Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Little Harvest

My front garden is  starting to look like a vegetable garden, that's what my hubby said today. That is nice actually! The only veggie at the moment are the spring onions, kangkung and a few pots of cherry tomatoes.

These are some spring onions which I planted more than two weeks ago. I have already harvested some, and some of the smaller ones,  I planted just a few days ago.

 Another two pots of spring onions which I planted about a week ago, and a pot of kangkung.

Some kangkung which I planted today, look at the snail already enjoying the veggies!

My little harvest !

 Some spring onions and parsley harvested yesterday. 

 My first cute little radish, it is so tiny! After months of growing, that's all there is! Hopefully the new batch will fare better!

Harvested more spring onions and some kangkung today. 

I love growing spring onions, they are extremely easy to grow and I use them frequently in my kitchen. There are more growing at my front garden. Thanks to Tesco again, I bought the sprouted onions at a bargain and now they are rewarding me with lovely greens. Gave some fresh spring onions to a friend in my neighbourhood and she is requesting me to get some sprouted onions for her when I'm at Tesco the next time! She is excited at growing her own spring onions now!

The carrots and broccoli seeds which I sowed have already sprouted and I saw some very tiny seedlings of the celery seeds growing too. I'm waiting for these seedlings to grow a little bigger before I could transfer them to their new veggie bed, at least not for another two weeks or so.  

Happy Gardening !

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My dear Rosemary!

I'm in the midst of clearing the front garden, with lots of interruption in between, rain, an "official driver" for my kids, preparing meals, household chores, blah, blah, blah....!  So meanwhile, here's one of my favourite pot of plant.....Rosemary.

Rosemary is one of my favourite herb. I have a few favourite herbs, I don't actually know which one I like the best, I like all of them! But then again, Rosemary definitely belongs amongst one of the top spot on my list of herbs. 

Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant leaves. Rosemary is high in iron, calcium,, and vitamin B6. For more info on Rosemary Herbs, refer to Wikipedia, it is really interesting to read about this amazing herb.

This is my third pot of Rosemary for the last two years or so. Each time it was infested by a small lice like bug, looks like the "kutu" which can be found in uncooked rice grains. The only way to control this lice-like bug is to do it manually, remove them by hand. I do not use the spray as I use the leaves quite frequently. 

Spotted them on my Rosemary plant this morning. Got to remove them soon or the whole plant will be full of them. I noticed that this bug only infest on Rosemary and Sage, they do not infest on other herbs that I placed nearby. Have you seen this bug in your pot of Rosemary before? Get rid of them quick, they won't kill the plant instantly, but the plant will eventually die at a slow pace. Does anyone know the name of this bug?

I have never been successful at propagating rosemary until now, I failed each time I tried. Seems like the last batch that I did a little over a month ago has succeeded! I propagated two stems and both of them have roots now. Rosemary cuttings should be taken from the soft or new wood on the plant. 

I use a lot of parsley and coriander in my kitchen, and rosemary follow closely behind. I have been asked before about how I make use of the herbs from my garden. These are some of the meals that I've made using Rosemary which can be found  over at my kitchen blog. Just click on the name of the dish for the full recipe :

Rosemary Bread

Rosemary Ciabatta Rolls

Chicken Burger with Garlic-Rosemary Mayonnaise

Baked Chicken Wing with Rosemary and Sesame Seeds

Herb Roast Chicken

Pineapple-Rosemary Sorbet

Happy Gardening !

Monday, April 18, 2011

My New Plans

Now that I am looking forward to start planting veggies again, I am a little cool now, over my anger at the cats. I know that I have said it before, but I'll say it again, Thank You, all, for 'listening' and cracking your heads for ideas and suggestions to help me with this irritating problem. I deeply appreciate all your lovely gestures.

My new plan is to turn my front garden to a veggie garden, as I am done with thinking of ways on how to protect my plants, it is a mentally tiring and torturing way of gardening! Not to mention how that has affected my mood, hopefully I won't get hypertension from the stress! I have not been sowing more seeds than I should, since the problem with the cats arise, even the few veggies that I sowed was destroyed, the worst thing was, the Komatsuna seedlings from the seeds that Diana sent to me from her beloved garden in Adelaide has been destroyed. That really upsets me. So I'm putting these problems aside and start afresh, sounds great, isn't it? 

