WHITE SOUL STRAWBERRIES

Our first exploration of white strawberries was  WHITE SOUL on August 23 2015 in soil. In 2017, we learned how to grow in liquid base, and began new exploration using KRATKY hydroponics method. This post is a rewrite of the journal from 2015 to compare notes between soil based and KRATKY, non circulating hydroponic. The latter’s setup looked something like this –

Grow White Soul from seeds in Singapore

Strawberry Plant in Kratky

WHITE SOUL

 2015 – Germination was very fast, only 6 days. Seeds were sowed on August 23 after freezing overnight and they germinated on August 29.

Not all white varieties germinate within the same length of time (less than 10 days), some varieties were slower, about 14 days. Please check out germination method at this post.

New method utilizing heat and light while balancing with cool in natural environment was developed in 2018 for speedier germination. This method is only taught in our workshops. For most cool seasoned plants, including lavenders, now used the balancing act to germinate.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds in Singapore

August 29 2015

2018 – 7 days to germinate

Grow white strawberries in Singapore

January 27 2018 – tiny sprout spotted!

The germination time was about the same for soil based or hydro White Soul variety. In these observation, the seedlings were very small compared to red varieties.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds in Singapore

One week old

FREEZING LENGTH (Seeds)

We also experimented in 2015 whether seeds that had been frozen longer would made any improvement on the speed to germinate seeds.

A second batch was sowed on October 16 2015, after freezing over a month, and they germinated on October 21, 5 days later. Thus, the length of (seeds) freeze did not make much difference.

Grow White Soul from seeds in Singapore

October 21 2015

WHITE SOUL OBSERVATIONS

Whether sowed on soil or other medium, the seedlings are very small and frail compared to the red strawberries.

Grow White Soul Strawberries from seeds

20 days old

Grow White Soul Strawberries from seeds

2018 February 4 – 14 days

They are very delicate plants and transplant process was difficult. Young seedlings have very low survival rate when we tried them in 2015. The risk of failed seedlings increased with every transplant. Thus do not transplant too many times.

This variety may be difficult for beginner gardener to attempt. Every stage can be a challenge without prior knowledge of growing them from seeds and how to troubleshoot when symptoms of stress appeared. Much of what we learned from growing this variety formed the formation of our workshop’s curriculum on the challenges and how to resolve them.

Grow White Soul Strawberries from seeds

3 weeks old

The heirloom characteristics of red stem showed by the third week. At this stage, the roots were about 1 cm long.

We transplanted most of the soil based seedlings before the crown developed. The growth rate of this medium was slower than liquid based plants. Among the white varieties, White Soul grew the slowest.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds

2015 December 11

In soil, they often die without warning. The leaves drooped and brown after being transplanted. We learned the most insights by growing this delicate variety.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds

Wilting Leaves

Seedlings in liquid base grew faster compared to soil based. Knowledge on how to settle the seedlings and hydro nutrients are necessary to grow them in liquid base. Not all nutrients are suitable. Trial and error experiments to get our KRATKY formula right.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 June 14 – 2 months old, height – 10 cm

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds

2015 Jan 03 – 3 months old

RATE OF GROWTH – Height , New Leaves

Were slower compared to other varieties, especially from germination to third month. In soil, this variety was an uphill challenge at snail pace at every stage.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2015 November 16 – Growing Snail pace

In liquid base, they grew faster even without any high technology conveniences. However without prior handling experience of strawberries or/and no hydroponic knowledge, they are difficult to grow.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Hydro – 3 months old

Whether soil or liquid base, this variety remained slow and small compared to red varieties.

They tolerate morning sun and early afternoon heat well from the forth month. More growth was observed from 4th month.

ABOUT RAIN

Not heat but rain killed young White Souls seedlings on January 18 2016..

This trial tested whether they could adapt to natural environment without shelter from heat and rain. Thus 30 plants were sacrificed for this test and planted in 60 L of natural compost outdoor.

From pioneer batches of 30 seedlings,

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2016 January 18 – Part of the batches

only one seedling survived this experiment.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2016 March 18

ABOUT HEAT

At the height of our hot months, White Soul variety suffered stress from heat. The entire plant drooped like this.

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Liquid Base

Removal from stress source will revive these plants. In soil, icing down soil relieved the plants. It is not recommended to grow white soul outdoor.

PLANTS STRESS SIGNAL

Our first exploration in 2015, in soil, was not successful. All the flowers dried up and the plants seem in poor health. From this experience, we learned how to read strawberry plants’ signal and what were they telling us before rushing to apply a remedy.

Grow White Soul Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2016 April 10

A wrong remedy add more stress to plants already in distress. For example, adding fertilizer can kill.

Grow White Soul Strawberries from seeds

Mineral was added

ABOUT LEAVES

White Soul leaves like most other white varieties are lighter green and thin texture.

A healthy plant showed open faced leaves and not cupped as illustrated by above picture.

ABOUT FLOWERS

Soil based White Soul enter flowering stage at 8 months, whereas Kratky was 4 months.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds

2016 March 10 – First Flower

In White Soul, the initial flowers may not turned into fruits. Most dried up.

White Soul Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2016 March 23

Even with the best bee at work! 🙂

Self pollinating strawberry flowers

March 18 2016 – Human bee

Liquid Based plants enter flowering stage at around the 4th month.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds

Crown Thickening from 2nd month

ABOUT FRUITS

Typical of white strawberries, White Soul turning into fruits from pollinated flowers took about 3 weeks to fully form.

The first flush of flowers may not turned, thus we learned to prune off rather than keeping on the plant. Trimming off encourage more buds and fruits form better on the next round.

The fruits start oddly shaped and fill up later.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds

White Flesh

  • Fruits size are small
  • Not uniformly shaped
  • White flesh outer and inner
  • Musky scent and taste, mild
  • Flesh soften very quickly
Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

White Soul

White Soul variety provides a good learning experience for immediate level strawberries gardeners, because they are challenging. Overcoming their constant pitfalls in our natural environment enable us to handle any type of strawberries. Learn about other challenges of growing white strawberries in our climate here!

The plant remained small compared to other varieties, but fruit production can be vigorous.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Tiny Plant

Seeds are available for sale in SHOP .

Advertisements

Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI

Whether its soil or liquid based, this mizuna is easy to grow and quick to harvest. It is very delicious to eat as salads or cooked.

The variety that we grew at home is call Beni Houshi, a purple stem mizuna that is very popular in Japanese restaurants.

Added to salads, the purple hue of its stalk adds color and vibrancy as well as being high in anthocyanin, an antioxidant property found in blueberries.

Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI from seeds in Singapore

Purple stalk

These leaves are not bitter or wasabi sharp as common mizuna. The stalk tasted mildly sweet and is juicy. It is suitable for children. Both the leaves and stalks are edible.

Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI in containers

Leaf & Stalk are edible

Although slower in soil, the mature plant seem more robust with thicker stalk and bigger leaves than our liquid based plants of the same age.

Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI in containers

Soil vs. Liquid Base Plants

In Kratky, the stalk and leaves are thinner,

Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI in containers

Liquid Base

than soil based plants.

Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI in containers

Thick juicy stalks

Mizuna is a cut and grow plants, similar to Kale.

Germination Notes

  • In very wet medium, the seeds germinated overnight
Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI in containers

Overnight germination

  • True Leaf showed within 3 days
Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI in containers

2 days old

Within a week, young seedlings have 2 cm length roots.

Grow Mizuna ミズナ, 水菜, Beni HOUSHI in containers

one week old

Without a doubt, this is an easy edible to grow for beginner gardeners.

While stock last, seeds are available for sale in SHOP !

SULFUR SOAP FOR PESTS CONTROL

This article is written by Dr. Wilson Wong on how to use sulfur soap to kill mites. He is also the creator of GREEN CULTURE Singapore group in Facebook.

The picture shows the sulfur soap product most commonly available in Singapore.

How to use sulfur soap for pests control

ABC Shops and most provision stores

Sulfur, in its elemental form (as a molecule S8) is better known as a fungicide where it is used to manage fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, scab, brown rot, and so on. It is often sold as wettable sulfur, which is micronized sulfur powder with a dispersant and sticking agent added. Lime sulfur is another product that has the same properties, made from reacting lime with sulfur. Both products are not readily available for sale in Singapore.

What is less well known is that sulfur can be used to control spider mites and broad mites. Both are common horticultural pests. For control of mites, the size of the sulfur particle is important. Sulfur flakes that are used for deterring snakes in the garden are too big to be of use. Due to the lack of wettable sulfur and lime sulfur in Singapore, the next best product that can be used is sulfur soap.

How to use sulfur soap for pests control

Spider Mites spread by webbing

Sulfur soap contains micronized sulfur (often up to 10%) in a soap base (a typical ingredient list of a sulfur soap includes soap noodle (Sodium palmate, palm kernelate), sodium chloride, water, fragrance, sulfur, coconut fatty acid). As one can see, it is made of saponified vegetable fats that are used to make soap. What is beneficial is that the soap base can be used against small sucking insects like aphids, mealy bugs, scales and so on, which kill by suffocation, mites included.

RECIPE

To use make a spray of sulfur soap for pest control, grate the soap bar into fine flakes and dissolve a level teaspoon of these flakes in small amount of hot water. When totally dissolved, top the solution up to 800 mL or 1 L with tap water. Shake vigorously before spraying. This solution can be kept for up to a week. Ensure all the soap bits are dissolved so as to not clog your sprayer.

Sulfur is known to be of low toxicity, and poses very little if any risk to human and animal health. It is harmless to bees. Note that sulfur is toxic to all mites, including predatory mites, so caution is needed in its use to not upset the ecosystem. Sulfur is allowed in organic agriculture. The rest of the ingredients in the sulfur soap bar are quite harmless – saponified vegetable fats.

Always test a small portion of your plant before spraying so as to ensure the dose is suitable for use on your plant without causing phytotoxicity. Make a more dilute solution if required. Avoid breathing in the mist or letting it get into your eyes.

Before consuming your plants, give the harvested parts a good soak and rinse. For heavily infested plants, prune away badly infested parts. Repeated applications on alternate days may be necessary. Spray during the cooler part of the day.

Sulfur soap seems to be suitable for use on plants that had previously been sprayed with oil-based pesticides like neem oil and summer oil. This is probably due to the soap component washing away the oils from plants. Wettable sulfur on its own is not suitable for use on oil-sprayed plants without having to wait for at least several weeks.

For more info, please refer to the following:

http://adjuvants.com.au/Assets/1205/1/MicroSulfPIB.pdf

http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/…/pyrethrin…/sulfur-ext.html

MIGNONETTE

Featured

One of the French variety that we started in 2018 was the MIGNONETTE Alpine strawberries.

This variety was easy to grow, entered flowering stage at 3 months and a vigorous grower with about 100 – 120 fruits in a 4 months window. This matched growing data from gardeners abroad, even though we started them in a tropical climate. This strawberry variety is hardy in United States zone 5 to 9.

Our seeds were freshly harvested from a private grower and germinated in 4 days with 90% success and they are available for sale in SHOP.

Steps to germinate strawberry seeds at this post.

Our goal since 2016 after learning how strawberries grew, was to grow them better in a systematic method so that at every stage, we minimized the time between one development  stage to another. It should be easy for even a novice gardener to understand and learn. It can be cross apply to other cool seasoned plants.

POLLINATE LIKE A BEE ! 

This method is only taught in our workshop. Hopefully by filling the gap of information from seeds, home gardeners from different growing experiences would be able to scale our level of understanding strawberries even higher.

Mignonette’s journey began on July 13 2018 when the first sprouts were spotted. We used the balancing act method to hasten the germination progress.

Alpine strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 July 13 – Sowed July 9, 4 days

Very quickly, more seeds began to germinate over the next few days.

Alpine Mignonette strawberries from seeds in Singapore

July 15 – 70% had seed leaves

Over the years of growing strawberries from seeds, we observed that seedlings which showed “strong” characteristics will grow to maturity with ease. The signs are quick development from sprouts to standing seedlings. The better seedlings will carry the seeds husks for a while. Development leap from seed leaves to true leaves was within days instead of weeks.

