Colorful Lettuce

Colorful  lettuce such as the red or four seasoned lettuce will spruce up any salads presentation very well.

This is how to germinate them easily.

  • Sowed on moist tissues and cling wrapped the container to maintain high moisture level. The germination time is within 3 days.
Grow red or colorful salads from seeds

Seeds in moist medium

When these seedlings were less than a month old, there was no hint of red  on the leaves.

Grow different varieties lettuce from seeds in Singapore

2018 Sept 17

Grow different varieties lettuce from seeds in Singapore

2018 September 19

Grow red or colorful salads from seeds

One week old

A hint of its colorful hues at first month old.

Grow different varieties lettuce from seeds in Singapore

2018 October 16

In Kratky (non-circulating hydroponic), their roots mass is dense but not massive.

Grow different varieties lettuce from seeds in Singapore

2018 November 3

Vivid red and other colors at 2nd month. The leaves can be harvested younger than 2 months old. We observed that it can be a cut and grow plant, and the vivid colors comes after the greener leaves were harvested.

Grow different varieties lettuce from seeds in Singapore

2018 November 8

Taste and texture of these leaves are “lettuce” .

Grow different varieties lettuce from seeds in Singapore

2018 November 8

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CHICKEN PIES With FRESH THYME

Our chicken pies are an all time favorite with guests, parties, picnics or home meals.

When the children were young and dislike eating vegetables, it was also my way to sneak in as much greens as possible into their favorite tea time pies and they could not picked it out!

We love to use herbs, especially thyme, from our gardens.

Ready made puff pastry in sheets are used instead of making our own to save time.

Home made chicken pies

Ready made puff pastry Sheets

This recipe is for chicken pies filling and can be prepared ahead. It can be kept for one week in the fridge.

Instead of uncooked chicken, leftover roast chicken or turkey can be used as well.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Fillets ( breast or thigh, boneless, seasoned with salt & black pepper)
  • Vegetables ( chopped, cube sized – carrots, celery or frozen peas)
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Onions (slice or chopped)
  • Brown Mushrooms (optional, chopped)
  • Can of Campbell Cream Mushroom soup

Method

  • Sauteed Onion until fragrant
  • Add carrots first as they take a longer time to cook, until soften
  • Add chicken
  • Add herbs, mushrooms, other vegetables
  • Add Cream of Mushroom soup

Other Notes

Dicing Carrots – 1. Cut the carrot lengthwise in the middle 2. Lay the half’s flat on cutting surface. 3. cut into strips before dicing them into smaller cube pieces.

Cooking with fresh herbs

How to dice Vegetables

 

Pastry Sheets (Always baked in pre heated oven)

  • Cut a pastry sheet into 4 parts
  • Fill a tablespoon and fold in 4 corners of pastry over filling
  • Bake at 160C until pastry is brown

They should be served hot and if there are leftover pies, they are best baked in hot oven for 5 minutes than microwaved, as the latter soften the skin rather than maintain its crisp texture.

The cream based soup bind and hold ingredients well, and made for a moist flavorful filling as it steamed inside the puff pastry while its being baked.

 

Pies with Fresh herbs

Chicken Pies

OYSTER LEAF

Featured

I am grateful for moments of heightened curiosity when excitement and intrigue sparkle and I am drawn into the chase to look for answers. These recent years had been one roller coaster after another, finding answers to growing challenging (cold seasoned) edible plants in our tropical climate.

After strawberries (still an on going search for answers on hybrids), there was wolfberries and now top of my list, is this Oyster Leaf after hearing about its uniqueness from chefs, then tasting a leaf with champagne at a gathering.

Little is known about this salad leaves outside the fine dining circle. In fact, most local growers do not know it. There was no name for this plant in the Chinese seeds catalog.

Grow Oyster Leaf from seeds in containers

2019 February 23 Harvest

Ironically, I heard about this the first time from a Australian trained Chinese chef who wanted to try growing it for his own restaurant. Thereafter, an opportunity to try it at a business function. It was an instant favorite! I fell in love with the taste and texture immediately.

The experience of enjoying each leaf raw is very interesting. The first taste is salt, then the oysters taste explode at mid section of the leaf and at the end, a mild and sweet taste reminiscent of freshly harvested romaine green. In terms of taste or texture, it met all our expectations, especially among our seafood or salads friends.

In our humble opinions, these leaves should be enjoyed raw and without flavoring because they are delicious and unique. Connoisseurs love them too, they were often paired with seafood or fish dishes.

As an uncommon, sought after vegetable, they were only sold in specialty stores or private greenhouses direct to fine dining restaurants in Britain, at a market price‎  £ 5.50 (GBP) for 30 grams, roughly SGD 320 per kg!

Grow Oyster Leaf from seeds in Singapore

From seeds natural environment

One understands why they cost so much after some research.