At the moment, the "residents" over at my front potted garden are the herbs, a few gerberas and some other plants. Since some of the plants are also showing signs of wilting, they will make way for my new veggies. I have started to sow some seeds, nai pak, brocolli, celery, kangkung and carrots. I'm looking forward for these seeds to germinate, and will have to clear the space and prepare the new veggie beds.  One happy news is  my cherry tomatoes which I planted in pots at my front garden, are showing fruits! Though they are still very, very, tiny, I am thrilled to bits! Keeping my fingers crossed that they won't drop off!
Over at the back garden, I'm planning to plant serai, pineapple, more yam and perhaps get a few bigger plants from Sg. Buloh. I have planted two heads of pineapple today, even though I may not harvest any  fruits for the next 18 months or so, I do not mind. I have successfully planted pineapples before, as they are really easy, and doesn't require much care. The plant can grow really huge, even better to keep those irritating creatures away. 

Tesco is having a gardening carnival now, nothing much of interest, except the black soil is selling at RM1.18 per packet.  Just bought a big pack of sprouted onions at only RM0.79! These onions will be planted in the new veggie bed at the front. I do have a container of onions at my front garden which I planted two weeks ago, they are growing well, safe and sound! So I think my decision of turning my front yard to a vegetable garden, hopefully, is a right one.

Just for smiles! You won't expect to see a toy water gun in a gardening blog!
But I thought that it deserves to be introduced. My personal weapon against those irritating creatures. My son's toy water gun. This gun can shoot quite a distance! I don't have toys like this when I was young, so this is great to play with! Satisfaction guaranteed when those creatures run with their tails between their legs! But they always come back, then I get to play again!

Happy Gardening !

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thank you, my friends for your concern!

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your concern and all your advices on my previous post. That being said, I feel that is only right that I do a post on this instead of replying in the comment section. I just cleaned up another mess at my backyard! Another pot of okra seedling has been destroyed. The spring onions pot of container on my previous post which has been attacked, I have since placed 5 overturned pots in the container to cover the soil. Guess what, they stupid cats poo on the containers! Cats, by nature, are supposed to dig in the soil, do their business, then cover it up, right? Well this stupid bunch of cats just do it on containers, on stones and even on the cement walkway, how stupid can they get? Sorry, you cat lovers out there, I'm just letting go of my frustations. You would not want to know what is on my mind if I catch hold of them! Now why are they stupid, because their owner said so!

In reply to all your comments :

Hi Food So Delicious : 
I'm glad that I don't have rats in the garden. But then again, I would be able to trap them without feelng guilty to the owners! Plastic containers seems like a good idea, but in order to keep off the cats, the containers need to be very high,at least at a certain height. Would be great if you could keep us updated when you do decide to use these containers, it will be interesting to see how this will help in keeping them away. Thank you!

Hi milka :
Lucky you, to have a big doberman, like a guardian angel to your veggies and plants! I do not have a dog nor intend to get one. 

Hi One :
It is stressful! I go to bed thinking about whether will I be seeing buzzing flies around any of my pots in the morning! Talking to the owner will definitely not helped at all, she has promised to look into the matter and it seems that she has not done a single thing about it. Thank you for your suggestions, I will have to try the orange peel method. Will the coffee ground in any way damage the plants, as my plants are all in pots, and when it rains, all the water will flow right into the roots. I need a big tiger, not the poops, to scare the cats away and hopefully the owner will move too, somewhere, far, far, away! And I could not possibly have some words with the cats, they are stupid! The exact words from their owner's mouth "Binatang, mana ada kepala otak!".  Yup, she said it loud and clear, over at her kitchen window so that I can hear her! 

Hi Bangchik and Kakdah,
Thank you for your technique! It made me smile...! I did that a few times, but then the stupid cats, probably do not understand...!

