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How to grow luffa from seed

Whether you wish to grow luffa to eat or to use as a loofah sponge, the great news is that luffa is an easy plant to grow. Personally I found it quite effortless to care for and I get a crop going every year so that I have enough sponges to last me for a while. In this blog post, I will teach you how to grow luffa from seed.

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How to grow winter melons

Are you curious about how to grow winter melons? Last year I discovered how easy it is to grow them, I harvested more than 50 winter melons from one plant, weighing at least 6.2kg on average, or 310kg. While I experiencedd this success in the tropics, winter melon fares well in subtropical and temperate countries when grown during the hot summer months.

Winter melons, also known as wax gourds or ash gourds, come in several varieties, some have smooth dark skin, some are light green and are hairy; they can grow as heavy as 30kg. Once harvested, they can store for 6 months or more in a cool, dry place.

Read on to find out more about how you can grow them at home.

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Making cordage from plants

Making cordage from backyard plants is a skill that enriches our appreciation for the natural world. This activity is not just fun and rewarding, but it teaches patience, respect for natural resources, and the ingenuity to utilise available materials effectively.

Many plants in your backyard contain fibrous material that can be turned into strong, durable cordage when processed correctly. Pictured above is what I made using my homegrown Ramie plant, which some use as a food colouring agent or to make dishes like Hakka Ramie Leaf dumplings.

If you live in a tropical climate, plants such as sea hibiscus, jute, kenaf, banana, bamboo and sugarcane are excellent sources of fibre after retting. The long, tough stalks or bark of these plants are what you are after.

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How to grow pineapples at home

If you have been wanting to learn how to grow pineapples at home, I’d say go do it because it is a highly rewarding experience. All you need is a bit of patience, since it can take around 15 months or more to yield fruit, depending on where you live.

Belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, which includes Tillandsia or air plants, the pineapple is a ground-level shrub which grows to around one metre high. The fruit is a result of the merging of 100 to 200 small florets that, once fertilised, produce individual fruits and swell. This results in a unified fruit when matured. A fully ripe pineapple typically weighs around 2kg or more, although this varies by species.

Photosynthesis for the pineapple takes place at night. The plant possesses Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), an adaptation that enhances water utilisation efficiency and is commonly observed in plants that thrive in dry environments. These include cacti, orchids and terrestrial bromeliads.

how many pineapples grow on one plant
Image by Rushay Booysen

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