Saturday, October 30, 2010

cut and come again with kale

kale 1
Cut and Come Again is a technique to harvest again and again, where the plants bounce back and continue to grow and yield additional harvests of delicious produce. But the soil must be healthy to support such energetic growth. I am trying with kale for the moment. 

kale 2

kale 3a

kale 3b

kale 4a

kale 4b

Earlier posts on current kale  
20.8.2010 kale strengthening its stem. 6 leaves
14.8.2010 kale is here  5 leaves
06.8.2010 a tale of kale 3 leaves

Friday, October 29, 2010

A memorable coil

 The yellow watering hose is in a resting position. If watering is done 
twice daily over 3 years, the coil has been straightened 
and recoiled over 2000 times.

The yellow watering hose with a row of vegetable containers. 
Kale is not much to be seen, because they are going through  
the early stage of cut and come again technique.

As we water everyday we get to know that plants really need water to survive and to keep growing. Some plants are 95 percent water. Banana plant is almost water, but surprisingly the plant can grow so tall and stand upright even against the strongest wind. Then we come to know how leaves wilt when the soil is too dry and that is a signal of real thirst. Some plants wilt due to excessive water.  Watering is a little process that we have to go through everyday, and during such process we check the plants on their growth, look for signs of pest attacks or diseases and the weeds. It is not just watering......


Thursday, October 28, 2010

A slanting marigold, has its own story.

To tell story beyond germinating, fertilizing, harvesting and watering is somewhat tale in nature. But I really have to share this. Just a simple marigold and its connection with the surroundings. Marigolds here grow so tall and bushy that the weight pull the plant down, almost resting on the ground. But the shoots respond well, after the initial bending, they shoot straight towards the sky. The leaves are low, brushing against the grass. The smell of marigolds must have have travel far, that every night snails will crawl and sniff around for the lovely leaves. Whenever I walk around the plant at night, there is always that familiar breaking sound under my sandals. I know some snails fail in their mission.

Marigold, big and bushy succumb to the test of wind, 
and stay that way for a month. Shoots as always turn 
towards the sky.

marigold still flowering. snails crawl up from the fallen branches 
and munch leaves. from past experience they really love 
young marigolds, and clean the whole plant the same night. 
Old marigold as in the picture is too much for them. 
I am sure they make nightly return
for a lovely snack.

For a month in that position, the shoots are fully bent 
to point towards the sky.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oregano against the wall





Puan Jamilah lost her husband recently. She is a keen gardener and loves to walk along the pedestrian walkway early in the morning during weekends. We were at the front one day, I was mowing the lawn and kakdah was spraying her treasured orchids. She stopped and chatted a while with Kakdah. I couldn't hear what they were talking and then she went off. Within minutes she hurried back with cuttings of a plant she called Oregano...

After a month or so, the cuttings develop into well defined bushy plant in a container. The green leaves are almost yellow...

So far Kakdah hasn't tried oregano in her cooking


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The big sister of Three Sisters.

Seven sweet corns are gripping down. Days are a little bit windy now, 
so I imagine corns are developing roots quickly to stand their ground.

These corns are growing steadily. I saw two little winged bean seedlings, emerging from the ground. In a week, the seedlings will be big enough to make appearance in this blog but then I am no more in Putrajaya to view and take pictures. Pumpkin is no where to be seen. I will not germinate new pumpkin seeds, since the little garden is in the process of winding down. Too bad I have leave for Kelantan and not able to see the eventual look of Three Sisters. It is alright, I can always try it out over in Kelantan soon.

So to make up for the unfinished Three Sisters, I put a few flowers to brighten up today's post. They have grown well after the first appearance of these Periwinkles or kemunting china. The early morning rain freshens up periwinkles, and just look at them, they are winking with bright, heavy and cheerful colour.

 periwinkle white

 periwinkle white
  periwinkle pink

  periwinkle purplish pink

 periwinkle pink


Monday, October 25, 2010

Clitoria ternatea: the third, fourth and fifth

It's very much a waiting game. The first plant produced white flowers and the second blue. The third is hinting what is to be expected , a pale shade of white. All of single petal. After a while, the branches combine in a big mass producing flowers all over with a mixture of white and blue flowers. Too bad I cant stay in Putrajaya much longer to see how white really blend with blue.

single petal clitoria ternatea:  first, second and third plant

the first plant: white
The first plant and second plant blend well, white and blue. 
It seems blue is more than white.

 The first clitoria ternatea with white flower 
and an aging blue flower at the far end.
The second clitoria ternatea: blue flower

The third clitoria ternatea : white

 the first bean, i do hope it matures within a week

the second bean, still tiny

the fourth and fifth clitoria ternatea plants

I did try germinating the double petal clitoria ternatea. Out of three seeds, one germinated early and is now growing in a container. The second one appeared 3 weeks later, now still in tiny little pot. The third is still sleeping.  With Clitoria Ternatea, each seed is unique. They are so independent that they choose their own time to break the seed coat, and show the their green first pair of leaves. They are different from amaranths where germination is orchestrated brilliantly in big mass and almost instantaneous.

 double petal blue clitoria ternatea in a pot, the fourth plant.

 another double petal clitoria ternatea, still a baby, the fifth plant.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

I am moving on.

