Propagate Strawberry Plant

Every growth event with strawberries is a first for us as it was for some Singaporeans!

Before we successfully germinated strawberries seeds in Singapore, we have never seen strawberry seedling, much less our first strawberry runner on Oct 22 2015!

How to root strawberry runners

October 22 2015 – Thrilled to see strawberry runners on our plants in Singapore!

Our gardening group members advised us to pin these runners on to soil while its still attached to the parent plant.

Propagating strawberry runners

Strawberry runners were suspended in mid air

However our strawberry plant was not grown in pots but suspended mid air and hung on windows. 🙂

This strawberry vertical tower was brought down to allow runners to be pinned for roots.

How to propagate strawberry plants

Soil depth extended for strawberry vertical pot!

Rooting strawberry runners

Strawberry runner pinned to soil with a curtain peg!

As the weeks passed, it slowly gained strength to stand upright 🙂

rooting strawberry runners

Strawberry runner rooted and the stem stand upright

When the strawberry runner developed more established roots, we can separate it from the parent plant by cutting the attached stem.

When to separate strawberry runner from its parent

Strawberry runner had developed roots while attached to parent plant

How to propagate strawberry runners

Strawberry runner’s roots

How to propagate strawberry plants from runners

Nov 19 2015 – Strawberry Runner continues to fruit and flowered

This is a whole new strawberry plant!

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Craft – Self Watering Pots

Going away for holidays? Worried about your plants?

Here is a Green project to gift yourself some extra peace of mind and save our environment by re-using more plastic bottles ! 🙂

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

  1. Cut an X on the cap and slit holes on plastic bottle near the opening
  2. Cut desired length of the wick
  3. Arrange the wick through the X cut and inside bottle
  4. Add medium and plant
How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Step 1 – An X cut on cap

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

small slits or cuts for water drainage from soil

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Aquarium Filter Wool as wick

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Step 2 – Aquarium Filter Sponge – Length as desired

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Cut bottle in half, soil depth as desired. Insert wicking sponge through X cut.

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Step 3 – Adjust wicking sponge as desired.

For wet loving plants, the wick can be inserted fully in reservoir. For drier loving plants, the inner pot can be inserted higher from water source with thinner wick. Thus, adjust as needed based on plants’ preferences.

self watering pots

Inner pot should fit well in reservoir

self watering pots

Step 4 – Add in suitable media for plants

Gardeners Craft and DIY

Completed – Rehousing our monsters (Venus Fly Trap)

This is another wicking method taught by Stella Lee in 2017 out of beverages carton. Absolutely practical and space saving ideas!

SElf watering pots n Garden Craft

Stella lee’s wicking method

Happy Holidays!

 

 

Wisteria Lesley’s Mulberry Trees

When reading posts on mulberries, one name keep popping up.

Grow Mulberries in Singapore

Nov 02 2015 – Wisteria Lesley’s mulberry trees

She is generous with advice on subjects as wide ranging as proper names for plants (mind you, in both Chinese characters and English names!!! ) to plant care and insects control.

This wonder lady with her bottomless pit of knowledge, is Ms. Wisteria Lesley.

I saw her posts in Green Culture Singapore and Urban Farmers (Singapore) quite by accident.  Pictures of her lush plentiful mulberries caught my attention. I don’t think I ever taste one before or seen these sold in supermarkets!

How to grow mulberries in Singapore

Mulberries that made you drool ! 🙂

 

How to grow mulberries

Ripe mulberries are dark colored

Mulberry plant leaves are edible too

Ms. Lesley used  mulberry leaves to brew tea!

I remembered her previous posts as well.

Of her trimming down her mulberry trees to bald stumps after each harvest.

Her generous offers of cuttings at a reasonable price and of course, an immediate response from gardeners here until the cuttings were all gone.

New shoots would grew on the stumps and after only a few weeks, Wisteria Lesley shared pictures of flowers.

Grow mulberries in Singapore

Ms. Lesley ‘s mulberry cuttings after a pruning

Grow a mulberry tree in Singapore

Nov 25 2015 – -Flowers appeared on new shoots after pruning

Rooting mulberry stems

June 10 2015 – Flowers on mulberry cutting as it root in water

Mulberry flowers after hard pruning

Photo – Wisteria Lesley’s mulberry tree had flowered, 3 weeks after pruning

 

How to grow mulberry plants from stem cuttings

Nov 25 2015 – Mulberry flowers turned into fruits

I decided to ask her how she began her mulberry’s journey and if I could share her story here.

Ms. Lesley has three mulberry trees and they began their journey in 2008.