In a nutshell, these are “fussy” difficult plants to cultivate and slow to grow. However for the market price they fetched, it is worthwhile to explore for indoor high tech farms looking for delicious niche vegetables for restaurants. An advantage for local growers is that these leaves must be harvested as close to delivery time and destination as possible.

Our family enjoyed tasting salads and vegetables that were not common in supermarkets here. We bridged natural fertilizer such as seaweed or Kelp meal in our nutrients base for our edibles gardens.

NATURAL FERTILIZER FOR SOIL & LIQUID BASE MIX

Here are some notes on Oyster Leaf plants growing conditions –

  • Hates moisture, prefer well draining, non compact/heavy soil (similar to rosemary and lavender)
  • Avoid letting medium go totally dry before watering ( tip – aim to keep its environment constantly moist)
  • Unable to tolerate prolonged sun + heat , prefers part shade (ideal for my apartment’s environment)
  • Fragile, usually die upon transplantation
  • Needs cold stratification (use strawberries germination method)
  • Best harvest early in the day at their most fragrant (morning)
  • Discourage flowering as it may reduce leaves’ flavor (reason why seeds are hard to find!)

Our Oyster Leaves’ Journal began on July 13 2018, when a seed germinated in 2 days instead of a month as advised.

Cold Seasoned salads from seeds

2018 July 13

Be patience when cultivating these plants to acclimatize in our region. It was a slower than snails’ pace from the start till the second month. Seed leaves took a week to develop after germination.

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

Slow start

The following pictures tracked how they formed from seeds leaves stage –

Grow Oyster Leaf from seeds in Singapore

In net cup for easier handling

Grow Oyster Leaf from seeds in Singapore

2018 August 04

Grow Oyster Leaf from seeds

True leaf showed

From first to second month, the progress was very slow. Some seedlings may failed. As this was our first time and not having any information to fall back on, regarding growth, we did not know why seedlings die yet.

Grow Oyster Leaf from seeds

2018 August 07

Cold Seasoned Salads

2018 August 16

On their second month, their growth development was similar to strawberries. Height of plants, roots development, more leaves formed were all alike. There was a single thin mid section ( I called it the crown like the strawberries’ mid section),  which will thicken and multiplied as it matured.

Cold Seasoned Salads

2018 September 05

Absolutely delicious fresh oyster tasting leaves with thick crisp texture. Now, I truly appreciate why this salad leaves are sought after by chefs around the world.

cold seasoned salads

2018 September 17

As this grew, the mid section or crown thickened and multiply. We harvested leaves from the outer fringe and this seem to prompt new leaves to start from the mid inner section. It looked to be a cut and grow plant.

Grow cold seasoned salads from seeds in Singapore

2018 December 01

From the second month, the taste of oyster become more distinct. Interestingly, the taste and smell of oysters changed through the day. In the early morning, it was pleasantly light and sweet. Once the heat is out (late morning) to afternoon, the oyster taste became very strong, akin to eating an oily oyster omelette!

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

Oyster Leaf seedlings

The leaves had some pigmentation, dots of color on the surface and beneath. At first, we thought it was spider mites but fortunately were not the dreaded pests!

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 October 4

Cold climate plants showed the same freckles on leaves so we know this is a normal characteristics of the plant.

Grow cold seasoned salads from seeds in Singapore

Freckles on leaves

In addition to thicker leaves texture, the taste profile now is salty and oysters.

Grow cold seasoned salads from seeds in Singapore

2019 February 8

Grow cold seasoned salads from seeds in Singapore

Cut and Grow Leaves

Hopeful for flowers ! Our tropical heat may had prompt our plants to bolt. Unlike gardeners in the cool climate, I look forward to see how they developed and hopefully there would be seeds.

Grow cold seasoned salads from seeds in Singapore

2019 January 19

Challenges 1 – These plants were not able to tolerate prolonged direct sun. The leaves wilt even in morning sun above 30 degree Celsius. Ideally grown in the shade or bright airy area.

Grow cold seasoned salads from seeds in Singapore

Heat Stroke

We found that it thrived best in our rainy season when the air was damp, below 28 degree Celsius.

Cold Seasoned salads from seeds in Singapore

Okay in the rain

Challenges 2 – Roots had the tendency to drop off when the weather was hot. It was possible to regenerate roots. We do not recommend these plants be grown outdoor in the ground.

Speedy recovery was possible with strawberries’ cooling measures. The following video shared how we used wind to aerate individual reservoir by “rocking” which caused ripples in the liquid base of  these cool loving plants.

 

POTATOES IN CONTAINERS

My daughter, Summer, loves potatoes in any form, whether grilled, roast with our fresh herbs, mashed for pot pies or steamed. So I decided to try planting our own in the outdoor apartment’s gardens.

