Harvesting Lemon Grass

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Now that the weather is cooler and I know that the temperature will drop at any time to where tropical plants will not tolerate,  I have made a decision to harvest my Lemon Grass and keep them in my fridge to use in my cooking this winter.

Before starting this task, I put on denim pants, long sleeved shirt and gardening gloves to protect my skin from the sharp leaves of these plants.

I would say that harvesting Lemon Grass is labor intensive, at least for me.  I need the physical exertion so I did not mind this rigorous activity.  I planted all my lemon grasses  in big pots this year due to having learned through my friends experience that planting lemon grass in an open field is not such a good idea.  It was almost impossible to dig the whole clump because of the dense sturdy roots it sends down through the soil underneath it.  The photo below shows just how dense the roots are!F1132580-A78F-4C09-860F-ED01FD5A5BE7.jpeg

The technique of getting the root ball out of the pot depends on what kind of pot the Lemon Grass is planted on.  The photo above shows that I used a black nursery pot to plant the Lemon Grass in and it was easy enough to get the whole root ball out.  All I have to do is tap the sides and botton of the pot then shake the plant loose and it came out easy.  If the plant is planted in a pot that has a water reservoir at the bottom of the pot, the water reservoir tray has to be removed first and the roots that extend to the water reservoir tray has to be clipped before I can successfully remove the clump out of the pot.  See photo below.

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Once I cut the roots that extend to the water reservoir tray,  I can tap the sides and bottom of the pot and shake and pull the clump out of the pot just like I did for the one planted in the black flower pot.

Once the clump is out of the pot, I used a shovel to remove the dirt surrounding the plant and at the bottom of the plant.  See photos below.F1132580-A78F-4C09-860F-ED01FD5A5BE7

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Then I separate each plant by pulling each plant apart from the clump until all are separated from each other.  See photo below.

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The next step is to cut the leaves off each plant with the use of sharp scissors and also clip the roots with the use of sharp limb clipper.  Then remove the dead or dried leaves.

Wash the individual plants thoroughly using rubber gloves or disposable gloves to protect hands from cuts as the edge of the leaves and stalks of the plants are sharp.  Spread the cleaned plants on a dry towel.  See photo below.A2DC321E-BA6F-431F-95CA-ED46D8C0796C.jpeg

Once the plants are free of excess water from washing,  put them in a big plastic bag and place inside the fridge.  See photos below.

 

The photo on the left shows young plants which I will use as seedling for next year.  The photo on the right shows mature plants which I will use for cooking and give away to friends.

Gardening In The City – II

D65AB5F9-31B9-4908-B064-1944D0E147EDThe photo above shows the young Butternut Squash fruit.  The flower petal had dried off and ready fo fall off the fruit.

Vegetable Container Gardening is fun and the fact that most vegetables adapt well in unusual environment makes this type of gardening a pleasant and healthy hobby; in addition to the joy of watching plants grow, you get to harvest, cook and enjoy the flavor of whatever vegetable you planted.

I have never grown this type of Squash before.  I was extremely pleased that it can bear fruits even if it’s grown in a pot!  The leaves are huge — the size of a big dinner plate, I’m sure the reason for this is because the pot it is planted on is on a semi shaded area, which  get direct sunlight only in the afternoon.  Plants are so adaptable, which is wonderful!  The seeds came from the grocery bought Butternut Squash which I have washed/cleaned  and dried the previous year.

This type of squash bears male and female flowers in the same plant so that one does not have to worry about planting two each planting season.  Ideally, this Squash needs a lot of space so that it’s many vines can scramble all over the place.  In my limited garden area, I let it climb on trellis or fence.  It does invade all available spaces if left alone, so if you have plants that you don’t want to be shaded from sunlight by the squash’s  huge leaves, make sure to guide the squash vines away from them.

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The Photo above shows a very young fruit with the flower still blooming.

 

Look at that glorious yellow color!!!  58A3914E-C3E6-498E-8869-EFD91894F8B7.jpeg

 

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The photo above shows two maturing fruits and one on left, I harvested.  Note the difference in color.  The mature one has orange tint coloring while the two young fruits are light green in color.