Monday, May 26, 2014

Chinese Chives (Garlic Chives)

Have you ever tried growing chives before? I grew my potted chives from seeds and I started off with a packet of seeds which I bought off the rack from the supermarket. The amount of seeds from each packet is not much. And I have been buying and adding seeds to the same pot every now and then, because I want ed the pot to be full of chive plants!  Most of the seeds sprouted young seedlings, but only about a quarter grew to mature plants. So I kept adding more seeds from time to time.

This pot of Chinese Chives, also known as Garlic Chives, started with a packet of seeds back in 2010, which I have posted here, they are about 3-1/2 years old. I have since then added more seeds to the pot and though most of the seeds sprouted tiny seedlings, only about a quarter of them grow into mature plants. Though it is not much, but it is enough to make a plate of delicious omelette, for garnishes and I sometimes used it in fried noodles as well. 

I have harvested the leaves many, many times over the years.

My second pot of chives, which I sowed from seeds about 6 months ago. I had better luck with the seeds this time round.  I have sowed two packets of seeds for this pot, and most of them have germinated into seedlings. They young plants are doing well right now.

And I have scattered more seeds in between about a week ago, and the small seedlings are already beginning to appear.

Did you know that chives plants can last for years and years? I have read from somewhere, (unfortunately could not remember the source), that these plants can live up to 30 years if they are well taken care off. I believe so, as my mother-in-law has a bunch of chives in her garden, which she has planted from seeds more than 10 years ago, and her plants are doing great.

From my observation on growing chives :
  1. Sow the seeds directly into the pot or container as the young seedlings are really fragile and difficult to transplant.
  2. When the seeds have sprouted tiny little seedlings, keep them away from direct sunlight, our hot weather here with the blazing sun, can be very cruel to the little seedlings, they will wilt and die from the scorching heat, I know! I placed the seedlings in the morning sun, and move them to partial shaded area around mid-afternoon, when the weather is extremely hot. And if it rains, remember to put them under shelter, away from the rain! 
  3. Keep the soil moist but not overly wet, and make sure the soil do not dry out.
  4. When the plants have established, you may place the pot under the sun in its permanent spot, remember to water the daily so that the soil does not dry out.
  5. Once the plants have mature, ready to be harvested, cut about 3" to 4" from the the base, the stems will soon grow more leaves real quick. Harvest the chives to encourage more leaves to grow. If you are not ready to harvest the leaves as yet, trim off any yellowing leaves so that new ones will grow, otherwise it will affect the rest of the leaves into turning yellow as well.
  6. The plants do not need to be fertilized very often. I used organic fertilizer every few months or so.
  7. So far, my chives plants are practically pest free! I do not have any problem at all with the plants being infested by bugs or pests. I'm lucky so far, I guess!

Sometimes the chives that we bought from the market has the flower buds on the tips of the leaves, but have you seen the full bloom of the flowers before? Well, here are some pictures, taken from my little pot of chives.
The flower stalk of the chives will grow much taller than the rest of the leaves, it really stands out in height.

The cluster of flowers are beginning to show itself.

The full bloom of one tiny flower

More blooms.

Six tiny petals to a flower, so tiny, yet so pretty!

I've read that the flowers of the chives are rich with nectar, that explains the little black bees that have been swarming around the chive plants this week. 

Beautiful little flowers, aren't they? Interesting to see the formation of seeds from the flowers. Notice the triangle green seed pods, am waiting for it to dry and hoping to collect some seeds, at the moment there are a few stalks with flowers. 

I'm linking this post to Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes

Happy Gardening !

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I bought a young pomegranate plant about 8 months ago from a local nursery. The plant is about 18" tall at that time and now it has grown to more than 4 feet tall. Wow, it grew really fast. And I was really surprised to find about 6 flower buds growing at the tip of the branches a few weeks ago, something which I did not expect at all, as I was expecting it to flower maybe at least for another 6 months or so.

One of the flower buds

The sepal is starting to open.

This ant is really busy, it kept going round the bud in circles, wonder if they ever get dizzy???

Two days later, the sepal has opened and the petals are blooming.

The little ant it still here!

The bright orange colour of the flowers are really beautiful.

 Two days later, the flower did not seem to reach full bloom. Or is it normal? No idea, first time growing pomegranate.

The petals are dropping and the stamens are visible. The next day, it dropped off onto the ground. And this circle happens to all six flowers. I was really disappointed as I was looking forward to my first pomegranate fruit. This led me to google for information and found out that it is a normal cycle for the pomegranate young tree to flower for the first 2 to 3 years before they bear any real fruit. The flowers or fruits would dropped during the first few years of growth, as it is preparing itself to mature into healthy fruit-bearing plants.

Well, that was about three weeks ago. Now, there are about a dozen new flower buds on the little tree.

This time, some of the flower buds are appearing along the length of the branches instead of only at the tip of the branches, and ...

a cluster of buds at the end of the branch. 

Will the buds have full blooms this time round, and perhaps with a fruit or two, or is this another round of only blooms? I'm waiting patiently to find out.

I'm linking this post to Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes

Happy Gardening !

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Too smart to be caught!

An update on my chilli plants from my previous post.  I never did get to catch whatever it is that has been snapping off the stems from my chilli plants. A trap was set, but it was too smart to be caught. However, a couple of days after that, I noticed some droppings on the ground which looks like it belongs to a rat. Nothing since then, and I hope it stays that way! 

The chilli plants are coping well at the moment.

Plant A - 2 weeks ago

 Plant A - today. I have loosen the plastic around it to allow for more sun, and will remove it sometime soon, though I prefer to keep it there at least for the time being. (If you are new to my blog, and wondering why the chilli plant is surrounded by sheets of plastic, you may read about it from my previous post). It has grown so much these two weeks, and there are tiny little chillies growing, and lots of new flowers. A few flowers has dropped off just when it is beginning to fruit! I hope this is not a trend with the rest of the flowers, as I do not have much luck with chilli plant! 

Plant B - 2 weeks ago. The second chilli plant with all the stems totally bitten off. I have transferred this plant to a pot as I wanted to use this container for other plant.

Plant B - today. New young stems have grown.

I have 3 other chilli seedlings which I grew from seeds, and placed them at my backyard. While the ones at my front yard has missing stems, the one at my backyard.....

....... has missing leaves! Only the stem is left now! I fully suspect this is the work of a grasshopper! The other two seedlings are not touched, thank goodness, though for how long, remains to be seen!

I'm linking this post to Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes

Happy Gardening !