Gardening

Gardening: 2017 Feb Veggie Shelf

After two months, my winter gardening is getting under good control by using indoor garage and a heavy duty rack with LED lights. I think I stil need to improve more like keep control of temperature, add thermal foil insulation, and better efficiency.

Garage gardening during winter definately keeps vegetables away from frost. Frost caused big damage to my crops in January. Once roots and stems got damaged by frost, it is extremely hard to recover even for strong crops like green onion.

Currently it takes quite efforts to make recycled planters. Also, vegetables grow slowly because of low temperature. I am still learning fertilizer, soil and hydroponics. I am experimenting soil vs hydroponics. Let’s see what is the best solution for winter harvesting.

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The above picture is my Veggie Rack inside garage. I attached two LED lights now for more light intensity to 1st and 3rd shelves. The LED light coverage is too wide, so I need to narrow it towards the crops. Germination doesn’t require light, so they can be at the bottom. The right picture shows the winter green leaves progress like Chinese Cabbage, Bok Choy, Lettuce. Spinach started growing better now, so I moved them up to the 3rd shelf from 4th shelf. There is still a lot of space left for new crops. Feeling excited now at end of weekend 🙂

Gardening

Gardening: Garage Harvesting

After a few winter indoor gardening trials and trying to scale up, I needed a bigger space but I still want to do indoor gardening because of cold winter season and easy maintenance. So, I started creating DIY garage gardening system. Here is the first week.

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Here are a couple of tips that I learned so far.

1 Get a heavy duty garage rack with wheels and adjustable shelves.

Shelves with layers of metal lines will help air flow and distribute light from the top. Mobile racks help move crops very easily.

2 Get a couple of garage LED lights

4 feet LED lights fit very well to the rack.

3 Install garage LED lights at every other layer

For the first couple of weeks after germination, the closer the light source is to crops, the faster and stronger the crops will be.

4 Move crops around as they grow.


Future plans

1 Get warm mats – want to control temperature better for high yield germination and grow stronger stems (winter harvesting causes leggy vegetables.)

2 Get more LED lights – for other unused shelves

3 Start microgreen – want more green for daily food

Gardening

Gardening: Asparagus

Asparagus is productive for 10 years, so it meets my reproductive gardening. However, growing aspragus can be very time consuming if you start from seeds. It takes two to three years for seeds to grow to produce nice stems.  So, I started from roots this year.

Started on 1/22/2017

First stem show up on 2/20/2017

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If we grow under light, stems will be green, so called green asparagus. Without light, stems will be white, so they will be white asparagus.

Since this is very slow progress, I will just enjoy watching it every month. Some stems are expected to grow up in Spring.

Cooking, Gardening

Gardening: Bok choy

Bok choy is similar to Chinese (napa) cabbage. This can be good vegetables for wanton noodle and winter hot pot. Just like Chinese cabbage, bok choy can grow in water and soil.

For small doses, because bok choy contains glucosinolates, it helps prevent cancer. However, big doses of bok choy can be toxic.

Let’s start growing bok choy.

  1. Cut one inch from the bottom

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2. Put them in water

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3. Change water every day

4. After a week, transplant into soil

5. Keep growing

 

Gardening

Gardening: Chinese Napa Cabbage

Chinese cabbage from grocery stores can regrow. It is easy to maintain without overhead and can survice at cold temperature or indoor. All you need to do is listed here. Chinese cabbage can be expensive off-season, so we can save money $$$ by reusing and recycling cut vegetables 🙂

1. Cut the cabbage 2~3 inches from the bottom

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2. Place the cabbage under water for 1 week. Change water every day

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3. Roots will grow

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4. Move the cabbage into soil

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5. Just Keep growing

After 1 week picture

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Travel, Travel Oregon

Travel: Crack in the Ground

Crack in the Ground is a hidden and very surprising landscape. You will never forget this, which is in middle of nowhere in Central Oregon, United States. We can walk for 2 miles (3 miles) with this very unique pathway between 70 feet (21 m) deep walls. The difficulty is moderate for hikers and I highly recommend it for once in life. Good thing is not crowded but a little hard to drive on unpaved road to get there.

 

GPS coordinates:

43.3336° N, 120.6723° W

Admission Fee:

Free

 

National Park, Travel

Travel: Zion National Park

2017 Zion National Park. Spent two days at the park. The first day was just raining. Over the night, it was below freezing point. Next day, we were able to see magic. Iced water fall!!!

 

 

Gardening

Gardening: Increase cheap planters from recycled milk jugs

After harvesting many plants, we can easily run out of planters from stores. So, I started thinking about how we can make planters from recycled daily products. I find one gallon milk and juice cartons are good candidates. Let’s try this with one gallon milk jag first.

  1. Drink milk and empty the jag 🙂
  2. Cut the top piece
  3. Make holes from bottom with soldering iron (a lot easier than a nail)

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4. Put some rocks. This will help excess water flow through this hand-made planter.

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5. Put soil on top of rock

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Now, it looks like just a planter. Happy planting.