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How to Start A Herb Garden: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re looking for a way to add fresh, flavourful herbs to your cooking, then you should consider growing a herb garden. Herbs are easy to grow and can be grown indoors or outdoors. In this blog post, I will provide useful gardening tips on growing herbs at home. By the end of this post, you’ll know how to start your very own herb garden!

One of the great things about herb gardening is that it doesn’t require a lot of space. You can grow herbs in pots on your windowsill or in a raised bed in your backyard. If you’re short on space, don’t worry – there are dwarf or compact varieties of herbs that will do well in small spaces.

Growing a herb garden is also a great way to get started with gardening if you’re new to the hobby. Herbs are relatively easy to grow and care for, so they make a great choice for beginner gardeners. Plus, there’s nothing quite like being able to snip fresh herbs from your own garden to use in your cooking!

A few things to note before you start…

If you can create the ideal microclimate for your plants, you can even grow some plants that typically do not thrive in your climate. In tropical countries, gardeners have successfully grown plants that thrive in subtropical and temperate climates from their apartment using soil, hydroponic, aeroponic or aquaponic methods. These include parsley, cilantro, dill and others. 

You don’t always have to spend money on plants. You can get plant cuttings, plants, and seeds from other people in your local gardening community group/s by swapping or sometimes they just give them away. Have a look on Facebook to find a gardening group in your area. Here is a list of places where you can find free plants if you live in Singapore.

Before buying plants, observe how much sun you get every day and at what time. This will help you understand what kind of plants you can grow. It is worth noting that the sun’s path changes throughout the year, so even though you have sun in a particular area of your house in summer, this might not be the case in winter. This is applicable even if you live in a tropical climate. If you don’t have a lot of sun, consider investing in an indoor growing system.

It is a good idea to research what conditions a plant needs before bringing it home. Each plant has its preferred lighting, watering, soil drainage and fertilising requirements. It is also helpful to find out the lifespan of a plant, they are classified as annual, biennial and perennial plants.

With this in mind, read on to find out how to start a herb garden!

grow vegetables in Singapore

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City, Country

How to clear a garden full of weeds

If you have a garden, chances are you will eventually have to deal with weeds. Weeds can take over your garden quickly and can be difficult to get rid of. In this blog post, I will discuss how to clear a garden full of weeds using mainly natural methods.

You will most likely require a combination of weed management methods depending on the area you are tackling, especially if you have different varieties of weeds growing in your garden. The methods suggested below also depend on what is practical for you in terms of time and budget.

Where to start?

If you have a garden full of weeds and are wondering where to start, begin with identifying the type of weed and consider the size of the weed. This will help you determine which management method to use. Weeds that have deep roots, such as dandelion, will need a different method compared to chickweed, which has shallow roots.

If the weeds have shallow roots and occupies only a small area, you may be able to pull it up by hand. Larger, thicker weeds may require machinery and/or hand tools to dig them up.

The best time to eradicate weeds is before they flower and develop seeds. In addition, pulling weeds when they are young is easier than waiting until they are mature. Mature weeds have deeper roots that are harder to remove.

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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, Country, Guides

How to Grow Bananas: Tips for Beginners

If you are wondering how to grow bananas at home or at a community plot, in-ground or in pots, here a guide to help you get started.

In this blog post, I will discuss the basics of banana cultivation and provide tips for beginners who want to start growing their own bananas.

First, some fun trivia about bananas!

Did you know there are more than 1000 banana varieties in the world? This includes edible and ornamental plants which come in different shapes and sizes and in colours other than yellow.

For instance, there is Musa ornata ‘Royal Purple‘, an ornamental variety, or the edible Blue Java banana, also known as ice cream banana or Musa acuminata × balbisiana.

One popular variety that is an absolute showstopper is the variegated banana Musa × paradisiaca ‘Ae Ae’ (below). It’s young fruit features green and white stripes, and matures into yellow and white stripes when ready for consumption.

variegated banana musa x paradisiaca Ae Ae
Ripe variegated banana Musa × paradisiaca ‘Ae Ae’. photo: Any Lane

Another beautiful banana to grow is the Musa ‘Thousand Fingers’ which, as you may have guessed, has up to a thousand fruits.

All banana plants have only one peduncle of bananas with the exception of Musa ‘Double Mahoi’, a dwarf Cavendish type which has two heads of fruit.

There have been sightings of banana plants with more than two banana flowers, but it is considered a rare event.

Although it resembles the form of a tree, did you know banana plants are not true trees? Nor is it a palm. Instead, it is classified as a herbaceous plant as it does not have woody tissue.

Bananas in Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, where bananas are said to have been domesticated around 7000 years ago, we are spoilt for choice.

While the Cavendish is an internationally renown variety originally cultivated in England to much commercial success, many Southeast Asians favour local varieties like Pisang Raja Udang (which is red), Pisang Raja, Pisang Emas, Pisang Lemak Manis and many others. These can be prepared in different ways, such as deep fried, simmered in coconut milk or even curry.

How to grow bananas
My neighbour’s red bananas

Read on to find out how to grow bananas!

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