Grow Potatoes from Eyes

Baked Salmon with Potatoes

We choose small to med sized potatoes rather than large Russet potatoes for our first trial. The larger potatoes may need a long cooler season than our weather.

To plant, we have to find the eyes on potatoes which looked like this.

A small indent on the skin. On each cut slice, there can be more than one eye. In fact, I was told the more the better the yield.

Grow Potatoes from eyes

Potato’s Eye

Grow Potatoes from Eyes

Slice a part with more than 1 eye

In big deep pots, we plant potatoes’ cut-side in well draining soil with our own compost. There is about four inch of soil at the base of the pot before we plant. We will top up soil as the potatoes grew as they drew nutrients from the top.

Grow Potatoes from Eyes

2018 August 06 – Plant w cut side down

After 2 weeks in soil, roots emerged on the top.

Grow Potatoes from Eyes

Roots

Leaves showed!

Grow Potatoes in Containers

2018 August 23

Grow Potatoes in pots in Singapore

2018 October 26

Grow Potatoes in pots in Singapore

Sneak Peek !

Potatoes typically can be harvested in 3 months time.

We will update as our plants grow.

The moment when we plant our slice of “eyes” in soil Video !

We hope to see our fresh harvest soon from these potatoes!

Grow potatoes in containers

Prepping Potatoes eyes

 

Grow Ginger in Pots

Growing ginger is surprisingly easy, but on hindsight, I should have planted them individually or in a wider pot to allow the roots to grow more.

Fellow gardener, Ms. Pek Nyuk in our Facebook gardening group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/866039746800973/) , recommended to start planting them in shallow soil depth in wide pot and then top up with soil as they grow.

This store bought ginger was cut into 4 parts, each part with the “eye” and planted with it facing upwards. Although there were eight buds on this ginger that could be separated and plant, gardeners also recommend not to do so as smaller parts would not have enough energy to grow a good yield.

How to grow ginger in pots

2018 February 9

Another example of the “eye” –

Grow gingers in pots

The eye are the round indents on the skin

The picture below showed my newly planted shoot on 16 July 2018. One per pot this time! 🙂

Grow ginger from store bought ginger

Newly growth from the eye

Some were re-planted in outdoor bigger pots. We planted them like this, cut side in soil with the shoot facing upward.

Grow ginger in pots

2018 August 06

In previous pot, my ginger were small because there was no room to grow further..

How to grow ginger in pots

2018 July 15

Thus we harvested early, on July 15 (only 5 months) instead of waiting another four months for them to mature. The leaves had started to brown. These plants will not be able to grow well remaining in this small pot.

How to grow ginger in pots

No room for roots to grow

This is how we harvested our ginger.

 

A soothing brew of ginger tea for cool days!

How to grow ginger in pots

Comforting ginger tea

 

Turmeric Ginger is grown in the same way. We started our own plants in May 2018 to treat eczema rashes by applying grated pulp (and juice) with black pepper. This application work almost instantaneously to stop the itch and inflammation and has no burn on skin. Thus, should be comfortable for young children as well.

Grow own turmeric ginger in pots

Turmeric Leaf is used in curry

It is sometimes called yellow ginger because this ginger juice stained everything yellow! We use turmeric in curries and even with seasoning of seafood.

Grow own turmeric ginger in pots

2018 October 27 – freshly harvest

Apply directly on skin to treat inflammation and itch and find instant relief. It does not come any fresher than home harvest and with my own ginger, I know there is no pesticide.

Grow own turmeric ginger in pots

Pulp + Juice + Black Pepper

We learned our lesson after our first harvest in small pot on July 15 2018. Next round in bigger deeper pot yield a better harvest. No matter the size, fresh ginger smell and taste much better than anything bought in stores!

How to grow ginger in pots

First Ginger Harvest on July 15 2018 

How to grow ginger in pots

2018 Dec 05 – Better Harvest

Look how amazingly juicy is our freshly harvested ginger! We are addicted to home grown harvest more than ever now.

How to grow ginger in pots

Freshly harvested Ginger !

 

EASY BEGINNERS VEGETABLES

We love growing and harvesting our own vegetables at home. Nothing quite beat the taste and texture of our own plants. It is also immensely gratifying to see the whole journey from seeds to cutting the leaves for a meal and to be able to harvest again each week from the same plant.

AMARANTH

We try amaranth in hydro and soil.

In our opinion, amaranth taste better if soil grown.

This leafy vegetable is a cut and grow plant and can be harvested within a month. There are a few varieties of edible amaranth (Yin Tsai, Chinese Spinach) , examples are red, green or mixed amaranth.

The seeds germinated in 2 days like this. It is important to keep the seeds constantly moist.

