Now in the Thai cold season it is time to plant vegetables and so people contact us about how to establish a small vegetable plot in their monsoon garden.
In the picture below we use an elevated vegetable bed which can be used also in the rainy season. This vegetable bed is made of ‘din dam’ (river sediment or ‘black soil’). It is always good to incorporate 10-20% old cow or buffalo manure as a slow-release nutrient source and some compost to increase the water holding capacity. Use straw or old leaves to cover the soil surface to reduce water losses and to suppress weeds. Remember that most annual vegetables demand full sun. Water generously. To identify the vegetables you see on a Thai seed package, check with a book on Thai fruits and vegetables.
In action from left: Densak (head gardener), Ganika (granny of Wau), Mika (3 years, tour guide), Wau (3 years, future heiress of Thai Beverage Public Company Ltd, ‘Chang Beer’), Ketsanee (Mika’s mother and owner of Dokmai Garden), Nopawan (Wau’s nanny), Tapanee (Wau’s mother & owner of Le Méridien Hotel).
Text & Photo: Eric Danell