Saturday, July 31, 2010

Introducing Kale into the garden.

Huh, when was the last time I grew kale? It must have been years. I was really mad recently at the failure to germinate kale using the old seeds . The recent visit to Putrajaya Floria 2010 brought home a few packets of seeds, kale included. For a change, I purposely vary the technique a little bit, by being less lavish on watering. Once the seeds were spread onto the surface, I sprayed lightly with water. Just once a day, very light not drowning them. It worked! Within a day, the seed coats broke, then little root tips appeared. The rest was history in the making... It could be the said technique or the new seeds that make germination successful.

kale seedlings in little pots
and there are more.
(benih kailan)

I would like to distribute kale all over the garden. Two sections of the raised bed has been prepared and reserved for kale. Pots that have been vacant after the harvest of cabbages will look nice with kale for a change. The previous attempts with kale two years ago, proved that the leaves were simply too tough for pests to bite. I dare not guess what will happen this time around.

kale: the first post 
bangchik and kakdah

Friday, July 30, 2010

Marigolds are ready to show.


marigold bush

marigold bush close-up

the first bud

the second bud

Huh, with summer all year round , we miss the cycle of most flowering plants. We tend to grow flowering plants without the worry of weather and climate. In 4 seasons region, gardeners are quite particular when to start growing and the time should be enough for flowers to appear before winter comes and paints everything white.. Over here, I just grow them knowing that one day they will be kind enough to push out the first bud.
Marigold forms a lovely dense bush, and in a way they do create an impact to the surroundings. After seeing the light of day since March this year, now the first bud appears, then the second. I purposely put this post through before more buds come out, before the anticipation of flowers slowly recedes....

The other day, I saw a snail or two resting on the stems of marigolds. I am sure, they had a quite dinner of marigold shoots. When marigolds come to this height and age, snails cant kill them. It is at the young tender age, that they are very delicate, and a good lick by snails will put little seedlings to sure rest.

Soon there will be yellow dots all over.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

pineapple gripping hard.

pineapple in a pot
top view

flashback: the pineapple 
a month ago. 

pineapple on the ground
top view

pineapple on the ground
side view

basil seen from the above
to join the images of pineapple viewed from the top.
it does give a peculiar view with its columnar flowery stalk

Kakdah's brother Faizal was explaining about the way pineapple grow. It was months ago. He mentioned about leaves grow in a circular fashion. He suggested  cutting the pineapple seedlings into 4 quadrants and each should grow even though they look terribly injured. He also said the similarity to banana plants, about leaves adding in a circular pattern.
For a plant that size, pineapple is quite amazing. The weight of the eventual fruit is a lot heavier than the plant itself. To show extreme care and affection, the plant chooses to crown the fruit on top of itself. As far as the comparatively big fruit is concern, watermelon is pineapple's friend and rival. But watermelon surrenders on strength and the big watermelon has to rest on the ground.
The growth is very slow and our naked eyes will definitely miss the minute change. Photographs taken at monthly interval may at least give a hint, that pineapples do grow, add new leaves and make leaves longer. I am sure our pineapples are now strengthening the central stem in full anticipation of the eventual fruit resting on its crown by the end of the year.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

They started off the same time.

lady's finger
also known as Okra, or Bendi (Bahasa Malaysia)

lady's finger flowering.

roselle, still waiting
I am sure you can see a part of the twining plant kacang kelisa 
or kacang botol or winged bean. Roselle plants are very close to winged beans trellis. 
A branch is adventurous enough to stray and find roselle.

I did a post earlier about the confusion while transplanting them on vegetable bed [click here: Roselle with lady's fingers in the middle]. They look awfully similar at the early age. Having them in a row, lady's finger in the middle flanked by roselle on both sides, makes them even more identical, to the point that even Kakdah didn't realise there is lady's finger in the middle until the day lady's finger sprouts nice flashy yellow bloom.
So Lady's Finger chooses to be the first to produce flowers and fruits.
Roselle plants  are waiting for the right moment to show off their lovely flowers. I guess Roselle is planning a real big surprise.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Pak Choy, the fourth update.

