Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend update

It is amazing to see the plants are lushing and growing. This months alone we have actually cut down our spending on vegetable. Most of it come straight from our garden. The best part is there are more coming. In my last few post I did mention about our Tomato Cherry and Zucchini. The tomatoes are looking great and I think we are going to have tomato dishes for the whole of next week. As for Zucchini got one fat one coming but this is the one that I did manual pollination to it. Contemplated whether should I eat it or save the seed. It looks like a good one.

In December last year I started my vege jungle expansion. Instead of using the small plant from the punnet, I actually sow from the seed. It is an experiment for me but so far it looks great. Plants are growing and it getting denser.

I did also mentioned about sowing using the toilet roll core. So here is the result for my seed sowing in the toilet roll core. It looks healthy and hopefully it will grow as a healthy plant.

Finally, I would like to welcome to few new comers to our vege jungle, the baby corn, capsicum, eggplant, butternut pumpkin, Zucchini (the long type), jalapeƱo chili and strawberries!. Very soon I can harvest them. I leave it to the pictures to do the talking. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Little visitor

This morning when I had my usual look out in my garden I was suprised to see that we had a little visitor last night. I looks like this little visitor had a feast on our strawberry last night. So I had to take it to another level. Literally! I hang it way high now.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Our first Zucchini

It is kinda small but this is our own very first zucchini (or squash). There are plenty more growing in our garden. As I always said to others that zucchini is a quick win plant. This is one of the easiest plant to start of with. Give it a try!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sweet tomato cherry

My daughter is fond with the red color of our tomato cherries. The other day when I was in the garden with her, she silently picked the tomato cherries (red and green) from the tree. So I taught her to pick on the red color one and leave the green on the tree. So yesterday when she was out in the garden with me again she went to the tomato cherry plant and look for the red color tomatoes. This time she wanted to take all of it including the half ripe one but I managed to stop her. So with the tomatoes that she has picked we have it with our dinner. It was really sweet and the taste is totally different from the one that you buy from the market. I will definitely save some seed from this tree and keep it as my family treasure.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden from Timber Press

This is exactly the book that I'm looking for. I'm not a big fan of plant unless it is edible and I always have this vision of a front yard garden that was beautifully design using all edible plants. Not just it looks good for the front yard but maintaining it would be beneficial for your kitchen. On top of it all the money and effort you spend on this garden will be a fruitful to you and your family literally.

The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden from Timber Press: "The Edible Front Yard"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lets work with nature

Rain is always potrayed as a dark gloomy day but for garderner it is a blessing as they can take time off from watering their garden. I always love rain because I can harvest the water and it give life to my newly sown seed. I usually schedule my sowing or planting a day before a rainy day so that the plant or seed will have a day to recover and grow. An overcast day is also good for newly planted plant. It acted like a huge shade for the plant. Likewise sunny day after the rain helps plant to bolt faster. To work with nature all you need to do is to observe your garden and learn the terrain. From there you can manipulate your surrounding so that it will work for you. So learn your climate season and plan your planting and sowing for the season. Some plant thrive during the rainy season and some plant love the sun. It is a free resource, learn how to use it and don't forget to harvest your water it helps on your water bill too you know.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hand pollination

I was reading this article about pollination and seed saving and I decided to give it a try myself. So this is how I do it.

Male and Female Flower perfect for hand pollination
Male flower
Cut the flower to expose the anther
Hold the stem and rub the anther to the stigma
Make sure the pollen stick on the stigma
Close the flower to ensure that there is no other pollen mix with the one in there

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flowering time

After all the sowing and growing , It is finally here. Flower is popping out and hopefully it all turns out to be a good harvest.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Outdoor sowing

Sowing plant from seed is much more difficult or rather thrilling for a newbie like me. I've been sowing plant in a small container and transfer it to the bed once it has grown but most of the time it did not make it. So I decided to sow straight on the plot. One thing about sowing on the plot is that it is kinda hard to differentiate between the one that you sow and the weed (not until you have some experience on sowing).So I have came up with this idea of tube sowing. What I did was I use the core of the toilet roll of paper towel roll as a container for this seed. Then I bury the 3/4 of the roll in the soil and fill up the inner roll with some potting mix or compost soil. Then I sow few seeds in each tube. To prevent the soil in the tube from being too dry I actually put the tube around big shady plant such as Zuchini or Pumpkin. By doing this sow in the tube it actually help to retain the moist in the soil, concentrate the soil nutrient to the seed and of course help you differentiate between the one that you sow and actual weed.  Over time this tube will just degrade and it will become part of the soil. You can also do this with any other container or tube that made out f cardboard such as tissue box, packing box and even Big Mac box. So think before you throw. Would this be useful for your garden?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sky rocketing

Rockets is one vege that I rarely use back home in Malaysia. Surprisingly it is very delicious when you fry it togather with your fried rice. I started to sow rocket about last month in a biodegradable Nandos take away container. As of today the container is full of baby rockets and hopefully in a month time i can taste some of the home grown rockets.
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Mint sauce

I always wanted to make a mint sauce to go with my lamb steak but never had the chance to try it until today. Usually I use my mint with tea as my breakfast drink or a hot drink on a cold day. Love the tangy taste of mint. Since my mint is blooming right now I decided to make a mint sauce out of it. So here is the ingredient for the sauce.

mint sauce
5 sprigs of mint, stems removed and discarded
1 small shallot
1 small clove garlic
2 Tbs cider vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

You can leave the shallot and garlic out if you want more of that minty flavor.

Anyway, for those who wanted to start to try out gardening I would recommend you to start with mint as it is easy to grow and it grow fast. If you love mint tea then this is the plant for you! This herb plant is a must plant for every house because it is a plant that give you a quick win while waiting for the others to grow.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Work with nature

As part of sustainable gardening we always have to think of the natural way in solving problem that we face. Although some birds can also be a pest but majority of them can do much help on controlling the population of insects or bugs. So do try to attract them by feeding them or prepare a bird bath for them so that they will make your place as a hang out place. If you have a high bushy tree then you might get lucky that they might just decided to build their nest there. So do try to attract bird and frog so that they could help you to control the pesky insects. I believe there are many way to do it but for me I just reward them with food.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Harvesting Time!

Our Broccoli plant has grown and today it is the time to harvest it. Based on a book that I've read, the stem has to be cut slanted so that it will prevent the stem from rotting. This is because there are other broccoli flowers that are going to grow from the side of the stem. By cutting it slanted it will encourage other broccoli to grow. Well if I do it right then we will see another batch of broccoli flowers.

With all these broccoli we cook it with celery, baby corn and oyster mushroom as a stir fry vegi!. And it is yummyliciuos. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

First zuchinni flower

Today our Zuchinni plants has started to flower. Hope that it will turn into delicious zuchinni.
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