Showing posts with label pak choy green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pak choy green. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2012

Summer Update - End January

Since my birthday mid-January, we have not got much rain fall. The weather was dry and warm and we did have a few hot days. Finally we had a bit of rain fall last night and today, to freshen up the plants and the lawn. I love the rain because it has this magical power of making the lawn look really really green.

Out of the few seeds of yellow capsicum I have sown, two emerged and after re-potting twice, they are doing fantastic.

My little experiment to root market cuttings of sweet potato plants (even after placing in the  vege compartment for two days) worked. I planted four of the rooted cuttings into a large pot (50cm wide x 50cm deep) with loads of cow manure and potting mix. Last few days were hot and I shaded the pot with white cloth. They survived each day and are growing!

These are the same sweet potato cuttings and they are putting on new growth. I could not wait to tell hubby he was going to have sweet potato leaves for dinner soon!

I harvested our first cucumber (burpless). It is about 35cm long. It has a few bite/beak marks which I believe are from birds.
I decided to take my eureka lemon tree  out of its pot (where it was dying)  and planted it in my back garden along the fence. If it survives, I will try to espalier it onto the wooden fence. Amazingly after several rounds of watering on warmer days, it seems to be alive. It is throwing up lots of flowers and growing a few new leaves. Fingers crossed, I still have my lemon tree alive.

I commented about my galangal ginger plants in one of my previous blogs. Here is the picture showing new shoots coming out of the ground.
Gorgeous looking pak choy keeps giving us a constant supply of leafy green.

I am so happy to have homegrown cut flowers - sunflowers and white lilies.
These gorgeous white lilies have fragrance that permeate my house. It was almost bewitching! They last much longer when cut and put in a vase. Out in my garden, they wither within two days.

Woohoo! My Carolina Black Rose grapes are ripening! As the ripening is  not very consistent, I pick the ripe ones off the bunch rather than harvesting the whole bunch as grapes do not ripen once picked.  

When ripened especially by lots of warm sunshine, the grapes are really sweet.

Very happy to say that about 9 pomegranates are developing on the tree after loads of flowers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr Spotted Neck Has Found a Mate! Surprise Ginger Find.

Last week's weather became wintry. Finally we had a few days of intermittent downpours. The winds were strong at times and suddenly quietened down with sunshine breaking out of the clouds. Then everything started all over again.  Temperatures have been sometimes lower than 20 and sometimes a bit higher.

This week started really hot and windy. Temperatures up to 35 deg. Then it became cooler but still no sight of a much-needed rain.  My poor plants, I wonder how they cope with the ever-changing weather and temperatures. They must be a bit confused.

Our dear Mr Spotted Neck (wildlife) up on my neighbour's roof still looking for a mate. My hubby bought me a  digital SLR camera for my birthday so now, I can take sharper and better pictures.
My two silvery fir plants produced so many tomatoes. I actually have not finished the frozen ones from last season.

We now have a flight of sparrows visiting as well and so far they are the tamest birds we had. Mr Spotted Neck sometimes bullied them but when food is abundant, they can share a meal together.

To my surprise while tidying up the carrot foliage, I found a small ginger plant growing. I have planted some ginger slips last year but only one grew (the one in front). However, another slip survived the winter and it has sprouted. Wow, I am so inspired to try sweet potatos asap!
Five cucumber (burpless) vines this year hooray! A little crowded though. The leader vine is having a maturing cucumber plus 3-4 more growing!
More pak choy green thriving under the netting along with the tomato silvery fir.

Lots of green chillies on my chilli fire.

I am so proud to announce that Mr Spotted Neck has found a mate!!! My son and I actually felt sorry for him cooing every day for a mate and we, hehe...prayed for him.  Recently we noticed him courting a lady in our garden but kept getting rejected. These few days,  we saw both of them in the garden together. This morning we saw them feeding together! Finally! Congratulations! Bird-watching is really fun!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vegetables Update and a Very Nice Surprise.

I think I have achieved the objective I have set last year about growing more leafy vegetables in our garden. I wanted to do so as these vegetables are more perishable compared to fruit vegetables so if I can have a fresh supply in my garden regularly, it would be great. On my market/supermarket trips, I buy more of the fruit vegetables such as capsicums, eggplants, cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins as they keep fresh for a longer time. And I plant more leafy vegetables so I can harvest them fresh from my own garden.  Of course when the weather is warmer (spring, summer, autumn), I do reserve space to plant my own eggplants, cucumbers, capsicums and beans.  Also, I am hoping my choko vine produce fruits for stir-fry as well.

