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Archive for December, 2009

Propagating Sage…

December 25, 2009 1 comment

After having some success of propagating herbs, I decided to try the more difficult ones. Sage is one of the fussy ones which my friends had trouble propagating them. Some had bought tens of cuttings and tried to root them in various methods. It was only recently when I heard from my friend, Wilson, who had successfully root a Sage cutting. I decided to try his approach and see whether it works for me.

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Sage can be bought off the shelves in supermarkets. Remember to to buy those that are fresh and with stems. Although they are sold for culinary uses, they can be treated just like stem cuttings.

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Here’s my set up: pot with draining fertile soil, scissors, my mini shovel and rooting powder. The lower leaves of the cutting are trimmed and the bigger leaves are halved. Most of such cuttings do not have the energy to maintain such big leaves and it will be better for the plant to channel more of its energy to develop roots. Also, make a slanted cut at the end of the stem so that water absorption can be made easier for the cuttings.

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Lastly dip the cutting into the rooting powder, which will encourage the growth of the roots. It can be done without rooting powder however the chances of success is much lower. The last step is to plant the cutting into the pot and water. The soil need to be kept moist at all times. If the cuttings started to go limp, sit the pot in a shallow tray of water to perk it up again. Rooting is slow and it takes around a month or so to successfully root them. Let’s hope my sage will root this time! If you need more information in stem propagation, I had uploaded a video tutorial in my previous post of propagating rosemary.

Talks & Workshops & Bazaar!

December 20, 2009 Leave a comment

 

Decbazaar03 Terrarium Workshop with Wilson

There was a series of talks and workshops held at Hortpark today. As this weekend will be the last before Christmas, the workshop today was to teach gardeners to create their own terrariums which can make ideal gifts for the season!  Gardeners got to learn basic terrarium skills such as the choice of plants and the type of potting media they need.

Decbazaar04 The speaker for the workshop is Mr Wilson Wong, who also demostrated and explained the steps of doing up a Christmas themed terrarium. Terrarium, also known as garden in a bottle, is one great candidate for indoor decoration especially for one who like to include a bit of greenery in their homes or offices. They are easy to maintain and hassle free, what makes them so special is that it is something you put up together and grow healthily under your tender loving care!

The next talk, Growing Culinary Herbs, was very well received by the public. Almost 70 turned up for the talk and the room was packed till some had to stand around the room! Also conducted by Wilson, Mediterranean herbs are introduced and he shared his experience of growing these exotic plants. The audience is very enthusiastic today, bombarding lots of gardening questions! And as usual, Wilson was swarmed by the crowd after the talk to ouch and feel the herbs which Wilson personally grown in his garden.

Decbazaar05 Culinary Herbs talk

Also in Hortpark today, a bazaar was organised for the commercial nurseries and gardening hobbyists to peddle their home grown plants. Our gardening group, Green Culture Singapore, had brought countless of plants from the enthusiastic members to sell at rock bottom prices. Some of these plants are collectors’ plants which are seldom found in our local nurseries. It is always heartening to see our members share their plants and experiences to the public.

Decbazaar07Green Culture Singapore’s Booth in the bazaar

I was also approached by a young boy who had a booth to sell his carnivorous plants. I was delighted to know that he was one who attended my gardening talk in March and had developed strong interest in these plants with great success! Before he attended my talk, he had little knowledge about carnivorous plants, and now today he showed me his beautiful plants which really motivates me to promote gardening to the younger generations! I believe more and more young people will soon take up gardening as a hobby with the help of today’s technology such as the Internet, information are readily available! 

Garden Surprise!

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Despite the wet monsoon season, some of my plants are doing very well. They braved through the strong winds and extreme temperature drops, and still gave a spectacular show! Finally, my dwarf pineapple started flowering! In my previous entries, I was complaining of this oversized plant which still refuse to flower. I was surprised to find this new flower spike which will gradually colour up and in time for Chinese New Year!

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New flower spike!

My Barbados Cherry shrub is now in another fruiting season, I guessed the fertilizers helped in some way. Flowers are still developing and that means more fruit to come! However, because of its pot size, it will not grow any taller anymore.

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More juicy cherries                                                New seedlings 

Recently I sowed seeds of the Pomegranate plant (Punica granatum). I tried some experiments by soaking some of the seeds in salt water before sowing it in the new pot. The results – those seeds in salt water germinated faster than those did not! The seeds were from the giant sized pomegranate which you can find in supermarkets and I have no idea whether it will fruit for me. Since I am in good luck, why not grow it? It’s Dream and grow it isn’t it? 🙂

Growing Culinary Herbs

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Many had approached me on how to grow culinary herbs at home, which can be a tricky task as such plants can be quite fussy if the conditions are not right. However in my opinion, these herbs such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon or mint, are easy to grow. The trick lies in the choice of potting media and watering.

herbs006Healthy thyme 

Most of these herbs are grown in Mediterranean conditions, which basically means dry soil conditions. Potting media used should be water draining and well aerated, not forgetting to contain good amount of organic matter for nutrients. These plants do not like their roots to be immersed in water for long periods and if so, they will suffer from root rot and start to die down. Water them only when the potting media feels dry and resist the urge to water them too often. I had gardeners who feel “guilty” for not watering the plants!

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They are preferred to be grown in 4-6 hours of  direct sunlight. Healthy herbs tend to have stronger fragrance and greener leaves. They can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. This will also mean that the fresh cut herbs available in supermarkets can be used for propagation! Many of my friends had successfully propagated from these sources and had excellent results!

Herbs are not only interesting plants to grow, but also useful in your kitchen. Anytime you feel you need to “spice up” your food, head over to your garden!