Amaranth from seeds

Red Amaranth

HYDRO Seedlings –

Amaranth from seeds

1 week old amaranth

Grow amaranth for salads

Red Amaranth

SOIL based Amaranth

Amaranth from seeds

Amaranth in soil

Amaranth from seeds

Green Amaranth

The texture is silky when lightly braised in soup or quick stir fry. Extremely suitable for young children.

Amaranth from seeds

Mixed Amaranth 

Amaranth from seeds

Fresh and LUSH Harvest

CAMOMILE 

Grow camomile from seeds

Overnight germination

Grow camomile from seeds

1 month old

Exploring more interesting fresh salad options! Camomile leaves are crunchy and taste like the tea of the same namesake! Mixed with spicier arugula, it certainly add texture and kicked up quite an interesting mix.

Grow camomile from seeds

Taste like Tea, mix with arugula

 

KALE – More Information Link

Grow Kale from seeds

Kale seeds

Kale seeds also germinated in 2 days. A cut and grow plant that can be harvested in 2 to 3 months depending on each individual’s preference.

Grow Kale from seeds

2 weeks old Kale

Our family loves the younger (smaller), sweeter tasting leaves that are usually not sold in supermarkets, as we consume them raw. The younger leaves are juicer and less fiberous.

HYDRO KALE

Kale benefits

2 months old kale

 

Kale Care and Health Benefits

7 – 10 days regrow

Kale benefits

Fresh kale salads

 

MALABAR SPINACH

Is also known as climbing or Ceylon spinach but this is not actually a spinach. It belonged to the Basellaceae family and the thick leaves resembled spinach. Eaten raw, every single bite is juicy and crunchy.

Malabar Spinach

3 days to 1 week to see germination

Grow Malabar Spinach from seeds

3 weeks old

Fresh seeds harvested from plants are easier to germinate than store bought dry seeds. The latter need to be stratified by applying a nail file, knife or sand paper on seeds’ surface before sowing. It preferred hot direct brutal sun but can also be grown in part shade. In mature plants, the thick stem can be propagated in water or direct sowed in soil and roots will regrow.

Grow Malabar Spinach from seeds

Thick Stems

This plant is a climber or creeper in cooler climate and need support. To harvest, we cut only the leaves and they regrow in a week.

Grow Malabar Spinach from seeds

Thick Juicy Leaves

Not sure if our string trellis would work, will update soon.

Grow Malabar Spinach from seeds

2 months old

This plant can be propagated from cutting. We will be growing some of these in hydro to maximize space on the hanging gardens.

Malabar Spinach from Cutting

June 19 – Rooted in 10 days

Two plants per family is often enough for a reliable source of vegetables harvest every week. Avoid drying out the soil as this will cause flowering which resulted in bitter tasting leaves.

Malabar Spinach from seeds

2018 May 28

 

WATER CRESS

Despite its size, this vegetable is a power house of nutrients (vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, carotene) and is recommended to eat them raw in mixed salads or juice.

Water Cress from seeds

2018 April 27 – 2 days germination

Will be consuming as microgreens in mixed salads.

Grow water cress from seeds

2 weeks old

Grow watercress from seeds

2018 May 29

Hydro Vegetables from seeds at home

Watercress & More

 

Edible Succulent – Golden Purslane

Edible succulent golden purslane

High omega 3 Fatty Acids + Lemony Crunch

 

Sugar Loaf (Italian name – Pan di Zucchero)

Cold seasoned salads

Sugar Loaf Escarole

Swiss Chard 

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

Red Swiss Chard

 

We grew vegetables on our windows to  harness natural resources such as wind and sun. Our “pots” are constantly in motion, creating ripples in their individual reservoir, giving roots zone more aeration naturally.

 

This hanging garden also allowed soil and hydro based plants to grow together and we DIY these pots’ hangers from PET bottles.

Creative PET bottles garden containers

Hanging Vegetables Gardens

SALADS & HERBS WORKSHOP is available for private 1 : 1, small private group or schools setting. Learn how to grow from seeds in both soil and hydro, the plus & minus of both mediums and embark on this wonderful journey of growing & harvesting fresh whole food.

Growing Vegetables Workshops in Singapore

WORKSHOP

Growing Vegetables Workshops

Seedlings in Recyclables!

Fresh harvest from our gardens everyday !

Grow Vegetables from seeds in containers

Home Grown Wellness

Vertical Container Gardens

Our indoor gardens are often challenged by limited space and sun but it is still pleasant to live surrounded by plants we love.

Since 2015 to accommodate our expanding strawberry garden, we grew vertically on our windows as well as horizontally on tables by the windows. We made pots out of recycled PET (  polyethylene terephthalate ) bottles to hang.

