Sunday, October 19, 2014

Growing Leeks

I love eating leeks. I usually stir-fry them in a mixed veggie dish, use them in  pasta meals and leeks make such a delicious filling for savoury pies and tarts. Leeks are really easy to grow. If you have any empty containers or pots lying around, then make full use of them, grow these veggies in your garden. All you need are some leek bulbs from the leeks that you buy from the market for your cooking pot. About 3 months later, you would be grinning when you harvest your leeks, like I did!  :)



My homegrown leeks.


Lovely aren't they?  :)



Planted the leek bulbs on 05/06/2014, harvested on 30/08/2014.


I've replanted the bulbs again, third generation! 


What did I do with the harvested leeks?


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How I Grow Leeks in my potted garden :

By using the leek bulbs 

 I started off with some nice leeks which I bought from the market.


 Cut the bottom (white) part of the leeks, with roots attached, about 3" from the base.


 Cut off all of the roots and discard roots.
(the same method which I grow spring onions the express way, from my blog post, here).


This is the part that you need, the white part of the leek without any old roots.


Plant the leek bulbs in soil mixed with some compost and fertilizer. Water once a day, do not let the soil dry out.   



Always maintain the soil in a moist condition.
Depending on the size and rate of growth, they can be harvested in less than 3 months. Now that you have seen how easy it is to grow leeks right in your own garden, I do hope that you will give it a try, if you have not grown leeks before. 

I have recently bought some leek seeds, and will be sowing them soon. It will be the first time I'm trying with leek seeds and looking forward to it.



Happy Gardening!





Friday, October 3, 2014

Spacemaster Cucumber

Today's post, Part Four, continuing on from my previous posts on growing your own veggies using organic seeds from Lynseed Organics. In my previous posts, I have successfully grown and harvest Arugula Rocket, the Roma Tomatoes are fruiting right now, Black Beauty Zucchini is growing well and waiting for the first blooms to appear anytime now, all these seeds are from Lynseed Organics. If you have missed reading those posts, you can click on this links :


As mentioned in my previous posts, Lynseed Organics is based in the sunny island of Singapore and they offer one of the largest seed collection online in Asia, with deliveries to Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of the world. They carry a variety of specially selected seeds that thrive in our warm tropical climate. Their seeds are 100% GMO-Free, 100% Non-Hybrid, Open Pollinated, Quality Seeds, Heirloom Vegetable Seeds, so you can be assured of good quality reliable seeds.
They have a wide range of seeds for herbs and vegetables that are suitable for growing in containers and pots, and for home gardeners like myself with limited ground gardening space, this is really fantastic!



I sowed three seeds on 09/06/2014. And all three germinated into seedlings. 


Two  plants in one container : 27/08/2014


The third plant : 27/08/2014


Two plants in one container : 06/09/2014


The third plant : 06/09/2014. 
Sadly, about a week later, this plant which was the tallest, biggest and the healthiest  among the three, has already wilted away. I was away for a few days and when I came back home, I was heartbroken when I saw that it has wilted and the leaves already turning yellow!  Sob! Sob! 


06/09/2014
First flowers to appear, are the male flowers.


The female flowers came a week later. I was waiting so impatiently for the first sign of any female flowers! And then they started appearing, about a dozen!

/
19/09/2014 : I hand pollinated most of the flowers, Keeping my fingers crossed it is a success, will just have to wait for a few days and see if it works!










It works! Small cucumbers are already starting to grow.


The biggest cucumber on the plant! Notice the other two tiny ones on the left. All three are hand-pollinated at about the same time, maybe a day or two apart, but look at the difference in growth! Obviously the big one is enjoying all the nutrients!

I am not sure when is the right time to harvest the cucumber, as this is the first time I'm growing it! I keep telling myself to just harvest it, as it has already been three weeks, and already at the right length to harvest, although it can still grow another inch or two. But am afraid that it will turn yellow and bitter if I waited too long. Maybe next time when there are more fruits to harvest, I'll try leaving them a little longer in length before harvesting. Since, this is the first cucumber, I'm taking no chances! haha! I want to taste this lovely cucumber! So I harvested it! So happy!