For bald stem cuttings like this picture, it is best to root them in fresh water until leaves and “good roots mass” appeared.

How to grow mulberry in Singapore

May 31 2015 – Cuttings from mulberry trees rooting in tap water

Mulberry stems rooting in water

June 23 2015 – Day 23, mulberry cutting rooted in water !

These can be planted in minimum 15 cm diameter pot until they are more established.

How to grow mulberry trees from cutting

2008 – Ms. Lesley’s mulberry trees started with these cuttings.

Mulberries can be planted in pots or grounded.

Her trees are planted in the ground.

When their roots became root bound, they coiled around soil instead of the pot.

This plant would pop up of the pot when pressed gently on the soil. A sure sign that it is ready to move to bigger pot or be grounded ! 🙂

According to Ms. Lesley, mulberry tree has massive roots system and once grounded, these thick roots grow very close to the surface.

Be prepared to see them on grass patches around the tree.

Information from http://www.gardenguides.com/ :

  • Full Sun
  • Ground depth should be minimum the same height as the sapling and twice the size of its root ball
  • At maturity, this is a medium size tree, 20 -30 feet
  • Water well after transplant
  • Slightly acidic soil, PH 6.0
  • Adaptable in zones 5 – 9

 

 

 

 

Wolfberries / Goji Berries/ KAU KEE Plant

Updated November 19 2017 – complete journey from cutting to flowers, fruit harvest, after harvest and other observations! These plants continue to surprise while gifting us knowledge and food!

How it all begun 🙂

October 17 2015 – I came across this post by Eddie Chua in our Facebook group, “SG Farming in Apartments” about his Goji stem cutting that has rooted in water.

As my mother loves Goji berries, I love to grow my own for her. In addition, there was not enough information online about how they grew and I wanted to find out by growing them myself.

How to grow a wolfberry or Goji berry tree from cutting

Goji Berries and Kau Kee Chai (Photo: CN Herb)

There are 2 ways to grow this hardy perennial plant.

  1. By Seeds : Angie Wong, a member at Singapore Urban Gardening group (Facebook), shared how she germinated from Eu Yang Sang’s dried berries. Taken from the fridge, these were cut open for the seeds inside, and sowed directly on wet tissues.
    Grow goji berries

    Angie Wong  chose the plumpest ones from Eu Yang Sang’s dried berries.

    Goji berries seedlings

    Angie Wong – 6 days to germinate. These seedlings were 9 days old

  2. By Stem Cutting ( Eddie’s instructions : strip the stem of big leaves, cut the stem down and soak in water until roots appear)

For this Wolfberry/ Goji berry or Kau Kee trials, I begged Regina Fok who lived in USA, to share her observations with me . 🙂 I wanted to see if winter chill is a factor required for this plant to bear berries. And hence, our rooting trials began in 2 countries in 2015.

Regina Fok’s Goji Berry Plant began in October 2015, in USA

Grow a goji berry tree from stem cutting

Oct 2015 – Regina Fok’s goji berry stems rooting in water

How to grow wolfberry plant from cutting

Regina Fok ‘s stem cutting has rooted in water

After her stem cuttings rooted in water, Regina Fok planted them in soil and they over wintered indoor in pots. The plants did not faced the full elements of winter as young plants.

Gojiberry Wolfberry from cutting

May 10 2016 – Roots have outgrew the pot over the winter

Gojiberry from cutting

May 2016 – Regina Fok’s cutting planted in the ground once spring arrived!

Grow gojiberries from cutting

Gojiberries, Wolfberries flower buds seen on Regina’s plant (USA)

Grow wolfberry plant

June 4 2016 – Regina’s plant flowered once its in the ground!

Gojiberries and wolfberries from cutting

October 2016 – Regina’s plants bore fruits!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

Nov 11 2016 – Vigorous grower!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

Nov 12 2016 – Not the first harvest!

Regina Fok’s plants did not need much care. In fact, she almost forgotten about these plants in her garden, until she chanced upon them in October 2016, while clearing her garden for winter. For all her neglect, she was surprised to see the plants had grown well and even fruiting without adding fertilizers!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

Minimum care for hardy wolfberries plants!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

How wolfberries grow on plants!

My wolfberry plants’ journey began on December 26 2015 in Singapore

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from Cutting

Trimmed off Kau Kee (wet market in Toa Payoh) leaves and cut the stems shorter before rooting in water

How to grow Goji berry from cutting

Jan 6 2016 – Kau Kee /Goji berry/ Wolfberry cutting rooted in water (11days)

I learned from gardeners in Singapore that this plant can be planted in soil directly without roots, and decided to do a comparative study on how having roots affect a plant’s growth.

