Clickin' Kitchen

Simple. Scrumptious. Succulent


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HDB planters

Since the arrival of little Emma, gardening seems so far away.  To be honest, since I was expecting Emma, I have not touched the plants in my garden.  Thank goodness for my wonderful and capable helper, that my garden still looks decent.  Hmm…let’s say that it’s been almost a year since I was actively gardening.  But the interest never did go away, not especially when you find some wonderful plants that’s worth your attention. ;p

Well, I got myself 10 Y-pipes to start planting vegetables.  Now, all I need to do is to get them all fixed up and ready for my little seedlings.  I got this idea after reading it from the NEA website.  This method is really to encourage HDB dwellers to start planting their own vegetables, but it got yours truly really excited!  So here I am, getting it ready for my spinach, lettuce and butterhead lettuce.  I seriously hope this will work.  This is especially so since all the vegetables that I previously grown were attacked by pests (argh…they’re so hateful).  Wish me luck =)

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Cucumber beauty

All the cucumbers that are sold in the markets are more or less similar – they’re all straight, longish gourds.  But take a look at my garden grown cucumber… the moment I saw it, it reminded me of a baby in mummy’s arms.  The way the cucumber is curled up is just amazing.  This is the beauty of planting your own vegetables/fruits/flowers.  They’re just so different from what you see in the marketplace.  Gone are the standardised shapes of the vegetables and fruits. You really see the beauty of nature.

I wish my kids can appreciate the garden more.  Unlike kids in western societies, I find that our children are too caught up with technology.  I have a small but wonderful garden for them to play in, but they still prefer watching Barney or playing with the husband’s iPhone.  What a pity.  The space we have is a lot more than our fellow Singaporeans…yet…sigh.  I have to start getting them interested in working around the garden.  For starters, let me go get tools their size: watering cans, spades, gloves, etc.   Hopefully these will be the start to a different lifestyle for them…

More pictures of the cute cucumber of mine:

    


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Pumpkin Flowers

The pumpkin plant has been sitting in my vegetable patch for the longest time, and all I see is a patch of green.  Well, that’s not necessary a bad thing, since it does provide some greenery to my house.

Interestingly, the flowers of the pumpkin plant is very similar to that of the cucumber plant.  I suppose the similarity lies in the fact that both plants are climbers?  Perhaps you might have a better reasoning for why the flowers are so similar.  The only difference is in the shape of the petals.  The pumpkin flower has a more rounded petal, whereas the cucumber flower has slightly longish petals!  But in terms of the flower design, they are so similar.  It’s really hard to tell them apart.

    

My only wish for the pumpkin plant, is that it’ll be able to fruit.  That will be a wonderful christmas gift =).


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Cucumber flowers

I’ve been extremely blessed with my first crop of green beans.  And this first timer’s luck appears to be with me for my cucumber plants as well.  For the second time in my life (the first time being the number of flowers on my green bean plants), have seen so many flowers on my cucumber plant!  Look at the bright yellow beauties springing up from the stalk of the cucumber creeper!!!

    

In fact, I also have the luxury of waching the development of one of the flowers turning into a fruit!  Look at the beginnings of my little cucumber!  I’m really so excited!

I certainly hope that the plant can last through several harvest.  Wish me luck!

 

 


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Death from a good thing – Cucumber and Luffa

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.

 


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Kang Kong Flower

Now that I’ve harvested my Kang Kong, I see a beautiful flower and a little bud ready to show off it’s beauty to the world.  For those who have never seen a Kang Kong flower, here you go =).  It’s really plain (just like the plant), but the white flower stands out clearly from the green leaves surrounding it. Based on what I’d read, once the flowers appear, that means that the Kang Kong is ready to “reproduce”, since the flowers will produce seeds that can be used for the next round of planting!

    

I’ve also learnt other tricks about planting Kang Kong that I’ll be trying out.  I so can’t wait to try all these new tricks!  Oh gardening is so much fun!  I’m glad that all these gardening efforts is rubbing off the kids.  They’re helping out with watering the plants, putting fertiliser, even digging (of course all in the name of fun).  I do hope that they’ll enjoy gardening when they grow up.  I mean, how many people have the joys of watching their plants grow and benefit from eating their produce?  I’m glad I can part of this group =)

Planting aside, I noticed a phenomenon that really surprised me.  Kang Kong are creepers!!! Look at these Kang Kong plants that I grew directly in the ground…

    

As you can tell, the Kang Kong is completely unlike what we’re used to…stems branching out from the main stalk, just like a normal bush-like plant.  This Kang Kong is like a weed!  It creeps up other plants and is skinny without the thick crunchy stems that we’re used to.  For a while, I thought they were weeds!  Gosh…this is a great enlightening moment for me!  Are you just as shocked as I am?


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Kang Kong Pests – Whiteflies

Yes, my harvest of Kang Kong is getting a lot more.  It’s almost double the last harvest!  And thus far, they are still organically planted =)

So it seems that Kang Kong attracts a good many other friends such as aphids (oh..these are evil), whiteflies and caterpillars.  Grasshoppers are not even on the list and I’ve already one ardent grasshopper fan!  I’ve also noticed whiteflies around my kang kong this afternoon when I was pruning my Kang Kong for dinner.  Oh boy…another pest to handle.  These pests just never stop visiting my garden…and I’m really not keen on using insecticide!  Of course I’m into organic planting, but seriously, if I have to use it, I might just relent to getting a huge bottle of pesticide to get rid of all pests once and for all!

Again, I resorted to my good ol’ friend for rescue and found that YELLOW plastic bottles with oil does help get rid of whiteflies.  I’ve already planted several yellow plastic caps filled with oil and hopefully, they’ll start to trap the whiteflies soon.  If I can get rid of the whiteflies and grasshoppers soon, my kang kong will really flourish and blossom…oh I can’t wait!

    

A few days later, gone are the whiteflies and look what I found…

The yellow plastic cap contained oil and it’s filled with specks of dead flies (no longer white but black).  Isn’t this interesting?  Kudos to all those who care to share this information online!  Thanks so much for providing such useful information.  I will pass it on =).  As interesting as this may sound, when I went to the Nursery and asked the gardeners there on how to tackle the issues with the whiteflies, they just offered me pesticide.  When I rejected her offer on that, she went to the shelves and offered me another bottle and said…”how about ORGANIC pesticide”.  Hmm..aren’t they one and the same?  Maybe online is still a better option when trying to be as pesticide free as possible.