Seedling Update 10.15

It’s been two weeks since I shared my Fall bed plantings and I’ve been patiently waiting on the seeds to sprout! It’s been rather warm as well for October. I believe we had three 90 degree days last week, but a cold front has moved in and it’s currently a comfy 70 degrees outside. I’ve tried to keep the seedlings moist, watering every to every-other day.

The first to germinate was Mesclun Mix. I’m not sure which variety of lettuce this is, but it looked like a particular kind that all seemed to germinate in abut 4 days since planting.

MESCLUN MIX 4 DAY GERM

…and here they are now after 2 weeks. The seeds were so tiny, that I just went with the scatter method and will have to thin out when they get a little bigger.

MESCLUN MIX SEEDLINGS

Here’s my Black Seeded Simpson lettuce along side a self sown basil seedling ❤ Touching this little seedling and you can already smell the sweet basil. I also have some Thai basil seedlings growing outside of the bed.

BASIL & LETTUCE SEEDLINGS

I’m really excited about the spinach seedlings! I must’ve dropped a couple mesclun mix seed here and they’re racing the spinach to the finish line.

SPINACH SEEDLINGSSPINACH SEEDLINGS 2

My romaine has not sprouted and it’s been 18 days since I sowed those seeds. Should I assume they were a dud and try again? Or are they just waiting patiently for some solid cooler weather? The garlic too has not sprouted, but I’m not too worried about them.

However, here’s a garlic sprout from a clove planted October 2016! I guess I’ll be harvesting this one next year 😊

GARLIC VOLUNTEER

Meanwhile, in the other garden bed, more seeds are sprouting.

Carrot seedlings are doing well.

CARROT SEEDLINGS

Here are the Scallions. Interesting little seedlings; I hope they are a successful choice.

 

SCALLION SEEDLINGS

Next, yummy yummy cilantro seedlings

CILANTRO SEEDLINGS

I do have a single kale seedling, but he’s too small to share right now. The swiss chard seeds have not sprouted in this bed either…another dud? Should I try again? I thought the Kale wasn’t going to sprout either, but it just did recently, so maybe the swiss chard will follow.

I harvested most of the basil last weekend and turned it into pesto. They are stored in the fridge for now, but I will have turn them into ice cubes for freezer storage. I left a few flower stalks behind for the bees, and is the reason for my basil seedlings.

 

Until the next seedling update!

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Adzuki Bean Sprouts

My gardening adventures are moving indoors, with the easiest project possible, I hope! Have you ever heard of bean sprouting? I never really thought about it, but when I saw the options at my local nursery I was intrigued. Of course there’s a whole tray setup you can buy for $30+, but I decided to go the mason jar way! There’s also jar lids you can buy on Amazon with a strainer for draining or you can use cheese cloth as an alternative. I also saw someone re-use an onion mesh bag to cover their jar for draining on youtube so get creative!

So here’s my supplies: Organic Adzuki beans from Botanical Interests, a mason jar (washed out pasta sauce jar), cheese cloth, and a rubber band. If you have a regular canning jar with its original screw on ring band, you can hold the cheese cloth on with the ring band instead. The extra ring bands I have don’t fit this larger mason jar that I wanted to use.

BEAN SPROUT SUPPLIES

Step 1: Inspect and rinse your beans. (A link for a how-to on disinfecting beans at the end of this post) My packet is about 1/4 cup of beans and I removed a couple of broken beans.

RINSE AND INSPECT

Step 2: Soak the beans for 8-12 hours. I placed my beans in the jar and filled the jar half way with filtered water for soaking. Neko was pretty curious as to what was keeping me busy in the kitchen.

SOAK BEANSCURIOUS NEKOMASON JAR

It is recommended you use a QT jar for 1/2 cup of beans, but mine is a PT jar and 1/4 cup of beans. I’ll see how these turn out.

Step 3: Cover with a piece of cheese cloth and hold in place with a double-wrapped rubber band (or steel ring band). After 12 hours, drain the water out. Make sure the beans are well drained. I set my jar on its side to give the beans the best air circulation.