Wolfberries from rooting

Plants with more roots mass will grow faster (PlantB)

Feb 10 2016 – Plant A

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee cutting

Feb 10 2016 – Plant B had more leaves and was taller

Conclusion  – For any stem cutting that had “rooted”, it is best to  plant in soil  when there were good “roots mass” seen. This basically mean a lot of white new roots in layman terms! 🙂 These plants would be stronger in faster time when they are planted in soil than those with less roots.

What happened when we just cut stems and plant in soil without roots?

Grow wolfberry plant from cutting

Stems cutting planted without roots did not have as many leaves as Plant A and B. Planted much earlier than A & B but still lagging behind in growth!

How flowers start their journey ! The dates are not in sequence as flowers bloom at the same time on both plants but hopefully the pictures demonstrated how they formed. No commercial fertilizer were used to encourage flowering. These plants were grown in our own natural compost  from recycled kitchen green waste! 🙂

Grow Wolfberries, gojiberries

October 30 2016 – First flower bud seen

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries or kau kee

Dec 04 2016 – More buds on the way

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberries

Feb 01 2017 – Flowers and berries

Grow wolfberry from kau kee cutting

Jan 10 2017 – Lots of flowers but berries are still green

wolfberry flowers

Feb 28 2017

Grow wolfberries in Singapore

Flowers formed in clusters the older the plants grew (August 04 2017)

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

Dec 10 2016 – Isn’t this cute? Just before the flower bloom fully.

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee Cutting

Feb 17 2017

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

Dec 12 2016 – more flowers bloom at the same time

Grow gojiberries, Kau Kee, Wolberries

November 11 2016 – Flower coming out from bud.

Grow wolfberries , gojiberries and kau kee

SG Kau Kee Flowers – Do they look the same as Regina’s USA wolfberries flowers?

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

Dec 12 2016 – Not the same shade of purple in the flowers

Wolfberry from Kau Kee cutting

Jan 11 2017

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

After the flower bloom, the petals turned dried and dropped off

Wolfberry or Gojiberry fruiting stages

February 25 2017 – Fruiting begin

Flowers and fruits on its own without much human aid. These are very hardy plants, drought resistant and did not need fertilizer.

Wolfberries began fruiting journey!

Grow wolfberry and gojiberries from cutting

Jan 27 2017 – Small green berries first after flowers self pollinated

Grow gojiberry n wolfberry in Singapore

March 24 2017 – It took about 4 months from green berries stage to fully ripen red state.

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

February 28 2017 – Vigorous fruiting, heat tolerant

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

A green berry gaining weight finally! Hopefully they turned red soon

Grow wolfberry or Gojiberry from cutting

Jan 19 2017

Grow Wolfberry or Goji Cutting

Jan 31 2017 – Slowly but surely, the berries are turning red (been 5 months since it was a small berry)

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee Cutting

Wolfberry

Grow wolfberry and gojiberry

Feb 18 2017 – Fresh Wolfberry is Juicy! 🙂

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberries

Feb 01 2017 – Gifted my mom with the first berry.

Seeds Journey – our seeds were harvested from our plants and sowed on February 18 2017. Out of 3 seeds from above fruit, only two germinated on February 28 (10 days) . Another learning opportunity has began!

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry

Feb 18 2017 – Sowing seeds from our fresh wolfberry

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry

February 28 2017 – Germinated !!

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from seeds

March 1 2017 – hopefully a strong plant

Germinating fresh Wolfberry seed

Length of germinated seed is about 2 cm. Roots had not emerged.

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from seeds

March 26 2017 – 2 days to 1 month old seedling!

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

June 04 2017 – seedling grows very fast

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

June 04 2017 – Seedling planted in outdoor garden

Difference between leaf and flowers buds

Grow wolfberries Gojiberries from cutting

Leaf bud

Leaf buds are thicker and usually formed at the tip of the stem. Whereas Flowers buds are smaller and formed at the joint between developed leaves (see below).

Grow wolfberries Gojiberries from cutting

Flowers bud (Feb 2017)

As small flowers buds matured, they became swollen and a tint of purple showed.

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Hint of purple

What happened after fruiting? 

Leaves will drop until the whole plant was devoid of leaves. Some fruits still remained until they too dried on the stem and dropped as well. This is how the plant looked after fruiting is done.

 

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Bare plant!

They remained in this dormant stage for 3 months.

