Posts tagged ‘sunflowers’

Northern Giants

Sunflowers are called girasoles in spanish.  Their yellow and black faces can be seen peeking over the tops cornstalks and fences throughout the garden.  Bringing joy to the gardener and bees to the plants, sunflowers are a must have in gardens around the world.  In many indigenous American gardens, sunflowers are planted along the northern edge of the parcel.  This is done  so they don’t shade out the garden.  In the northern hemisphere, the suns rays come from the south making it the sunniest side of the garden.  any tall plants or structures on the southern edge of the garden will shade out the garden.

July 25, 2012 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

Los Colores

This week the first sunflower bloomed, and the gladiolas entered peak season in the Beach Flats Garden.  Tomatoes and tomatillos opened their first flowers in the heat of the sun, awaiting winged pollinators that give the plant a reason to grow fruit.  Nasturtiums were joined by poppies in low places of the sandy beach soil.  All around the songs of birds could be heard, serenading the garden with the songs of summer.

June 9, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Las Flores

The garden is home to many varieties of beautiful flowers that are eager to please your senses.. A walk down the pathway will take you past perennials like gladiolas, narcissus, calla lillies, and roses. Planted between the annuals and scattered throughout the parcels are annuals like sunflowers (girasoles), cosmos, and comfry to name a few. Some are cultivated, others other grow wild. The beds lining the pathways are planted in succession so that there is always something in bloom; first the narcissus, then gladiolas, then marigolds come in the summer with their bright bursts of orange that are used in Dia De Los Muertos altars.

April 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm 1 comment

Direct Seeding

Direct seeding is a method for planting seeds that involves sowing them directly in the ground.  Some crops are well suited to direct seeding while others are not.  Factors that affect a plant’s ability to germinate include air and soil temperature, day length, moisture, soil content, microbial growth, etc.  Some seeds may come with an organic or non organic coating designed to combat pests that may damage your seeds before they sprout.  Various plants prefer different planting depths, so consult seed packets, or other sources if you are unsure.  Also different methods for planting and watering can affect the depth you should plant.

An important part of direct seeding is the process of thinning; or removing the weaker sprouts.  When you sow your seeds you should place more than you need because some won’t sprout, and others will be weak.  The process of thinning varies from plant to plant but with row crops you usually use the following method:

Sow seeds in row at 1/2 to 1/4 of the desired spacing.  For example: If your desired spacing is 3 feet, plant your seeds 1- 1.5 feet apart.  Once the seeds sprout, use your hand or a garden tool to remove the weaker sprouts, making sure each plant has the appropriate final spacing.  This will ensure that only the strongest sprouts are using up the precious soil and water in your parcel.

Here are some plants that are good for direct seeding: squash, cilantro, carrots, beans, sunflowers, marigolds.

Plants that are recommended for transplanting: chilis, tomatoes, gourds, melons, basil, oregano, thyme.

April 22, 2012 at 6:00 am Leave a comment