Grow alpine strawberries from seeds

2018 July 19

We grew all our workshop seedlings from Heirloom seeds, to offer varieties not available in Singapore to our participants. It is also important that these seedlings started in our natural environment to acclimatize faster.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 Aug 01

HIGH K (Potassium) FOR FRUITING PLANTS & NATURAL FERTILIZER

 

One month old seedlings showed significant leaves development. What was unseen, was how much the roots zone area had progressed.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 August 16 – 1 month old

Beneath the soil, the roots length were about 4 cm and the crown turned pink. Fling Test (new workshop curriculum) is required to establish seedlings at every stage of transplant. This method ensured that transplanted seedlings were set properly to approach flowering stage with ease and reduce transplant stress as much as possible.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Below Soil

Healthy strawberry plants have un-cupped leaves with red stems and thickening crown. They love the sun while roots zone preferred to be cooler.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 September 16

A scent of sweetness emitted from the plants during active photosynthesis, this became more pronounced during fruiting stage. Thus, pests prevention is a good idea!

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Sticky Trap 

CAN BE CUT TO DESIRED SIZES


In our natural environment, strawberries seedlings can grow without a hitch. They love the sun but may still be too young to cope with direct afternoon heat.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 October 16

The first flower were spotted on October 22 2018 from only a single crown and at 3 month old!

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

First Flower

Although small, these fabric pots work very well to carry young seedlings towards  flowering stage with ease. In my humble opinion, growing strawberries is easier than tomatoes! They were not fussy at all, readily accepted low soil depth (2 inch) of mini pots.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 October 24 – new flowers

Even if the fruits bearing stem snapped, it can continue to carry the fruits to ripen with a scotch tape bandage!

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 Dec 18 – scotch taped aid!

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 December 20 –

With this confidence, we tested and modified more ways to grow them. It is important that the starting stage from germination to 3 months, was established properly. Thereafter, we could plant them in mini or high pots or any way we want to grow them.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

LIHO Tall, modified

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Mini Pot

Mignonette Variety is a vigorous grower. Even in a less than ideal environment or low soil depth, they will produce many berries. Once these mini starter plants were plugged into their permanent pot, they continue to thrive without transplant stress. We developed a crossing over technique to ensure they are able to ease over to new environment.

In addition to growing seedlings for workshop, we also grow to learn.

For example, understanding how roots developed is important for hydro or soil based nutrients application. This new understanding allowed us to find new ways to grow them better and more importantly, faster to fruit in our natural environment.

Other trials included moving mature seedlings from soil to liquid base to study how they adapt to new environment.

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Knowing Roots

We saw that they adapted with ease although fruiting was delayed. Their soil based comrades were fruiting aggressively whiles these new hydro seedlings were still pondering at the change of environment! 🙂

From here, we understood that any change in their growing environment can delay fruiting progress even though they remain healthy plants. Our learning journey over the years is not wasted, because we now fully understand these plants and know how to tweak our environment to “cheat” them to fruiting without the perks of a cooler climate!

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 Sept 21 – Soil to Hydro

 

Sweet fruits of our labour, from Nov 01 2018 ! 🙂

Grow Mignonette Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

First pair of fruits

Gardening 101

Featured

I was a noob myself in 2015 and still remembered how I start.

What seem common sense to seasoned gardeners may not be so clear for new gardeners. I read a lot of posts in every group that I joined, researched gardening books and online videos and yet, with the volume of information available, questions still arose.

What was simple to experienced gardeners is a minefield for new gardeners!

How to start? Make a list of what you want to grow.

What to grow? In the past, I often advised, “Grow what you like to eat” ! But what happened if new gardeners are like me, a connoisseur who love to cook with rosemary and thyme ? These herbs are not easy to grow for even some seasoned gardeners.

I have learned to be more specific with my advice. 🙂 Here is a list of some easy edibles to consider. For example, mint, kang kong, basil, peanuts, pak choi, arugula etc. Rule of thumb for beginners is, “READ FIRST” then rushed out to buy the gardening essential. The reason is, plants have different needs and the designated area for gardening may not be suitable. Most edibles thrived better where there is sun. At least 6 hours of sun if possible or at least, a very bright area. If there is no sun, fret not, your options are limited but there are grow lights or just grow more shade loving plants instead.

Gardening tips for new gardeners

See that Magnifying glass on the right corner?

Effective use of social media as a learning tool start from knowing how to source for information quickly. Use this magnifying glass to search for answer to questions. You will be amazed how quickly Facebook gathered and collect related posts for reading. The questions we asked as noobs may have been posted many times before. To save time, this was how I learned gardening using social media groups. An advantage of such tool is being able to learn at your own chosen time and be able to find out common problems (pests, pollination difficulties) affecting these plants and how to handle them before experiencing them yourself! 🙂 Last but not least, who the experts are in that area and be able to ask directly! 🙂

Some edibles need not be grown from seeds. Most plants can be propagated. The word, simply mean to grow from a parent plant. By the way, I learned about this method when I helped my then 10 years old daughter with homework. 🙂 Thus cut a stem or trimmed off the end on a slant cut, and stick this in water and wait for roots to emerged. Then plant in your preferred medium. This is my blog post on mint and included in it, a video where my daughter will show you how. 🙂

Gardening basic for new gardeners

Rosemary propagation – better chance of rooting if stems are from a live plant than grocery herbs!

What soil to buy ? Ever stand in front of the aisle where soil are sold? It is a different reality when standing in front of rows of soil options isn’t it? These are just too many types to choose from!

Seeds Compost – Likely it will have more husk and sieved soil to retain moisture. For this brand, fine sand is added to keep the soil loose for young roots to grow without hindrance. Fertilizer is included to last 2 months. Its a darker color compared to Horti brand. For your information, seeds do not need fertilizer to start.

IMG_3164

Then what is the different between seeds compost and seed potting mix? I think not much difference in terms of purpose. Seeds compost or potting mix tend to have less barks, more loose and water retaining properties than other types of soil. For seeds, I preferred to start them in seeds compost.

Gardening basics for new gardeners

Seeds Potting mix and Potting soil

What is potting soil? Essentially its the same thing but with more barks, some perlite (volcano ash that had been heated into pebbles form), and fertilizers for growing plants. Most seasoned gardeners customized their own mixes for different plants. Check out the formulas at the above link.

In addition, direct from local growers, soil or hydro kits for beginners are available!

Gardening basics for new gardeners

Soil for edibles

On fertilizers, my personal advice for new gardeners is to remember why we are growing edibles in the first place.

Gardening fun can extend beyond just growing plants ! Gift ideas for fun loving people –

We grow to eat. The kids will be eating them too. There is no deadline to rush the produce to the market. Thus, please give your plants time to mature and if needed, then add fertilizers. Most soil from the stores already have fertilizers in them for 4 – 8 weeks.

Again, there are many different kinds of fertilizers available. I preferred organic fertilizers, such as rabbit poo (any herbivore animals’ poo) or worm casting. I also make my own seaweed fertilizer and recycled green waste for compost in my outdoor gardens. Amy Choong made her own orange peel soil conditioner which I will be be trying out soon. Some gardeners kept earthworms and harvest worm tea and casting (poo) for their gardens. Most fruit bearing plants need higher Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) fertilizers. Please Google to find out more.

Gardening basics for new gardeners

Worm casting – many different brands available!

How about soil – less options?  If you are just considering your options, why not try Lim San‘s method first, out of recycled cups and plastic bottles. Trust me, plants don’t really care where you grow them in as long as their growing conditions are met! 🙂

 

Gardening basics for new gardeners

Hydroponics salads following Lim San‘s instructions!

And even a video from the kids! 🙂

Gardening basics for new gardeners

Small space gardening – From “garden”

The benefits of growing your own vegetables? There is no waste, we only harvest what we need and then the plant continue to grow. Even if I only have one sunny window and a table, with Lim San’s methods, I get to grow and harvest fresh vegetables from this table! 🙂 Kids too, are better at science subject because of our hobby.

Gardening basics for new gardeners

To Table 🙂

Fast Forward to 2018, our vegetables gardens now look like this!

Creative PET bottles garden containers

Vertical Salads!

We grew really cool salads like oyster leafs, ice plants, spinach and many more in hanging recyclables. Do check it out on the Exotic and Greens page.

The learning journey never stop and it is so fun!

We hope you will join us.

Just do it! 🙂

Last but not least, workshops are available.

 

 

 

 

 

GRAPES and COWBOYS :)

And … COWGIRLS ! 🙂

In every group of various communities, there are bound to be a small group of rebels who are not satisfied with the ordinary. They defied every established rule to do things their own way and explore new boundaries!

These are the grapes growers who do so in Singapore high rise gardens! Having no land and facing countless challenges are not going to stop these cowboys/girls from growing what they want and how they want to do it!

GrumpyGrapes – Not sure if you are reading this right? How could growing grapes be possible in hot tropical crowded cities like Singapore?!

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

June 29 2016 – Harvest day is around the corner !

Well, this apartment’s corridor “vineyard”  had broken its own record on June 29 2016. More than 35 brunches of grapes, not counting newly formed flowers stretched along a 10 m length of vine. The gardener, Alex Ng,  said with his usual caustic wit, that no special fertilizer was added, only the occasional cursing after happy bouts of Heineken and the sun seem to do the trick ! Thus, tip for gardeners!

If all else failed, start cursing!! 🙂

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Grape vines supported on bamboo poles along a common corridor!

For young vines, Alex add chicken poo or other organic fertilizer every 2 weeks, and use rice or fish/aquarium rinse to water his plants. As the vines matured, they do not need much to bear fruits. To cope with the heat, Alex watered his grapes religiously two or three times a day and with large volume of water. He harvested grapes all year round and after each harvest, pruned back the vines and wait for new shoots to develop. Alex Ng kept seedlings and regrow from cutting after each pruning of his vines. All his plants are grown in pots, and supported by 2 m length bamboo poles and lift 2 m from the floor.

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Simple No Frills Trellis made of bamboo poles.

If this bamboo pole support snapped, grapes are going to rain down on people on the street ! 🙂 I am sure no one will complain.

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Out flung grapes hung precariously over the side of the corridor’s railing!

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Grapes – A sight to behold along this corridor!

According to Alex, grapes typically took 3 months to ripen on the branch. For some cultivars, when there is sufficient sun, they will turned from green to this purple hue.

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Grapes turned red when there is sufficient sun

 

Je t’aime Isabella! – If you had heard Henry Lim described his Isabella (not his pretty wife’s name, by the way), one could easily be mistaken that he was talking about his amoureux (lover) 🙂

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Isabella grapes

It took him 3 long years from cutting to young plant to its current maturity. Along the way, he encountered numerous setbacks. From a blank paper, he literally learned how to grow grapes in our region from scratch. How and which soil mixes/ what trellis work best, pest control, fertilizers (organic and inorganic), composting, worm casting, repotting issues, pruning methods, experimented with coconut water (for its cytokinins properties) and diluted beer fertilizer etc.

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

V-shaped trellis worked best for Henry LIm. Maximum sun exposure!

His journey seem to echo my strawberries journey!!! 🙂 Like him, I experimented like a mad scientist!! 🙂

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

First time fruiting after 3 years ! Stages of ripening – Green, Red, Burgundy

No-one really understood the work behind all the success stories/pictures until one experienced it. I am sure for every gardener who did , understood this deeper than anyone else and more so, all those heartaches felt when things don’t work out.

But, finally they did.

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

100 days from flowers to harvest day! First stage of fruiting

For Henry Lim, harvest day was on June 4 2016! Determination, 120 hours of research, trials of experimenting and steely grit, paid off.

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Isabella – Sweet, Juicy, more flavorful than supermarkets! One seed per grape.

