Monday, April 14, 2014

Chilli Plants and The Unknown Culprit!

Last weekend my sisters and I went to Sg. Buloh nurseries to look for some plants. I came back home with three colours of gerberas, which I shall be sharing on another day, and two chilli plants. The chilli plants were really cheap, RM10 for 3 medium to large sized plants! Could not help buying those even though I have some seedlings growing in my garden pots.  Gave one to my sis and took home the other 2. Did not buy any other plants as could not find what we were looking for.

I transferred the two chilli plants to bigger pots and placed them in my front porch garden. A few days later, I noticed some leaves on the soil. I thought it strange, as the leaves are not being bitten and they just seem to dropped off in perfect piece. At first I thought it was the rain, as it has been raining quite heavily these past week. 

Plant A
On the next morning, to my horror, I found that some of the stems of both plants are missing! Look at the photo above, it looks like the stems are being snapped off or bitten off!

Plant A
See those stems on the soil. The weird thing is, neither the leaves nor the stems are being eaten, look at the perfect condition of those leaves!

Plant A
And notice the corner of the pot, where there is a little hole, looks like something stood in that corner while busy bitting off the stems, and thus the stems dropped off to the other side of the pot!

Plant B
This is the second chilli plant. 

Plant B
Notice the same pattern. The broken stems are on one side of the container.

I have to do something to protect whatever are left of the chilli plants, before the rest of the remaining stems are all gone! It was raining very heavily that evening and did not have time to get some wires to do a proper cage, so here's what I did at 9.00pm that night, as soon as the rain stops.

Plant A
LOL!!! I know you must be laughing, I certainly laughed at myself when I took these photos! I used old rice plastic bags, some strings, staples and a couple of sticks to hold the plastic in place. Do you think this would work? Keeping my fingers crossed.

Plant B
Now you really must be laughing! I was laughing too when I took this photo and my neighbours must think I'm a crazy woman, laughing to herself, taking photos in the garden late at night (with flash on!) just after a heavy downpour! I have used a metal stool as I could not find anymore sticks to support the plastic bag. A smart idea too, I might add!  Hehe!

Well, it worked. The next two mornings, found my plants safe and sound. Seems that my method worked! I took the stool off Plant B on the second morning to allow the chilli plant to enjoy some sun, and I have forgotten to place it back that night.

Plant B
This was what I found this morning! All the remaining stems from the plant, are now on the soil, just as I've feared would happen if I did not protect the plants! My chilli plant is now bald! I placed back the stool over the plant this evening, as there are other young stems growing.

Plant A is safe!

Very weird and strange. Which creature did this? My guess is either a rat or a squirrel, though my guess is, the culprit is a rat. My hubby has caught a couple of rats these last few months, as we have seen them scurrying around the drains outside. And I have seen a couple of squirrels in my neighbour's mango tree a few months ago. Could either one of them is the culprit? Strange thing is, whatever did this, did not eat the leaves, but merely snapped off the stems, and it came back a few nights to do it's naughtly job! Have this happened to any of your plants before? Any ideas? 

I guess the only way to find out is to set a trap! And hubby is setting the trap as I'm writing this post. Hopefully the culprit will be caught, better sooner, as I have other chilli seedlings growing, and it seems to favour chilli plants over the rest. 

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What's Blooming Right Now

Hi everyone, I'm back, I haven been missing in my gardening posts for almost 5 months now! Oops....hopefully I'll be able to post at least, once or twice a month. I have received some emails and a comment or two in my previous blog posts, asking when I'll be back to posting again. I have been slacking in my gardening blog posts and have not done much gardening in my potted garden lately, mostly due to the hot weather and also pure laziness. I'm planning to get back to active gardening again with whatever space I have. Thank you for your emails and your support and encouragement!

I'm planning on some changes in my garden, some plants that are not doing well need to be discarded, seeds needs to be sowed again as I have been having lots of failures in my seeds sowing lately, maybe most of them are past the expiry dates. Meanwhile, I'm sharing today, some of my potted flowering plants.