Hi Diana,
Thank you for your concern and thoughts! The sawtooth  coriander can grow to quite a big plant, they need  quite a space to grow and very prickly, it will deter them away, but it will be a problem for me to get to my plants, I did cut a few leaves from the sawtooth coriander and scatter them over the pots, no idea whether they works! Most of the young seedlings are destroyed, there's no  established plant except one or two. My neighbour did have a patch of soil behind their house, according to the owner, only the mother cat has been toilet trained! I do not understand how can  she cook in her kitchen when the cats' poo are directly outside her kitchen window. Imagine the flies that are flying around in her kitchen! Urgh! I did put some leaves around the pot last time, but it doesn't help either. Did not try with serai leaves, as I do not have any serai plants.  Will give this a try. Thank you, Diana.

Hi Shidah,
Thank you for your suggestions too. It is difficult to install a wire netting as my garden is at the back lane. I'm staying in an intermediate lot and there's no private entry at the back, it is like a common back lane. I did thought of this before, and it is quite impossible to do, still cracking my head over this! 

Hi petite nyonya,
I need your serai leaves! Thumbtacks is a really good idea! I'm tempted! Ha! Ha!

Hi Autumn Belle,
Yes, I agree with you, talking to the owner doesn't help at all. They have much to learn about being responsible as pets' owner. I always sprayed the area where they poo before, but they still come back if not to the same place, then the next! I have not tried the method with the empty Nescafe pack. It will be sometime when I will need a fresh pack. Can I instead use a teaspoon of Nescafe, dilute it with lots of water and pour this into the pot? Will it damage the plant as they are all in pots.  The mineral bottle method sounds interesting. But if they did it during the night, which they usually do, then it won't keep them away! Sigh...!


Thank you, friends, for being there to listen to all my frustations! I was actually thinking of  'closing up' my back garden, and I'm not ashamed to admit that, the thought of doing that and seeing nothing from my kitchen window almost leave me in tears! LOL! So, my next plan is to plant bigger plants like pineapple and serai over at the back and some veggies over at my front porch.  I have a small porch and do not have enough of space, so careful planning is required. 

I am done with placing stones, sticks  and whatever that I can think of to protect the plants, the only solution is I'm hoping that they will move away, even that is out of the question! And I'm not one to hurt an animal, no matter how angry I am, I'll just ignore and be done with them, stupid cats and irresponsible owners.  I'll just use my energy into putting my plan to action. In fact, bought two pineapples yesterday, for a start!

Meanwhile, I will try the few methods suggested, until my front porch is ready. Thank you everyone! I really appreciate all your thoughts and suggestions! You are the best!  :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden Pest Strikes Again and Again!

What am I to do??   My neighbour's cats are continuing harassing my garden!

I planted this okra in a round pot, protected by a smaller pot with cut-out bottoms and surrounded with wooden chopsticks.   

This is another pot of okra seedling. I did not surround the plant with chopsticks, cause I have run out of them, so many pots to protect, and I have yet to buy more! Look at what the cat did!   I think that I should get more sticks that are much longer and place them around my pots like a protective shield! All the inconvenience, just because the owner is irresponsible!

My container of spring onions, which I placed some sticks across and around. Look at it now!

The owner is getting irritated with me for complaining again the last time. Ever since my last post on the cats' mischief, they have been doing it again and again for at least a dozen time. Most of the time they did their "little bussines" in the pot! I would not like to pick a quarrel with a neighbour over some cats, but I am at a loss over what to do!  These are not the only pots of plants they destory!

I could not plant my veggies without the thought of finding ways of protecting my plant! This is stressful gardening! Hobbies are supposed to be stress free, and joyful, in my case, it is exactly the opposite! I have this fear of my veggies being dug out and would constantly check my veggies each morning to see whether are they in place as they should be. And would check for any disgusting smell! Now this is  SGS, Stressful Garden Syndrome! So I have not been planting my veggies as much as I would love to!

Obviously talking to the owner again is out of the question now! I think that she is ready to pick a quarrel with me anytime now!

Do you have a cat or problems with cats in your garden?  How do you overcome them? Would love to hear any advice, please!