Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More vegetables to add.

Germinating indoor is useful during rainy season, where one can guarantee seeds let out roots and leaves popping up, and not washed away by rains. Seeds are queuing up, taking turn to see the light of day. Roselle, ulam raja, chili centil, lady's fingers, keladi, basil, kangkung and cekur had gone to the ground, doing well so far. Spinach and brinjal are still in germinating trays. Lettuce and cabbage are in bigger pots now.


Quite a coincidence, everytime I set out to grow cabbage, only four manage to survive. Once in Putrajaya home, another in Tanah Merah. As if cabbage seedlings understand that I only have four large shallow pots to keep them. Fresh mixed soil is ready for them and by middle of the year,
 they should be ready for harvest.



These are from the same variety I grew in Tanah Merah. I wasn't as 
ambitious as Tanah Merah days. 
Only 8 lettuce this time.



The last one to germinate, with yellowish leaves.

BRINJAL seedlings, bowing to the sun.

A friend recently mentioned about not having green fingers, and another friend asked about three sisters concept and how to grow markisa from seeds.  I wish to elaborate what is green fingers all about. About growing markisa, a click on the label, will lead to my previous adventure. In fact I have transplanted 4 markisa    brought from Tanah Merah. The four seem to be doing fine. 
The other day, we were discussing about transformation, through rebranding perspective. I am looking at my big backyard, visualisizing changes that will appear, with quickwins, harvests and giveaways. Transformation or rebranding exercise is about planning and seeing it through. My backyard garden is like a lab.  The way forward should be realistic, and as a gardener I appreciate the two limiting factors; time and stamina, as I keep on visualising the eventual look of my little vegetable garden in Johor and as I keep germinating more seeds, and as I keep adding plants to the vegetable bed....

-bangchik and kakdah-
Johor Malaysia

Thursday, December 22, 2011

carpentry work for garden use.

It is all about putting ideas together, and seeing it through. Carpentry work is my other passion. Who need 20,000 dollar equipment set to assemble wood and nail tight for a rough garden table. Just a saw, a hammer, a crowbar, a T-square, a pencil, a measuring tape, nails, and definitely some pieces of wood. The end product may not look commercial like ikea/parkson/giant/court mammoth/house of deco/ version, but it sure is useful to put pots, scoops, garden scissors, fertiliser, pails.... It is a garden bench with trademark bangchik

When I set it out, it will be done in a day..... with lot of nail banging, and ocassionally kakdah had to come out to hold wood, or whatever when my two hands were occupied. She is so used to it, but I wonder what neighbours thought of loud nail banging........ 

garden bench
 The other day, the contractor came to set up iron T posts and cloth lines.
 I persuaded him to get a few wooden pallets from the construction site nearby. 
He drove his van and brought back 5 wooden pallets. 

A sketch, a few hours work, loud nail banging, 
and the carpentry work is ready
wooden pallet is something like this

how i wish it to be known as bangchik's design

garden bench, lower shelf

garden bench

garden bench

garden bench

I manage to get two garden benches ready. 
A little bit rough, but it is alright. 
Kakdah had already mentioned about 
sloping garden rack for her orchids... 
another weekend, 
another carpentry adventure.

bangchik and kakdah
Johor Malaysia

Monday, December 19, 2011

ROSELLE after a month here.

We were told by neighbours that Aziyan and Jalil who previously stayed here  planted so many roselle. They mentioned about juice shared among neighbours.  I suppose soil and weather suit roselle well . Now, how our roselle grow, green with side branches, definitely healthier than Putrajaya and Tanah Merah days.  They get very bushy.

The other day, Kakdah bought a sack of onions. Those with shoots were placed beside roselle. It would not disturb roselle's growth, who knows onions peculiar smell may push some pests away.


Three Right vegetable Bed
Three rows, first is roselle, second reserved for chili centil, and the far right for eggplants/ brinjals or known here as terung.

ROSELLE  11 Dec 2011

ROSELLE 1 Dec 2011

bangchik and kakdah
Pasir Gudang, Johor

Monday, December 5, 2011

Growing Chili centil in Johor.

We brought along fresh chili centil from Tanah Merah..., kakdah took out a few from the refrigerator  for her menu. It's almost a month now, there are still some available. Within the first week upon arrival in Johor, I took out fresh chili centil seeds and germinate the usual way. Soak for an hour or two, then wrap in damp kitchen tissue until they rooted.