When the plants revived from dormant stage, another observation were made on –

  1. un-pruned (did not trimmed dry stems, left bare stems on)
  2. pruned (cut away dry stems) plants

To my surprise, the one with stems un-pruned grew flowers first, straight from bare and dry stems! For both pots, I added only compost from my bins and mulched with dried leaves as usual.

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting

2017 Nov 18 new flower out of bare stem

  1. Flower buds were spotted first on the un-pruned plant. Tip – Keep the bare stems! Don’t prune them, continue to feed the soil!
Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Nov 17 2017 – plants awakening

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Nov 18 2017 – Flower bud seen from bare stem

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting or seeds

Nov 17 2017 – Flower buds appeared from bare stem

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting or seeds

Nov 20 2017 – Flower bloom

On bare dry stems (un-pruned), it can re-grow this way as well. New shoots grew straight from wooden stems. Thus, this plant will be taller. Tip – Need support, grow near wall or fence.

Growing wolfberry or gojiberry in Singapore

June 10 2017 – New growth on the woody stem

2) On pruned plant, where bare stems were trimmed, new shoots grew first. Flowers were slower to show. This plant had more leaves than the un-pruned plant.

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Pruned plant re-grew shoots

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from seeds

No thorns on new shoots

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Flowers buds showed later than plants with bare stems intact

Pruned plant grew new shoots and have more leaves, thus they looked lush compared to the bare/untrimmed plant on the left. However, its the latter that will show flowers first!

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting

Unpruned (left) vs Pruned plant (right)

Reflection on parent plants’ journey in 2015 – Looking back now I was amazed by how much the plants grow ! The cuttings showed roots after 11 days, on January 06 2016 (started on December 26 2015) . These were how they looked on the first day of being planted, a short stalk with few leaves! Tip – Need to be individually potted in wide and deep pot or best grounded! 

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee cutting

January 13 2016 – Journey to find answers began!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

Nov 11 2016 – Pruned it often to encourage a bushier growth

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries or kau kee

Dec 04 2016 – DIY a steel cage to support the plant, else the stems keep flopping to the ground

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from cutting

Jan 31 2017 –  Plant B , tied long stems to the steel frame

Wolfberry from Kau Kee cutting

Jan 20 2017 – This steel frame work well to support the plant

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee cutting

Jan 17 2017 – Plant A, slower to flower

The more the plants are pruned, meaning cutting away stems while harvesting for leaves, they get bushier. These plants gave me lots of leaves for cooking as I grew them.

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting

2016 December 02

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee Cutting

Feb 17 2017 – Plants are grown in own compost from kitchen green waste and dried leaves.

Neglect may be the key to get it to flower, meaning don’t harvest as often when its near the one year mark. Let the stems get woody. These plants are best grown in the ground, but if this is not possible, in the biggest pot you can find. 🙂

CONCLUSION KAU KEE is wolfberry.

It took 10 months from cutting to see flowers.

5 months from successful (natural) pollination to full red berry stage.

The taste of fresh wolfberry is medicinal and texture is seedy. 🙂

The Berries of Goji and Kau Kee Plants:

Both the berries and the leaves are edible.

It is considered a good herb for improving eye sight .

The berries are often sold in dried form like these :

 

Fresh goji berries

March 7 – Annie Lim from Perth, Australia, shared picture of fresh goji berries from her garden

Annie Lim from Perth, Australia, said her Goji berry plant grew like weeds in her garden. They are about a meter high and potted instead of in the ground. Some support would be required when there are fruits, otherwise they will bend over. This is a hardy plant, no matter how much was pruned, this plant would rebound even more.

This plant is hardy as it can tolerates winter temperature, summer heat and drought condition. It is also a native plant of Tibet.

Fresh everlasting wolfberries on tree:

Fresh wolfberries on tree

This is what Gojiberries and wolfberries tree look like! Thanks to Ms. Peck (USA), I finally get to see one

Grow wolfberries

Potted Gojiberry plant in Perth Australia (Annie Lim)

Annie Lim also shared that this plant loved the sun and should be able to thrive in Singapore.