CHEESE CLOTH ON JAR

Step 4: Rinse and drain 2-3 times a day. Make sure to drain very well as too much water left behind can cause mold. You want the beans to stay moist for sprouting.

I soaked my beans on 10/7. Here’s what the beans looked like on 10/9. You can see that after 2 days i have some sprouts!

Here’s my sprouts on 10/10…the process is speeding up now!

10.10 BEAN SPROUTS

Here’s sprouts on 10/11. 4 days later and I think I’m happy with the sprouts at this length.

10.11 BEAN SPROUTS 210.11 BEAN SPROUTS

The shorter sprout, 1/4″ length, probably has the best taste. For my beans, this was probably 3 days after soaking. However, not all my beans had sprouted at this time and so I decided to add another day for the other beans to catch up. This gave me a mix of beans with long sprouts and others with short sprouts. They definitely have an earthy taste, but in a good way, and I love the crunch they offer.

The storing directions advised to let the beans dry to the touch before refrigerating, but I had to go to work and so they sat on the counter for another 9 hours. The largest of my sprouts were starting to grown little green plants! Beans at a micro green stage will taste a little bitter, but are still very nutritious. Adzuki Beans contain vitamins A, B, C and E and are high in Calcium, Iron, and Niacin.

My sprouted beans on top of brown rice along-side baked peppers stuffed with ground italian sausage and roasted tomatoes. Topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  

ADZUKI BEANS ON RICE

**Please Note** I recommend organic, certified pathogen-free seeds or beans for sprouting. There is always a risk to eating raw foods; therefore, it is recommended to disinfect seeds or beans with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution heated to 140°F before sprouting. Below are helpful resources.

How to Clean Seeds for Sprouting – Emergency Essentials

Sprouting Seeds at Home: Disinfecting, Growing, and Harvesting Tips – Botanical Interests

 

 

Raised Beds – Fall 2017

Fall has approached us and the temps are finally dropping. Still in the upper 80s, but I see 70s in our forecast! I failed at blogging about the summer garden, but basically it was hot and I had a few harvests before the plants succumbed to heat and pests. Here’s a few shots of the summer production:

We’ve started a community garden at work and I’ve learned more about organic pesticides, square foot gardening, watering practices, and growing from seed. It has made me more eager to start my fall beds at home. Last weekend I worked on cleaning out the beds. I pulled out the plants, harvested the last of the jalapenos, and worked the soil. I used thin dowels and jute string to section off 12″ squares in the bed.

This weekend we purchased some broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower transplants, along with some bags of compost and mulch. I also bought some garlic to plant in both my garden and our plot at work.

large raised bed 1large raised bed

In the large garden bed, I spaced out the transplants along the middle section, planted seeds along the front row, and planted the garlic cloves (Inchelium Red) along the back row. I also transplanted the lemongrass plant at the end of the bed. I hope she makes it through the shock of moving as well as the winter months. I’ll do my best to keep her covered during frosty weather 🙂

green magic broccoliLong Island Green brussel sproutsBroccoli Raab ZamboniTasty Red brussel sproutstransplant lemongrass

The basil will definitely have to go soon, but I’ve kept them there since they are still fragrant and useful. The bees are still enjoying the last of the basil flowers as well. While the fall season is still warm, hopefully the basil and the lemongrass will give some needed shade to the seedlings and transplants. These photos were taking during sunset and everything should get adequate sun.  The seeds planted along the front row: romaine ‘Sweet Valentine’, spinach ‘Virdil’, a mesclun mix, and some lettuce ‘Black Seeded Simpson’.

In the small square bed, I add the cauliflower transplant in the corner to give it room to grow, and added seeds in all the other surrounding sections. The seeds in this bed: kale ‘Red Russian’, scallion ‘Parade’, swiss chard ‘Fordhook Giant’, cilantro, and carrot.

cauliflowersmall raised bed

I hope to add soaker hoses for an easy on/off watering on the week days. That has been my biggest gardening challenge, watering! The fall weather is more lenient on watering, but I know these little seeds need to stay moist. I’ll keep you posted on seed sprouts! I hope I see them soon.

Also, a quick blog share for you! My mom just started her own blog, Sunday Sew, and I hope you enjoy reading about her quilting and applique adventures!