Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Your feedback needed

Recently a student researcher from the National University of Singapore wrote to me seeking my opinion about a project he is working on.

He is studying a gardening gadget from USA called Easybloom, and is thinking of redesigning the parameters of the product to benefit the gardening community here.

The EasyBloom was created for anyone who has experienced the frustration of not knowing what plant will thrive in a specific location or anyone who has been unable to figure out what is wrong with a plant that isn't fairing well.

Priced at around S$85, it has built-in sensors to measure light intensity, humidity, temperature, and moisture content in your soil.

The gadget has 3 settings - Recommend, Monitor and Water.

Place the gadget in a location you wish to grow something, let it sit there for 24 hours, plug it into your computer, and it will provide a detailed analysis of your planting area and recommend a list of plants, from a database of 5000 plants, that would thrive in that location.

Monitor setting allows you to diagnose problems with a particular plant. Define the type of plant you wish to monitor, turn on the device and place it next to the not so healthy plant. 24 hours later, plug it into your computer. The data stored in the sensors will give you a diagnosis of the plant’s ailment.

The 'Water' setting notifies you when you need to water your plants. More information can be found in this website

To help him in his research, I would like to gather some feedback from my readers. Do you think this gadget is practical, affordable and appealing?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Veggie in the office

This pot of green leafy vegetables (bai cai) is grown by my colleague. It is placed by the window sill. Isn't it pretty?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

No more vegetables

Someone asked about my vegetable patch and I regret to say that I have stopped growing vegetables in my patio. I've only just disposed of the last of the big white styrofoam boxes and other paraphernalia used for vegetable growing.

As much as I would love to continue growing vegetables in my patio, I just couldn't cope with the amount of disease and pests that were invading my garden. Edibles are well, edible, so they are a magnet for these undesirable creatures. I could never eat the vegetables because the leaves were covered with white flies and other pathogens. These pesky things invade the non-edible section too. They were everywhere! My rose got hit, so did the curry and rosemary shrubs. My garden was always sick.

Strangely, these pests disappeared the moment I stopped growing edibles. The other plants started thriving again. The herbs are so healthy now, not to mention the other non-edibles. I can now declare my garden pest free again.

I must admit that my garden was quite an eye sore during the vegetable growing days. There were boxes of chyesim, raddish, lettuce and spinach growing in every corner in a most unruly fashion, my garden was quite messy. Now that the boxes are gone, I've gained so much space I promptly ordered a new set of patio furniture and a large parasol.

I'm not quite sure what my garden will be like in future but I know I'll always be a gardener. In fact, I forgot to mention that I have newly germinated spinach and tomatoes outside. I'm sure there will always be some vegetables growing in my patio, just not as much as before.