 

Another “cowboy” gardener is Alan Tan , whom I wrote about in January 2016, “Mr. Green Fingers” in this blog. He started growing grapes in 2015, at his kitchen window. His grape seedling grew so quickly that his vines almost obscured the kitchen’s view and lend a wilderness chic to this apartment facade! 🙂 I often wonder what his neighbors thought of this “wild window” and “wild corridor” ! 🙂

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

High rise grapes vines

As long as gardens do not blocked emergency exits along high rise corridors, personally, I rather hoped to share more wild green stories in Singapore’s high rise public housing. I applaud Alan’s green fingers in bringing natural green beauty into an otherwise, mundane building. 🙂

Sharon Verena – Highest grape vine in Singapore 🙂

Finally, a cowgirl’s story!

Believe me, Sharon has more growing at this high rise garden than grapes! I think to cover all that she grew here, I will write a blog post solely for her garden … soon ! 🙂

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Champagne grapes vines

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

Grapes Vines creep along high above Singapore! 🙂

Nowadays, growing grapes in high rise apartments and communities’ gardens are more common. But if it had not been for these cowboys/girls who challenged and overcome our space limitations and shared how to do it, we may not have gotten this far.

Henry Lim and Alex Ng continued to share their knowledge in SG GrapeGrowers group ( link : https://www.facebook.com/groups/SGGrapeGrowers/ ) with our communities.

Grow grapes from cutting in Singapore

July 9 2016 – Henry Lim visiting Alex’s vineyard, look at those clusters of grapes in the background!

Like most gardening enthusiasts, we all enjoyed our chats with these renegade gardeners. Not only their drive to learn and generosity to share their knowledge but also, they all seem to posses a keen sense of humor, an ability to laugh away their failures and strong will to overcome setbacks. 🙂  Indeed, maybe, this is also the secret to their success – Not afraid to fail, thus dare to try anything!

Alex Ng’s TIPS on how to start growing grapes in Singapore –

  1. Buy a stem cutting from nurseries in Singapore (cheapest one is $6 at World Farm and other nurseries may stock more exotic varieties at higher price)
  2. Re-pot to largest pot, preferably minimum size 40 cm height and depth
  3. Normal well drained garden soil is good enough for grapes cutting
  4. Once transplanted , leave in bright area for a few days before moving pot to an area with direct sunlight. Grapes can grow well in areas without direct sunlight but it should be in an area with bright natural light as much as possible.
  5. Water daily
  6. No need to fertilize in the first few months
  7. The pot need to be in a place where there is room for trellis to be built as the grape need to climb as it grows. Under the right conditions, healthy grapevine will grow a few inches each day.
  8. The trellis can be built later as the cutting grows.
Her World magazine on grapes growers in Singapore

Her World magazine (Singapore) – Oct 27 2017 🙂

 

Green Fingers’ Sanctuary

Our country, Singapore, measures 50 km (31 miles) from east to west and only 27 km (17 miles) north to south but supports over 5 million multinational people! Due to lack of land mass, most people lived in high rise apartments, and have no private outdoor gardens. 🙂

But as I discovered after creating my gardening group, “SG Farming in Apartments“, gardeners in Singapore had carved whatever space at disposal for green sanctuaries that fed the souls and stomachs ! 🙂

Edibles Corridors – Living in high rise apartments, corridors became the ideal spots for a garden, especially when there are ample sun! Although sunlit space is valuable, gardeners grow what they love on minimum space that do not obstruct walkway for their neighbors. 🙂

Singapore private gardens

Amy Choong – Salad bar and even okras from recycled cups and bottles

Amy Choong used recycled cups and bottles to grow edibles in 90% sand and 10% compost with home made soil conditioner. Her edibles include okras, herbs, tomatoes and a broad selection of leafy vegetables! 🙂

Singapore private gardens

Amy Choong‘s Garden

Amran A. Hassan‘s amazing suspended herbs garden in recycled cups and hooked along a corridor’s wall!

Singapore private gardens

Amran A. Hassan ‘s herbs garden

Every space, even the wall along a corridor, is precious when there is no ground for a garden in urban cities.

Corridor Edibles Gardens

Full view of Amran’s herbs wall

One of the first post of corridor gardening by Guat Lian Peh  to my then newly mint group last year ( May 2015), and therefore left a deep impression. She was one of the first to teach me how to grow a vegetables garden along a corridor using normal household baskets! 🙂

Singapore private gardens

Guat Lian Peh‘s corridor vegetables “Farm” !

Singapore private gardens

Guat Lian Peh‘s new corridor crops include climbers!

Where there is no space, these corridor railings are very useful to hook racks so that gardeners can safely grow plants without having their pots fell from high rise apartments and caused harm to people on the ground.

Singapore private gardens

Evelyn Saw‘s fresh greens!

Edibles Corridors

Urika Sia – Garden on racks

Edibles Corridors

Climbers along corridors!!

For safety reasons, there are by-laws over-seeing corridor gardens in high rise apartments in Singapore. A minimum 1.2 meter clearance space is needed, in case of fire or other emergency evacuation . Breeding grounds should be dry and gardeners must ensure there are no stagnant water to breed mosquitoes, as dengue cases here are always a concern.

Edibles Corridors

TN DNY – Recycled an old bed frame for a narrow garden bed for his corridor!

Consideration for neighbors is good policy when corridors are shared. Less frictions living in close proximity with each other made life easier for all. And gardening became a shared joy and create opportunities for closer bonding.

Edibles Corridors

Freshly harvested radish from his old bed frame! 🙂

 

Singapore private gardens

In addition to this oregano, TN DNY grew thyme and rosemary very well too!

Other gardeners like Tong Alan, who are skilled with tools, made their own grow bed out of huge drums that include a central composting tower to feed soil with organic matter while they grew vegetables on minimum space! 🙂

Singapore private gardens

Tong Alan’s vegetables “plot” in drums!

These heavy drums sat on hand- made trolleys to access sun whenever needed! They are simply too heavy to cart around otherwise. According to Alan, one drum required about 150 kg of soil to fill.

Singapore private gardens

Labor of love learned from internet resources like YouTube.

Besides edibles gardens, there are spaces created for beauty that soothe gardeners’ souls in our high rise living quarters as well! 🙂

The world outside these gardens may be a hub of activity and newspapers filled with alarming developments around the world, looking at these pictures of quiet solace, I understood what they meant for gardeners tending to these beauties.

Singapore private gardens

Minnie Lee‘s cosy garden gave her peace and satisfaction 🙂

Singapore edibles corridor garden

Minnie Lee’s quiet enjoyment with her flowers and edibles garden

Singapore private gardens

Saodah Hasbolla‘s flowers brightened her day!

Singapore private gardens

Farreeda Bagam Mssm ‘s garden was featured in a local documentary June 2016!

Singapore private gardens

Farreeda D.I.Y hanging poles from tree branches to save space (above right)

Mohd Sanny is known in our gardening community for his lush and fragrant flowers corridor’s garden but his video is unable to load in this blog post currently.

Singapore private gardens

Mohd Sanny‘s lush Bosten Ferns clean the air.

Singapore private gardens

Caroline‘s therapeutic corner – Orchids Galore on a DIY rack handmade by the gardener’s spouse

Singapore private gardens

Caroline’s therapeutic corner

All over the world, gardeners shared the same passion, to filled space with beauty and where possible, grow food and harvest fresh.

In urban crowded cities like Singapore, gardening is a growing trend as more people  crave fresh harvest at doorstep and sought beauty in green private corners wherever they can. 🙂

 

 

DWARFING A PAPAYA

Featured

Notice I did not add a “tree” behind the papaya in the title? There was some debate during the sharing of this post in our group (SG Farming in Apartments) whether a papaya plant is a tree , herb or both! 🙂 What is interesting about papaya plant is that it has three sexes : Female (fruit bearing), Male (non-fruit bearing) and bisexual (fruit bearing and has both male and female flowers on the same plant)!

The tips to germinate a fruit bearing papaya plant starts from choosing the right seeds. Firstly, black color as opposed to lighter shade seeds increased the chance of a fruit bearing plant. This information came from member Galih Galih in our group. Another resource ( agriculture90 ) recommended to soak black seeds in lukewarm water overnight and then chose the ones that sink to the bottom. In addition, seeds from the tip to the middle of the fruit’s cavity is better for germination than from the base of the fruit. From my own experience, removing the outer skin covering the seeds made germination faster.

Anyhow, the dwarfing papaya method was shared by Mr. MaderaRoja de la Secoya (or MAI), on how to keep papaya plant low for easier harvest and allowed it to be grown in pots. According to MAI (his shortened Thai name), this was not his original idea. He seen this post from another contributor, and tried them for his fruit trees (orange and lime) and they worked! The plants are able to thrive in pots, did not grow to full size but the fruits are of normal sizes.

Dwarfing fruit trees

Potted Papaya in pot (pruned roots) and grounded Papaya are the same age (6 months old)

At the maximum height, papaya roots that had been pruned will grow to 2 meters (about 6.5 feet) only. According to Mai, it would take a very long time for dwarf papaya to reached this height and they would likely die of old age thereafter.

Mai also shared that a squirt of lime and a dash of pepper on ripe papaya is not only delicious but also settled queasy stomach! 🙂

GROW IN FABRIC POTS FOR BETTER ROOTS

So how did this method work?

Dwarfing fruit trees

2 weeks old papaya plant from seeds

When the papaya seedling is 2 – 4 weeks old, remove it from pot.

Dwarfing a papaya tree

Good roots mass had developed , gently removed soil from roots.

Mai has shared that in his region (Chiang Mai, Thailand) only bisexual papayas are available, so this is what the root mass looked like. One main tap root with many root hairs along the whole main root.. MAI advised to save as many roots hairs as possible when cutting the main root. From my reading ( arlene1027 and contributions from gardeners in South East Asia) on this plant, it seem that we can confirmed whether the mature plant will produce male or female flowers based on their roots. Since only female or bisexual plants produce fruits, it is important to know how to tell the difference. Male root is straight while female root is shorter, developed in a bunch and has more than 1 main root.

Dwarf a papaya

Bisexual Roots mass uncovered (papaya seedling)

How to dwarf fruit trees

Pruned or cut the tip of the tap root

How to dwarf fruit trees

Tap root has been pruned!

How to dwarf a papaya plant

This is a Female papaya roots (contributed by  Farreeda Bagam Mssm on June 16 2016)

After the papaya’s tap root has been trimmed, this seedling should be planted in the biggest pot possible so that it can grow to its mature height without further transplanting. His experience has been that papaya plant do not take to transplanting easily. They will die if their roots are disturbed when they are a few months old. Lesson learned – *** Do not uproot papaya plants for transplant when they are already a few months old ! ***

How to dwarf a papaya

3 months old papaya – On the left, root had been pruned vs. normal size

To avoid transplanting when his papaya plant outgrew a pot, MAI checked at the bottom of the pot and trimmed off roots that are extending out of it.

Regarding fertilizer, Mai’s experience had been that papaya can thrived with no fertilizer, “in plain old dirt” .

Disclaimer Advisory –  Local SG gardener, Ms. Annie Lim, shared that her seedlings did not survived this root pruning on February 05 2017. Perhaps not all seeds are suitable for this method. Do try on one first and observed before proceeding with the next seedling.

FEW months old Papaya dwarfing method

To keep few months old papaya (with normal un-pruned roots) from growing too tall, “topping off” method is quite common. This is a method where the top of the papaya plant is trimmed off and a lattice is built over the plant. MAI said the plant will regrow in a lateral pattern instead of reaching for the skies! The fruits will also hung in a lateral way making for easier harvest. I am sure we seen images of these in the internet.

NATURAL FERTILIZER FOR FRUITS

MATURE Papaya Shortening Tree Method (Taiwan)

Are there no hope for mature papaya plants?! Gardeners who grew papayas often lament about controlling mealy bugs infestation. What made this problem acute for mature papayas is its height. According to Suan-Loke Tan (Urban Farmers Singapore group), when papaya plants grew too tall (3 meters and taller), they become more difficult to manage pests. A lot of gardeners would stopped maintaining the plants and they will decline. Eventually these plants would be chopped down and discarded.

A method to shorten the height of mature papaya plants was introduced in a YOUTUBE video from Taiwan.