The kang kong/ water spinach in patch F is ready to be harvested.

Some fresh pak choy green for soup. So far, planting choy sum, Chinese brocoli and buk choy has been a failure.

I bought sweet potato leaves from Springvale market and stir-fried it with my home-made sambal  paste. Hubby loved it.

I reserved some sweet potato cuttings and stand them in water, hoping they will root and I can plant them. This idea came a bit late but if it works, I still can have my own leaves to eat. The hot weather helps the sweet potato plants grow very quickly.

I harvested a few choko shoots to stir-fry with the sweet potato leaves. Amazing! They taste really good. I read on the internet that every part of the choko part can be eaten. Also the possums love these shoots and that made me try them. A good decision! Another vegetable for the dining table!
The Kao Kee plants are growing new shoots. They get mildew easily and I had to resort to spraying the bottom leaves with fungicide as milk or bicarbonate spray did not work.

Our first kang kong harvest. for stir-fry.  Plus a bunch of edible chrysanthemum (Tung O) for soup.

Hmmm...yummy kang kong with fermented bean curd.  I can finish the whole big plate!

We have been doing bird-watching a lot.  Today we had a flight of sparrows feeding on the bird seeds.

I put out two trays so the pigeon (wildlife) will not bully the sparrows.  Each bird variety has a tray. We notice the non-native mynahs bully the pigeons and the pigeons bully the funny!

We were out on our front garden when my son caught sight of a plane doing heart shapes in the sky!!! I rushed for my camera.

My son managed to get into the picture by sitting on the fence, literally!

Here's another heart the plane did. What a pleasant surprise!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Night of Downpour to Refresh a Week of Sunshine.

8-9 December - warm and sunny days up to 32 deg celsius.  Thunderstorms in the evening.

9 December -cool change
- collected 3 buckets of worm casts from worm farm.
- checked hydrangeas.  Milk sprays seem to have worked to rid powdery mildew.
- removed powdery mildew-affected grapevine leaves (still manageable).
- removed powdery mildew-affected kao kee leaves (milk spray didnt  work). Applied more milk spray.
- lots of pomegranate flowers dropped.
- collected pak choy pods.

11 December - Rain last night.
- Worm casts to kang kong on Patch F.
- Worm casts to kao kee and strawberry pots.
One of the cucumber vines which I have planted here (Patch B) took off well and is having cucumbers already. Two others died.
I planted 4 more pot-germinated seedlings in Patch B.  These are cucumber (burpless).
Several chilli padi seedlings emerged in Patch B where I placed the pot to over-winter.  The seeds must have survived winter from dropped chilli fruits.
Patch B+C has kang kong (water spinach) and carrots growing.
Patch F has kang kong (water spinach) and Tung O (edible chrysanthemum).  It is also where my Carolina Black Rose grape vine is.  This picture is taken before I applied worm casts.
This raised vegetable patch looks a little run down.  I cannot really plant much as I am still waiting for pak choy green seeds to dry.  The brocoli greens did not do well. I think the seeds are dodgy as this is not the first time I am unsuccessful despite changing planting sites.
I got my boy to casually sow pak choy seeds out on the front vege patch and amazing lots of tiny healthy pak choy are growing.
Yummy, fresh strawberries every day!
This summer, I have 4 cally lily Majestic Red  blooming in our front garden.  How exciting to see them returning year after year!
With an overnight downpour, the duckweeds in the water chestnut tub  multiplied like crazy covering the whole surface.  The colour contrast of green and blue is very nice.
Guess what I found? A ginger shoot! That's from last summer!  Ginger (the common one that I use for cooking) actually survived our winter and has emerged! Wow! I feel so excited and hopeful growing ginger. 
This ginger shoot recently emerged from some stems which I planted in  two 40cm diameter pots.  Hoping for good results.  So far so good.
Here's another shoot in the other pot.
The galangal ginger which I planted here looked withered, not a pleasing sight. However I strongly believe the underground stems are alive.  Time will tell.
While I was preparing dinner, I looked out of my kitchen window very often.  We had a wonderful downpour last night and this really refreshed the whole garden.  The greenery looks greener, the plants look more alive and beautiful as ever.  I love this view so much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gardening Update

There was a few nice showers last night.
Harvesting pak choy, spinach, rocket, coriander, parsley, tung O/Garland Chrysanthemum, strawberries.

