Harvest Monday, April 1, 2013 – Growing Chayote + Ping Tung Eggplant Seedlings Update

Finally was able to spend a couple of days in the garden. Tidied up the garden beds, spread compost on some of the beds (not enough for the entire garden). 

Need to find time this week to turn over the soil and incorporate the compost.

No harvest yet, but garlic greens are a few inches tall (no photo, forgot to bring camera to the garden). Pretty soon I can start harvesting garlic greens, hopefully in a week or 2, if the weather stays warm.

Mac (highdesertgarden) commented on my 3/1/13 post (click here and scroll down) about cooking chayote greens. She harvests the tips and cooks them like garlic scape.

As luck would have it, when I walked past the chayote display at the food market a few days ago I noticed one of the chayote sprouting. Had to buy it.

sprouting chayote

Sprouting chayote (the dark green spot is the sprout)
Will cover most of the chayote with potting mix leaving the sprout exposed.

May not get any fruit (chayote is a tropical plant and I am in zone 5 or is it now zone 6?) But again I may, the chayote has sprouted and today is April 1.

Some of you may recall my side-by-side experiment with cocoplugs and pro-mix. Click here and scroll down.

ping tung eggplant

Ping Tung eggplants seedlings. Left, cocoplugs; right, pro-mix
The above is the results after 30 days.

ping tung eggplant

Repotted the seedlings in the pro-mix
(Tossed out the ones in the cocoplugs, ending this experiment.)

Dave (Dave’s SFG) had commented on my 3/18/13 post (click here and scroll down) that he had similar experience last year and suggested I get the seedlings out of the cocoplugs and into another starting medium.

Since I had more eggplant seedlings than I needed, out of curiosity, decided to keep everything as is for a while longer. Dave was correct, the seedlings in the cocoplugs remained stunted.

First of my happy spring flowers

miniature irisminiature iris

DSC05055weblarge copy


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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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65 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 1, 2013 – Growing Chayote + Ping Tung Eggplant Seedlings Update

  1. What a dramatic difference between planting materials!

  2. Wow! The difference in the two mediums is amazing! Love the side by side pics!

    Your flowers are absolutely gorgeous! I’m waiting patiently (sort of) for ours to show their pretty faces!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      Would never have known if I had not done a side-by-side comparison. Those are the flowers that the deer could not get to because they were in a fenced area.

  3. Daphne says:

    I’m wondering if I’ll have enough compost for my garden too. I did half the beds last fall, so they are fine. But I still have to do the other half. I had some half finished in fall. I hope it is ready soon.

  4. ibarbidahl says:

    It always kills me to see baby seedlings all unhappy like that. Looks like me trying to grow pepper plants. LOL. We just don’t get along well, so I get babies form the nursery.

  5. Amazing about the difference between the one starting medium and the other. I think I had some sort of faulty starting medium this year. All my plants were exceptionally stunted, and none of them has grown as they should.

  6. Beautiful flours! It’s still rather cold over here and my cats ate up my herb seedlings….sighs..

  7. Spring is coming! What beautiful flowers, Norma! Glad you had some time in the garden, that’s always good for the soul.. x

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      Thanks. Yes time in the garden sure is good for the soul, I was exhausted but felt great (doesn’t sound right) unfortunately the weather is still very unsettled and today is not at all springlike. Hesitate to direct sow anything as the ground is still very cold.

  8. Eva Taylor says:

    Your garden is a bit further along than mine, Norma, I am jealous. My garlic hasn’t even sprouted yet, I do hope they are OK. But then again, it’s only been this past weekend that the snow has melted from the tops of their pots. I have a couple of crocuses but considering it snowed a little today and was a chilly -10°C this morning, I suspect they receded back into the ground (only wish I could). My hyacinths poked up a week or so ago, but even they have remained firmly planted in the soil, no sign of buds yet. I am so tired of the winter, I can hardly wait for spring. I didn’t have time to do any gardening because we came home late on Saturday and then on Sunday I had to dive into cooking a feast for 8 for our Easter lunch. I am excited to get into spring!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I sure hope there is no more snow in the forecast for us, I am so behind with outdoor chores. Today is more winter like than spring.
      Those were the miniature irises that the deer did not get to as I put a fence around them this year (previous years I see the blooms in the morning and by afternoon they are gone, the deer came to visit). I now have a family (or is it 2) of 8 deer frolicking in my backyard.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        Awe, even though I know how frustrating it must be for you Norma, you can well imagine us city slickers envy when you look out your window and are and stones throw from nature in its full glory. I’ll plant a few extras for you in my garden this fall, and hope the little squirrels don’t get them.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eva,
        I will send all the deer across the border to your backyard and you can admire them.

  9. Your spring flowers look great!

  10. hotlyspiced says:

    You have been busy. You asked on my blog how I transported the 200 cupcakes. I was able to source cardboard cake boxes that have an insert added to them where you can place the cupcakes into the holes and it stops them roaming around as you drive them to their destination. I bought a cake container for the cake that held it pretty well given its dimensions xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      Yes, I have. You are amazing. I read you about the cake boxes and inserts, but still 200 is an awful lot of cupcakes to bake, decorate and transport.