According to this video (in  Mandarin and Chinese dialect), papaya plants can be shortened by cutting three vertical slits on the “trunk” of the papaya, so that it can be stretched to bent over. Unlike other tree-like plants, papayas’ inner cores are like bamboos with hollow center. Cutting deep slits on the plants’ exteriors will not killed it. In fact, growing them in a lateral way, will slow down its growth and doubled its normal productive lifespan from 3 to 7 years! Water and nutrients are more effectively distributed to the top of the tree in a lateral way than vertical. Fruits grown this way are sweeter and tastier too. Last but not least, pest control at waist height is much easier and effective!

One local brave (!!) gardener , Mr. CheongWeei Gan from UrbanFarmers Singapore, decided to test this out on 5 of his own plants.

Shortening Papaya method

May 29 2016 – One of the 5 trees in Mr. Gan’s experiment

Slits were cut on the “trunk” of this papaya, so that it can be bent. A support was used to hold up the plant in its new position. Some of the leaves were trimmed off as well. This papaya had already produced fruits when it was bent. As seen in this picture, the leaves are facing downwards. Some gardeners in Singapore expressed concern that this plant may not recover!

Shortening Papaya method

June 3 2016 – Papaya plants are so hardy that the cut area has dried up and healed 5 days later!

Two weeks later, the plant has recovered. The leaves are no longer facing down and have moved upwards towards the sun.

Shortening Papaya method

June 19 – Papaya plant has recovered!

Shortening Papaya method

Slits cut into trunk so that it can bent over

Mr. CheongWeei Gan had these observations based on his experiments to share –

  1. Ideal height to apply this method is 5 to 8 feet. If the tree is too short, the shortening effect is not optimum. Too tall or too old, the papaya plant had become too woody and its harder to bent and likely caused the vertical strips to break or tear. Nutrients and water distribution will be disrupted and the plants would take a longer time to recover.
  2. Thin trunk needs 3 – 4 vertical strips while thicker trunk 5 – 6  strips for better bent effect. He will be experimenting whether different bent positions affect shortening effect and would try to find the best bent position to optimize this shortening.
  3. Papaya plants do not thrive in water logged soil. Most plants die because of root rot than any other reason.
  4. Plants with unhealthy roots have few leaves and the bottom most leaf is only 1 to 2 inches from the tip of the top leaves. In healthy plants, the lowest leaf is more than a foot from the “growing tip”. This is one of the way he gauge whether his papaya plant is in good health or not! 🙂

On this method of shortening, Mr. CheongWeei Gan felt that the real test will be whether the new fruits after the current harvest would be as claimed, that  they taste better and sweeter being grown on a lateral trunk than on a vertical one. 🙂

SUMMARY of Papaya Plant Growing Information ( Gardening Know How ) –

  1. Full SUN
  2. Water frequently for best fruits production and do consider mulching to retain moisture
  3. Best in growing zone 9 – 10
  4. These plants can produce either female , male or bisexual flowers. Only female and bisexual flowers produce fruits. Supermarkets’ fruits seeds tend to be produce bisexual flowers (both male and female flowers on the same plant).
  5. At maturity and grounded, the plant can reached 30 feet

 

 

Pineapple Strawberry

Featured

UPDATE 2018 – Successfully grown in non-circulating hydroponics (KRATKY) and began 3rd generation seedlings trials. This variety was acclimatized to SG natural environment by 2017.

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

KRATKY Strawberries


The parent plants of this variety began their journey on January 16 2016 in soil. This is Alpine heirloom Pineapple strawberries, a low growing variety with 1 inch sized light yellow colored fruits.

The taste profile of this variety has been described as sweeter than red strawberries, with  an unforgettable impact of pineapple and rose.

Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

Jan 16 2016 – Germinated today! Sowed Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries seeds on Jan 7 (9 days)

These seeds were not easy to germinate. I succeed only on my third attempt. Germination tests will continue in 2017 to pin down the best method to germinate these wonderful strawberries.

Heirloom Pineapple strawberry babies

Jan 25 2016 – More Heirloom Pineapple strawberry seeds germinated

Pineapple strawberries are rarely sold in overseas supermarkets and even Farmers’ marts.

This variety does not travel well.

They have to be consumed the same day as harvest!

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries roots

Feb 3 2016 – Transplanting pineapple strawberries to deeper pots

Grow Alpine White strawberries

March 8 2016 – 80% seedling survived, seem hardier than the white soul variety

As we have germinated a lot of seedlings, they were tried in various containers to see how best to grow them while fulfilling the conditions that allow them to thrive in our tropical weather. This data will be updated when we get them.

Grow white alpine strawberries in Singapore

March 8 2016 – Described as low grower but looked big in my PET bottle at 09.5 cm height for 2 months old seedlings

Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

Heirloom Pineapple strawberry at 2 months old was a big plant and moved to grow bag.

Common problem seen on non-red strawberries in Singapore is cupped leaves. Seedlings tend to fail more during the second month of growth. I seen these in the red strawberries as well last year. From the 4th month, they became hardier.

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries

March 8 2016 – Cupped leaves (3 months old)

Heirloom pineapple strawberries

Cupped and then brown leaves before dying (1 month old seedlings). Transplant shock? Humidity? No idea really why they failed.

On the assumption that cupped leaves may be due to lack of aeration in the PET bottles, I decided to cut out the bottles’ bottom and net it. The leaves improved after this was done –

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry

Leaves improved and a healthier plant after netting PET bottles

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries

Roots extending out of the net.

Recycling efforts continued this year as well. Most of my strawberries are grown in PET bottles, either 1.5L or 600 ml plastic bottles. This year, instead of painting these bottles, we recycled even plastic bags and old socks (suggested by member ” Shy Jean“) to shield them from the heat of the sun. Cooling with ice packs as shared by member Wanqing’s method was also explored during very warm weather. As much as possible, I hope to show gardeners that growing strawberries in tropical countries, is possible and with the least carbon footprint and costs.

Pineapple strawberry from seeds

Sun, Chill and Aeration for health! Isn’t these the same for humans too?! 🙂 Frozen ice pack cool the strawberries as they sunbathed! 🙂

Grow Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

June 2016 – The pineapple strawberry continued to thrive. Recycled old socks protect “pots” from our tropical heat!

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seed

July 28 2016 – Strawberry plant grown in a 600ml Sprite bottle

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seed

Smallest bottle strawberry plant at flowering stage

See why I enjoyed growing strawberries from seeds? We get the chance to witness each development closely as they evolved. Just watching how the crown began preparation for its flowering/fruiting journey is amazing. 🙂

Grow Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

First, just a single crown with one new “shoot”

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry from seeds

Then it becomes two!

Grow Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

More than 2 leaves at the crown

Grow Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

The crown thickened and ready to multiply! The stems become redder as well.

Grow Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

July 14 2016 – First flower spotted!!

 

Human bees get to work on July 17 2016  –

Pineapple Strawberry from seeds

Summer began on the first flower to open! 🙂

Heirloom Pineapple strawberries

Household chores – Pollinating strawberries flowers (Shona, my niece)

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

August 7 2016 – Children pollinating flowers

Grow Pineapple Strawberry

Self pollination with a paint brush

Pollinating flowers with new young friends (Jonas and Eva) from NakedGreens‘ gardening group! August 14 2016 –

 

 

When pollination is successful, strawberry’s petals will dropped completely.

Grow Pineapple Strawberry

Hopefully this developing fruit complete its journey!

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seed

Can’t wait to taste our yellow strawberries ! 🙂

Sometimes, even after successful pollination, the fruit may dry up in Singapore, halting its journey to fruiting. Thus, we always keep our fingers crossed till harvest day! Not taking any developments for granted.  The strawberry plant though continued to evolve. Check out how flowering stems developed from the crown. –

Pineapple Strawberry from seeds

Newly formed flowers just began.

Pineapple Strawberry from seeds

New flower buds

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seed

July 27 2016 -Pretty little bloom peeking out 🙂

Pineapple strawberries from seeds

Regardless of the color of the fruits, strawberries flowers are yellow center, either white or pink flowers.

 

HARVEST DAY (Parent Plants to our second generation seedlings to come)  – August 7 2016 :)

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

Amazing taste – rose syrup, pineapples and only a hint of strawberries. Very light yellow and a strong scent of pineapple when ripe!

Heirloom pineapple strawberries

Aug 13 2016 – Saving these for the grandparents!

Grow Pineapple Strawberries

Aug 22 2016 – Sweet and flavorful ! Pineapple candies smell scent the room 🙂

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

Kids love these yellow strawberries!!

Grow Pineapple Strawberries

Aug 21 2016 – Bountiful harvest.

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries

September 17 2016 – Do the fruits look like pineapple to you?  🙂

These strawberries took one month to slowly ripen and grow. Fruit sizes are about 2.5 cm to 3 cm when its fully ripe. Pineapple candies smell scent the bedroom! 🙂

Grow Pineapple Strawberries

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries – about 2.5 – 3 cm

Heirloom Pineapple strawberries

They are sweet, a surprise hint of rose syrup with pineapple and strawberries taste! 🙂

 

Video of our strawberries plants – (in English and Japanese)

 

Second Generation (Born in Singapore Strawberries) – Seeds from our ripe strawberries were sowed for the next generation of pineapple strawberries. Hopefully we will have acclimatized strawberry plants for Singapore soon.

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

August 26 2016 – Very ripe fruits were sacrificed for seeds!

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

Germinated on August 30, these seedlings are about a week old on September 7 2016.

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry from seeds

Sept 2016 – New generation of strawberry seedlings from born in Singapore Heirloom parents! 🙂

As the seedlings grew, we need more space to accommodate an expanding garden. Thus vertical space was considered again. A new method to grow them in less soil and using Singapore natural resources work well. 🙂 It will be shared in workshop sessions only.

Grow Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

Hanging Garden of strawberries and camomile plants

Grow Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

Jan 16 2017 7 am – Scented Window Garden at the balcony 🙂

Grow Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

January 26 2017 – My office where I wrote and replied posts!

Second generation‘s first fruit harvested on January 30 2016 –

Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

Jan 26 2017 – First fruit spotted!

Seeds to Harvest Journal –

 

Observations on second generation plants (February 02 2017 ) –

  • Hardier than Generation 1 , need no chilling treatment
  • Slower to flower
  • Fruits production is less than parent plants

With so many seedlings on hand, window of opportunities grew to learn more from them. For example, what kind of soil is best for strawberries? Working with soil specialist, we were able to put our seedlings through soil trials in order to pin down a formula that work for these plants in our climate. Thus, customized ready soil mix is in the pipeline soon! 🙂

Grow gourmet Strawberries from seeds

December 01 2016 – Seedlings from our parent plants

The learning journey never stops as we sought to learn more about our strawberries. What kind of soil is best for them? As these plants are not commonly grown (yet), everything from soil mixes to plant care have to be documented. After many months of trial and errors, I think the solution to best soil mixes is close! 🙂 What do you think of our progress on these 3 months old seedlings  ? 🙂

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries from seeds

Same age seedlings! The bigger plant are grown in our customized strawberry soil compared to normal commercial organic soil 🙂

Another discovery on December 10 2016 – Stressed Alpine strawberries even a reputed non-runner variety like this one will sent out runners when they sensed danger! 🙂 I do not think this is a good sign for this plant. Surely it is no longer a heirloom, more of a mutant, and even if the runner is rooted, I doubt it will bear fruits. We will just have to wait and see how this plant grow, will update.

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry

An almost torn stem triggered runners in this plant

The instinct to live is high for this seedling! 🙂

Symptoms of stressed alpine strawberries

Dec 12 2016 – The more pronounced the tear, the more developed the runner.

Second Generation Strawberry Plants

Recovered from transplant shock very quickly, within 2 days instead of weeks.

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry

Dec 10 2016 – Suffered a transplant shock

 

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry

Dec 11 2016 – Recovered in the afternoon

Comparative Study of SG vs. USA seedlings –

Since we have seeds from USA Heirloom  and SG born Pineapple Strawberry plants, we thought it would be interesting to study how they grow together for a comparative study. These were our observation so far –

Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry from seeds

SG seed from our own plants germinated one of these SG seedlings on Aug 30 2016

The germination rate for SG seedlings was 4 days compared to 9 days for USA seeds, and as can be observed, the speed of growth is faster for SG seedlings as well. These pictures were taken on October 2nd 2016.