It's almost two weeks now. After a month, they will be placed in bigger pots. Serious farmers would normally put one month old seedlings out into the field, but I would rather wait until monsoon is over towards the end of January.

  • Sow:-                               10 Nov 2011
  • Germinate :-                     17 Nov 2011
  • Transfer to bigger pots:-   17 Dec 2011
  • Transplant:-                       17 Jan 2012

Chili Centil seedlings (27 Nov 2011)

Chili Centil seedlings (2 DEC 2011)

Chili Centil seedlings (2 DEC 2012)

A few days ago, responding to Azmi's question where I got chili centil seeds, 
I said I will spare a few seedlings for him.  I am exploring who else is keen in gardening around here, to spearhead another  serious agro adventure in Johor Bahru. Growing chili preferably.....

bangchik and kakdah
Johor Malaysia

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Preparing New Vegetable garden

I thought within the overflowing enthusiasm with no ending spirit of dare to dream, one ought to be cautious about these limiting factors: TIME and STAMINA. I only have  weekends to really go into gardening. After-work is so short, that by the time I moved two or three loads of topsoil, sun has gone down. So, how much I can do with garden work, is very much time dependent. STAMINA is another factor. I have no intention to outsource garden work to deal with the two limiting factors.... in a way very much accepting the current rate of progress. Someone said, the journey up the mountain is long and memorable. Preparing vegetable garden plot is almost like hiking up the tallest mountain.... tough, tiring and yet memorable.

Now is December. I thought the vegetable garden plot is almost there, taking basic shape, enticing creative energy to recreate, reformulate and to keep redefining the eventual look of the whole garden. I would settle for loose overall concept which effectively allows flexibility on the final look.


  • Top Soil           1 lorry load
  • Sand                2 lorry load    
  • Bricks:             500 pieces
  • Compost          30 bags
  • Burnt Soil         30 bags
  • (Tanah Bakar)


  • Wheelbarrow   1
  • Spade              1
  • Straw hat         2 (one for me, one for kakdah)
  • Gloves             2 pairs
  • Watering hose  50 m length 


  • Arrive in Johor:                     5 nov 2011
  • Start garden work:                7 nov 2011
  • Finish garden work:               7 jan 2012
  • Automated watering system : 15 jan 2012


  • Roselle 
  • Ladys Finger
  • Kangkung
  • Ulam Raja
  • Pak Choy
  • hibiscus
  • three sisters
  • clitoria ternatea
  • cili centil
  • cekur
  • keladi tetawi
  • ubi kemili
  • ubi badak
  • ubi itik

Three rows of vegetable bed 80% ready (22 nov 2011)

 the vegetable plot, in a different view (27 November 2011)

vegetable garden plot: another view (30 Nov 2011)

vegetable garden plot: another view (30 Nov 2011)

vegetable garden plot: a bigger view (30 Nov 2011)

vegetable garden plot: a low view.  (30 Nov 2011)
Quite visible, kangkung, tiny lady's fingers and roselle

Lady's fingers and kangkung (27 November 2011)

For the moment it's going to be manual, by watering hose.  We are considering an automated watering system sometime in January when weather starts to get hotter. Our vegetable garden  is designed in grid form to ease shifting to automated system. The target is to get the vegetable beds,  "three sisters" plots, and  flowers corner for kakdah, ready within a month.

  • November:        manual
  • December:        manual
  • January 2012:   automated system.

the other side of the house (27 November 2011)

Lovely sunrise, a good sign to start a day. (30 Nov 2011)

I should have asked materials to be delivered in batches....
 rather than the whole lot. It is disheartening to see
 mountain high heaps of soil and sand. It doesn't seem to get lesser

bangchik and kakdah
little vegetable garden Johor Malaysia

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pak Choy in Johor

Pak Choy
coming to 2nd week now  

pak choy in pots (27 Nov 2011)

pak choy in pots, different view (27 Nov 2011)

pak choy close-up (27 Nov 2011)

bangchik and kakdah
johor malaysia

Friday, November 25, 2011

Roselle in Johor

Roselle is the first to be in the little vegetable garden plot. The seedlings were brought from Tanah Merah. I managed to squeezed in 11, with one left as spare just in case any one failed.... Roselle is not so fussy about soil.  We have enough experience over roselle in Putrajaya and Tanah Merah. We did notice about red bugs as angels of death, swarming over roselle towards the end of their healthy lives in Putrajaya and Tanah Merah... Lets see if red bugs around here can smell the eleven plants growing at the back of our house.