  11. Happy spring to you. Wow look how big your seedlings are already. I can’t wait for the eggplant to be harvested as I just love Asian eggplants.

  12. I love the purple flowers! So beautiful!! I’m amazed at the experiment – such clear results. Very informative – thank you for sharing the results.

  13. I like your trials with planting materials!! =0)

  14. Kristy says:

    We have successfully grown some seedlings this winter. Now I have to repot them in larger pots. I’m hoping that goes well. My attempts last year were disastrous. Looks like yours are doing great! 🙂

  15. ChgoJohn says:

    Your iris are beautiful, Norma. I’ve only a few crocus in bloom but there’ll be more soon enough. I’ve yet to plant any seeds yet and hope to do so tomorrow. Chayote won’t be in this year’s garden I’m afraid. I’ll leave them to the pros like you. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Thanks. Able to admire them this year (put a temporary fence around so the deer could not get to them) for a change.
      First time trying to grow a chayote, don’t know what I am doing and my climate is not really suited for growing chayote, so will be interesting to see how the plant develops.

  16. juliana says:

    Beautiful flowers…and yay…it is Spring!
    Amazing the results by planting in different soil…
    Enjoy your week Norma 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      Thanks. Had a couple spring days last week, but this week it is back to below normal. Night time temp is going to drop to the 20’s, I need spring!!!!!

  17. Look at your beautiful flowers, just waiting to keep growing proud and tall! So pretty.

  18. Liz says:

    I love your experiment and like everyone else i’m amazed at how big a difference the planting medium makes. It does make me wonder why people are marketing cocoplugs as a medium for raising seedlings.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      I truly did not expect to see such a big difference, certainly not stunted seedlings. A number of commenters have experienced the same outcome. Read Maureen comments.

  19. Maureen says:

    I can’t help but smile when I see photos of Spring flowers in the northeast of the US. Winter’s over and summer’s not far away. I bought some seedlings in that coco stuff and I had to unpot and rinse them and replant in good soil. I’m not sure why I thought I needed to do that but they didn’t look healthy. It worked. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      Had a couple of beautiful spring days last week, but today is more winter-like than spring and expecting more of the same tomorrow, blah, where is spring? Glad you thought of rinsing and repotting your seedlings and it worked.

  20. Karen says:

    Oh, look at your flowers. It may be spring but we still have patches of snow. At least the daffodils are up…hopefully flowers before too long. I was working in my potting shed yesterday and looked at all the coco plugs I have. I tried experimenting with them last year with green beans…don’t know if I will try using this year.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      The irises are gorgeous and I get to admire them this year. Previous years the deer get to them before the day is over so this year I put a fence around them and they are protected (hate the fence but have no choice).
      Did your green beans do well last year in the coco plugs?

  21. I’m glad someone is on top of their gardening, because it sure isn’t me so far this year. I have a whole bunch of chard I need to cut out of the garden, cook and then rework the bed and plant…soon! We have lots blooming today, and must get photos. Your seedlings and your flowers look wonderful. Truly you have a green thumb!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      I am way behind with my garden chores due to the weather, winter-like again today and more of the same tomorrow, hopefully spring will really come and stay. Looking forward to seeing photos of your chard and blooms.

  22. I’m sad to report that I’ve never had chayote but I’m veeery interested…and what gorgeous flowers! they definitely succeeded in making me happy too =)

  23. Julie Riebe says:

    Jealous. Looks great!

  24. Purely.. Kay says:

    Look at those stunning flowers. I absolutely love how beautiful they are. Stunning

  25. mac says:

    Whoa sprouting chayote already, I don’t dare to start any seeds now, will have to wait until May, leaving for China soon.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      I found the chayote already sprouted at the supermarket, remembering you saying it is worth while to grow, decided to give it a try. Now I need to find a suitable place in the garden to plant it. Have a great China trip.

  26. Sophie33 says:

    What a difference in porring mixes! Your chayote sprout sounds like it is going the right way! keep up the good planting work! x

  27. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Gorgeous irises Norma. Love the sound of ping tung eggplants. I’m living vicariously through your blog as the possums have made a meal of most of my seedlings, and just about everything else in our little garden!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Saskia,
      Thanks. Sorry to learn about the possums in your garden, they are very destructive. Is it too late for you to start again? I too must battle wild life, especially deer, in my garden.

      • Saskia (1=2) says:

        I’ve lost the will to start again Norma. I can sense the possums looking at my empty pots, rubbing their little paws together with glee, waiting for my next crop. Deer? Oh my goodness. Sorry, but that sounds fabulous!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Saskia,
        May be next year the possums will find another garden and leave you alone.
        Am afraid deer do more damage than you can imagine. My veggie garden is surrounded by a 10 feet fence. My list of flowers and shrubs that are deer resistant is limited and getting shorter. I noticed they nibbled my tree peonies buds, not a happy person.

  28. Lrong says:

    Your eggplant seedlings look good…

  29. Those spring flowers are absolutely gorgeous!

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