Mesclun greens, Carrots and Spinach
I have not been lazing around since the sowing of the tomato seeds. I followed up two weeks later sowing the seeds of carrots, spinach and mesclun greens which I bought from Jardiland, the local gardening store. This time the sowing took place outdoor though, directly in the vegetable bed. These three types of vegetables seem to be made of sterner stuff since they need not be kept in warmer conditions while waiting for the harsher spring temperature to leave.
Growing these vegetables out there in the wilderness means no protection from the predators like spinach leaf miners, snails and slugs. I had a horrible experience last year when my patch of healthy young spinach was mauled by the larvae of these leaf miners overnight. To forestall carnage, I have to be on my toes this time and monitor the sprouts daily. Once they are up and coming, I would have to cover them up with a garden mesh.
It is my first time growing mesclun greens and carrots. For the mesclun greens, I am assuming that they are similar to the lettuce that I grew last year and are susceptible to snails and slugs. There are various ways to deal with these pests and I am currently experimenting with these methods to find the most efficient one. I will update you in the next post! As for carrots, I have to do a bit of research to find out their weaknesses.
In the past few days, I have seen little green heads popped out of the vegetable bed. Unfortunately, similar to what I mentioned in the last post, I can’t really tell at this stage of the growth whether the green heads belong to those of weeds or to the seeds that I sowed. As such, these little green heads will stay a little longer until I can confirm their identity.
Courgette, Melon and Butternut squash
4 days after sowing the seeds of spinach, carrot and mesclun greens, I continued with my vegetable spree, courgette (courgette in UK/France and zucchini in the USA ), and also two types of fruits—melon and butternut squash. Yes, butternut squash is technically considered a fruit since it starts from a flower (just learned about that myself!). Like the tomatoes, the courgette and the melon need tender loving care and have to be sown indoor before transferring to the exterior vegetable bed.
I have decided to home grow butternut squash since I love making creamy soup with this orangey, creamy textured fruit. Blended with carrots and topped with a whopping spoonful of cream, this butternut squash-carrot-cream soup makes a perfect meal on a cool autumn day. This fruit can also be made into an all-in-one steamed rice dish combined with soya sauce marinated chicken, similar to the pumpkin rice which my mum used to make when I was a kid. I hope to be able to enjoy creamy soup and steam rice with my own homegrown squash this coming September! Since butternut squash takes quite a bit of space, I am limited to how many of the fruit I can actually grow. I have sown 12 seeds in 3 little holes about 50 cm apart. Hopefully, I can get to see something popping up soon.
Today, 7 days after the seeds were sowed, two little 2 little green heads have popped up separately in two of the three courgette containers. One head has two little roundish leaves while the other head has two longish leaves. I am quite sure the former is one of those common weeds I see around in the garden. As for the latter, only time will tell. It may be another type of weed that I have not come across as it seems too soon for the courgette to sprout. However, I have decided to leave both seedlings alone until I am absolutely sure that they are not weeds.
I will come back soon with more updates on my crops and my experiments dealing with snails and slugs! À plus tard!