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.
If you’re new to gardening and you’re looking for a plant to nurture, or if you’ve been doing it for a while now and would like to give away cuttings, seedlings or established plants, here are a few avenues you can explore to get or give free plants in Singapore.
Carousell While Carousell is known for exorbitantly priced plants, there are also several gems on this platform. When searching for free plants on their website or in-app, listings like pandan, aloe vera, money plant or spider plant appear, which are perfect for beginner gardeners. To get started visit their website or download the app.
Plant Swap SG on Facebook Here you will find a community that is keen on swapping plants, cuttings, seeds and gardening accessories. Before the pandemic, there were regular swap meets, but now interested parties meet privately to exchange items. To begin swapping, join the community here.
Plant Freecycling on Facebook In this plant community, members give away a great selection of plants, cuttings, seeds and gardening accessories. To be part of this group, join here.
We already know that water is precious, and in Singapore, it’s expensive because we live in a water-scarce nation. We are one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, and the pricing of water is meant to reflect the value and scarcity of water here. In this post I’d like to share why it is important that we aim for a water-efficient garden indoors and outdoors, especially in Singapore, and include 9 water-wise gardening techniques that you can try at home.
Why have a water-wise garden?
As gardeners and lovers of plants, it is in our interests to care for the planet because it houses all the plants we love, and the climate because it affects all the plants we have at home and in the wild, the biodiversity around it — and us! Beyond our love for plants we also need to care for the resources that go into gardening. Water security is certainly a thing that should be on our radar.
Each day, Singapore uses approximately 430 million gallons of water, or 782 olympic-sized swimming pools, and this is expected to double by 2060. Households account for 45% of water usage and on average, each Singaporean uses 141 litres of water every day. Public Utility Board’s (PUB) target is to reduce this to 130 litres by 2030. In contrast, many European cities have managed to reduce water consumption to below 100 litres.
As recent as 2016, a major source of our water supply – Linggiu Reservoir – experienced a drastic dip in its water level. At its lowest point, it was only 20% full. Fortunately, it has since returned to healthy levels. As part of our water agreement with Malaysia, we draw up to 250 million gallons of raw water a day. Other sources of water include desalination, NEWater and local catchment from reservoirs.
For these reasons, we need to usewater-wise gardening techniques to conserve what we can.
If your plants look stunted and its leaves exhibit chlorosis and lack vigour, yet you’ve done everything right and you can’t figure out why, it’s time to check the roots of your plants. If the roots are knobbly and have galls, you have a case of root knot nematodes in your soil. I have experienced this on a few occasions, fortunately in my planters and not in-ground. Read on to find out how to control root knot nematodes organically.
What are they? These plant parasites are microscopic roundworms that damage plant roots and feed on its vascular system. This causes growths to form, affecting the plant’s capacity to absorb water and nutrients.
Shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants are susceptible to root knot nematodes. These include begonia, azalea, hibiscus, gloxinia, hydrangea, impatiens, cyclamen, coleus, some cacti, rose, and edible plants like tomato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant, rosella, okra, cucumber, pumpkin, melons, Malabar spinach, passionfruit, banana, pineapple, sweet potato among others.
What are your natural options? Here’s how to get rid of root knot nematodes organically, you can consider using a mix of methods to improve efficacy rates.
Grow biofumigant crops for root knot nematode control
Brassicas such as Brassica rapa (field mustard) and Brassica juncea (mustard greens) have bio-fumigation properties and are effective at root knot nematode control when grown as a cover crop, however there are some other plants, like Tagetes patula (French marigolds), Tagetes erecta (Mexican Marigold) and oats, which are highly capable too.
How it works is it releases compounds to suppress pests and pathogens in the soil. It is effective when in its early flowering stages, plants are chopped or pulped and incorporated into the soil and watered. The soil needs to remain moist for a few weeks, and isocyanate gases are released by the plants as it breaks down.