I am busy lately, to finish off outstanding work, and get myself and the whole family ready to move on. The next destination will be Kelantan. I have been there twenty years ago, when life was different, kids were toddlers. Now everyone seem to really grow up, and both of us, me and kakdah getting a lot older... haha. First of November will be the beginning of a new journey to Kelantan. Do I like Kelantan to work and stay.. Yes!, Do I like Putrajaya to work, garden and stay?.. Yes!!.

Places are tiny dots on the big globe Earth. I am moving 450 km to the north east of Putrajaya. I heard jungle along the way up there is still pretty and virgin. People of Kelantan are known to be very industrious and enterprising. I am sure, there are ready materials to fill up this blog. There will be gardening activity of course where ever I go..., but the scope, concept and content will surely be different., adapting to what is available.  So in the meantime for the next few days, I will display some components of my little vegetable garden to the very end. I know, it is not easy to let go.....

no pictures today, just memories..


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Banana big and tall

The two plants were little babies way back in February this year. Now they are making their presence felt, with leaves spreading far and higher than anything else in the garden. They seem to feed on the compost heap at the base.

a pair of banana plants, 9 month old pisang tanduk

I can see little seedlings appearing at the base of their trunk. I know, fruiting is coming soon.


Monday, October 18, 2010

The end of winged beans

We are so used to life and death in gardening. It is part and parcel of the whole big kingdom of plants; to live and to die. Now is the turn for winged beans. What a life, a tiny seedlings in April, having  trellis to climb in May, fruiting in September and ready to go in October, in a space of  7 months. We have endless supply of crunchy winged beans over 2 months. Friends and neighbours are not forgotten.

trellis dismantled: the end of winged beans at the front porch

fresh winged beans: young and old.

fresh winged beans: sliced

 dry winged beans: seed pods open.

winged beans: the seeds.

The seed coat is hard,  therefore winged bean will take its own sweet time  to break and germinate. From previous attempts they seem to start off  well during rainy season when soil is wet and temperature a little bit cool.  Winged beans, just like any other bean plants has roots that affect the nitrogen level in the soil. the next plants, veggies or whatever would love the fresh and fertile soil, previously treated by winged beans.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Other elements with Three Sisters.

Too early to tell passersby about my Three Sisters. haha. We can only see corns and some other little plants. It's about self seeding, the great powerful element in survival. Most plants do not really need men to grow them. They are able to handle themselves, to grow, to flower, to bear fruits. Very funny with my little vegetable garden, because for most veggies, mother plants never have a chance to see their own babies growing.

a close up of three sisters: corns growing well, but the other two,
winged beans and pumpkin are not really there yet.
Weeds, amaranth all over. Time to get up and do weeding!

Now these are babies within my own Three Sister plot. Corns the main players, winged beans has not appeared yet, pumpkin remains at  second pair of leaves and not getting any bigger. I know, I am going to have problem...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

pumpkins germinating

Just to be on the safe side, I sow four pumpkin seeds. 
One seed rooted first, the rest are still working on it. I have to wait for the others to really come out before putting them into the Three Sisters garden to join sweet corns.

pumpkin germinating, root first

pumpkin germinating, 
stem becoming green and leaves about to break open.

I do hope the eventual fruits 
will look like those in the seed cover.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

sweet corns, first to join.

Sweet corn is not new here. We grew sweet corns during the first half of  last year with some measure of success. Now sweet corns are coming back with a new role to play.  They form a major component as in the Legend of Three Sisters Garden. 

I am facing this problem again and again. Ten  old corn seeds failed to germinate except for one. Then I quickly rush to Mydin supermarket to purchase a new packet of sweet corns seeds.  Now the new seedlings join the sole representative of the earlier batch in the garden bed that was once filled with Ulam Raja, Marigolds, Amaranth tricolour, Spinach, peanuts and raddish. They are transplanted as in the design of Three Sisters Garden.with a little bit of modification.

the first trio of sweet corns.
Notice the bigger plant as the sole representative of the old seeds batch.
All sort of seedlings appear as a result of self seeding, mainly spinach, amaranth, and ulam raja. These will be pulled out and some will be scooped out to another location.

the second trio of sweet corns
Peanut plants are visible at the top. I think some peanuts 
from the earlier plants are still in the ground and they germinate. 
I am going to leave those in for a while 
before winged beans really grow.

So corns are the first to join the Legend of Three Sisters. 
Winged beans were sown direct into the ground and so far nothing happen yet. The third component is pumpkins, which are now in tiny pots. One seed has rooted and is pushing the first pair of leaves up. The rest are still quiet.
There will be regular updates on the development of Three Sisters.

Putrajaya Malaysia
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...