 Euphorbia Milii. Bought this plant as a tiny seedling many years ago. Really easy to grow without much care at all, as it thrives really well in hot weatHer. Notice the basil  plant growing in the same pot. The Thai Basil plants seems to be popping up in most of my pots, they are everywhere.

 I like the cute little flowers of the Euphorbia Milii against the green leaves and the spiky stems.

Pinkish Peach Gerbera Daisy. This is the same plant that I had back in 2010 which I have posted here. Only this peach and the yellow gerberas have "survived", while the others have all wilted and died. The yellow gerbera is not flowering right now and is not doing as well as this peach gerbera, though it is slowly coming back to 'life", keeping my fingers crossed that it would continue to do so! Am planning to get a few other colours, as this is one of my favourite flowers to grow. 

I have no idea what this pretty flowers are called. The white flowers are small with small orange-yellow seed pods. Do you know the name of this plant?

 Thai Jasmine

 Water Jasmine Bonsai

 Brunfelsia Australis Bentham. This plant has been in my garden for many, many years. Though it does not seem to grow much in size these few years, but it has been blooming pretty white and purple flowers very frequently.

Torenia, popping up and sharing homes with most of my pots. I called these plant, "The Busybody", it always pops in most of my garden pots, making their presence known with their cute flowers, in various shades of colours. I would usually collect them all and place them in a pot of their own.

One of the Cats Tail variety?  Not sure what it is called. It just grew in two of my pots. And have seen this plants growing by the roadsides and it is quite a common plant.

What's blooming in your garden right now?

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Some Herb Plants

A few months ago, lots of Thai basil plants seems to be popping everywhere in my potted garden. Must be from the seeds that are found in the soil in some of my pots. Many months ago, the last of my basil plants have dried and wilted due to the extremely hot weather, and now the seeds from those plants that must have dropped into the soil have sprouted new seedlings. I sometimes transfer my other plants from smaller pots to bigger ones, and I supposed that was how the seeds got distributed when the soil was mixed, and also because I placed the pots rather close to other plants due to limited space, the seeds must have fallen into the other pots as well.

Thai basil plant, growing happily at the corner of the rectangular pot of my sawtooth coriander.

Two young seedlings which I planted in two separate pots, are doing great, growing well right now.

The ones here, sprouted on their own and I left them in their own chosen spots, which seems to suit them fine. There are a few more plants in separate pots, and I even had to discard some of the seedlings, as there are just too many, and I do not have enough of space! 

Sweet Basil

Thymes, it was growing really well until..... see photo below..... was infested by some sort of white fungus. I was really disappointed as the thyme plant has been thriving  so well and gets so big, and now this! 

Rosemary, have been growing rather slow, but have been supplying me with fragrant leaves for my bakes and cooking pot.

Chilli Plant, which I bought from a nursery about two months ago, could not resist getting this plant when I saw those cute little tiny chillies growing all over. They are all ripe now, red and ready to be harvested. There's even more small chillies growing! 

What are the herb plants that you are growing in your garden?

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rangoon Creeper

My Rangoon Creeper has started to flower with beautiful blooms after more than a full year since my hubby transferred it to a bigger pot and placed it outside of my main gate. It was formerly placed at my front porch. I last posted about this plant back in October 2010, and that was two years ago! The plant was not doing well shortly after that, so my hubby trimmed  it down to a short slim stump, transfereed it to a bigger pot and with TLC, it has grown and here are the first blooms after more than a year.

These photos were taken about a month ago, the flowers have now wilted and hopefully, new blooms would appear soon enough!

Happy Gardening !

Friday, August 16, 2013

Malabar Spinach : A Soupy Harvest

I bought a bunch of Malabar Spinach about two months ago, the leaves are small but the stems are very green and healthy, planted them in the styro containers and am happy that they are growing very well with very huge leaves!

The Malabar Spinach are from the container on the right. The stems have grown out of the container, going over to the container on the left and some of the stems have even grown longer and seems to creep up on the wall. Have harvested some leaves and will be clearing the mess soon after my next harvest. Time to replant the stems of the soon-to-be harvested leaves.

