a break.
Another issue was organic pest control. There is so little offered in Kuwait when it comes to organic products, so it took me a while to find what I use now, which is organic insecticidal soap. I would go to plant nurseries and for any problem there was always a chemical solution, whether for fertilizing or pest control and I refused to use any of their recommendations on my plants. To me, it just didn’t make sense to spray something which you need to wear a gas mask to handle, on the plants I wanted to eat.
The full interview can be found here GreenProphet.com
I’m keeping my seedlings in for now. It’s still too hot outside for anything to be in full sun. It is however, a good time to amend your soil with rich compost, the good microbes in compost need some time to give life to your soil, so expect the results a couple of weeks after application, right in time for those hungry young seedlings.