City, Guides

How to grow asparagus in Singapore

Asparagus is a delicious and healthy vegetable that is relatively easy to grow in Singapore. If you are interested in growing asparagus in your garden, read on, I will teach you everything you need to know about growing asparagus.

Asparagus is a member of the Asparagaceae family and is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year. In the tropics, asparagus can take about 7-18 months to mature, depending on which variety you grow, and once mature it can produce for up to 20 years!

You can grow asparagus from seed or from crowns (roots). Overseas, it is common for people to procure crowns that are as old as 3 years old because it cuts the waiting time for asparagus plants to mature. In climates that experience winter, it takes around 3 years for asparagus plants to become productive. In Singapore, however, plants mature in half the time or less so people

Asparagus plants are either male or female. Male plants are sometimes preferred over females and more prolific at producing asparagus spears because female plants expend more energy producing berries. These are poisonous and should not be consumed. Female plants also do not live as long as male plants. This is why some people prefer to grow F1 male dominant hybrid cultivars.

growing asparagus singapore
Asparagus berries

How long does it take to harvest asparagus?

I used to think that it takes around 2-3 years to grow asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) to maturity in Singapore, but realised that because of our tropical climate it can take as little as 7 months for edible asparagus spears to begin forming. This depends on the variety you are growing.

Horti retails Mary Washington asparagus seeds which takes approximately 18 months till harvest, while Baba sells an F1 (hybrid) cultivar which produces edible spears as soon as 7 months. Once established, the plants can produce spears from 8-20 years.

In cooler climates, it takes longer because of the changing seasons. It goes dormant in winter while its peak growing season begins in spring. Therefore the first harvest can take a few years.

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City

Plant Nursery Tour: Little Botany in Punggol

For plant hobbyists, Little Botany needs no introduction. Many plant enthusiasts started their journey at their cosy Punggol plant nursery in Singapore, which had everything a new plant lover needs, coupled with friendly and helpful advice.

Little Botany recently moved their plant nursery to 90 Jalan Lekar, but this is where it all began. Here, Fendi Sani showcased a wonderful collection of aroids, snake plants and many must-have foliage plants and presented them beautifully. He is known to promote the work of local ceramicists and is caring and values inclusivity, supporting persons with disabilities, as well as animal welfare organisations. But most of all, he is known to be a nice guy.

little botany punggol

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City, Country

DIY: How to Make Kokedama

Have you been wondering what a kokedama is and how to make your own kokedama? Kokedama is a type of Japanese bonsai, which literally translates to “moss ball”. It is a plant that is continually growing in popularity due to its unique and minimalist appearance.

Also known as ‘moss ball’ and ‘string garden’, kokedama is a variant of bonsai cultivation, where plant roots are wrapped with soil and moss. It can be suspended using string, or left to sit on a piece of pottery, to be admired.

If you’re interested in making your own kokedama, do read on for easy to understand step-by-step instructions.

kokedama plants
Kokedama made by participants during one of my workshops

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City

How to recycle and reuse cardboard boxes

Cardboard boxes are one of the most common packaging materials we receive with our online purchases. The good news is that we can easily recycle and reuse these cardboard boxes.

Cardboard is a paper-based material made from wood pulp and other plant fibres, making it recyclable. However it is more eco-friendly to reuse or repurpose it if possible.

They can be used for a variety of purposes, both inside and outside the home. In this blog post, I will discuss how to recycle as well as reuse cardboard boxes to put them to good use! From DIY projects like making kids toys and growing oyster mushrooms to creating a no-dig garden, there are many ways to reuse cardboard.

The two types of cardboard that we commonly have at home are corrugated cardboard and paperboard. Corrugated cardboard is the type with fluted paper in between two layers of linerboard. It is used for shipping boxes and packaging. Paperboard is thinner and used for cereal boxes, shoe boxes, and tissue boxes. In this blog post I will focus on corrugated cardboard.

How to Recycle Cardboard Boxes

How to recycle cardboard boxes

Almost all cardboard can be recycled, however think twice about recycling heavily stained cardboard. If your cardboard is heavily food-stained, it may be better to compost it or use it to create a no dig garden instead.

Take for example, the humble pizza box. Depending on where in the world you live, oil stained pizza boxes may be rejected from recycling facilities. In Singapore, residents are advised against recycling food stained pizza boxes, while in Australia and the US, it depends on the city council one lives in. Therefore it is best to check with your local council. Some city councils accept greasy pizza boxes as long as the cheese is removed from the box. Often times, the pizza box cover arrives without stains and can be torn off and recycled.

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