#garden hacks

The bathroom closet Eden

With heated tiles, a drain, humidity-tolerant construction, and the constant heat of the hot water tank, the bathroom closet turned out to be the best place to hang a UV grow lamp to over-winter some tropicals and rejuvenate some succulents. I have the lamp on a timer to give my plants 12 hours of sunshine a day.

The radiating light from the reflection on the white and mirrored surfaces also allows me to grow houseplants on the windowsill, which normally only gets 2-3 hours of natural sunlight a day.

Air filtration is important in environments where a lot of cleaning products are used, so I also have a young Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’) in the dark corner of the shower: this plant is native to hot, moist, shady rainforests, so the shower isn’t that much of a stretch. NASA has rated this plant as one of the best for indoor air quality: finding that it successfully filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from the air.

It’s nice to have a little corner of the house where there is sunshine, especially as the days get shorter and shorter here up North. When the sun starts setting at 15:00, I think I’ll be spending more time just hanging out in the bathroom.

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I use a low-energy “Plug and Grow” CFL lamp and reflector (UK & Europe).

Trim all healthy kale leaves from the plants and wash them Remove all small friends from their residence on Kale boulevard, and rehome them
Cut out the middle veins of each leaf. Either keep these to eat, or compost them: they are nutritious for you, and nutritious for the soil
Condense kale by boiling in salt water [ Strain until you have a dense brick of plant matter
Create freezable, meal-sized bricks, wrap them, and deep-freeze them

Condensing a kale harvest

  1. Trim all healthy kale leaves from the plants and wash them
  2. Remove all small friends from their residence on Kale boulevard, and rehome them
  3. Cut out the middle veins of each leaf. Either keep these to eat, or compost them: they are nutritious for you, and nutritious for the soil
  4. Condense kale by boiling in salt water [“How to cook kale perfectly”]
  5. Strain until you have a dense brick of plant matter
  6. Create freezable, meal-sized bricks, wrap them, and deep-freeze them

These bricks are great for sauces, stews, smoothies, whatever, and are packed with nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin A.

ETA: This is a harvest you can expect from 6 mature plants, if you take about 60% of the leaves.

#Edible Forest Gardening 101: Keeping organised

Since the food forest I am currently building is on another person’s property, I have to arrange for some sort of accessible knowledge transfer, in order to make sure the people who are using the space can get the most out of it. There should be no guesswork as to what can be eaten or used.

As such, I keep a simple running google doc where I can add “cards” every time I plant a new edible item on the property. These cards consist of:

  • the name of the plant in English, and Danish, as well as the botanical name;
  • a summary of the edible or useful parts;
  • harvest time in the local climate;
  • care/pruning instructions;
  • additional notes;
  • and a visual reference of [at least two of] flowers, foliage, and/or fruit.

These “cards” are updated as the trees and shrubs grow in order to document how well they grow under the local conditions over the years, but can also easily be printed out to form a hard-copy, alphabetised reference book. Keeping accessible, localised records helps others who may want to do a permaculture project in your biome get a head start.

If designing a food forest on public or park land, consider investing in signage and placards and making them as accessible as possible, so even those completely new to plant identification can make use of forest garden spaces.

#bioregionalism #permaculture #edible landscaping #garden science

malformalady:

Put a sticker on your apples while they are still green on the tree. As they ripen, the part under the sticker stays green and you have a custom stenciled apple

(via homesteadhome)

#Edible Forest Gardening 101: Every pit is an opportunity

By now, readers around these parts have heard me wax poetic about my grand plans to create my own “Tree of 40 Fruit," my commitment to planting 100 trees a year, as well as my penchant for germinating store-bought fruit: never mind that the very purpose of this website is to facilitate the free exchange of seeds and plant genetic material.

It should therefore come as no surprise that many of the trees in my developing food forest are being created “from scratch,” with free materials.

I have some old nursery pots, filled with a sandy garden soil, that are designated “graveyards,” for the seeds and pits of the store-bought fruits that the family eats; except, in these graveyards, the dead tend to rise again with some regularity.

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sosaecaetano:

Pumpkin Lane late in the season. The trellises are completely covered in vines, leaves and [hidden] pumpkins. 

#cucurbits #trellis

(via backyardharvest)

Pepper plants (plants in the Capiscum genus) are not actually annuals: in fact, they usually produce more fruit in their second year. Peppers usually need a hot growing season of 120 days, which is not possible in many temperate climates.

If you bring your peppers indoors, with regular pruning, good sunlight, and heat, and they can live for 10 years or more, being most productive in their first 5 years.

If you have a pepper plant you love that is no longer productive, instead of propagating it from seed (and risking hybridisation), you can take cuttings from an over-wintered “mother” plant. This way you get a head-start in terms of growth and fruit production.

#garden hacks #peppers #cuttings #hybrids

Here are some resources to get you started:

How to Recognize Plant Stress

mangoestho:

Sometimes when plants look sick or appear to be under attack by insects, the symptoms are actually a sign that the plant is being stressed by environmental factors. Here are some common symptoms of stress and the conditions that cause them.

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image source [x]

Wilting

#garden hacks #resources

(via bare-roots)