City, Garden Stories, Stories

Community rooftop garden tour with compost master Ong Chun Yeow

Ong Chun Yeow is an avid composter, with two compost set ups at home – an aerobic one in his HDB corridor and an anaerobic one in his kitchen – plus a vermicompost bin situated at his rooftop community garden allotment. Also, when he was working part-time at the Funan Urban Farm, he set up a large aerobic compost bin on their rooftop garden which is still active. All his compost goes back into the different gardens where the compost set ups are situated, creating a closed loop where nothing is wasted. If you are looking into composting at home in Singapore, you should definitely check out his approaches.

Chun Yeow believes in space efficient gardening, and having a wide selection of plants to encourage biodiversity. With a limited space of 4×1 metres, he experiments with bio-intensive growing, cramping as many plants as he can while sustaining soil fertility. Through this method he has succeeded in having a high yield with minimal inputs. He had his soil tested not too long ago and it was found to be very fertile with a high level of nitrogen. To find out more, watch the interview I did with him below.

This is an update from my last interview with him 5 years ago, to see how his garden has evolved over time, read the interview here.

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international seed suppliers

Herb and vegetable seed suppliers that ship internationally to Singapore

If you are looking for exotic vegetable, herb or flower seeds that are not already available locally in Singapore, here are a few international seed suppliers that might have exactly what you are after.

Can I buy seeds from overseas to Singapore?

Can you import seeds to Singapore? Yes, however it is recommended by NParks that you get a phytosanitary certificate, with the exception of some plants. Many people don’t really bother because it can be expensive, and also inspection hasn’t really been actively enforced, but in the event that your seeds are seized, it could be subject to inspection by NParks. When it comes to bringing in live plants, it is important that you know what the regulations are. See here for NPark’s regulations on bringing plants and plant products into Singapore.

Personally I have ordered from a couple of these seed suppliers, such as Baker Creek Seeds and Strictly Medicinal Seeds, and I have found them to be highly reliable sources.

International Seed Suppliers

Here are some seed suppliers who readily ship overseas and offer a wide and unique selection of vegetable, herbs, medicinal and flower seeds.

Baker Creek Seeds

Baker Creek Seeds is popular with Singaporean growers. Here you will find a vast and exotic range of herbs, vegetables and flower plant seeds. For now, Baker Creek Seeds sells a maximum of 10 seed packets with a flat shipping fee of US$12. Shop their seeds here.

Australian Seed

Australian Seed stocks a large collection of native Australian plant seeds and offers a great selection of flowers, herb and vegetable seeds. There is no minimum order required when it comes to shipping, however do note that all international orders are shipped using parcel post because it offers mail tracking and insurance, shipping costs more as a result. Shop here.

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Gardener’s Christmas Gift Guide 2021: Best gifts for Gardeners

Looking for the best gifts for gardeners for this year’s Christmas? Here are some of my picks of useful gardening items for plant enthusiasts!

I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links that come at no additional cost to you, and I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase.

1. Foliage Plant Calendar 2022 – This wall hanging calendar is for the foliage plant lovers out there. Mounted on aged Taiwanese hinoki timber, this calendar features beautifully illustrated plants by Hsueh Yu-hsin. Get yours at $68 at Local Loco here.

2. 1001 Garden Plants in Singapore: A New Compendium – This latest revised edition consists of three books and features more than 2,700 plants found around Singapore.  Available to buy here for $35.51.

3. The 1872 Clipper Tea Co. Singapore Orchid 3-in-1 set – This gift set consists of 3 blends which are accented with orchid petals. Priced at $48, it is available for purchase here.

4. Asano Mokkousho Hori Hori – This versatile tool features a stainless steel blade with two edges to perform double duty. One serrated edge cuts through roots, while the opposite bevelled edge is made to slice through weeds and other herbaceous plant matter. Buy the Hori Hori and other beautiful garden tools from Seedfolks here.

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grow vegetables s at home in singapore

Upcoming webinar: Grow Edibles at Home

Looking to learn how to grow edibles at home in Singapore? I have organised two webinars for this month, priced at $19 🙂

In these two upcoming sessions, I share step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to get started on your edible growing journey! Through this one-hour crash course, learn how to grow a plant from seed to harvest, and other basic urban farming knowledge, including necessary tools, how and when to fertilise and all you need to know to grow strong, healthy plants in soil.

At the end of the webinars, we will have a brief Q&A session so that I can answer anything that you would like to know, so you feel confident enough to grow edibles at home. The webinar link will be available one week before the event, so make sure to check your message inbox closer to the date.

There are two sessions available: 
21 October (Thursday) 8.30pm – sign up here
23 October (Saturday) 3pm – sign up here

I hope to see you there!

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