Grow Heirloom Pineapple Strawberry from seeds

Heirloom USA seed germinated on Aug 30

Seasoned gardeners lend a hand to study how to grow strawberries better in Singapore from February 2016 –

Heirloom Pineapple strawberry

Terence Low of Naked Greens 🙂 Also Pak Mat (hydroponics), Calvin Soh (Guerilla Seeds), Alan Tan and even my lecturer on Hydroponics, Gregory Chow Kheong Keat (Ngee Ann Polytechnic)

Summary of Pineapple Strawberries Information –

  1. Perennial Plant
  2. has no runners
  3. Ideal soil temperature 16 – 21 degree Celsius
  4. Soil PH 6.1 to 7
  5. Can tolerate full sun or partial
  6. Small fruits of light yellow colors

 

Two months old Pineapple Strawberry Hydro “plug-ins” seedlings can be PRE-ORDER.

Due to limited space to grow, reservation is needed.Thank you for understanding.

 

Strawberries natural nutrients care

From non-GMO heirloom seeds

 

 

For Lavender Fans

Featured

UPDATE 2018Hydro lavenders ! Journal below soil based plants.

Grow lavenders from seeds or cutting in containers

Just like rosemary, the consensus is to “love it less”!

Do not over-water.

There were gardeners who grew Lavender very well in Singapore. Thanks to these gardeners who shared tips on plant care since 2016, more people (including myself) enjoyed lavenders in our gardens today. These sharing may not be in chronicle order as permission to use their stories (or pictures) came at different time as I wrote this post.

Henry Lim’s lavender journey (2015) – 

Henry Lim's Lavandula angustifolia variety, from seeds

Lavandula Angustifolia variety, from seeds

Began in September 2015 with a Paris Garden kit.

His lavender seeds did not germinate for a long time and Henry initially gave up on the project and re-purposed the soil for other plants.

Henry said germination can take up to 2 months and he was lucky to spot lavender shoots growing in the pots with the other plants and quickly transplant them.

Germinate lavender seeds

 Customized Medium

He customized his own lavender soil  :

His formula consisted of 1:1 pebbles and compost, mixed in with crushed egg shells (boiled, dried and egg membrane removed). He did not used the medium that came with Paris Garden kit. He said lavender soil need to be well drained, a customized mix of aqua-clay, compost and crushed boil egg shells work for his plants.

How to grow lavender plants indoors

Henry Lim’s young lavender seedling in his customised medium. Pot placed in area with free flowing air.

Erin Lee’s Lavender Journey :

Germinating lavender seeds took patience. Erin sowed her seeds in July 2015 and they took 2 months to see tiny sprouts. These seedlings were frail and grew very slowly.

lavender plants in Singapore

September 17 2015 – 2 weeks old lavender

Germinate lavender seeds

November 2015 – 2 months old lavender seedlings

Erin watered her lavender every 2 days and only when top soil felt dry. Lavenders love the sun.

Germinate lavender seeds

2016 January 26

Germinate lavender seeds

Feb 21 2016 – Erin’s “heart” work paid off ! 🙂

Shirley Ooi’s , 2015 : 

Started her lavenders journey on August 11 2015 from seeds. In the daytime, while she worked, they were indoors and watered with ice cubes instead of water.

Germinate lavender seeds

Aug 11 2015 

Lee Michael, January 2017 –  collected different varieties of lavender. In the earlier days before 2018, not many places stock lavenders. It was considered a great find if we chanced upon different types of lavenders in our local (Singapore) nurseries (plant centers).

Grow English Lavender from cutting

English Lavender

Grow French Lavender from cutting

FRENCH

Michael had successfully rooted and grew various types of lavenders from cutting. He used cactus soil mix and advised NOT to add fertilizers for these plants. To encourage a bushier lavender plant, the topmost part of lavender plant were trimmed off after the cutting had established itself.

Grow Goodwin Lavender from cutting

GOODWIN

Grow White Lavender from cutting

WHITE

KELVIN HO, 2016

It was Kelvin Ho‘s dream to start a lavender garden along his corridor in 2015. He read all he could and visited actual lavender fields.

In 2016, he decided to put his learning into action. His first attempt at germinating lavender seeds was a huge success. The first trial yield 75 seedlings total.

The first seed sprout was spotted in 2 weeks, on May 16 2016, and subsequently more seeds also germinated. 🙂  A lavender fan, his hard work and research paid off. He continued to advise beginners and share his experiences today.

 

Lavender plants from seeds

May 15 2016 –  germinated 75 seeds

Lavender plants from seeds

Kelvin’s lavender seedlings!

He experimented with various soil mixes to find the best one to germinate lavender seeds better. These were some of his wild exploration !

Recipe 1 – Cactus potting soil, perlite, Florabella soil, seed compost (all mixed together).

Lavender plants from seeds

Recipe 1

2016 May 22 – The above recipe did not work well. Perlite and Florabella soil were not suitable for lavenders. Seeds did not germinate in them.

Soil with neutral PH work better for them.

Lavender Plant

June 16 2016 – Lavender seedlings (one month old)

Kelvin Ho is no longer a novice where lavender plants are concerned! 🙂 Slowly his lavender corridor garden dream is a reality in 2017. This was his update –

Lavenders grew better where there was ample sun. He also observed that plants in cooling units grew faster.

Lavender plants from cutting

D.I.Y. cool beds (blue boxes)

In addition to seeds grown plants, he started rooting from nursery purchases as well.

Lavender Plants from cutting

Rooting more cutting in cups

Grow lavender plants from cutting

Roots spotted on a cutting!!

Ultimate reward for lavender gardeners were their flowers.

Grow lavender plants from cuttings

Lavender Flowers

 

Cher Keng Heng (2016) experimented widely for germinating, rooting and growing lavenders in his “laboratory”. He utilized hydroponic systems, Kratky methods as well as soil to study them.

At that time, his methods yield the fastest germination results of 2 weeks instead of 2 months. We thought it was his laboratory’s environment which was cool and dry, at 22 degree Celsius, 24/7.  Lavenders’ ideal conditions .

GERMINATION Method – Maximum Humidity for seeds

Sowed lavender in seed compost and covered it for maximum humidity which aids germination

Used covered container

Seeds sprouted first seed leaves 2 weeks later. It was astonishing to see this result in 2016 as most other experiences were 2 months.

Grow Lavender

April 12 2016 

Lavender from seeds

May 3 2016 – Lavender updates

In 2016, Cher Keng Heng suggested a way to hasten seedlings growth with LED grow lights by putting them closer and extend beyond our local daylight hours.

Grow lavenders from seeds or cutting in Singapore

May 3 2016 – To grow faster

May 14 2016 - Lavender from seed

May 14 2016 – Lavender from seed

May 10 2016 – As Cher Keng Heng grew (and experiment) most of his temperate plants in ideally cool controlled environment, I was completely shocked  when he shared pictures of  his lavender plant from a local nursery. This is what is known now as roots rot. Stress, humidity, excessive watering or unsuitable medium (coco peat) can caused this to happen. Once this occurred, the damage was irreversible. Better chance with rooting a new cutting than tried to revive it. The browning stems would spread upwards and plants usually die.

Lavender Plant care in the tropics

May 10 – Newly bought lavender in distress!

Regarding roots rot, more than a few gardeners had shared the same tale since 2016. Lavender plants would wane and started dying one week after purchase. The main reason found was roots rot causing plants to fail.

The above purchased plant was green-housed in a plastic covering in an attempt to stabilize it. Flies emerged from the soil and it was suspected that rot had already set in.

Lavender Care in the tropics

Flies emerged

Initially we thought that changing the soil immediately may prevent this from happening but if the rot had already set in, it did not help the plant recover.

2019 NURSERY LAVENDER PURCHASE

The lavender scent of sweetness which reminded one of light French perfume attracted me to this pot. Its a rare impulse as I normally do not buy plants. I checked for soft brown stems at the base of the plant, as this may be indicative of rot. Plants with roots rot ailment do not recover. Another visual check is for web with tiny red moving dots, this would be spider mites, an unpleasant persistent pests which spread easily in any garden.

How to grow lavenders well in Singapore

2019 March 06

I observed that lavenders with no flower buds had a stronger scent. Thus after careful checks, I chose this plant for their strong scent.

On hindsight, I should paid more attention to the blue tint on leaves. The color likely comes from Neem spray, a natural pesticide, indicating presence of pests already.

How to grow lavender plants in Singapore

Blue smear on leaves

BUYERS BEWARE, especially new gardeners. What looked and smell good, may not be the most healthy plants. As gardeners in this post advised, made cutting for rooting while the plant is healthy is a good insurance. Followed the advice on how to root cutting below with this added input.

How to grow lavender plants in Singapore

Cutting rooting in progress

As we made the cutting. please check the leaves condition as well.

How to grow lavenders in Singapore

Pests in the folds of leaves

In the folds, underneath and top of leaves, if white, green, black or lightly colored moving dots such as these are found, they are pests. In my case, there was an infestation of well fed aphids in only the middle section of the plant. Left alone, they would have spread to my other plants indoor. Thus a good rule of thumb is to check in the daylight and isolate any new buys until all is clear.

Ants protect and tend to aphids for their honeydew secretions. When one part of the plant became weak due to these sap sucking pests, guess who ferried them to other parts of the plant? Reducing ants presence will greatly reduced aphids and other pests presence. TIP – Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to kill ants, add to soil and water down. It is effective against spider mites too. Google for more information.

How to grow lavender plants in Singapore

Ants host pests

Both parent and cutting plants must be checked. Affected leaves removed, bagged and discard immediately. They cannot be used for culinary because of pesticide or dried for potpourri (in case the eggs hatched). Aphids and their eggs are extremely hardy, they would not die easily. To treat this plant, sulfur soap solution was used. However please note that sulfur reacts with light (sun or growlight) and would caused leaf burn. Thus only apply this solution at night or in the shade.

How to grow lavender plants in Singapore

PESTS ALERT

COCO-PEAT MEDIUM

How to grow lavender plants in Singapore

Very Wet Medium

When the plant was removed from its pot, its roots was tightly coiled in a very moist coco peat medium. This can lead to roots rotting because lavender plants are dry-loving.

How to grow lavender plants in Singapore

Rot setting in in mid section

As much as possible this medium should be removed to avoid future decline of the plant. Soaked to soften the tight coil and gently remove the peat. The last rinse in Epsom Salt solution to reduce transplant shock before planting in the right medium. Tips on customized mix below or consider cactus mix for well draining soil.

STEPS FOR NURSERY BUYS

  1. Check for presence of ants
  2. Prepare cutting – remove lower based leaves
  3. Check main plant and cutting leaves for pests
  4. Remove remaining nursery plant from pot
  5. Remove coco peat base as much as possible, soak to soften tight coil
  6. Last rinse in Epsom salt solution (for transplant shock)
  7. Prepare new medium (cactus soil or add 50 – 70% sand to soil for well draining media)
  8. Continue to monitor cutting and parent plant for pests and ants
  9. Isolate until all is clear before adding new buy in the garden
How to grow lavender plants in Singapore

Heavy Pruned Plant

HOW TO ROOT LAVENDER CUTTING

The easiest method to grow lavenders  was from cutting of mature plants than germinating from seeds. However from the latter, we could enjoy broader range of varieties than what was available locally.

Propagating from cutting was relatively easy to clone from nursery buys by selecting clean (not brown or black part) stems for rooting. This had become the standard “play-safe” after buying lavenders from our nurseries. By rooting green cutting ahead of time instead of waiting till browning appeared allowed gardeners to enjoy their purchased plants longer. For some seasoned gardeners, they also re-potted in well draining cactus-like soil instead of keeping them in nursery’s soil mix.

STEP 1 – CHOSE HEALTHY GREEN STEMS, REMOVE LOWER LEAVES

Lavender Care in the tropics

May 11 2016 – Clean stem cutting work better (right)  vs. the brown stems.