My first Spacemaster Cucumber (big smile!)
Length 5", Diameter 2" and Weight 233gm (not bad, half a pound in weight!)

It takes about 3 weeks from flower to harvest, which is a little too long when I read from some websites that it takes a shorter time than that, but then our weather here is rather hot and humid, so I supposed that is the main reason that is slowing the growth and development of these plants. But as long as it is producing fruits, I don't mind if it takes a little time! :)


There, sliced, ready for my sandwich! It is crunchy and simply beautiful! I love eating cucumbers but never thought of them as beautiful until I sliced into my homegrown one! LOL!  And I have three new young seedlings growing right now, yipee!! I hope I'll have enough of cucumbers in the future, as I really want to make some pickled gherkins, my favourite!

Spacemaster Cucumbers are so ideal for small gardens. They are suitable to grow in pots and containers and do not take up much space at all, as these plants do not grow very tall. Prepare something to support the vines as the plant is growing, and especially when heavy with cucumbers. They need full sun and always maintain the soil at a moist level, do not let the soil dry out. I sowed the seeds directly in the pot where I want them to grow. And I've mixed the soil with compost and some organic fertilizer. When the plants has established, apply fertilizer with higher contents of phosphorous and potassium to encourage the growth of blossoms.

These cucumbers are great for slicing when they are picked still green at about 5" to 8" in length. And the smaller ones, about 2" - 3" in length are great for pickling.


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Get 10% off your orders :

I do hope that I have inspired you to start your own little veggie garden, that is if you do not have one already! Even though my harvest are really very minimal, but it is really fulfilling and rewarding and makes me happy, when I harvest some veggies that I've grown  from a tiny seed. If you have been "thinking about it" or putting it off for some reason, well, brush all that aside, and start doing something about it, and do it soon! You could start with the first important thing, that will inspire you to the next process, get your seeds!

Want to grow your own Spacemaster Cucumbers? To get the seeds, you may order online from Lynseed Organics. Good news is, Lynseed Organics has kindly offered 10% off to the readers of My Little Potted Garden. Simply enter the coupon code MPG10 at checkout to receive a 10% off across all orders. Please do stop by their online website to view their organic seeds, or their FB page here. Start your own vegetable and herb garden, no matter how small your gardening space is, you will be rewarded with the satisfaction of harvesting your own homegrown veggies from the garden pot to the kitchen pot, and be assured of the quality of veggies that you are feeding your family. 



I would like to thank Lynseed Organics for the opportunity of trying some of their seeds in my potted garden. The past few months has been a learning process for me, still is. Growing cucumbers, zucchini, arugula rocket, roma tomatoes are entirely new to me. I have always wanted to grow my own veggies, but getting hold of the seeds such as these veggies are not easy! Lynseed Organics has provided me with some other seeds as well, which I will be trying out soon and will share that eventually. On a personal note, I do highly recommend Lynseed Organic seeds, (and not because the nice people at Lynseed Organics are requesting me to say this, which they did not!). Why am I recommending their seeds? Because all the different seeds that I've tried from Lynseed Organics have a 100% success. All of the seeds germinated into little seedlings, so for me, it is a big plus indeed, as sometimes when I buy packets of seeds off the racks from supermarkets or nursery, most of the seeds do not sprout at all and leaving me disappointed and discouraged. But with Lynseed Organics seeds, I can be assured that their seeds are reliable. Whether the seedlings grow into healthy plants later on, is all in your hands, with some patience and TLC, you could have a successful harvest!


Though the seeds have been sponsored by Lynseed Organics, the reviews are entirely my own.



Happy Gardening !




