Browsing Tag

gardening

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!

Continue Reading

water-wise gardening techniques
City

Water-wise gardening techniques for your foliage or vegetable plants

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.

water use Singapore

Continue Reading

City

April Session of Soil Class

Soil Class is back again in April, join us!

Soil Class (Basic Level) by The Tender Gardener

Relatively new to urban farming, and looking to demystify the subject of soil? Through this talk, learn soil basics and what your plants need to thrive instead of just survive. We will cover what you need to know to gain confidence in growing healthy edible plants, so join us!

Date & Time: 15 April 2017, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Venue: NONG at HortPark (33 Hyderabad Road (off Alexandra Rd), Beside the lawn
Cost: $39 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential
RSVP: Sign up here!

What you will learn in this session:

– Different types of soil
– Physical needs of plants
– Nutrient requirements of plants
– Fertilisation
– Tips on growing seedlings
[To learn about soil amendments and mixing your own soil, please join us for the intermediate soil workshop on a later date]

Continue Reading

City

Midweek Instagram Inspiration

I’m a big believer of the soothing effect of greenery, especially inside the home. I recently gave a talk on greening the indoors, and shared some of the gardening-related Instagram accounts I love. Since then, I’ve found a few more to add to the list. I hope you’ll find these inspiring too.

TG_inspo1TG_inspo2

Continue Reading