Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dragon fruit little babies showing true character

Oh, these little seedlings really take their own sweet time. They are still in little pots, they are not strong, no readiness to stand upright. They just limp lazily. But their little true cactus look is beginning to show.., and the little tiny soft thorns......

December 2014.... germinating

February 2015..... true cactus look appearing

bangchik and kakdah
Putrajaya office

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lawn and effort to improve soil

We did try hard to improve the look of our lawn at Seri Iskandar home. Organic fertiliser, biomass waste of palm oil, cow dungs were used every time we spent weekends there. The lawn look alright for the moment, helped by the regular rainfall at the tail end of monsoon season. For the next two months rainfall will be a lot less, the grasses have to handle themselves. We would come back once or twice every month.

The improved lawn.

the shadow of heavily pruned mango tree

our own nitrogen fixer: little mung beans or kacang hijau.

I am trying to see the impact of mung beans on soil health, since they are nitrogen fixers. 13 leucaena (petai belalang) seedlings are growing steadily and they too are nitrogen fixers. We will be back on 19 - 22nd of february to see the progress.

bangchik and kakdah
seri iskandar home

Friday, January 9, 2015

Our sole moringa tree

Moringa or remunggai tree was the one plant that attracted my attention during the last MAHA expo November last year. The little seedling as giveaway by the CFF research team (CFF - Crop for the Future) had finally set foot (or rather root) at our garden in Seri Iskandar Perak. The little seedlings had really grown.

Moringa/ remunggai 27th November 2014

Moringa/remunggai January 2015

So our sole moringa young seedling has to grow and survive without us around. This tree is supposed to be versatile, able to grow in variety of soil condition and said to be draught tolerant.  I wonder if snails are sniffing around and just hope they would allow their new friend Moringa grow healthy and strong for years to come...

It was said moringa can grow up to 4 meters and can bear fruits within the first year (moringa - Michigan Technological University ) . Judging by the height it has achieved within a month in little pot, I can imagine it's height at the end of the year and  the menu carried down the generations, masak lemak and dalca with buah remunggai. I also used to see my late mother mixing up asin-asin and moringa leaves with food leftovers for the chickens. Moringa is definitely a truly useful plant.


bangchik and kakdah
seri iskandar garden

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Setting up the first phase of Seri Iskandar Garden.

We spent 2 weeks recently over in Seri Iskandar home, a house built almost fifteen years ago but we never stay even for a night. The feeling is still like coming home.   The inside is empty, surprisingly all lightings, pipe fittings, built in kitchen cabinets and bedroom wardrobes are still in good conditions.  A dream house some years ago, and now we coming to stay for real.

Kakdah was busy with her curtains and getting the basics going. New big refrigerator, washing machine and gas stove were purchased. It's like a young couple getting basic infra into their first home....... We realised things are costly now.

While kakdah was busy inside, I stayed outside assessing what's need to be done. Some seedlings had been prepared and carried all the way from seri kembangan, 300km away.

Garden and Lawn

Before: 2  mango trees, 1 lime tree (limau kasturi), 1 henna tree (inai), 1 big clump of lengkuas or galangal, and 1 clump of  lemon grass.  And there is colony of cherry trees at the front gate which probably grow through birds dispersal. The rest are all patches of grass growing on poor soil.

After: Both of us discussed, and agreed to allow only one mango tree, so one had to go.  I did it in stages, trimming branches and upper parts, before finally coming to the main trunk.  . Mansor brought in 10 bags of decomposed cow dungs, 5 bags of palm oil refinery waste from Pengkalan Bharu for soil improvement.  I put in a number of plants to form skeletal framework to the garden.
patchy grass on poor soil

soil improvements done in sections
soil improvements done in sections

a peek through old mouldy front fence gives eerie feeling

limau kasturi / citrus microcarpa  at the backyard

Ceperai/ champeria manillana    

3 papaya seedlings

papaya close up with coconut husk as soil cover

3 papaya seedlings

4 pineapples seedlings

3 companions : asin-asin, keladi and ginger

It's the eventual retirement house, so we will keep coming back to get used to things around here, the house, the garden and the neighbours.  Newly introduced plants like pineapples, asin-asin,  keladi or yam/taro/caladium, papaya, cemperai, lemongrass, Leucaena leucocephala/petai belalang  and Napier grass. are tough and they dont need a gardener to babysit them on daily basis. We will keep returning to the old house on regular basis, once a month at least, until I finally retire.

It's really a rare 2 weeks long vacation.

bangchik and kakdah
Gardening at Seri Iskandar Home.
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