How to prepare Gojiberry/ Wolfberry/ Kau Kee stems for Propagating –

  1. Stripped off leaves and mind the thorns while handling this stem
  2. Trim down the length of the stem
  3. Place stems in water until roots appeared (In Singapore’s experiment, about 11 days)
Grow Wolfberry

Regina Fok preparing her Goji berry stems for propagation

 

The leaves are sold in supermarkets and Singapore wet markets. It is good to know the Chinese name for this plant : 枸杞菜   (Ms. Wisteria Lesley ,Urban Farmers Singapore, November 5 2015, said the proper name of this vegetables is this. Package one was wrongly typed ! )

Grow gojiberry plants from stems

Goji berry stems in Singapore are sold like this or fresh stem cutting in markets. People used the leaves for soup

The leaves are often cooked as a nourishing soup with pork and beaten egg :

The leaves have a smooth silky texture when its cooked.

The leaves have a smooth silky texture after its cooked.

Ms. Regina Fok, who is  based in USA and I will be sharing our data on this progress.

It would be interesting to find out if  winter is a factor in producing berries for this plant.

Answer one year later (2016)  – Winter is not a factor for flowers ! 🙂

Information :

  • Full Sun
  • Water well during hot weather and after transplant
  • 10 – 12 inches soil depth
  • Wide pot to give its roots some room, but best in ground with compost.
  • Matured plant is 8 to 10 feet tall

 

 

Growing Strawberries in Singapore Outdoor Garden

The goal is to test how to adapt strawberries to fruit without air conditioning in Singapore.

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Jan 3 2016 – Success!!!

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Jan 7 2016 – Made in Singapore strawberry!! First fruit in outdoors garden without air-conditioning

On October 19 2015, I began the first outdoor trial with Alpine strawberries from my niece’s sickly lot.

These outdoor plants had a traumatic start ! 🙂

Growing strawberries with children

August 31 2015 – Niece and nephew germinated 16 strawberry seedling in this paper cup!

Growing strawberries with children

Aug 31 2015 – strawberry babies living in an overcrowded environment! 🙂

Growing strawberries with children

Aug 31 – Here’s what cramped strawberries looked like! 🙂

Growing strawberries with children

August 31 2015 – Summer moved cramped strawberry babies to bigger container

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Oct 24 – 2nd Trauma , Strawberries suffered heat stroke on niece’s  hot balcony. Treatment in special compost and iced soil immediately!

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Oct 30 – Strawberries recovered quickly.

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

January 5 2016 – Finally understood why my plants disappeared!

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Iced bottles and ice kept our soil cool for strawberries in outdoor garden

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Oct 30 2015 – Strawberry plants recovering well without airconditioning

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

December 19 2015 – Strawberry plant s continue to flower and fruit in our outdoor garden without air conditioning

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Dec 20 2015 – More strawberry fruits in outdoor garden pots!

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Dec 25 2015 – Strawberry growing over the rim of a 30L pot 🙂

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Dec 31 2015 – Strawberry is healthy and growing bigger

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

Jan 1 2016 – Strawberry plants developing fruit in outdoors Singapore garden

Summer and I decided to self pollinate the strawberry flowers in the garden instead of depending on bees on December 13 2015.

We are keeping fingers crossed that this will be the start of strawberries gardening in Singapore! 🙂

Growing strawberries in outdoor Singapore garden

January 3 2016 – Summer with the strawberry fruit that she help “developed” !

Our strawberries compost was prepared 6 months ahead of our outdoors strawberries trials.

How to make organic compost

Kitchen green waste for our organic compost : peels etc, dried leaves to absorb moisture

How to make organic compost

Lots of ground coffee in the compost pot for acidic soil!

How to make organic compost

Preparing compost for strawberries ahead of time.

Jan 2016 Update – Problems encountered in outdoors trials – PESTS!

Pests not tropical weather killing strawberry plants outdoors in Singapore

Jan 2016 – Snails or Grasshoppers ate outdoor strawberry leaves until only a stump remained.

Strawberry plants can grow from bare roots

Jan 2016 – Strawberry plants can grow from bare roots. Healthy roots are white colour.

Strawberry plants can grow from bare roots

Jan 24 2016 – More signs of recovery. Strawberry plants can re- grow from bare roots

Please read post on ” Home Made Super Soil” for tips on composting.

My conclusion :

For Singapore or any tropical region, it is best to begin strawberries indoors, preferably in June or earlier. (Please read how to germinate strawberry seeds)

Prepare compost or acidic soil early. Allow raw greens to break down completely before using.

Move strawberries outdoors from October or when cooler rainy season begins.

Strawberries are quite hardy from 3 – 4 months stage. Ours survived haze, wind and thunderstorms.

Red strawberry variety are sun loving as long as the soil stayed cool.

Acidic and rich compost needed for better fruits quality.

DISCLAIMERPlease note, the above information are for seeds grown strawberries based on my own experience and observations. They may not apply to nurseries bought strawberries.