STEP 2 – GREENHOUSE For HUMIDITY

Lavender Care in the tropics

May 11 2016 – Sit the stem in water, mist the leaves and cover (to prevent water loss)

STEP 3 – OBSERVE FOR BROWNING STEMS

Lavender Care in the tropics

May 11 2016 – Seems ok, stem did not turned brown.

STEP 4 – CHANGE WATER IF MURKY

Lavender cutting

Day 4 – The water is not murky, stem is not brown, no sign of root rot. Remained same on May 19 2016!

Grow lavender from cutting

May 22 2016 – Rooted!!!!

 

Helen Tan advised to change water every 3 days or when water is murky to prevent root rot during propagation. Best individually rooted in its own reservoir.

TIPS – Don’t root brown stems

Day 4 - This is not good. Water is murky, stems are brown. Lesson learned - Best individually rooted.

BROWN Stems

TIPS – Short stems do not root well. Choose longer stems for rooting. Use a netcup as a rooting guide for best result.

lavender cutting care

May 19 2016 – Soft tips may mean rot has set in

TIPS – If rooting hormone is used, applied it on cutting’s end

Lavender Care in the tropics

May 11 -Choose green stem for rooting

Rooting hormone cutting was also green-housed to prevent evaporation.

Lavender Care in the tropics

May 11 2016 – Green house

Upright firm stem and non droopy leaves were good signs.

Lavender care in the tropics

Successful rooting

 

Sthh (Trevor)  Sthh‘s is another lavender expert. I chanced on his lavender cutting success on May 17 2016 from Urban Farmers (Singapore) group and very kindly, he agreed to share his tips again :

lavender plants

3 weeks old lavender from cutting

Sthh Sthh’s method

  1. Cut 3 to 4 inches of green soft stems, just below leaf nodes
  2. Remove lower 1 inch of leaves
  3. Plant in well drained sterile soil (no compost or organic stuff)
  4. Water deeply once, check how he does it in the rosemary post!

    lavender plants care

    This is how dry Sthh Sthh’s soil gets before he water it deeply!

  5. Place under morning sun
  6. Observe for one week
  7. Soil base is same for rosemary and thyme ( or use Cactus soil)

Sthh Sthh think that his variety is Goodwin Creek Grey, (Lavandula dentata x L. lanata) and this variety is more hardy as they are able to withstand a bit more humidity and heat. Characteristics are silvery-grey, toothed-edged leaves, and long flowering stalks.

REGINA FOK, passionate lavenders collector/grower based in USA

Once the stems have roots and for future lavender plant care, Regina Fok suggested the following guidelines for lavender plants in the tropics.

Lavender Treatment

Recovered Lavender Plant!!!

Tips on Lavender Plants Care in the Tropics – ( advice from REGINA FOK, USA)

  1. Water once every 3 to 4 days, only when top soil felt really dry or when the whole pot felt really light weight. This is how to tell when its time to water lavender plant.
  2. Use a syringe, filled with maximum 30 ml of water for lavender plant. Around the sides of the pot, dispense 5ml dose in 6 parts.
  3. Exposed to morning sun only (Update 2018 – FULL SUN is okay)
  4. Air-conditioned nights if possible
  5. DO not use ice
  6. Do not let lavender pot sit near where it can be rained on
  7. Cactus soil mixed with perlite and some compost can be considered as an ideal medium
  8. Base of Plant should not be wet
    How to care for lavender plant

    Regina Fok used cactus soil and perlite

    Where Regina lived in the States, her summer time can be as warm as 38 degree celsius, with high humidity. At night, the temperature will slipped to 25 degree celsius (our normal air- conditioning environment).

    How to care for lavender plants

    Thank you , Regina!!!

Disclaimer – While the solutions above suggested by Regina Fok, work for most lavenders suffering from heat shock or transplant, it may not be a solution that cured all ills for lavenders in Singapore. After all, there are many reasons why lavenders failed in Singapore. An example is fungus from our high humidity which also adversely affect its well beingThere is no cure for this, gardeners can only try to prevent this from occurring.

For a comparative study of how lavender seeds germinated in a cooler climate versus Singapore based data, Regina Fok has once again volunteered her time and data with us.

Lavender plants from seeds

March 23 2016 – 2 weeks to see first sprout! Grown indoors as outdoor is still winter, below 0 degree C (USA)

Lavender plants from seeds

April 8 2016 – lavender is 2 weeks old (USA), looks bigger than Singapore’s seedlings

Regina Fok (USA) decided to test how young lavender seedlings fared in the natural outdoor environment. She planted one pot outdoors and one pot indoors. Her temperature outdoor ranged from 29 degree Celsius daytime and 15C at night. From the observation here, it seem lavender grow better outdoors than protected from all elements indoors :

Lavender plant from seeds

June 2016 – Compare – Grown indoor (3 months old) USA

Lavender plants from seeds

June 2016 – Compare – Grown outdoor (3 months old) in USA

Based in USA, she shared how lavender thrived in their natural environment. Hopefully, this knowledge from a hands on gardener, will helped us adapt our environment for them. Lavender leaves were more silver colored than green in her outdoor gardens.

How to take care of lavender plants in a tropical climate

Oct 30 2015 – Regina ‘s lavender garden in USA.

4 Tips to grow lavender well from Regina Fok 

1. Lavender  hates high humidity but love the sun and heat.

2. Soil should be sandy, loamy  and well drained.  PH level needs to be neutral to alkaline.

3. If possible keep the plant within 20C to grow well. With a lower temperature, the plant can tolerate drought and the chill keeps the humidity out.

4. Its very important to keep the top soil dry to prevent root rot. Water only when top soil feel dry to touch.

OVER WINTERING Lavenders – still carried the scent lightly outdoor. However it was stronger in the summer heat.

Lavender plants retain its fragrance during winter

Jan 30 2016

My 2 cents worth of advice, do consider rosemary soil and care for lavender as well. In addition, to line the pots’ base with rocks or pebbles to drain water out quickly.

Terence Low from Naked Greens and Sharon Eng  advised to add more sand to soil. This aid drainage.

Guanster Guan‘s tip on how to choose healthy lavender from nursery and customize ideal soil mixes.

As lavender germination and growth are very slow in our weather, many gardeners do give up after a few months. For lavender fans, its never a question if they are willing to wait and try numerous times until they learned how to grow lavender in Singapore.

Its a quest worth seeking, as lavender smells wonderful, and if we get to harvest fresh ones at doorstep, in spite of the many challenges, why not? 🙂

HYDROPONIC Lavenders in KRATKY  (SG STRAWBERRIES’s Journal, 2018)

We sowed our seeds on December 30 2017 using strawberries’ germination method, and most of the seeds sprouted 7 days later.

How to germinate lavender seeds

2018 January 7

These seedlings looked very small and growth were slow, but to my surprise, roots were quite long.

Grow lavender from seeds in Singapore

2018 January 16 – 1 week old lavender

One week old lavender seedlings roots were 4 inches long.

Grow lavender from seeds in Singapore

Long roots

We planted half in soil and half using Kratky hydroponic method with our liquid nutrients.

It was observed that hydro seedlings grew faster than soil based plants.

2018 Jan25 – Soil based

More leaves showed on hydro plants than soil based within the same period. They were from the same pack of seeds and germinated at the same time.

Grow Lavenders from seeds

2018 Jan25 -Hydro lavender

2 weeks later . . .hydro seedlings began to grow taller while soil based seedlings dragged their feet. Rice husk were mixed in soil medium for aeration. They were all grown in the same area by the window.

Grow lavenders from seeds

2018 Feb07 – Soil Based

Hydro plants were taller than soil based. At this time, we also learned how to grow strawberries in SG natural environment, and thus lavenders were grew the same way, with zero carbon footprint method.

Grow lavenders from seeds

2018 Feb07 – Hydro lavenders

Lavenders are sun loving and can be grown in liquid based medium.

Hydro lavenders from seeds

Lavender from seeds

They started with one main stem and would grow side shoots within one month. The leaves were thick and when rubbed, lavender scent was already evident. Our pleasure with these plants begin.

Grow lavender from seeds in Singapore

Fuss Free Lavender from seeds

Although lavenders can be easily grown from cutting, the varieties available in our local garden nurseries were not broad. To enjoy the exotic and wider range, like white lavenders, it is only possible from seeds if cutting from a live plant proved difficult.

Grow lavenders from seeds

2018 June 01

Hydro lavenders from seeds

Happy in liquid!

Cautionary Notes about Lavenders –

  1. If nutrients is not right, this is what stressed lavender seedling looked like, with cupped leaves. Healthy lavender leaves were open faced.
Hydro lavender from seeds

Closed up leaves

Once they recovered, the leaves unfolded and open. Do not expect a quick instant recovery, they may took longer than a month to stabilize. Slight browning at the leaf tip was still present. Sign of fully recovered plant showed only when new leaves grow from the topmost mid tip. The bottom leaves growth followed after.

Lavender from seeds in Singapore

Recovering lavender

2. Rain – Browning of leaves start at the base of the plant when it was rained on.

Grow lavenders from seeds in Singapore

Browning starts at the base

It was an amazing discovery that lavenders are nor only easier in liquid base, but they do recover from browning stems and leaves to grow again. In soil, brown leaves or stems are often indicative of roots rot leading to full decline of the plant in Singapore.

Grow lavenders from seeds

New leaves are emerging

Hydro Lavenders from seeds

Leaves are less brown

Lavenders from seeds

2018 June 13

Grow lavenders from seeds in Singapore

2018 October 28 – (Plant A)

Updates on hydro lavenders – As they matured, their stems thickened and these plants now look like miniature scented trees! Netcups support these plants well, allowing the stems to mature and sealing access to stagnant water in the reservoir below.

Grow Lavender Plants from seeds in Singapore

2018 Dec 09 – (Plant A)

Grow lavenders from seeds in Singapore

2018 October 28 – Leaning Lavender

Grow Lavender Plants from seeds or cutting in Singapore

2018 Dec 09 – Leaning Tower, 2 “arms” raise

Lavenders Plants from seeds or cutting in Singapore

2018 Dec 09 – Sun Lovers

Uses for Lavender

Lavenders are mostly grown in bedrooms for their scent. However this is not the only way we use them. Example is adding lavender leaves to sugar and used this infused sugar for desserts and tea.

 

Gift ideas from plants we grew

For lavender scented tea!

We also used our own herbs for beauty products such as soothing facial masks, potpourri etc

Girls’ Sleepovers are never boring in our home!

Lavender nutrients, seeds and net cups in SHOP !

Grow hydro lavender from seeds in Singapore

Lavender n Mini Netcup

Grow lavenders from seeds in Singapore

Branching out

Netcups turned almost every spare bottle or jars into instant self watering pots. Rest easier during time away from our gardens.

Hydro Lavenders from seeds in Singapore

Lavenders nutrients

Glass Tinted bottles were great for lavenders’ long roots. In my environment, they need not climb windows like strawberries to harness the sun in these wine bottles.

Grow Lavenders from seeds in Singapore

2019 February 15

Access to stagnant water is sealed. Thus there is zero risk of mosquitoes breeding with this method.

Grow lavenders from seeds or cutting in Singapore

Mosquitoes Safe Planting

Our lavenders plants are grown in recycled jars and plastic bottles, alongside with strawberries. Although these plants are frost tolerant, they love the sun too. Our cool seasoned plants, proudly grown in Singapore.

Grow lavenders from seeds or cutting in Singapore

Lavenders in recycled bottles

We love all our lavenders and can’t wait to start more unusual varieties from seeds!

Lavender Plants Care Tips in Singapore

Scented Mini Tree !

 

ROSEMARY – GROW THEM WELL

Featured

Rosemary plants are one of the easiest herb to grow once we understood what they need.  As a novice gardener in 2015, I could not say the same as I was a serial killer of rosemary plants bought from nurseries, even though I followed their instructions of care faithfully. I did not understand then the why but now I do.

