October 6, 2014

Vegetable Gardening, Fall of 2014/菜園作り、2014年秋

For the past few weeks, I have done a great deal of learning about vegetable gardening, reading tens of related books, mooks (magazine+books), and websites, in an attempt to improve my gardening skills.
ここ数週間、菜園技術を改善しようと、 関連する本、ムック、サイトを読んで、菜園作りについて多くのことを学びました。

Improvement 1: Measure out the compost, lime, and fertilizer accurately.
Here are the chemical fertilizer and the organic lime that I use.
改善1: 堆肥、石灰、肥料を正確に量る。
For compost, I use either bark compost or cattle compost. Shown below is cattle compost.
I have decided to use, in general, the following amounts per square meter:
30 g fertilizer
100 g lime (for spinach, 150 g)
3 liters compost
肥料 30 g
石灰 100 g(ホウレンソウの場合は150 g)
堆肥 3リットル
Improvement 2: Use compost, lime, and fertilizer efficiently.
Improvement 3: Divide the rented field into six sections, each measuring 1 x 3 m.
改善2: 堆肥、石灰、肥料を効率的に使う。
改善3: 借りている畑を6区画に分ける(1区画1 x 3 m)。

My rented field on October 4:
First, I removed all vegetable plants, as well as most of the weed, from the soil, and I tilled the rows separately. Then I divided each row into two sections by making a path in the middle.
Then, I sprinkled the measured amounts of compost, lime, and fertilizer on each section.
Finally, I tilled each section.
You may think I'm a fool, but I used to till the entire field, sprinkled compost, lime, and fertilizer without measuring them on the entire field. Then, I made rows. What a waste!

I think dividing the field into smaller sections will make everything more manageable.


I decided to plant these seedlings the next day.
Fava bean, snow pea, and snap pea seedlings, which I made myself.

Yard around the house

Area 1, before:
Area 2, before:
Area 3, before:
Area 1, under treatment:
Area 2, under treatment:
Area 3, under treatment:
Area 1, after:
Area 2, after:
Area 3, after:
I planted these seeds in the areas.
Komatsuna in area 1, spinach in area 2, and ohsakina in area 3.
October 5
I planted all the seedlings, as well as spinach, ohsakina, and radish seeds. One section is reserved for strawberry seedlings.

Improvement 4: Make compost from kitchen garbage, using buckets.
改善4: バケツを使って、生ごみから堆肥を作る。

Improvement 5: Refrain from using mulch.
This I have learned from natural farming. You just have to cut off weed occasionally with a sickle and lay it like mulch. At this point, I'm not sure if this works for me. I may return to mulching.
改善5: マルチの使用を控える。

Another great thing I have learned from one book is that you don't necessarily have to practice crop rotation. You can practice continuous cropping simply by taking appropriate measures like soil improvement and companion planting. I don't like crop rotation because I don't want to grow vegetables I don't want to grow just for the sake of crop rotation. I just want to keep growing vegetables I want to grow in every season. Next year, I will plant some cherry tomato seedlings with nira (Chinese chive) seedlings and others with edamame seedlings to test to see if companion planting will really work for me.


9895039531 seeandoh said...

Impressive Vegetable cultivation methods. A lot to learn from you. Crop rotation is not necessary as long as you are taking care of the soil by innovative methods. Good job.

Hiroyuki said...

seeandoh: Thanks for your kind words about me, but I know I am a lazy farmer. I know just a lot of people around me who are very serious about farming.

9895039531 seeandoh said...

Farming is a very serious and rigorous work indeed. If you work hard you will get good returns...Fruits and vegetables of superior qualities like size and taste. If you are lazy, the crop will also be inferior.

9895039531 seeandoh said...

I just returned from a trip last weekend. I been to a hill resort in our state just like the place you are living. Niikata mountains. But no snowfall here. The climate is cool with mist lingering almost all time in hill slopes. They grow Tea here... Very beautiful place. I will send you some snaps.

Fräulein Trude said...

Gardening is a very serious hobby. I did just some harvest - tons of quince again, still waiting for the figues, harvested all pumkins, tomatoes. What is left is summer squash and chard. After this I will dig some fresh horse manure in and cover with fallen leaves. This will rot lovely during winter and in spring I will sprinkles some compost from my heap. It is all manure, composte and for some more Nitrogen I use horn meal. Depending on the soil I use different materials for the composte. For example I feed the rhododendrons with shredded leave and pine needle composte - adds some acidity. Besides: snails are still doing great. Yesterday I stir-fried some chard leaves, roughly cut and heard a rattling sound in the wok - a smaller snail (I washed and rinsed the chard very well before...). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-lipped_snail
I put it away secretly because husband asked why I was "mumbling so angryly over the pot", nothing, nothing at all.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: Horse manure? I've never heard of it. Only cattle, pig, and chicken manure is available here.

I planted these three types of legume plants not because I wanted to harvest them but because I wanted to improve the soil with their nitrogen fixation ability.

I used more lime for spinach because the soil in Japan tends to be alkaline due to large amounts of rainfall.

Cute snails!

9895039531 seeandoh said...

That is tip from you Hiroyuki. Thank you. Adding lime to stabilise the soil. We get lot of rainfall here.

Hiroyuki said...

seeandoh: That's not my invention, though. Everyone here does this, adding lime to soil to make it neutral or slightly acidic, which is suitable for most plants.