Tag: plant

How an avocado plant is grown indoors – Italian Cuisine

Our new avocado seedling can grow from that large kernel that we usually discard. Here's how to overcome the social challenge of the moment

The quarantine weeks gave us time to rediscover our domestic passions. Including the one for the world of plants, of course, which combined with that for the kitchen has given rise to one of the most popular home challenges of these times, often and willingly also taken up on social media: the test in question consists in growing a seedling of avocado simply starting from the large central core, usually left to itself after asummer salad or an attempt to guacamole. Difficult? No, not particularly, although it is obviously necessary to follow some basic rules.

Photo Getty.

To make the tree you need the core

Everything, it was said, starts from the core of the avocado, which must be left half soaked in water and half exposed to air. So let's take four toothpick and with great delicacy we go to stick them perpendicularly in the core, so as to form a sort of cross-shaped structure. At this point we take a glass and fill it with water to the brim, and then lay our core on it, supported above the edge by the toothpicks: the most rounded part must be the one immersed in the water, because it is from there that will come out roots.

We put everything in a corner of the house – or the balcony – lighted on average and prepare to wait. It will take a few weeks (three or four) before it roots and Bud peep out: in the meantime, let's remember to change the water in the glass about once a week, and to keep the level constant day by day.

Photo Getty.

From water to the pot

At this point the roots will be well projected inside the glass, while on the upper part a graceful leaf will appear like a flag. It's time to photograph our avocado and make a feast of likes on social media, of course, but also to move on to the second phase of the operation #AvocadoPlant. We prepare a vase of at least 30 centimeters in diameter and fill it with potting soil. At this point we remove the toothpicks from the core and go to place them on the surface of the soil, burying the roots, but still leaving the upper part well in the air.

Let's water it regularly, even every two or three days, but make sure that there are no stagnations of water, because they could rot our green creature. And after all the effort – or rather, the wait – it would really be a shame. For the rest, everything can be done safely on the balcony of your home, or even on a window sill, at any time of the year: avocado, as a tropical plant, fears only the temperature changes and temperatures below 4 degrees. Then when the map reaches i 20 centimeters high, it must be ticked 5 or 6 centimeters at its top: a fundamental operation to be repeated from time to time, to encourage it to grow further. And, crossing the fingers, to produce some beautiful fruit.

Photo Getty.

Garden on the balcony: what to plant in September – Italian Cuisine

Garden on the balcony: what to plant in September

September, the month of transition between summer and autumn, a favorable time to dedicate to the care of the vegetable garden, even the one on the balcony!

The vegetable garden on the balcony is a widespread trend. Having salad, tomatoes, zucchini, onions at hand without having to leave the house is a great advantage. And even more so is the security of knowing what we bring to the table because … we have cultivated it!

September, with its beautiful days characterized by a mild climate and temperatures no longer as high as in the summer months, is a perfect month to devote to thevegetable garden on the balcony (or even to create one!) and sowing those vegetables that you can enjoy during the long winter months. Many are the plants, but also the flowers, to sow or transplant in this period: from spinach to leeks, from salad to onions.

Garden on the balcony in September: where to start?

Often returning from vacation, after one or more weeks away from our balcony, the situation we find is not the best. The first thing to do, therefore, is to put our vegetable garden back on its feet. Let's start by cleaning up the plants and weeds from the pots and soil.
We then buy the soil with fertilizer and start a manure the earth we have in the pots or in the seed beds. A good idea is also to use a home-made compost with food waste instead of commercial fertilizer.
Before starting the new sowing it is therefore essential that the soil is rich in nutrients. That's why the first thing to do is fertilization. Only then can we proceed with sowing.

What to sow in September?

It's time to think about which vegetables to sow. Our thoughts run to the cold winter evenings when on the table it is customary to taste hot soups and stews.
You will be pleased to know that this is the best time to sow such vegetables lettuce, chicory, rocket, catalogna, endive, spinach and even leeks, onions, turnip greens, radishes, carrots and cabbage. All vegetables, especially the latter, that you can safely grow in pots, obviously taking into account the spaces that each vegetable requires.
For cabbage and cauliflower – in addition to preparing pots of adequate size – better to take advantage of the first days of September and not wait too long, otherwise the best moment passes.

Look at the moon!

Since the dawn of time moon phases have affected the agricultural activities of man, especially the moment of sowing. The movements of the moon affect the amount of water and moisture that from the ground it radiates towards the roots, with direct effect on the growth of the plants. This is why it is important to take into account the moon phases when in the sowing period.

When the moon is growing the seeds absorb more moisture from the soil, to reach a peak on full moon days. While when the moon is waning it is considered a rest period.

The most widespread advice is therefore to wait for the crescent moon to sow plants, we have the desire to make flowers bloom as soon as possible (first they bloom, first the berries ripen) such as tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, etc … While it is good to wait for the waning moon to sow plants and vegetables that end the production cycle with flowering: lettuce, chicory and leafy vegetables in general.