There are several reasons why we love these plastic bottles –

  1. Weight – Lightest among any other pots
  2. Free of charge and yet harmful to our environment if we just throw. Go Recycle!
  3. Cut-able – can be customized for individual plants’ needs
  4. Versatile – suitable for soil based or Kratky Hydroponic

SOIL BASED Bottles

Indoor container strawberries garden

Soil Based – Bottom side for plant

Soil based needs a narrow dripping point, as we do not want water to splash on our floors whenever we irrigate our hanging gardens. Thus we used cap side for drip off and wider end at the bottom for plants.

Container indoor hanging gardens

SOIL Based – Dripping end

Indoor container strawberries gardens

Soil based strawberries

HYDRO HANGERS

Container Herbs Garden

Strings at cap side

This is how we turned ordinary plastic bottles into hydro or soil based hanging gardens.

Step 1 – Cut holes to string ropes through for hanging

Kratky Hydroponic –  Cut 2 holes at opposite side of the bottle near the cap. We chose the wider end for inserting hydroponic bottles.

How to built hanging gardens

HYDRO – Holes for string

Soil based – Cut holes at bottom end of hanging pot for strings.

PET bottles container hanging gardens

SOIL Based – Strings

Step 2 – Knots at each hole to prevent wear and tear by rubbing, also keep bottle steady in the wind. Top knot (not shown) for hook to latch.

How to built hanging gardens

Step 2 – Knots on sides and top

Step 3 – Cut hole (s)  to insert hydroponic pot or plants (soil based)

For Kratky bottles (non circulating hydroponic) – Measure against hanging pot to estimate the size of opening to cut. I preferred to cut smaller and then widen when the plant is inside hanging bottle.

How to built hanging gardens

Step 4 – Estimate height of hole

How to built a hanging vertical garden

Hydroponic plant and nutrient feed

Soiled based – Cut size of hole as desired to plant

How to grow in vertical hanging container

Sweet basil in hanging soil pot

Step 4

Hydroponic – Cut holes at the bottom of hanging pot to drain rainwater if outdoor (prevent mosquitoes breeding)

How to built hanging gardens

Cut Drainage holes

Soil based – Net or cap over with holes for drainage

Vertical cheap container gardens

Net over

How to built vertical vegetables container gardens

Cut drainage holes on cap

 

Wear Socks! – To shield liquid base or roots end from light (heat) to prevent unsightly algae.

How to built vertical vegetables container gardens

Recycle old socks

How to built hanging gardens

Colored bottles shield roots

Hydro pots are lighter than soil based pots

How to built vertical vegetables container gardens

Hydro kale

How to built vertical vegetables container gardens

Rosemary in liquid base

In late September 2018, these PET bottles pots became “fashion” accessories after the S-hooks ZehZeh’s craze in Singapore! Just for laughs –

S hook ZehZeh

Gardeners also can hook !

The best thing about this no-tech vertical garden, beside being cheap to maintain and built, is that it allow both soil based and hydroponic to grow together.

Creative PET Bottles Recycling IDEAS

HYDRO & SOIL

Happy Green gardening by re-using PET bottles! 🙂

WORKSHOPS available – How to start vertical vegetables container gardens in hydro and soil (for beginners), from seeds and cuttings.

SUGAR CANE !

My friend of over 20 years, Ling, brought me some home grown sugar cane in February 2018 and they were amazingly juicy and sweet.

Home Grown Sugar Cane in Singapore

2018 February 24

To enjoy these, we hacked the long hard stem of the fruits at the joint which will break after a few hits. From the top of each shortened stem, split it in half first then quartered as desired. We ate this by biting off thinner strips and chewing out the juice from its fibrous flesh and then discard the fiber. Commercially, there are cold pressed machines in Asia that will squeezed the juice out for a refreshing and sweet thirst quencher. Best chilled! Sometimes, a slice of lemon is add to counter the sweetness.

Sugarcane is not suitable for container gardening as it is a giant when fully grown.

Home Grown Sugar Cane

Ling’s sugar cane “jungle”

According to Ling’s mother-in-law who grew these plants, they need full brutal sun and grounded. She watered only occasionally with rice rinse water. Most of the time, these plants depend on  rain.

The stems were harvested when they were “long” enough, at least 6 months from sapling stage in her garden. She chopped off the desired length, leaving a shorter stump in the ground and the latter with grow bigger for the next harvest.

The experience of tasting this amazingly fresh and delicious crop made me curious. I wonder how they start their journey?

Home Grown Sugar Cane in Singapore

Source – The Noble Sugarcane (Johnscropblog)

To start, plant them with the “eyes” facing upward in soil after cutting to shorter length at the joint.

Home Grown Sugar Cane in Singapore

Young shoot

Young shoots emerged about 14 days and grew rapidly.

Home Grown Sugar Cane in Singapore

This can be further separated

A young sugarcane sapling has invasive roots mass and tend to roots bound easily in containers.

