Thursday, 27 June 2013

Crimson King Basil

I bought its seed from US. In the seed catalogue it is dark purple. But when i grow it has more green that purple. I'm still trying to get the colour like in the seed catalogue, so off it goes to the partial shade. Next month I’ll put it under direct sun to compare the leave colour in response to sunlight.

Whatever the colour, it tastes really good. It smells like cloves and taste milder than lemon basil. It is second to purple ruffles as far as taste is concerned. Since I’ve 8 more basil variety in various stage of growth, I’ll rank it after i taste it all.

photo from seeds catalogue

This is how it look like in the tropics

Monday, 24 June 2013

A package from far away

I come back from work, look at what awaits for my return: a package from my good friend Peter from Holland.

a boxful of calla tuber and 2 packet of red gladiolus
 He makes my mum laugh with his good sense of humour.  His package not only contains calla tuber but something else!

planting trowel ands huge amaryllis bulb

Ha! Ha! Ha! Planting trowel)) ! All the way from Holland
Thanks anyway  Peter!


Now it is the turn of Tarahumara, the centre is green and the petal will change from light to darker yellow. Sunflower is my favourite flower, its yellow colour bring cheer and tranquillity to my hectic life. Now I’ve about 25 types of sunflower which is waiting for their turn to be planted.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sweet Potato

I love sweet potato but my favourite are sweet potatoes from Cameron Highland and Indonesia. The flesh is orange in colour and it is really sweet. Last time i went to Cameron Highland i bought 3 kg of sweet potatoes. I managed to save a few tubers from the pot and after a few months it is growing happily in a polystyrene box. This is the way i propagate and increase my sweet potato stock.   I'll take the cutting and plant it in a proper bed later.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

yard long bean

I've been growing this bean for so many years .I love it because it is thin and very long, the longest is at 26 inch. The seeds were given to me by my aunt. I grow my veggie in very big pot (18 inch diameter). As usual i put sheep manure and dried grass in the bottom half of the pot and commercially prepared growing media in the upper half. The first plant that i grew in this pot was sweet corn, followed by tomato then sweet corn again. Then i grow this yard long bean. This time i put a tad too much sheep manure i guess, because the bean look very happy and the leaves are dark green. Last week i have a good chat with my bean plant, this is what i told the plant “today i cut a few of your leaves, if you do not flower by next week, I’ll turn you into compost. Four days ago i saw a few flower buds.

2 days old yardlong bean
today, 4 days old

23.5 inch long

Monday, 17 June 2013

Tenacity and patience required!

I love growing herbs even though i do not use it frequently. But growing herbs/plant that originates from temperate region is very trying. 

Greek oregano 5 months from sowing
Greek Oregano
It took so long to germinate, almost one month. The seeds are very small hence the newly germinated seedling is barely visible, not to mention at first leaf stage it look like  weeds. But to top it all, the germination rate is very low. I sow half of seed packet (hundreds of seeds) and only 5 germinate. Only 1 out of 5 seedlings make it, the other 4 died of drowning (my sis watering the minute size seedlings instead of misting it lightly) and powdery mildew. But looking at this sole survivor, make all my effort worthwhile. I’ll propagate the rest from cutting.

Fernleaf dill, 3 months from sowing

Germination rate is also very poor but definitely better than oregano at almost 50%. Dill is very hardy; once it germinates it is not easily killed. But i have other problem; house sparrow will pull it out to build its nest (i use wire mesh to save this one's life). So i only left with an only seedling that is still growing. I do not know whether dill like to be under full sun or shade. The information that i get in the internet are all about growing Mediterranean herbs/plants in temperate country not in blazing hot tropic!  So i keep moving it from one spot to another until i saw it was perking up since last 2 weeks. Finally i knew 2 hours of morning sun is all it needs to maintain its vigour in the tropic.

This one takes a trophy for poor germination. First 50 seeds that i bought from Kebun Bahagia Bersama never germinate.  Another packet was bought from USA, i sow 150 seeds, and only one germinates. 
So, for those who want to grow temperate herbs in the tropics, other than seed you need a patient of a saint and a tenacity of bulldog.