Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pink Guava (Jambu) Farm in Batam, Indonesia

We just had a short weekend break in Batam, Indonesia. Our stay, Harris Resort Waterfront, is far from the action, and a one-way taxi fare from here to Nagoya/ Harbor Bay (seafood) is 130K rupiah (~S$14). Expensive!

But there is an option to travel using the bus (S$5 one way/person to only Nagoya Mall). The first day, we took the bus and on the way back, Bobo and I noticed that there was a farm AND a fishing pond near our resort. Bobo was more into the fishing pond, and me, the farm.
Guava Farm
So when we got back to the resort, we dumped our stuff and started walking towards the farm. It was more than 1 km away. I bought 6 of them (around 1 kg) for 20K rupiah. Only got to eat them after carting them home because I didn't have a knife, let alone a vegetable peeler. When I cut them open, I discovered that they were PINK GUAVA. OMG. Shoot, now I wish I bought more.

They tasted fantastic and sweet, FYI.
Pink Guava

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

[Singapore Garden Festival 2014] Roses seen and admired + tips I have learnt so far about keeping them alive in Singapore [USDA zone 11b]

The stalls might be selling predominantly orchids. But I have only eyes for roses...
(1) Roses love to drink coffee. Just kidding. Feed them coffee grounds for these beautiful suckers love acidic soil. Dry the coffee grounds first before putting them on the soil. I'd cover with a layer of soil, then pour some water to release some needed nitrogen into the soil. Btw tomatoes love coffee too.

(2) Roses also like egg shells. The usual approach would be to bake the shells then grind them before feeding them to the plants. Baking is for preventing salmonella. But what I do so now is to boil the egg shells. Same function, and I feed the egg-shell-boiled water to the plants as well. I don't grind the egg shells though. I prefer to pound them with something hard to shatter them into little bits. Get a little workout!

(3) I drink pu-er tea nowadays. I don't throw away the leftover dregs. I feed them to my roses. Don't put them near the stem though.
(4) Cloching stem cuttings with plastic bottles do very well for roses. Much better than soaking them in water, which takes forever!!! I soaked one cutting for months, never getting anything. Instead, once I did the cloching method, I got roots like in 2 weeks!

(5) So about the cloching method. I had read that we should use stem cuttings that are about pencil thickness. But I have used thinner ones and succeeded. What you do is that if you have the thick stems, you cut a cross on the bottom of the stem. Then either dip that end in rooting hormone/honey/nothing (which is what I did), before planting it in moist soil. Put a plastic bottle (which you have cut the bottom off) over it, creating a little greenhouse, and let it grow roots. Only release the bottle once a week for oxygen, otherwise leave it alone. After a couple of weeks, tug at the stem gently. If there is resistance, then the rose has rooted.
(6) For stem cuttings that use soaking method, I think that cutting new shoots is the best way to go. You might have to sacrifice the potential of new blooms this way, but I have found that cutting new shoots and soaking them is pretty effective. Only about 2-3 weeks before roots will appear.

(7) Add a little Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) to water before watering your roses. For blooming roses, give about 1 tbsp to 500ml (that's what I am doing now). This will prevent your rose leaves from turning yellow along the veins.

Monday, August 25, 2014

[Singapore Gardening Festival 2014] Indoor Gardening Ideas

One of the sections I liked in the SGF2014 was the indoor gardening setup, IKEA-style. Essentially they built a pop-up apartment with lots of indoor gardening features. I loved the fact that they also set out instructions on recreating some of these awesome designs, especially that Phal wall planter.
A growing picture over your bed
DIY instructions on making it
Thought this was cute, and wanted to recreate this outside my house. Not sure what the gardening committee will think of this. No instructions. But I could tell that the flamingo was pink felt wrapped around a Daiso half basket.
Saw this on before. Reminds of Science Club. Never did get that botany badge.
Thought it was cute. Ignored the plant head on the left.
Product placement!
What to do with the old CRT you no longer use...
Fern wall planter. Nice! Didn't see instructions, though.
Thought this was not bad too. Though I am not into ferns and foliage.
How to do the wall planter
I liked this one. I also saw some fallen bark off a tree near MacRitchie. Time to pick it up!
Mutter couldn't resist walking around and sharing her knowledge of planting, especially when there were some aunties wondering aloud about how to grow this and that. The way she talked, you'd think she is working for the event *lol*,

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Check out the deathlike grip of the  grapevine on the mangosteen tree.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Guess who I found hiding amongst my german violet??

I was wondering what was this white thing among my german violet, only to discover this little hapless white mushroom.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My homemade compost - doesn't it look like chocolate sauce with hazelnut bits

Nope It's actually about five months of decomposing layers of leaves, egg shells, veggie peelings, newspapers.

I bought an old battered drink dispenser for S$5.80 from cashconverters, which is an Ozzie second hand shop with branches in Singapore.  I remembered that guy wouldn't sell it to me for $5 even though it looked like shit already.

I did dispense some gross liquid for the first two weeks, and the top of the surface looked and smelled really disgusting. So I left it in a corner of the kitchen balcony and forgot about it, only now and then kicking it by accident while sweeping the floor.

Quite happy with the results though it took really long. I should fill it to the brim next time and stir continuously so I can get more compost next time. This time I only got enough for one cup. *Sad*

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Companion Gardening

We may not be able to grow some of these stuff in Singapore, but thought I should reshare this from Manitoba Garden Makeover's website.
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Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!

Because Gardening makes me wanna Dance! Thanx for visiting!!!