2021 Veggie gardens

You’re welcome! I’ve not worked with Cal-Mag, just the Calcium Chloride called “Rot Stop”. Either way, a foliar application is much faster at getting results, as long as you’re careful avoiding high temperature application. According to this reference, you’ll want to adjust the Cal-Mag pH before application. With luck, it’ll already be in that range, but your water may affect its pH.

With root feeding, it will take a lot longer to travel up the stem, into the fruit as Calcium isn’t absorbed very quickly through the roots. I had BER on tomatoes before and the foliar application works wonders at stopping it. There’s no way to know without experimenting if it will help with the cracking.

My tomatoes aren’t ripe yet, so I don’t know if the cracking will appear. It hasn’t been CA hot, but days have been in the 90s with 70s at night. I water every morning. Before planting, I rototilled some dolomitic limestone into the row.

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That statement is not entirely true. It is more an opinion than fact. Proper soil health is a complex subject. I’ve taken depleted, barren and unproductive soil and transformed it into healthy, rich soil by careful, selective fertilizing with regular 10-10-10, and managing weeds as cover crops to break the clay, store nutrition and create soil microbial populations. There is zero evidence that non-organic fertilizers harm your health, unless you consume them directly. Organic fertilizers (manure-based, not heat-treated) have been linked to Salmonella and Coliform bacteria outbreaks. If we take narrowly selected data points, we get biased results.

Any fertilizer, improperly used, can be harmful. Understanding the Biology and Chemistry in gardening, horticulture and agriculture is the best way to make sound decisions, and that takes many years of study and field experience.

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The Lesser Galanga, Sand ginger, Chinese “Dried Rhizome”, Kaempferia galanga is blooming atop leaves which hug the soil (if there’s room).

The crystalline white flowers are very pretty.

I haven’t harvested the rhizomes for spice yet. I have a collection of spice gingers and used this one to get Thai Finger Ginger, Boesenbergia rotunda, in a trade.

The other Thai ginger “Galanga” or “Galangal” is a very tall-growing plant, Alpinia galanga. I’ll see if I can get some pictures of it and its flowers. Ginger common names get confusing and blurred, mixed-up, so slogging through the Latin names is often necessary!

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Wow, that’s a beautiful bloom! Interesting size of the bloom, and the ratio to the green leaves…

I try ginger in my yard, but it never really grows that well. Ironically, with the warm, humid and wet summer we’ve had, I thought it would have been the year to do better. Instead, all except one of the ginger pieces we put in soil even grew. Usually we get a lovely crop of fresh ginger in the stores in the spring, but I noticed this year’s batch was really sad looking - very dried out. Maybe the logistics and transport issues hit hard.

I heard on the local news today that army worms are on the march within 50 miles of us. We had our first invasion in almost 40 years two years ago. Once you notice them it’s too late. They don’t call them army worms for nothing. We’re ready for them this time around though.

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OK, this is blurring the line between food and flowers, but the tall plants in the background are Amorphophallus konjac, the source for glucomannan, an extract of that aroid, often called “konjac”.

The leaves are cool-looking, with blotches of color on the leaf stems/petioles.


Shiratake/shirataki noodles, “rice” and many zero calorie foods are are made from the bulblike corm of this plant. While I’ve not extracted the glucomannan from the corms, I have made shiratake noodles from purchased glucomannan powder. Like many foods that are primarily fiber and low/no calorie, shiratake noodles have a laxative effect if one is not acclimated to consuming it.

At some point, maybe next year, the plants will be large enough to make a bizarre, foul-smelling inflorescence.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold