This entry is critical to all amateur gardeners like myself. Too much of a good thing to young shoots of cucumber or luffa can be devastating. Yes, just as I thought that feeding fertilizer to my young saplings will help spur their growth, I was wrong…or maybe the intention was right, but the adminstration backfired! The fertilizer practically killed my saplings overnight! I was completely puzzled as to why my sprouting young luffa saplings suddenly looked frail and weak after being fed a good dose of fertiliser. After some investigation, I found that their stems (where the fertiliser touched), had all been eroded or “burnt” as I’d like to say. I was extremely puzzled by the occurrence, but somehow, in the back of my mind, a little nueron started sending messages about a gardening course that I attended back when I was 13, about how to maintain flowering bouganvillas and the right application of fertilizers for the plant.
Based on the lesson (if my memory doesn’t fail me), the instructor specifically told us that fertilizers have to be applied away from the stem of the plants, because it’s really the roots of the plants that absorb the goodness from the fertilizers. By putting it near to the stems, not only will the chemicals from the fertilizer harm the plant, the plant will not get to benefit from the fertilizer. So…maybe that was the reason why all my cucumber and luffa plants were suffering! In fact, my Kang Kong plants that received the fertiliser treatment were also beginning to look a little wobbly and frail. I quickly removed all the fertilizer and sure enough, one of my luffa plants survived, although traces of “burnt” stem still remains. Unfortunately, all my cucumber plants were wiped out and some of my flourishing Kang Kong also succumbed to the goodness of the fertilizer.
For all you other amateur gardeners, please do not make the same mistake as myself, for the results can be devastating. To my one and only flourishing Luffa, may you blossom quickly and bear fruits so that I can further spread your seedlings all over my garden.