Japanese Garden Project Two: Planted and sprouting

Just a quick update on my Japanese garden. The seeds have officially been planted and are currently living under a heat light in my bathroom. This was their state a few days ago when I left for a house sitting job. This morning when I came home my mom informed me that the cucumbers had sprouted! I'm so excited!

More than any other vegetable in my collection I have been chanting for the cucumbers. For one thing, last year they all got eaten while still tiny seedlings, to my great disappointment. For another, I have only been able to try Japanese cucumbers once before and they were so good! Plus, when I was a kid I used love going into my mom's garden and picking fresh cucumbers to munch on.

So keep your fingers crossed for the rest of my seeds, and please send good thoughts to the little cucumber sprouts!

Japanese Garden Project One: My Seeds Arrive

Spring is in the air, or nearly at any rate. Enough that it is time to start making plans for gardening. Last year I attempted to grow a few things but circumstances were not ideal and I managed to only produce bunching onions and a couple eggplants the size of robin eggs. This year I clearly needed to plan a bit better and since I wanted to plant a variety of Japanese vegetables it made sense to connect it to the blog. Therefore, welcome to the first garden post.

I started by picking out exactly what I wanted to plant this year and buying the seeds. After all, if you really want to have a successful garden you have to start your seeds early. The Kitazawa Seed Company has a wonderful selection of Japanese seeds, so this is where I started, picking out a variety of vegetables, greens, and herbs. The list is as follows: daikon raddishes, Japanese carrots, burdock (for the roots), Japanese cucumbers, shishito peppers, Japanese eggplants, bunching onions, komatsuna (spinach mustard), Chinese pak choi, Japanese spinach, mitsuba, shisho, kintsai (Chinese celery), and Thai basil.

Another plant that I wanted to do was chrysanthemum, not for the flowers but for the greens. Kitazawa Seed Co. didn't have any so I found another company that listed them specifically as edible chrysanthemums, not sure if there is a difference but better safe than sorry. These greens are often used in hot pots and I've always wanted to try them!

Gardening has never been my forte, actually I'm very fastidious and do not like to get dirty. Luckily for me, my mother is a champion farmer and is willing to guide my hand (i.e. do most of the work). The moment that the seeds arrived in the mail she sat down and organized them into two piles. I gather these two categories have something to do with where and when we plant them.

The next step shall be to start them germinating in the house. I will keep these posts coming with every step of the process. In the mean time, if you'd like to start your own Japanese garden, here, here, here, and here are the links to the seeds I bought.

Until next time, start planning that garden!