Monday, September 29, 2014

Black Beauty Zucchini (Lynseed Organics)

Today's post, Part Three, continuing on from my previous posts on growing your own veggies using organic seeds from Lynseed Organics. In my previous posts, I have successfully grown and harvest Arugula Rocket, the Roma Tomatoes are fruiting right now, and all these seeds are from Lynseed Organics. If you have missed reading those posts, you can click on this links, Arugula Rocket and Roma Tomatoes.

As mentioned in my previous posts, Lynseed Organics is based in the sunny island of Singapore and they offer one of the largest seed collection online in Asia, with deliveries to Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of the world. They carry a variety of specially selected seeds that thrive in our warm tropical climate. Their seeds are 100% GMO-Free, 100% Non-Hybrid, Open Pollinated, Quality Seeds, Heirloom Vegetable Seeds, so you can be assured of good quality reliable seeds.
They have a wide range of seeds for herbs and vegetables that are suitable for growing in containers and pots, and for home gardeners like myself with limited ground gardening space, this is really fantastic!


Black Beauty Zucchini seeds (Lynseed Organics)
Sowed the seeds on 09/06/2014
The seeds sprouted young seedlings about 3 days from date of sowing.


In fact, this is the second time I sowed the seeds. The first time I had two really nice big plants, but the hot weather back in April and May was so hot that the plants could not take it, and on top of that, the plants was "attacked" by these little beetles below.


They just love to eat the leaves of the zucchini and cucumber plants. Best way to get rid of them is to catch hold of these pests! Otherwise they will eat up the leaves and pretty soon your plant will weaken. I should know, I lost my first two plants partly due to these little beetles. Spraying them with the normal organic spray does not seem to work, but I found out that when I use the neem organic spray directly on them, they seem to weaken on the spot and do not move that quick, that gave me the chance to put on a loose plastic bag over my hand and easily catch them. It works each time. Wish I knew this sooner, when my first two plants are fat and healthy, before they were weaken by these beetles. But on the bright side, I hardly seen these beetles anymore, after getting rid about a dozen or so! 



Zucchini plant grows very fast. It is not very tall in height (17") but it spreads across quite wide (30").  This is one impressive looking plant!


Are these the zucchini blossoms or the young leaves that are just starting to grow? It was really confusing, many a times I got tricked into thinking these are blossoms, only to discover they are actually the new leaves that are just starting out. But I did notice a speck of yellow inside, so I'm very excited and keeping my fingers crossed that these are indeed the blossoms. 

Zucchini has lots of beneficial properties, they are rich in antioxidant, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and good source of Potassium. Zucchini contains 95% water, a medium zucchini contains only 33 calories, so it is a good choice if you are trying to loose weight.

A couple of years ago, zucchini are not easily available in most supermarkets. Nowadays, it can be found in almost all supermarkets and some morning wet markets as well. Zucchinis are great in stir-fries, salads, pasta, pickles, stews, and it can even be grated and used as an ingredient in a cake, just like this cake which I've made a while back, Chocolate-Zucchini Bundt Cake. The cake is really moist from the grated zucchinis and very chocolaty and delicious. A nice chocolaty way of sneaking veggies, as you would not even know there are zucchini in the cake! 


Want to grow your own Zucchinis? To get the seeds, you may order online from Lynseed Organics. Good news is, Lynseed Organics has kindly offered 10% off to the readers of My Little Potted Garden. Simply enter the coupon code MPG10 at checkout to receive a 10% off across all orders. Please do stop by their online website to view their organic seeds, or their FB page here. Start your own vegetable and herb garden, no matter how small your gardening space is, you will be rewarded with the satisfaction of harvesting your own homegrown veggies from the garden pot to the kitchen pot, and be assured of the quality of veggies that you are feeding your family. 


Next post coming up : Spacemaster Cucumber (Lynseed Organics)


Though the seeds have been sponsored by Lynseed Organics, the reviews are entirely my own.



Happy Gardening !