  • Nursery plants are potted in cocopeat. As this medium retains water, it is not suitable for rosemary. Follow soil mixture instructions below by fellow gardeners
  • Rosemary tolerate sun very well 
  • Can be grown outdoor as long as soil mixture does not retain water
  • Easier to grow from cutting than seeds
  • Do not need much fertiliser, use any in mild form only
  • Do not need to water everyday (soil based)
  • As they grow, trim often (cut stem) to encourage bushier growth
  • Suffered roots rot easily if roots are constantly moist (soil based)

2018 – 2019 Update – Rosemary in Liquid Base

These were thriving rosemary plants grown by fellow gardeners, outdoor , in our natural elements (rain, wind, haze) since 2015.

How to multiply rosemary from cuttings

2015 October 10 – Steve Teh‘s

How to care for rosemary

Steve Teh’s  6 years old Rosemary & Bay Leaf plant

Without any sunny spot to grow, your rosemary probably will look like mine. They were transplanted outdoor as there was not much sun in my balcony gardens. Starting from seeds were more difficult and slower.

Rosemary and Curl leaf parsley love sun

Rosemary and Curly Parsley – Limp seedlings after transplanted

Rosemary plants are easier to propagate from cuttings than starting from seeds. My first rosemary cuttings were from Terence Low’s (NakedGreens group admin) and rooted in tap water.

Mar01 2016 - 11 days to root in tap water! Woody stems can still root!

March 01 2016 – Woody stems can still root!

2018 August 25 – From above cuttings, our plants have multiplied and still thrived today.

TIP – Trim often to encourage new branches. Use leaves for cooking, stems for rooting

Grow rosemary from cutting

Watermelon Skin Compost 30% : 70% sand & pebbles

How to Root Cutting Tips

Jack Yam, a member in our Facebook gardening group (SG Farming in Apartments), perfected the rooting method for rosemary, and had a pictorial tutorial on how to root them.

These were what he said –

  1. Trimmed away the leaves from mid to bottom of the stem
  2. Support the cutting so that only 1 cm of the roots’ end is in water
  3. Cutting root better in bright sunlit area
  4. Rooting rosemary cutting

    Roots showed in 7 days!Cutting root better in bright sunlit area.

    Rooting rosemary cutting

    Healthy roots are white color

Rooting from living plants from gardens had a higher chance of success than grocery bought.

Netcups can be used to support mature plants and prevent mosquitoes access to stagnant water if they fit well and sealed access with correct fitting sponge.

Grow rosemary from cutting in Singapore

Mosquitoes Safe Growing

Propagating a cutting –  We observed that cutting root better if supported with only 2 cm of tip in water rather than resting fully in container.

Rosemary Plant Care in the tropics

Rooting without Mosquitoes Risk

Netcups for smaller reservoirs available in SHOP !

Grow Rosemary from cutting in containers

Rooted in netcups

Soil Mixture Tips

If rosemary plants are grown in areas where there is no shelter from rain, the soil mixture must be customized to allow rain to flush out as fast as possible.

April 22 2016 - Rosemary cuttings can survived rain storms if the soil is prepped well to prevent water log.

April 22 2016 – Water flushed out as fast as it hit

Rosemary from cutting

May 30 2016 – Grown outdoors and thriving! I generally let rain water these pots unless its a dry spell 🙂

Rosemary plant care information

July 12 2016 – Rosemary in outdoor garden, thrived in spite of being rained on etc One plant eaten by snail or stolen again!

Propagate rosemary cutting

October 25 2016 – update on rosemary cutting ! 🙂

Grow rosemary plant from cutting

Jan 27 2017 – After a week of heavy rainfall

The trick is mixing the soil, to be less soil! 😀 More sand, more pebbles, only 30% soil, the rain/ water must flush out as quickly as it arrived. How to get the soil mix right? Play with your mixes – Mix and match your soil one lazy afternoon, dip in a pail of water n see if it drained in one minute! 😀 Add more pebbles etc if they do not drain well. Lastly, the base of the pot is best lined with pebbles or rocks to aid draining as well.

Other gardeners also generously shared tips on how to propagate and keep rosemary plants thriving for years.  So my thanks to all of them for sharing.

Rooted in liquid, Grow in liquid (HYDRO, using nutrients)

As fussy they are in soil and needed the right mixture to prevent water logging, they thrived even better in liquid base.

For our indoor gardens in 2018, we are growing more plants (herbs, vegetables, lavenders, strawberries etc) in liquid base as they are lighter than soil and do not strained our windows.

Hydro Rosemary Journey from cutting –

Grow fresh herbs indoors

2018 August 18 – rooted in 4 days

Rosemary Plant Care in the tropics

2018 September 03

Rosemary Plant Care in the tropics

2018 December 11

Rosemary Plant Care in the tropics

Pruning encourage new shoots

The process of rooting cutting whenever we used this herb never stop, because we can never have too many rosemary in this home or for our workshop’s participants (whenever available) ! So here we go again on December 11 2018!

Rooted in liquid, Grow in Soil Method

Sthh Sthh from Plant Community Singapore shared how to root Rosemary from store bought herbs :

How to grow rosemary from cutting using store bought herbs

Oct 8 2015 – Used most of the leaves for cooking then use the stem for rooting

How to grow rosemary from cutting

2-4 weeks to see roots. Tap water used only. Once roots appeared, transfer to net pot with nutrients solution (Can use Lushgro A+B solution for leafy vegetables)

Sthh Sthh used his own mix of nutrient solution too.

His recipe is : NPK 21-21-21, a dash of epsom salt, and a teaspoon of seachem flourish trace minerals into 3 litre of water. EC about 2000. (I am clueless here as well, not being familiar to commercial fertilizers! )

Rosemary propagation

Rosemary Propagation – Only roots come in contact with nutrients solution

 

Rooting rosemary

Rosemary ‘s stem stayed dry in net pot while roots are in nutrients solution

 

Rooting Rosemary

Rosemary rooting pots suspended above nutrients solution

 

How to grow rosemary from cutting

Rosemary transferred to pot (Sthh Sthh’s post in Oct 2015)

STHH STHH also shared how he watered and adjust the soil media needed for a dry loving plant like rosemary and even lavender! Deep Water Soak Treatment

How to water rosemary plant

April 25 2016 –  When the soil become dry, STHH immersed the whole pot in a basin of water. Green Culture Singapore’s post.

STHH STHH – How I water my rosemary and thyme, very deeply. Entire pot is submersed in a basin of water. Then pot is lifted to drain.

If water does not completely drain in less than 1minute, your medium is too dense for rosemary or thyme. Time to add some grit. Many options are available – sand, pebbles, perlite, whatever that aid good drainage.

If your water does not soak deep into the soil, the roots of the plants will stay close to the surface, and if so, you cannot skip watering your plants every couple days, which also increases humidity, which is a killer for rosemary and lavenders here in SG.

Deep watering helps plants to establish better roots, and watering will be required only once a week, or twice a week when it gets hot. For suspected fungal infection, or for aeration of soil, you can add a little hydrogen peroxide.

How to water rosemary plants

STHH – The water must drain out in less than 1 minute, also to gauge whether soil used is suitable

And that is how STHH keep his rosemary plants so well. Please remember to only water these plants when the soil is dry.

lavender plants care

This is how dry Sthh Sthh’s soil gets before he water the soil !!!

Agnes Yang on Feb 8 2016 shared how she root her rosemary cutting (from a live plant) –

Propagate Rosemary

Feb 8 2016 – Agnes Yang’s Rosemary rooted in half strength seaweed liquid feed, 7 – 10 days to see roots.

How to multiply rosemary plants

February 9 2016 – Recycled plastic bottle to root Rosemary stems 🙂

Ms. Yang used a syringe to draw a small amount of this and she also said, ”  I’m using diluted seaweed solution. Cheaper than rooting hormones and works well as continuous support even after potting through watering with it”.

SOIL MIXTURE Tips from gardeners

Steve Teh (Plant Community Singapore, Dec 8 2015) – Compost: perlite: coarse sand: rice husk. The ratio is 3:1:1:1.  Some limestone powder added in the mix for higher alkaline level. If  rice husk is not available, then add more sand and perlite. Coarse sand is from nursery and not the beach as the latter contained salt. If beach sand is used, it need to be washed first to rid of salt.

Veronica Yuen (SG Farming in Apartments, Jan 2016) – ” It require good drainage, use 50% perlite, 25% compost, 25%potting mix. Water once or twice a week.”

Terence Low, Naked Greens – 1:1 top soil and other part perlite, pumice or sand will do.

Guanster Guan ‘s soil mix formula, please click on the hyperlink.

All in agreement that Rosemary are sun lovers 🙂 Just don’t love them too much with the watering! 🙂

How to plant rosemary cutting

Steve Teh’s rosemary sought the sun aggressively!

Rosemary plants needs

Chef Donny Tan’s rosemary plants at his doorstep

ROSEMARY IS USEFUL ! 

As a herb, it can be used raw in salads, as it’s scent adds an aromatic experience to raw vegetables. In this plate, Chef Donny Tan created a beautiful tomatoes and grapes salad with rosemary.

 

How to grow Rosemary in Singapore

Eye pleasing and delicious

Rosemary Seasoned Salt for culinary purposes.

To make this, just dry baked sea salt with rosemary leaves and kept in airtight containers. When bottled in beautiful glass jars, these are elegant gifts as well.

Rosemary Plant Care

Rosemary seasoned salt

Rosemary salt can be used with baked potatoes or lamb seasoning.

HAIR and SCALP TREATMENT

Grow Rosemary from seeds or cutting in Singapore

Extracting Rosemary Oil

Rosemary extract can be made by submerging the leaves in vodka. When vodka is not  available, I still preferred to use a mortar and pestle to prepare my herbs for home remedies or seasoning over the electrical equipment.

Grow Rosemary from seeds or cutting in Singapore

Pound leaves with coconut oil

For hair treatment, herbs leaves are removed from the cutting and pound in oil. Coconut oil is the best but any light oil is fine as well. The mixture can be applied to hair as is or warmed for a hot treatment. For oily scalp, we can opt out the oil, and instead mixed with suitable conditioner and then apply.

Grow Rosemary from seeds or cutting in Singapore

Mixed with conditioner

Rosemary Benefits

  • Soothes itchy scalp
  • Reduce hair loss because rosemary oil stimulates blood circulation on scalp, promoting hair growth
  • Anti-inflammation properties
  • Nourish hair follicles
  • Stimulate cell renewal leading to natural healing
  • Scent improve memory

USE ROSEMARY OIL WITH HAIR MASK FOR DEEP REPAIR TREATMENT

After overcoming the challenges of growing rosemary, there is only happiness and satisfaction during harvest.

Grow rosemary from cutting in Singapore

Freshly cut rosemary smells awesome

 

Rooted herbs seedlings may be available for sale, do contact via SHOP.

 

Rosemary Plant Care in the tropics

Rosemary in liquid base

 

 

 

Mr. Green Fingers

You guess right , Mr. Alan Tan ! 🙂

And who would ever guessed this amazing garden of international sunflowers varieties and wild organic edibles garden existed at all, if Alan had not shared pictures with the gardening communities of Singapore?!

It existed not in some plush location, but a corner of a construction site office where he work! 🙂

Awesome Gardeners in Singapore

Alan Tan with his dragon fruits

Singapore awesome gardeners

Jan 04 2016 – Alan’s Sunflowers varieties from around the world

Amazing Private Gardens in Singapore

Alan Tan’s Giant Sunflower

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Alan’s Sunflowers basking in the sun

Singapore amazing private gardens

Alan’s Giant sunflower

Sunflowers were not the only crop that he grew well.

Where he worked in the middle of an industrial park, Alan Tan tend to a lush organic garden of amazing edibles. He grew a variety of gourds, beans, melons, pumpkins, papaya, dragon fruits, okras etc so well that he often shared his vegetables with colleagues, passers-by and every visitor to his garden.

Awesome Urban Farmers in Singapore

Alan Tan’s organic edibles garden

Awesome urban farmers

Alan Tan’s cucumbers

Singapore amazing private gardens

Jan 6 2016 – small bittergourds like these are claimed to treat blood disorder n diabetics

Amazing private gardens in Singapore

I liked it that Alan Tan recycled used construction materials to grow his crops. This is such a good idea for climbing plants!

