Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It's Heliconia flowering season in my garden. I walked out to find this beauty basking in the morning sun.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mealy bugs

I spent several hours cleaning up my garden this morning. I got rid of 2 dying tomato plants, trimmed dead leaves, repotted some plants and moved some around. In the end, I carted away three big boxes of leaves and debris to the refuse centre.

After several failed experiments on planting vegetables in little containers, I have decided to revert back to planting them in proper pots. My father is having so much success with growing vegetables in his backyard, they're eating their own organic sweet potato leaves, spinach and chye sim everyday!

Here's what my vegetable section looks like now. I'm left with 5 egg plants, 5 tomato plants and some leafy vegetables.

The spinach below were salvaged from the flooded container last week. They seem to be doing very well.

While pottering around the garden, I took a closer look at my tomato plants. Some of the flower buds are drying up.

I found these white mealy bugs under the leaves of the tomato plant. That could be the reason why 4 of my tomato plants have died this week. My curry plant is infested with this pesky bug as well. I've removed all the infected leaves and pray that my brinjal plants will not get infected too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Help! Can somebody tell me why my tomato plants are dying? These once beautiful plants have withered and died.

This healthy one is also showing signs of dying. It always starts with the browning of leaves at the top.

My dreams of having succulent fruits... all gone!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Exciting happenings

I'm quite excited to discover a young coriander seedling in my garden. Despite many attempts, my coriander seeds don't sprout easily or the delicate seedlings don't survive for very long. So,I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hope this will grow up to a decent size.

Unfortunately the chamomile seeds have not germinated. I should have followed Petunia's instructions carefully and planted them in the right medium ( 50% perlite and 50% TREF compost) instead of plonking them in my regular soil. I'll try to sow the next batch properly the next time.

Some of my tomato plants are not doing well at all. It pained my heart to remove a dying one from the garden over the weekend. Dying tomato plant can smell really bad.

One of them is producing lovely flowers. I hope it lives long enough to bear fruits. All my other dying plants went through this flowering phase before they started to wilt and shrivel up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quality controller

Meet my new quality controller. He's checking the radish seedlings today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Morning surprises

My potato plant finally died and I had to remove it from my garden. With great anticipation, I pulled the plant out expecting potatoes to come tumbling out. Sadly, I saw nothing but a bunch of roots. Suddenly I spotted one buried in the soil! Here it is...

Before you get as excited as me, let me show you how big the potato really is. It's not even the size of a quail egg. It's merely the size of a small almond. I must have broken a record today for producing the world's smallest spud!
While examining my shoots this morning (my usual routine), I saw something peculiar in my lettuce section. A bunch of miniature mushrooms have sprouted overnight. They're tiny, about the size of a newly germinated seedling. Don't you think they're adorable?

Since I am still hanging on to the good camera, I took a macro shot of my periwinkle too. It grew from the seeds I gathered from the garden downstairs.

My other plant is also flowering.

Suddenly I spotted a heliconia flower. I never knew I have this plant in my garden. It's left behind by the previous owner and had never flowered until now. I must have done something right!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What a difference!

I borrowed CH's camera to take photos of my baby plants and woah, what a difference a good camera makes. I can never take such close-up shots using my camera.

See, my butterhead lettuce has finally sprouted!

The camera is able to capture a young carrot seed that had just germinated.
The cute little one below is my oriental xiao bai cai.

I even managed to capture this precious shot of a young kang kong seedling.

My vegetables look much more luscious through his lens.

Even Rusty looks more poised and handsome!

Finally, here's one showing my oriental lettuce. The frilly leaf is so pretty.

I love this camera. It's mine now. CH will have to beg to get it back from me!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just a dream

Last night, I dreamt that I harvested a bucket full of potatoes from my plant. Looking at the sad looking plant in the patio, I know it was just a dream. I'll be happy if it produces one potato!

Office plants

Two years ago, the plants at our office looked like this:

So healthy and pretty...

The leaves were gloriously green with flowers growing in abundance....

This is what they look like after we've moved to a different office. Due to the lack of sunlight and other nourishment, they have turned sallow ...

... and straggly. Sad looking plants they are...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's that smell?

This post has nothing to do with my garden but while reading a book on potatoes yesterday (ya, I know, my life is SAD), I learned that you shouldn't keep potatoes and onions together. Onions make potatoes go bad really quickly.

Suddenly I remember the bag of onions and potatoes in the pantry. I had bought them last weekend and they're in the same bag.

Indeed, one of the potatoes have turned wet and mushy. Thank goodness the rest are still good. The smell of rotting potato isn't pretty I tell ya!

Lemon mint, very pretty

Hey Casey, here is the lemon mint I was telling you about. The new leaves are a healthy green now. I'll break the plant up into smaller pieces and put into a small pot for you.

I was so excited to see my lettuce seedlings. My attempts to sow them in a big planter box was unsuccessful due to the recent heavy rainfall. Most of them drowned. Yesterday, I sowed them individually in little paper cones (the disposable ones used for ice water) and put them in a sheltered corner with enough light and sun.

I can hardly believe they've sprouted! Wonderful! This calls for a celebration. I should go plant some more.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gimme bees

The chye sim are growing pretty well except for the squiggly lines across the leaves. I've to find out how to prevent this from happening.

*I've learned they are caused by leaf miners - a small fly that lays eggs which hatch and burrow their way out of the leaves. I have to remove the affected leaves to prevent more infestation.*

Most of my tomato plants (I've got 9) are flowering but I am beginning to wonder about pollination. I don't see any bees in my garden, not than I would like to see too many, but they can come in useful at this point in time. I have listened to the advice of the good uncles at the seed shop and removed all the low branches so that the plant can concentrate on growing fruits instead of producing more beautiful leaves.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rain rain go away

We've been having a week of rain, including several heavy downpours. Whilst rain is good for my kang kong (below), my other delicate vegetable seedlings like spinach, kai lan and lettuce have sustained major damage.

The lack of sun and heavy rain have caused my seedlings to become too spindly and frail. Many have fallen over. Sigh.