Not just vegetables!

If there is no lack of space on your balcony, this is also the perfect month for plant flower bulbs (like primroses, daffodils, carnations, tulips) that with a bit of luck, as well as adequate care and a good dose of green thumb, will announce the arrival of spring towards February / March, filling your balcony with colors and scents!

Caper plant: to show off on the balcony – Italian Cuisine

Caper plant: to show off on the balcony

Generally the desire comes on vacation. You look up at the beach or you take a sunny path, and you see it. Here it is, anchored to rocks or a Wall of stones, one caper plant two meters long, with fleshy leaves that move in the wind and that explosion of pinkish white flowers, with a tuft of violet peduncles inside. She's gorgeous. Capers we know how to buy them, but are we aware that we can also cultivate them? like this: it is grown on the balcony. Converting the terrace into a vegetable garden is increasingly common. With capers we transform it into a magical, fruity and semi-wild landscape spot. And then the home made capers are a satisfaction on the table, to put on under salt or pickle to flavor the food summer, but it is useless to deny that at a domestic level true virtue is Decorative.

There flowering it is very long, from June to September, and throughout this period a choice must be made: whether to opt for flowers or for the kitchen. Yes, because capers are nothing but i buds still closed. If the flowering is generous, you can move on by half and half: that is, leaving a few flowers on the plant and picking up some buds for tuna veal, pizza bruschette, sweet pepper pans, rabbit and more. Then, later in the season, i also arrive fruits, sayings cucunci, large and fleshy, summer protagonists in aperitif bars. And those can be seized at will, they are there on purpose.

But back to our plant. When you see it in nature, the first instinct is delinquent, yes, you want to climb and take it away. Absolutely not to do. You want to disfigure the landscape because it's uncivilized, you want it because it's probably illegal, you want it because then the plant dies.[IconfessIamwritingthatIdiditItookasmalloneafteradangerousclimbonarockyridgeinSardiniaandinreturnIhaveonlyscratchescutsandbruisesleftWellheisrightwithmyrenownedgreenthumbBeyondthefeelingsofguiltIunderstoodonething:sorobustinitsnaturalenvironmentregardlessofthesunandthedrynessoftheearththecaperplant[ConfessoiochestoscrivendodiaverlofattoNehopresaunapiccoladopounapericolosascalatasuuncostonerocciosoinSardegnaeincambiomisonorimastisolograffitaglielividiBenmistaconbuonapacedelmiorinomatopolliceverdeAldilàdeisensidicolpahocapitounacosa:cosìrobustanelsuoambientenaturaleincurantedelsoleedell’ariditàdellaterralapiantadelcapperowild it is very fragile].

To be able to grow it on the balcony you need to buy one of it greenhouse, or already used to living in jar and to feed on adequate fertilizers. It can be found in nurseries specialized in vegetables, in agricultural consortia, in those small local shops that sell hoes, seeds and salads, in the markets in the square.

Once the plan has been purchased (do not leave from seed, is a botanical undertaking almost impossible), here is how to proceed.

1) Put the jar in one sunny position or semi-up and leave it there for a few days (irrigating as in step 3).

2) Transfer the plant with its undamaged ground bread into crock pot larger and deeper, which can last a few years: the roots are delicate and it is good not to disturb them often. Put a layer of expanded clay on the bottom and fill with soft soil mixed with 30% of sand (sell them ready-made).

3) The caper does not like moisture: moisten little and often, avoiding that the earth is soaked or dry.

4) If possible, avoid the the saucer and surely remove it throughout the autumn and winter: stagnant water is lethal.

5) For a more abundant flowering you can ask in a greenhouse fertilizer adequate.

6) At the beginning of winter, when the leaves have fallen, pruned the branches by cutting them to a length of 8-10 cm.

7) In winter, those who live in a harsh climate zone (below 8 °) will have to to protect the plant: place straw on the ground and wrap the stems with non-woven fabric, or move the vase into the stairwell or into an attic.

8) In the period of rest, little irrigated, only when the earth dries up, because the roots absorb little water; an excess would make them rot.

9) From the point of view of the illnesses, the plant fears above all the snails, to be removed by hand if possible, also to avoid poisoning with pesticides if you want to eat the buds. It is known that the caper attracts ants, which do not damage it, but could be a problem in the home. Especially in this case, do not use insecticides. On the market (supermarkets and greenhouses) there are cans that contain bollards that can remove them.

10) Capers cannot be tasted as they are, just picked from the plant: they have a slightly intense and too herbaceous taste. You will have to treat them by putting them in salt or vinegar. The best technique is that of under salt, it preserves the taste better and is more practical: just put the buds in a bowl with plenty of coarse salt and stir occasionally for 3 days. Then pour it all into an airtight jar and keep it in the fridge.

Cristiana Cassé
21 July 2016
updated July 2019
by Carola Traverso Saibante


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