Amazing private gardens in Singapore

Alan Tan’s bitter guords

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 2015 – Look at the size of this bitter gourd from Alan Tan’s Boon Keng site!

Amazing private gardens in Singapore

Sept 15 2015 – Regina Fok from USA, was awed by Alan amazing garden!

Singapore amazing private gardens

Can’t believed this is in the middle of an industrial park in Singapore, right?

Amazing edibles gardens in Singapore

Oct 16 2015 – Snake gourds

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 4 2015 – Alan’s Japanese Melons

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Jan 18 2016 – Many types of long beans are also grown here (Alan Tan)

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 21 2015 – Another variety of long beans from Alan Tan’s garden

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 26 2015 – Alan Tan’s Long beans

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 24 2015 – Even a “giant” butternut squash! (Alan Tan)

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Alan Tan harvested his butternut squash on Jan 5 2016

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 26 2015 – White gourds from Alan Tan’s garden

Organic okras

Priceless okras from Alan Tan’s garden

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 18 2015 – Alan’s okras

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Jan 02 2016 – Alan Tan’s Red Okras

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 26 2015 – Red Okra

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Nov29 2015 -Alan Tan’s Japanese Pumpkin!

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Nov 29 2015 – Bountiful Harvest from Alan Tan’s garden!

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Alan Tan buried raw greens for compost too!

His office is not the only place where we can find crazy cool plants ! 🙂

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 13 2015 – Passion Fruit vines outside the elevator’s landing of his apartment!

Amazing private gardens in Singapore

Jan 21 2016 – Pretty wild lift landing ! 🙂

Amazing private gardens in Singapore

Nov 22 2015 – Grape Vines almost obscuring the view 🙂

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 30 2015 – Alan Tan’s Grape Vines

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

June 2015 – Rare chocolate mint!

Singapore awesome gardeners and amazing private gardens

Dec 2 2015 – Sick strawberry plants thriving again under his excellent care!

Not only did Alan Tan grew plants well, he is very willing to share his 10 years gardening knowledge and fruits of his labour 🙂

Singapore gardeners who shared and gave generously

Jan 13 2016 – Harvesting seeds to share with fellow gardeners

Singapore gardeners who shared and gave generously

Dec03 2015 – Old Cucumber left to ripe for seeds

Singapore gardeners who shared and gave generously

Jan 02 2016 – Cucumber seeds collected and dried for sharing

Singapore gardeners who shared and gave generously

Jan 16 2016 – Everything that he grew, Alan shared his seeds with fellow gardeners.

Many who visited his garden in Boon Keng Road, were amazed with his garden and I am sure, touched with his generosity.  🙂

Amazing private gardens in Singapore

Jan 14 2016 – Alan Tan (waving hand)

I am sure there are two phases that Alan Tan heard very often.

” Wow! Amazing!!! ”

and

” Thank you” 🙂

Singapore gardeners who shared and gave generously

Alan Tan shared his vegetables with passers-by 🙂

These ladies will miss your organic edibles garden at Boon Keng Road soon .

Can’t wait to see what Alan will be planting this year at his new work site!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SG WINDOW FARM

Ever reminisced about what we were doing when we were 21 years old?

Certainly mine was not even close to what I love doing now – growing strawberries!!! My hobbies then were stars away from what this young man loved doing! 🙂 Thinking back now, I must have been quite an airhead!!!

I am still in awe by what this young man built in his parent’s kitchen, an aquaponic “farm” to grow vegetables!!

Singapore amazing private garden

Sept 16 2015 – Bai Choy and Red Pepper

Singapore amazing private gardens

Sept 16 2015 – Bai Choy and capsicum seedlings

Just 21 years old, he built the complete setup by himself and through trial and errors, improved on the initial set up to grow a lot of organic vegetables by September 2015.

Singapore amazing private gardens

September 7 2015 – Cherry Tomato

Singapore amazing private gardens

Sept 16 – Cherry Tomato

 

This is the design of his set up :

Aquaponics

How Xi Zhe built this awesome aquaponic system

Aquaponics

How a bell Siphon work, to discharge excess water from the grow bed

 

In my layman understanding of his sketch, I think a series of pipes drew water from the fish’s waste tanks below the “farm” to feed his vegetables –

Aquaponic window farm

Upgraded fish tank

Aquaponic Window Farm

July 2 2015 – Bio Filter

And somehow, his vegetables fed the fishes 🙂

Aquaponic Window Farm

Filtered fish water feeding his vegetables

Aquaponic Window Farm

Xi Zhe – Red pepper seedlings

In November 2015, Xi Zhe and his parents moved to a smaller apartment and there was no room for his farm.

I wrote this post to share this young man’s incredible farm and enterprising DIY spirit.

Even though the physical set up is gone, we will remember his “farm” and  will cheer for his future one!

Aquaponic window farm

Shade to protect his vegetables from the too hot sun

PS. If anyone likes to understand more of Xi Zhe’s design, he is a member in our Facebook group, “SG Farming in Apartments”. I am sure he will explain better than me how his set up work ! 🙂

Aquaponic

Summary of Xi Zhe’s completed aquaponic system 🙂

 

 

 

White Strawberries

Featured

In 2017, we began new exploration of white wild Alpine strawberries varieties in KRATKY (passive hydroponic) that were not common commercially and too fragile to ship, thus we had to grow them from seeds.  Some of their taste profiles were described as intensely aromatic, mostly sweet with different variant of interesting flavors, such as pineapple, cotton candy, rose syrup or caramel.

As we explored more widely and tasted the fruits of our labor, we discovered not every white (or yellow) strawberries carried this special taste.

Now we understood why some growers classified the special ones as “gourmet” and others as “common”. Seeds prices were higher and sources to buy were more limited with the gourmet range.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in KRATKY

Strawberries without soil

True white strawberries belonged to 2 groups only.

  1. Alpine (Fragaria Vesca, originated in Europe)
  2. Beach (Fragaria Chiloensis, originated in Chile, also known as South American or coastal strawberries)

Both the alpine and beach strawberries are wild species.

White strawberries are white because they lacked the protein FRA a1 which made red strawberries red. People who are allergic to red strawberries have no problems eating white strawberries because of the absence of this protein.

An example of white strawberries sold in ISETAN (Japanese shopping store) on January 8 2016. It is not far fetched to sell fifteen pieces of gourmet white strawberries for Singapore $200, about USD $150.

Photo : Joyce Ho, January 8, in Isetan (Japanese Supermarket)

Photo : Joyce Ho

After growing our own wild white strawberries since 2016, we now know that these supermarkets’ strawberries are likely hybrid. Heirloom wild strawberries are typically small and soft flesh. Once harvested, they are unlikely to last a day. What they lacked in size, these varieties more than compensate with their aromatic intense flavor and unique taste.

A sought after and commercial popular white hybrid variety is Pineberry (white flesh, red seeds), a cross between Fragaria and Ananassa varieties. This cannot be grown from seeds, as Pineberry is a cultivated hybrid, thus please do not buy pineberry seeds online.

List of some Wild Alpine White varieties –

  1. Krem
  2. Pineapple Crush
  3. White Delight
  4. White Giant
  5. White Solemacher
  6. White Soul

We started our exploration in 2015 with WHITE SOUL variety in soil and then late 2017 liquid base.

2018

With the experience gained from Pineapple Strawberries (yellow varieties) in 2016 and 2017, we had more confidence to try more white strawberry varieties. On January 20, we sowed four new types and they germinated on January 26 after 6 days, using new germination method.

One of these new varieties belonged to the gourmet category with taste profile of caramel and pineapple. These seeds are no longer on sale.

Grow white strawberries in Singapore

January 27 2018 – tiny sprout spotted!

See how tiny they were when they began this journey in Singapore!

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

So Tiny

White strawberries varieties are considerably smaller and slower to grow than the common red varieties.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 April 27 – 80 days old

And like children, they grew up!

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 July 2

White strawberries have the characteristics red stems of normal red garden varieties. From germinating through growth stages here, we are breeding them in natural SG environment.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 July 15

Our hope is to grow more varieties of white strawberries and built a portfolio of gourmet hydro plug-ins for household gardeners and high tech systems. Some of our seeds collected over the years are no longer available for sale internationally.

A Comparative journal from USA, with Regina Fok

To collect growth data on white strawberries from our seeds. Thank you, Regina!

Her seeds germinated in 9 days in an indoor environment of 23C. Similar to our white strawberries seedlings, her seedlings were small as well.

Grow white strawberries from seeds

April 8 2016

White Soul strawberries from seeds

May 21 2016 – 2 months old

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

White strawberries variety from SG Strawberries seeds

The size of first harvest fruits are same as ones grown in tropical Singapore.

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

White strawberries are alpines

As there is not much information available on white strawberries in our tropical zone, we are hoping to record more data as we grow them in our blog. 🙂

THE UNEXPECTED CURVE BALLS  (CHALLENGES) 

White strawberries are by far, one of the most difficult to start from seeds. However, the more challenges they present, the deeper we learned how to grow them.

Whether in high tech systems, Kratky (liquid base) or soil, this knowledge is invaluable , especially for gourmet strawberries’ recovery SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) because plants and seeds are now scarce to our region.

With this variety, we experienced how every part of the plant can “break away” and how to save them when it happened. The following is a list of challenges for growing white strawberries plants out of their natural zone.

Leaves Wilting

Grow White Soul strawberries from seeds

Wilting Leaves

White strawberries are extremely delicate and fragile. Transplanting them need extra care. The leaves suffer rot easily, thus its a good idea not to get the leaves wet and stay wet. Surviving seedlings are slower to grow. They become hardy after the fourth month.

Roots Separation

The roots sometimes dropped off for no reason.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 August 02

With limited roots, strawberry plant can still stand upright. They also recovered fast with the right remedy. Sign of successful recovery is first more roots mass and then new leaf growth from the crown (mid section of the plant).

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 August 2 – Root-less

It is possible to regenerate new roots when this happened for hydroponic plants.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 August 28

Crown Separation

The strawberry top can breakaway from its crown like this.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2019 February 28

In the past, when this happened, it would rang a death knell for this plant.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Separated from Crown

However, even with a tiny part of roots remaining, it is possible to revive a strawberry plant.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Tiny root part

With recovery SOP, now we could recover these plants as long as they were healthy before the separation, that is not pests stressed etc. In 7 days, new roots showed.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2019 March 05

Once on the mend, roots gained mass quickly. This was the progress between March 5 to the 14th.

Grow White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2019 March 14

A clear signal from a recovered plant is when new leaf showed at the crown and color returned to the stem.

Fruits of our labour

Uphill battles won ! Finally we harvested fruits from February 2018 plants!

We are always grateful for these small fruits after so many trials at every stage.

Grow white strawberries from seeds

2018 Aug 01 – Caramel + Pineapple

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 August 01 –

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Seeds harvest

Do check in to our SHOP for seeds or net-cups ! Seedlings had to be pre-ordered due to limited space.

Grow gourmet strawberries

Bulk Delivery of hydro plugs

With the compilation of 2 years of strawberries growth data in our tropical zone, we discovered new ways to grow them better. Future strawberries will be breed this way, with zero carbon footprint, yet tough enough to fruit in natural environment. In addition, our hydro seedlings can be easily plugged in high tech systems or stand bare in Kratky.

White Strawberries Summary –

  1. Perennial plant
  2. Heavy feeder, need Phosphorous and Potassium like most strawberries
  3. Minimum 6 hours light, prefers shade over full sun
  4. Well drained loamy soil
  5. Moderate watering, preferred drip irrigation
  6. Temperature not above 29 degree Celsius 
  7. More delicate seedlings than red varieties
  8. Fruits were slower to develop in natural environment
  9. Suffered heat stress more often, not recommended outdoor
  10. Pineapple scent permeates the whole plant during fruiting stage
  11. Mature plants are 6 – 8 inches tall, Width 10 – 12 inches across
  12. Suitable for USA zone 4 – 8 (For reference, Singapore is beyond Zone 13 )