It is definitely a transition time between summer and fall/winter plantings right now. Gardens, at least my garden, is in desperate need of soil replenishment. We will take the next 4-6 weeks to put some worm castings, manure and compost in the soil and let it marinate a bit before we start planting our fall crops. We will also try to reconfigure the beds a wee little bit based off of what has worked and what did not work for us this past year.
We found that square foot gardening was a great way to start as beginning gardeners, but that the fixed wooden grid turned out to be a little too restrictive. We are unsure which plants will have reseeded themselves, but they definitely will not follow the grid...I am pretty sure. Additionally, we need to take back some of the growing space by reducing the walkways around the beds. We will rethink where to plant the vegetables that obviously like more space and plant them along the borders.
How did you find the square foot gardening worked for you? Did you enjoy the formality of the squares? Did you try container gardening instead? What plants worked best for you?
Since we are currently "under construction", I am trying out growing sprouts in a mason jar. My grandmother always seemed to have a jar of sprouts in her kitchen windowsill and they were always a wonderful fresh crunch in any of our sandwiches. My grandpa was a farmer by profession in Visalia, CA and even when they moved from California to Arkansas, they were always gardening, bee keeping, canning, pickling and composting.
Growing alfalfa seeds is very satisfying because it gives almost immediate gratification. I started soaking 2 Tablespoons of seeds on Wednesday night (top pic) and by Friday morning the seeds had already showed signs of growth (middle pic) and by Saturday morning there were full on sprouts happening (bottom pic).
A couple of things to note is that the alfalfa seeds need to be rinsed 2-3 times per day and they like sunshine until they sprout (2-3 days) then they prefer indirect sunlight. Also, the seeds need to breathe. Use a sprouting jar lid screen or even cheesecloth over the jar so that you can rinse your seeds without losing all your sprouts down the drain and once rinsed, the air can circulate around the seeds to promote growing.
Let your sprouts grow for another 2-3 days and then they will be big enough to enjoy on a tasty BLT or Avocado toast.
Your sprouts should keep well in the fridge for 5-7 days in an airtight container.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPROUTING ALFALFA SEEDS
Rinse 2 tablespoons alfalfa seeds, removing any debris or floating matter.
Place alfalfa seeds in a quart jar or other sprouting container. Add ¼-½ cup cool water, cover with a sprouting screen or mesh sprouting lid and soak 8 hours or overnight.
Drain all water off the alfalfa seeds.
Invert the jar over a bowl at an angle so that the seeds will drain and air will be able to circulate.
After about 8 hours of draining, rinse and drain again.
Repeat rinsing and draining 2-3 times daily.
Tiny sprouts should begin to form in about 3 days. Once sprout tails appear, move sprout container to indirect light for growing green leaves. Avoid direct sunlight.
Continue rinsing and draining 2-3 times daily for another 2-3 days, or until sprouts have grown to around 3 inches.
Once sprouts have reach desired length, drain well, remove any remaining hulls, and enjoy immediately or transfer to a covered container.
Sprouts will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
Let us know how your sprouts are growing or if your are trying your hand at other types of sprouts such as Mung, Adzuki, Green Pea, Red Lentil, French Lentil, Green Lentil, Pumpkin, Sunflower, Chia, Flax, Hemp, etc. Comment, like, share...do something :) We want to hear from you.
healthy happy eating and continued good growing!