Home Grown Sugar Cane in Singapore

2018 March 24

This one a keeper for study while the rest were planted in my outdoor garden.

Home Grown Sugar Cane in Singapore

2018 March 24

Will update as the saplings grow.

Apartments’ Rice Paddies

Featured

Update 2018 – Hydro Rice in natural nutrients began! Test trials underway.

In land scarce Singapore, it is not impossible to grow rice for fun and where space allowed, for our own consumption. I thought this is a great gardening project to do with children as well. Hopefully with the experience, our urban kids will  know how difficult it is to harvest just one cup of rice and learned to cherish every morsel of grain on their plate. 🙂

Apartment rice paddy

2015 February 24  – Ms. Serena Ganesh’s home grown grains

Serena Ganesh's rice grains before they turned brown

Serena Ganesh’s rice grains before they turned brown

This is a labor of love for Serena Ganesh’s family! She harvested her grains by hand peeling each husk after other attempts failed. Members from our gardening group (SG Farming in Apartments), such as Edmund Gan, recommended to wait till the stalks are fully golden brown before grinding the husks on a sieve to separate the grains.

Grow rice in containers

Feb 25 2016 – Serena Ganesh hand split and peeled husks from rice

Tips for Growing rice:

  1. Soak seeds 24 – 36 hours before sowing to very wet medium
  2. Roots appeared 3 – 7 days in a sunny area
  3. Need strong sunlight
  4. Maintain seedlings in very moist medium until 2nd month

More gardeners’ journals –

Grow rice in pots

2016 February 27  –  soaked grains for 24 hours before sowing on really moist towels.

How to grow rice

2018 February 11 – Sowed on Japanese Grow cloth

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

2018 February 16 – Germination

Budi Widodo grew rice along his apartment’s corridor, where he has about 6 hours of indirect sunlight. After his seeds germinated on wet towels, he would plant them here before transplanting to a deeper trough until harvest day.

Grow rice in pots

Budi Widodo cut holes on the side of his “pot” to drain water when it rained

Grow rice in pot

Budi Widodo’s rice paddy trough

For soil sowing, William Toh recommended to thoroughly mix potting soil with water until its muddy and then add more water till it covered the soil, before planting grains in the mud pool.

February 3 2016 - William Toh's rice paddy in cookie jar

2016 February 3 – William Toh’s rice paddy in cookie jar

Grow rice in pots

William Toh’s rice paddy in cookie jar “incubator”

William Toh - This is how wet the soil needs to be

William Toh – This is how wet the soil needs to be

Grow rice in pot

Feb 15 2016 – William Toh’s rice are growing well

 

The key for a good rice harvest 🙂 is to keep the soil constantly moist and to grow them in warm sunny places.

The International Rice Research Institute also recommended to prepare the soil well with 7:2:1 ratio of potting soil, manure/compost and rice husks, mixed thoroughly with water for the young seedlings to thrive.

Grow rice from seeds

Prototype of rice growing on river (natural nutrients)

I liked to share pictures from Serena Ganesh’s mature rice paddy 🙂 See how big this crop grew ?!  For interested gardeners, do consider a bigger pot than a cookie jar for a more bountiful harvest! 🙂

Grow rice in pot

Serena Ganesh’s potted rice paddy

Grow rice in pot

Serena Ganesh’s potted rice from seeds

2018 June 24 – I was surprised to see grains on plants started in PET bottles with only 4 inch of soil!

Growing rice indoors

June 24 2018

Grow rice indoors

Rice grains

It would take 4 – 5 months from seeds to harvest day.

Last but not least, please remember to check and change the stagnant water in our rice paddy “fields” for mosquitoes breeding, while enjoying our gardening projects! 🙂

HYDROPONIC RICE – SG STRAWBERRIES’ Journal 

A few batches were started for study, beginning on January 11 through April 2018.

Seeds germination rate is almost 100% within 7 days after soaking for 3 days.

As there was no room in my apartment for big pots and still being able to access strong sunlight, I will be growing rice in hydroponic! 🙂 These were how our rice began their journey –

Grow rice from seeds

Soaking for 36 hours

Grow rice from seeds

Germination stages

Grow rice from seeds

4 days old seedling

Rice paddies in apartments

2 weeks old

Grow rice from seeds

2018 February 26 – roots

How to grow rice

2018 January 14 – single shoot 

How to grow rice from seeds

Planted in mini net cup – 2 shoots on Jan 18!

How to grow rice from seeds

2018 Feb 14 – multiple shoots in a month!

Grow rice from seeds husks

Interesting “fur” on shoots

Grow rice from seeds

One month old roots (Feb 14 2018, germinated on Jan 11)

Grow rice from seeds

Stroking roots!

