Sunday, August 26, 2012

'Like' Easigarden

If you have a facebook account, please go and 'like' Easigarden for interesting vegetable starter kits and growing tips.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Snails be gone

I've just written about my edamame beans yesterday and now most of the seedlings are dead. The snails came out of hiding in the night and chewed up the young stems and leaves. I thought the seedlings are no longer attractive to the snails, but I was wrong.

 Until now, I've never used any form of insecticides or chemicals in my garden but today I went out and bought pellets that exterminate snails. I am still hesitant to use as I don't like killing insects, not even ants.

I'm planning to build a little netted enclosure to house my seedlings but in case that still doesn't keep the snails out, I'm afraid I'll have to brandish the snail pellets. Argh!


When I was at a farmers market in Tokyo, I tasted some boiled edamame beans and was so bowled over by the sweet and delicious taste that I bought 500g of dried beans. They were expensive (S$16). 

Preparation is simple. Simply soak in water for 12 hours and boil for 15 minutes. The soft beans can be eaten plain as they are very flavourful and packed with nutrition.

While I enjoy eating them, I also dread the day I'll run out of my yummy snack. So I decided to grow my own beans. I soaked some dried beans for a day. The next day, I sowed the plumped up beans in two pots of soil.

The beans had turned very soft after all that soaking and I was quite skeptical they could still germinate. To my surprise, new leaves emerged within a couple of days!
Sadly, half of them got eaten up by snails in the night. The ones that survived the snail attack are showing true leaves now and are growing pretty quickly. I have a bamboo trellis for them to cling on to and can't wait to see them climbing all over soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rucola aka Rocket

Having survived Rusty's trampling and several heavy downpours, most of the rocket babies are doing well. The true leaves have emerged and soon they will be ready for the salad bowl. The good thing is after cutting the leaves, new ones will grow again. I don't ever want to buy expensive rocket from the supermarket again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pretty vegetables

We think of vegetables as food but they make great centrepiece and are wonderful for jazzing up the decor too. Here are some vegetables at 10 days old, just before they get tossed into a salad bowl.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


My seedlings were doing so well until yesterday. A sudden downpour killed all my carrot seedlings and flattened half the rocket and nearly destroyed the lanky radish seedlings. If I weren't away at work, I would surely rush out to protect them even if it meant getting drenched.

And the snails gobbled up all my edamame beans and wheatgrass before they could even sprout. It's an endless battle.

Friday, August 10, 2012


I have finally gotten round to sowing the seeds. It's as simple as sprinkling the seeds on soil but to ensure they grow properly, I mix the soil with compost and vermiculite for better drainage. I've sown rocket, baby radish and carrot in an area which receives some filtered sunlight in the morning. It's probably the ideal condition for these varieties to thrive.

I've never had trouble with any seeds germinating. The only problem is if the climate is not right, they don't grow up properly. This is the first time I am growing carrots because I was encouraged by Michael, an expat reader who is growing them in Singapore. I've picked this variety from Japan that should thrive in warmer climate. We'll see.
Carrot seedlings.
I've also sowed some baby red radish. These fellas grow up fast and are easy to care for. In fact, radish is one of the best plants to grow. The seedlings are delicious in salads and if you grow them in a deep pot or in the ground, you can harvest radish in under 2 months. Some people eat the leaves too.
Red radish seedlings. Note that the bottom half of the stem is red. A round radish will eventually develop near the root.
The rocket seeds from Italy are so fresh, germination rate is extremely high, probably 100%. My family loves rocket salad so much, I have two planters worth of seedlings growing in the patio.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Organic vegetables

While I'm resigned to growing herbs and little pots of vegetables like rocket and chives in my patio, I'm lucky to have a father who loves growing his own vegetables in his backyard.

Organic vegetables aren't as easy to grow as you think. If you keep using the same patch for too long, the vegetables get diseased easily. Hence my dad rotates the crops frequently and leaves some patches empty for months before sowing again.

He has a new batch of vegetables growing on newly tilled soil and gosh, they are so lush and gorgeous, we're helping ourselves to fresh organic greens as frequently as we possibly could.
Malabar spinach.
The young mustard green is less bitter and much more tender than the store bought ones.
Sweet potato leaves are delicious when cooked with spicy sambal.
Round leaf spinach which becomes so tender and soft when cooked.