 The leaves are rather huge, about the size of my palm.

 Harvested some of the bigger leaves for my cooking pot.

 Malabar Spinach soup, with some fish balls and eggs. Garnish with crispy fried garlic.

Harvested some belimbing for the "nasi-lemak makcik" last week. Seen her today and ask her whether does she still want anymore belimbing, she replied "Oh, yes!"

Happy Gardening !

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Golden Harvest!

I have harvested my Yan Kee pineapple!

My Golden Harvest!

First spotted the little fruit on 21st January 2013

Photo taken on 4th February 2013

The many flowers that makes up a whole fruit.

Signs of ripening, 14th May, 2013

Beautiful golden yellow, fully ripe, 17th May, 2013

My Golden Harvest !!

This Yan Kee pineapple is extremely sweet and juicy! It has a light coloured flesh and the juices are oozing out as I sliced the fruit! The fruit is not as big as the one I bought, but then it is really worth the long wait! Pineapple plant is so easy to grow, they are really fuss-free and do not need much attention at all. Occasionally, I would feed with some organic fertilizer, and leave them as they are, they grow really well even in very hot condition. I have some other pineapple plants growing at the moment, of different varieties, will share on another day. Meanwhile, try to find one of these Yan Kee pineapples, enjoy the fruit and plant the crown in a pot, put it in a corner where it can get lots of sun, and you shall be rewarded with a juicy and sweet pineapple! But you have got to be very patient, it's along wait, about 15-16 months!


Update on my previous post, as pictured below :

Thank you to everyone on the feedback of this weed known as Plaintain or Plantago Major. I have completely forgotten about this plant, until I've read from some of your comments (Autumn Belle, Stephanie, Stiletto, Sowie, The Novice Gardener, Lrong, Anonymous, Louise) that these plants have medicinal value especially for kidney and urinary systems. I instantly remembered then, that I sowed the seeds almost half a year ago! I should really take some ginkgo biloba for memory booster! (Knock my head!)

Here's the "story" (smiling sheepishly) :
The seeds was given to me by a lady whom I saw harvesting the plants sometime last year. I was curious and asked her about it as I have never seen this plant before. She then told me that it is good for urinary system and that she's harvesting it to boil with some barley. She then gave me a long stem of flowers for me to take home and sow. To me the flowers are still "green and young" and there are no seeds visible. I was sceptical that it would grow and when I reached home, I just scattered the flowers in one of my empty pot, and that was about November last year! Seeing that nothing sprouted after about many, many weeks, I threw into the "vacant pot" some other vegetable seeds which had already past their expiry dates. I was clearing my stock of seeds and instead of throwing the expired seeds away, I just threw them into that vacant pot. So when these Plaintain starts to sprout, which I have completely forgotten about in the first place, I began to wonder on the young sprouting plants. They definitely do not look like veggie, yet do not look like just any weed! So my curiosity got the better of me, and start to look for more info from the internet and finally post it in my blog, hoping that maybe some of you may recognize it. And you did! Thank you so much for your help! 

Who would have thought that it took almost five months for the "seeds" to sprout! But then I'm glad that they finally did!  

Happy Gardening !

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weed or Vegetable?

Found these plants in one of my pots and have no idea what they are! A couple of months ago, I threw in a handful of seeds, and have thrown away the empty packet, now I could not recall the seeds of which veggie that I sowed. Or maybe those seeds did not germinate and these are weeds instead?  They do look like weeds to me.

If you are familiar with this plant, could you please enlightened me? The closest that I've found out when I googled for more info is this one plant, called Plaintain Weed, from here. Could this be one of the species of Plaintain Weed?  If it is then I have a treasure in my pot, as this weed, Plaintain Weed has remedial properties. Until I know what these plants are, they will remain as they are in the pot for the time being.   If anyone should know or recognize this plant, would appreciate if you could share! Thank you!

Happy Gardening!