Pak Choy or Sawi Putih

deep container in the dry yard
pak choy 
in deep container
close-up of pak choy in deep container

shallow container alongside the house
pak choy 
in shallow container

close-up of pak choy 
in shallow container

an older batch of pak choy,
ready to be taken anytime

1st posting on pak choy serial:  Pak Choy stage by stage.
2nd posting on pak choy serial: Pak Choy adding more leaves
3rd posting on pak choy serial:  Pak Choy third update 
4th posting on pak choy serial:
Week 1 ~ first pair of leaves
Week 2 ~ second pair of leaves
Week 3 ~ on average, 6 leaves. the leaves are increasing in size
Week 4 ~ the plants concentrate on increasing the size, new shoots are slow now.

pak choy in deep container.
This container is well outside our garden. In fact it is in the dry yard where kakdah normally hangs the cloths. The area is enclosed with brickwall, about 5' 6" high with two swing doors at both ends. The floor is tiled orange. She can get to the area through the kitchen's door. Pests in the form of grasshoppers seldom get to the area. Therefore, dry yard is well away from pest. The plants are totally free from pest bites.  Since the pot is at the edge of roof line, sunlight is fairly reduced and we would expect plants to be a little bit lanky.
pak choy in shallow container
This container is placed alongside the house, within the canopy of the roof. Lawn is 5 feet away. There will be pests straying to the pot once in a while. Grasshoppers seem to like pak choy very much. The biting habit is evident, but still tolerable. Pak choy grow better at this location, because of ample sunlight.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kelisa is the name for many things.

Kelisa is the name of  three different things in Malaysia. 

1. For Kelisa, the name is primarily about 
a plant that is about to bloom in my little vegetable garden. It is also known as kacang botol or winged beans. Two plants are presently making trellis their home, becoming very dense and ready to sprout their first burst of flowers.

kacang kelisa near the car porch

kacang kelisa at the front of the house.

early indication of flowers in the making

2. Kelisa is also the name
of a locally manufactured car, very petite and very affordable to most. I think Perodua the manufacturer has stopped producing this model. We can still see kelisa on the road. The car is handy for town driving, you can just zigzagging leisurely.... haha.

kelisa car

3. Kelisa is also the name
of the most exotic looking fresh water fish. It is also known by the name Arowana. An inch long baby fish may fetch the price of a few hundred ringgit Malaysia. A foot long may cost more than what most can afford. Some matured kelisa are sold at 30,000 ringgit Malaysia. But the fish is just so exotic and lovely. Tasik Merah, in the north of Perak is the natural habitat of this particular fish. Some keep for the sheer beauty, but some keep it for luck ( chinese friends will say "ada ong")

kelisa fish
also known as Arowana

A blogger friend mentioned about her name coming from kacang kelisa. But I dare not include that as the fourth name for Kelisa. Anyway Lisa has no Ke at the front to qualify as the fourth specific name... haha.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Another go with Tomato.

The other day, we were talking about getting tomato seeds in a different way which we never tried before. Kakdah used half of a juicy tomato for cooking and let the other half in a plastic cup. After a couple of days, the tomato became soft and watery with a hint of early decomposition. I just squeeze the whole thing in a bowl. The seeds are separated. The very same night, a few seeds were placed in pots for germination. They didn't take long to sprout... I could see the white tips of the roots coming out the next day. Once they achieved the second pair of true leaves, I put them on the vegetable bed. The vegetable bed was the site for compost heap for almost a year. It should be fertile enough for the little plants I suppose..

four little tomato seedlings sprouting.

Tomato seedlings
they were transplanted on vegetable bed 
after the plants had completed their first true leaves.

Tomato seedlings: 4
viewed from the other end, very early in the morning shown by the long shadows

tomato: 3 plants
the latest photo was taken around 6.00 pm, just before watering.
The soil looked dry. Now there are three little plants. 
One of the pair in the middle was pulled out.

I dont know the variety. 
It is the normal variety sold in Carrefor Putrajaya vegetable section.


Friday, July 23, 2010

When Senduduk blooms

still early in the morning
senduduk flower has not opened fully

half opened senduduk flower

senduduk with black ants



side by side

We may not be aware about some flowers open daytime and close up when night falls. They do have reasons I suppose. The daytime flowers are meant for daytime insects.  I have grown petola before, and the flowers prefer nighttime to open up their petals.
Senduduk is a wild plant. The flowers has that wild beauty. They seem to be following their routine religiously,  open fully around 9 am, and close by about 5 pm. Their routine is almost like normal office hours. Worker of the month should go to senduduk no doubt, month after month on being extremely punctual!

I love that soft and yet wild shade of purple..


Thursday, July 22, 2010

A day of Sunflowers.

Four little seedlings on the vegetable bed.

Three sunflower seedlings lining up the pots
(the little one on the right need to be pulled out)

a stretch of four sunflower seedlings

another three little seedlings

nine of them here, where the old papaya used to tower mighty high.
Those on the right are slightly older.

three mature plants.
One is blooming and the other two are waiting for their turn.

sunflower in a pot
the younger plant

sunflower sharing the same pot.
the older plant.

It comes from the plant on vegetable bed,
the earliest to bloom.

I did try to spread sunflowers all over the garden..., but I can never have that sea of sunflowers as shared by Garden ShootsAcres of Sunflowers . But I do have the choice of seeing sunflower blooming on a continuous basis, one after another.

How's your sunflowers?
(Bagaimana bunga matahari anda?)

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