Hydro seedlings were not successful, thus most were transferred to soil in late March 2018. The leaves were brown and limp in all the liquid nutrients I tried.

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

2018 April 18 – Hydro failed

First grains spotted on June 22 2018.

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

In outdoor pots

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

They felt gritty!

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

Rice Grains

WHEN TO HARVEST GRAINS?

The grains are best left to dry on plant.

They should look completely brown (straw colour) before we cut the stalk off the plant. When pressed, the grain is firm and does not break easily.

They do not mature evenly, thus we usually wait till almost all the grains are brown or less green. These dried grains are also future rice seeds.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

Not yet ready to harvest

 

From our own grains, we germinated second generation rice seedlings on October 4th 2018.

Grow rice from seeds in pots

2018 August 04 harvest

Seedlings were planted in outdoor pots rather than PET bottles this time. For better harvest, they need to be planted in bigger pots or grounded. This time, the seedlings were planted in 80 Liters pot.

Grow rice from seeds in pots

Planting rice seedlings

Grow rice from seeds in pots

2018 October 26 outdoor

Grow Rice from seeds in Singapore

2018 December 12

In deeper pots, rice seedlings were relatively easy to grow and “fruit” on time. Instead of 5 months in shallow PET bottles, where the roots had no place to form well, these plant showed grains in less than 4 months. Thus plant them in deeper pots for abundant and easier harvest.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

2019 January 19

 

2019 – BLACK & WILD VARIETIES 

BLACK PIEDMONT RICE – These seeds were sowed on February 11 and germinated 2 days later on the 13th.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

February 14 – Italian Wild variety

It would be interesting to see how they progressed and compared to the grains from our first journal.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

2019 February 17

They were planted in plastic clear bottle “incubator” to observe roots development. At this stage, we would be keeping the soil very moist while preventing mosquitoes’ breeding by enclosing seedlings in this makeshift greenhouse.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

Planted in soil

Transparent containers also allowed us to observe how roots grew in the early stages. Lessons learned from the first journal, were that seedlings planted in shallow pots or with too many seedlings, took a longer time to show grains. We hypothesized that roots with more room will grow faster with more abundant harvest.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

Incubator

These incubators could be used as a teaching aid to observe rice seedling’s progress closely.

Grow rice seedlings from seeds in containers

2019 February 20

 

SG STRAWBERRIES’ Grow Rice  journal till June 26 2018

 

Seeds or Seedlings available for sale in SHOP !

Grow rice seedlings from seeds in containers

RICE Seedling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Wolfberries / Goji Berries/ KAU KEE Plant

Featured

Updated 2018 June 30 –  We completed the full cycle journal on Kau Kee cutting to fruits and other observations! These plants continue to surprise while gifting us knowledge and food. As fresh berries were not available in our markets, we grew to share them with our family and neighbors. Last but not least, we can grow this herb in our tropical zone. Winter is not a factor to see fruits.

 

This journey has taught us that plants are quite adaptable as long as we understood their basic needs. It may take a longer time to adapt to our climate, but as long as they live, we had opportunities to learn.

How this journey began – 

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

As my mother loves Goji berries, I love to grow my own for her.

How to grow a wolfberry or Goji berry tree from cutting

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

There was not enough information online about how they start in 2015 and I wanted to find out more for this journal. The only way is to start from cutting or seeds.

There are 2 ways to grow this hardy perennial plant.

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

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

    Goji berries seedlings

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

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

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

MOVE HEAVY POTS FOR SUN ! 

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

Grow a goji berry tree from stem cutting

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

How to grow wolfberry plant from cutting

Regina Fok ‘s stem cutting has rooted in water

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

Gojiberry Wolfberry from cutting

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

Gojiberry from cutting

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

Grow gojiberries from cutting

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

Grow wolfberry plant

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

Gojiberries and wolfberries from cutting

October 2016 – Regina’s plants bore fruits!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

Nov 11 2016 – Vigorous grower!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

Nov 12 2016 – Not the first harvest!

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

Grow goji or Wolfberries

Minimum care for hardy wolfberries plants!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

How wolfberries grow on plants!

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

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from Cutting

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

How to grow Goji berry from cutting

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

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

Wolfberries from rooting

Plants with more roots mass will grow faster (PlantB)

 

PESTS PREVENTION – TRAP FOR WHITEFLIES etc

 

Feb 10 2016 – Plant A

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee cutting

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

Conclusion  – For any stem cutting that had “rooted”, it is best to  plant in soil  when there were good “roots mass” seen. This basically mean a lot of white new roots in layman terms!  Plants were stronger faster compared to cuttings with less or no roots.How flowers start their journey ! The dates are not in sequence as flowers bloom at the same time on both plants but hopefully the pictures demonstrated how they formed. No commercial fertilizer were used to encourage flowering. These plants were grown in our own natural compost  from recycled kitchen green waste! 🙂

Grow Wolfberries, gojiberries

October 30 2016 – First flower bud seen

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries or kau kee

Dec 04 2016 – More buds on the way

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberries

Feb 01 2017 – Flowers and berries

Grow wolfberry from kau kee cutting

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

wolfberry flowers

Feb 28 2017

Grow wolfberries in Singapore

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

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

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

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee Cutting

Feb 17 2017

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

Dec 12 2016 – more flowers bloom at the same time

Grow gojiberries, Kau Kee, Wolberries

November 11 2016 – Flower coming out from bud.