Work on six rows of vegetable bed is still in progress. I can't wait until all is ready, therefore 11 roselle plants were planted as early quickwin. I guess to keep enthusiasm  going there should be adequate number of quickwins spread along the journey. Applicable to gardening or any long term projects.

Definitely 11 roselle is the biggest so far, compared to 7 in Tanah Merah and 5 in Putrajaya. With 6 rows of vegetable bed, we can make sure that roselle remain as permanent feature, rotating from one row to another over the many years. 

A sure promise of juice and jam within two months..

bangchik and kakdah
Little Vegetable Garden in Johor

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Courtesy visit to the Palace

A courtesy visit to the Palace on 15th November 2011, last week. Very beautiful palace indeed, fringed with green. The session was in  relaxed mood. It's an ocasion on 15th  December 2011 we were discussing about.

The Sultan of Johor was very concerned about preserving Johor heritage especially buildings and culture. If we drive along Johor Bahru we can sense the atmosphere of such heritage like Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Muzeum and Palaces.

Blue is the royal colour for Johor State, and HRH reminded us not to be too excessive with blue for 15.12.2011 ocassion. While it is alright for carpet to be blue, HRH doesn't expect napkin, table cloth, etc to be all blue.

With HRH Sultan of Johore 15th November 2011.
 (from left: zulkifli, shab, HRH Sultan of Johor, bangchik, suzana,and johaini)

bangchik and kakdah
Johor Malaysia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The old mulberry and the new pak choy.

Yes a new place and a new garden indeed, but at the moment contents are old plants brought here from Tanah Merah Kelantan. Somehow potted plants love the new setting, weather and shady environment created by two massive rain-tree....

The Old Mulberry
There is quite a history about mulberry. We first grew two potted mulberry plants in Putrajaya then moved  to Tanah Merah for a year,  and now in Johor.  It seems to grow well, sprouting flowers and berries but I notice a few bites at the leaves. It could be grasshoppers from the large field at the back of our house. It is alright, grasshoppers can take the leaves, we can take the berries.


Mulberry with bitten leaves


The New Pak Choy
Pak Choy is one of the many veggies we would try here. Twenty five seedlings are coming to the fourth leaves. Next week, they will be transferred to bigger 5 inch diameter plastic pots. They will remain in pots til harvest. I don't think they can grow well outside with rains coming everyday..

Pak Choy seedlings

Pak Choy seedlings, 25 altogether.

Pak Choy seedlings.

There is steady progress on six rows of vegetable bed. Three completed and three more to go.  Eleven Roselle seedlings brought along from Tanah Merah are the first group of plants to be introduced into our vegetable plot, the rest will wait...  Our new garden is really a combination of old and new.

bangchik and kakdah.
Johor Malaysia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's in store for the new garden.

Coming to a new place, one will have to assess what's in store for gardening adventure. Over here space is definitely big for gardening. Vegetable garden will remain small for sustainability. For the two of us, we dont really require big harvest. It should be enough for home use and ocasional giveaways to neighbours. So it looks like 6 rows of vegetable is enough. We are planning for 3 different spots for climbers, with steel trellis.... permanent feature for the garden.

 Potted Plants
Potted plants are recuperating well after such long journey,
and in a way fills up the emptiness
of not having a vegetable garden.

Kakdah likes this evergreen plant....

Fern, easy to look after


An ordinary orchid

New seedlings

Ulam Raja, Kangkung and Ladys' Fingers come out nicely and now at second pair of leaves. We will let them grow bigger and stronger in pots before putting them in vegetable bed. Lettuce, chili, clitoria ternatea, cabbage are joining the queue...

20 ulam raja seedlings.

Kangkung and lady's finger seedlings

Getting Vegetable Garden ready

Additional soil brought in for vegetable bed

Monsoon and Flood
Soil is very clayey,
with a tendency to hold and retain water.
Water will take sometime to move to the drain, hence a little flood.

Flood, just temporary before surface water gets into drain

Water drained away within a few hours

So water is going to be a problem. We are planning to raise the vegetable bed a little higher to avoid being completely submerged during rainy season. Two lorryloads of soil should be adequate. Sand which will come soon, will be added to improve drainage and texture of garden soil. I only have weekends to handle all these.... That will take a month or two.....

bangchik and kakdah.
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