Sunday, May 07, 2006

CROP ROTATION

Spent a few blissful days tending the garden...

My 'suweeto-haato' is into roses and herbs... fragrances and colors...

Yours truly is more of a 'cookie monster', delving into 'chewables' like vegetables and fruits...

Just added two mulberry trees to my fruit tree collection...

The mulberries are sweet and sourish... goes very well with my daily breakfast yoghurt...

But still, my gardening failures overwhelm my successes...

Least of all excuses are the 'spoilers' such as slugs, caterpillars, aphids, and cutworms that completely 'cut' off the seedling trunks...

Grrrrr....

Whenever I got hold of any cutworm, I feed them to the ants and watch them wriggle in agony as the ants take them on... * evil, evil Lrong... heh heh heh *

Shall try to up my success rate this season... so, I am experimenting with crop rotation hoping to reduce the likelihood of diseases...

First, 'sliced' up my mini vegetable plot into six segments, labeled CCPPST...

Now, how to remember this strange label...

So, I came up with the following 'smart' hint...

'CCP' pronounced as SeaSeaPea, comes from the nickname of a dear friend, ChowCheePuet...

The 'P' means just that: Pee forever by the roadside...

'ST' is the nick of another dear friend, 'STooi' (not to be confused with 'STool' if you know what I mean...).

Ok, back to the plot... we have 'families' of Carrots, Cabbage, Peas, Squash, and Tomatoes...

And the Perennials...

Each season, the Carrots, Cabbage, Peas, Squash, and Tomatoes rotate around the plot segments, but not the Perennials as they perennially stand by the roadside and Pee...

Carrots click well with 'companions' such as onions, chives, leeks, etc, which help to ward off carrot pests...

The cabbage clan includes stuff like turnips, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and they nurture well with dill, fennel, etc...

Peas such as snow peas or soybeans may be planted with potatoes or sweet potatoes... peas and beans are soil-builders or 'enrichers' as opposed to tomatoes and peppers, which are more like nutrient 'guzzlers'...

The Squash family consists of folks like zucchinis, melons, and cucumbers... they are to be planted with corn, which allows long beans to cling on to their trunks... together, the squash, corn, and beans form the 'three sisters'...

Tomatoes tango well with cousins like eggplants, peppers, and chilies as they are prone to the same diseases... their best 'companion-friend' is the basil, which helps to repel unwanted pests...

For my Perennials... strawberries, asparagus, borage, thyme, etc...

Uncovered soil invites weeds... so I may sow seeds of marigold, zinnias, and calendulas to accompany the edibles... or, perhaps even some leafy vegetable seeds to fill up the open spaces...

This mixing of vegetables, herbs, and flowers technique is called companion planting, which ostensibly confuses pests, thus further suppressing damage to the plants...

Now, after a few moons, let's see how (un)successful the vegetable plot is...

Heh heh heh...