My two pots of thai basil propagated from market cuttings. They started flowering straight away and I had to pinch them off to generate more leaf growth.
Pak Choy Green in a pot and doing so well.
I harvested the pak choy for dishes over the next few days. They are really yummy for soup.
The pot is now home for some lemongrass which I have pulled up from one of the clumps. I am hoping they will grow thicker stems here. I replenished the pot with lots of composted manure.
Three of my strawberry plants which I had propagated have put on lots of flowers.
However, my joy was short-circuited when I found the flowers of two pots eaten up in the night. I highly suspected some animal walking on the fence and eating them.
I cracked my head over what to do to protect more flowers from being eaten. Finally I used some wire mesh, wrapped it over with strong plastic sheet and clamped it over the fence to form a cover over the plants. (above pic) Then I threw a layer of net over as a double layer of protection. I think whatever animal that returns will have a hard time trying to reach the flowers now, since its body weight will probably make it fall over that cover.

My tomato silvery fir plants grow bushy very quickly despite weekly pruning. Both have lots of flowers and also some fruits. This time I am very excited about growing tomatoes cos I have found a new way of eating them - salsa!!! Why didnt I think about doing home-made salsa before? It's yummy!
Rhubard Sydney Crimson is establishing very well. I like the idea that its new leaves are all crumpled and gradually they become pretty flat leaves.
Our little corn patch is doing great! I am already spotting the male corn flowers!
Candy Red watermelon seedlings finally taking off. I wonder if I seriously have time and space to grow some watermelons for Yates watermelon challenge. For the sake of free seeds and free fruits and fun, I will continue to nurture them.
Early spring when I looked at my lemon verbena, my heart sank. It was a dry leafless lifeless twig outside my bedrom window. I pruned it hoping it will spring to life. And it did!! Full of new growth!! Looking forward to making more lemon verbena tea this year.
Today, after thinking so hard and reading up a lot, I improved on how I am growing my water chestnut plants successfully. A new pot is hard to come by even if I have money to buy it.  I decided to use a strong plastic tub, add heavy clay soil (fortunately I kept some from our lawn project last Sept), composted manure and replanted the strongest plant there. I added water and the two goldfish that I bought. My son decided to name them Goldie and Fishie. How original is that hahahaha!!!
The original tub looks bad. The water is murky thanks to me putting in garden top soil which is a true disaster. The mud is also too shallow to accommodate so many growing plants. As much as it was a pain, I had to dig up several plants and dump them to avoid overcrowding. I wont be able to accommodate so many big tubs of water chestnuts as it would be too time consuming taking care of mosquito/algae problems. I read that one or two plants can give a lot of chestnuts, so if I am successful, I should just need two plants.
The kang kong seedlings which I have planted out a few days ago are doing well.
These carrot plants are home for tiny critters which fly very fast like whiteflies but they also hop and they are green. No idea what they are but hopefully they are not too pesky.
This is the first year our pomegranate tree produce a dozen or more flowers. Will I get to eat some pomegranates?
Caught Mr Spotted Neck sunbathing on my kang kong patch. He is so adorable. I think he comes every morning and coos on our roof. Almost works like a rooster and my alarm clock each morning. Poor guy still no girlfriend in sight. Recently another pair of pigeons also started visiting our garden.

This morning as I was inspecting our plum tree, I found possum poo! Not very good news. I have been suspecting them as the culprits which nipped off a lot of young plum shoots and stealing my plums. Now the poo confirms my suspicion. And I also think they are the culprits which ate my strawberry flowers. I have to soon put up nets for all the fruit trees and vegetables.

My boy and I spent a whole morning in the garden. He stumbled upon a dead bee and we had a great time examining it. We also studied some ants carrying eggs in their tunnels when we overturned a square tile at the vege patch. Lastly, we studied one common brown butterfly which I caught resting on the grape vine few nights ago before freeing it. It was Insects' Day!!!

"All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature...the challenge of Science is to find it." - Paracelcus, the father of Pharmcology, 1493 - 1541