Grow wolfberries , gojiberries and kau kee

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

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

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

Wolfberry from Kau Kee cutting

Jan 11 2017

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

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

Wolfberry or Gojiberry fruiting stages

February 25 2017 – Fruiting begin

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

Wolfberries began fruiting journey!

Grow wolfberry and gojiberries from cutting

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

Grow gojiberry n wolfberry in Singapore

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

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

February 28 2017 – Vigorous fruiting, heat tolerant

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries from cutting

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

Grow wolfberry or Gojiberry from cutting

Jan 19 2017

Grow Wolfberry or Goji Cutting

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

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee Cutting

Wolfberry

Grow wolfberry and gojiberry

Feb 18 2017 – Fresh Wolfberry is Juicy! 🙂

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberries

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

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

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry

Feb 18 2017 – Sowing seeds from our fresh wolfberry

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry

February 28 2017 – Germinated !!

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from seeds

March 1 2017 – hopefully a strong plant

Germinating fresh Wolfberry seed

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

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from seeds

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

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

June 04 2017 – seedling grows very fast

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

June 04 2017 – Seedling planted in outdoor garden

Seeds grown seedlings are slower. However it has brunch out from one stem and is steadily growing up! 🙂

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from Kau Kee cutting

Dec 23 2017 – 9 months old wolfberry seedling

Difference between leaf and flowers buds

Grow wolfberries Gojiberries from cutting

Leaf bud

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

Grow wolfberries Gojiberries from cutting

Flowers bud (Feb 2017)

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

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Hint of purple

What happened after fruiting? 

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

 

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Bare plant!

They remained in this dormant stage for 3 months.

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

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

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

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting

2017 Nov 18 new flower out of bare stem

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

Nov 17 2017 – plants awakening

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Nov 18 2017 – Flower bud seen from bare stem

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting or seeds

Nov 17 2017 – Flower buds appeared from bare stem

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from Kau Kee cutting

NOv 21 2017 – Flower and fruit from a bare stem

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

Growing wolfberry or gojiberry in Singapore

June 10 2017 – New growth on the woody stem

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

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Pruned plant re-grew shoots

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from seeds

No thorns on new shoots

Grow wolfberry gojiberry in Singapore

Flowers buds showed later than plants with bare stems intact

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

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting

Unpruned (left) vs Pruned plant (right)

2018 Journal

wolfberry in Singapore

2018 January 22

 

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

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee cutting

January 13 2016 – Journey to find answers began!

Grow goji or Wolfberries

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

Grow wolfberries, gojiberries or kau kee

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

Grow wolfberry or gojiberry from cutting

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

Wolfberry from Kau Kee cutting

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

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee cutting

Jan 17 2017 – Plant A, slower to flower

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

Grow wolfberries gojiberries from cutting

2016 December 02

Grow Wolfberry or Gojiberry from Kau Kee Cutting

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

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

2019 January 19 – New Beginning

We tried to reused our wolfberry’s pots for vegetables when the dormancy stage extend beyond four months in October 2018. All the stems were pruned hard and only bald stumps remained in December. We thought that the wolfberry plants would not revived and hence, hydro vegetables such as kale were transferred here as they managed to adapt to soil.

Much to our surprise, these bald stumps showed leaves and our wolfberry’s journey began a new phase.

Grow wolfberry Gojiberries from Kau Kee cutting in Singapore

New leaves

 

CONCLUSION KAU KEE is wolfberry.

It took 10 months from cutting to see flowers.

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

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

The Berries of Goji and Kau Kee Plants:

Both the berries and the leaves are edible.

It is considered a good herb for improving eye sight .

The berries are often sold in dried form like these :

 

Fresh goji berries

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

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

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

Fresh everlasting wolfberries on tree:

Fresh wolfberries on tree

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

Grow wolfberries

Potted Gojiberry plant in Perth Australia (Annie Lim)

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

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

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

Regina Fok preparing her Goji berry stems for propagation

 

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

Grow gojiberry plants from stems

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

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

The leaves have a smooth silky texture when its cooked.

The leaves have a smooth silky texture after its cooked.

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

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

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

Information :

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

Wolfberry