to top

Introducing my Vegepod!

Vegepod Singapore

I recently got my hands on this medium sized Vegepod and I’m a massive fan! I’ve had it for 4 months (18 weeks) and in this time I have enjoyed lots of leafy greens and the pleasure of sitting and tending to my plants in a raised planter, something I have not been able to do before, because as most of you can relate, I am usually squatting or kneeling when fussing about my plants. 

I had been thinking of establishing a garden bed to grow green leafy vegetables and herbs at home, and as with all gardening decisions, I have to consider my curious chickens who are useful at turning over a spent vegetable bed but they also enjoy digging in the ones they are not supposed to! Also, the occasional mynah comes around and uproots my seedlings, which is pretty annoying. For many of my planters, I use cloches – which I make using chicken wire, and I also use plastic mesh to protect my plants.

Fortunately, the Vegepod comes with a netted hood, which help to keep these predators and many other pests out. It is optional for you to use, but aside from the protection, I appreciate the shade it offers – in this case 17%, which helps when I am growing plants that may not be acclimatised to our steamy tropical climate yet. 

What exotic plants am I growing? Nothing exceptionally unique, but the seeds are mainly from overseas – curly and Tuscan kale, cherry tomatoes, sweet basil, dill, Italian parsley, nasturtium, white borage, red spinach and a purple carrot. One of the curly kale plants look really small, that is because I had just transplanted it not long ago.

I have placed my Vegepod in a spot which gets morning and mid day sun till around 2pm, depending on the time of the year. Previously I had grown lettuce and I could tell that the amount of sun was adequate because it did not taste bitter. The two kinds of kale also taste good, with no bitter taste, so this is definitely a good place for them to grow. The red spinach is definitely crying for more sun and the tomato plant seems to want more sun too, but are otherwise doing well.

Secret Gardens: A Guerilla Garden in Singapore

With a space constrained country like Singapore, it would be a missed opportunity and utter waste of space for land to be left untouched and not used grow something of value – be it for aesthetics, shade or consumption purposes. Over the weekend, I encountered this neat guerilla garden in a forested area, and I was very envious of the variety of plants growing here.

These plants are tended to by different guerilla gardeners living in apartments nearby, and once in a while, there are neighbours who come by to relax. I encountered a couple of friendly gentlemen, one a jogger, who invited me to come by anytime to visit and said I could come by to chill out, shoot the breeze, and watch the sky if I please. There was a very idyllic vibe to this space, and sounds of the city were inaudible, instead I could only hear bird calls, and what sounded like a frog.

With durian trees growing on one side, the guerilla garden features edible plants such as winter melon, luffa, pumpkin, rosella, eggplant, beans, tomato, pandan, sawtooth coriander, laksa leaf, basil, torch ginger, pineapple, papaya and bananas. Like many other community gardens, they are not immune to thievery – mostly humans, but sometimes wild boars and squirrels, the latter which enjoys a good durian tasting.

I am not able to disclose the whereabouts of this garden, and so I have decided that this would be the first feature of my Secret Gardens series. In some cases owners are publicity shy and do not wish to show their faces, and by having a Secret Gardens series, I am able to share more inspiring gardens with you.

Soil Class on 17 June!

I have a Soil Class in June, join me!

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: 17 June 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
– Which soil to buy?
– 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]

February Workshops: Basic & Intermediate Soil Workshops

This month, I am holding two soil workshops at NONG at Hort Park. I have split my workshop into two separate sessions after receiving feedback from participants that they experienced information overload. To find out more, please see the event descriptions below.

Soil Class (Basic Level) by The Tender Gardener

Relatively new to urban farming, and looking to demystify the subject of soil? 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: 18 February 2017, 10:30am – 12nn
Venue: NÓNG at HortPark (33 Hyderabad Rd (Off Alexandra Road), #01-01 (Beside the Lawn), Singapore 119578)
Cost:  $39 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential
Registration: Reserve your seat 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
.

Soil Mixing Workshop (Intermediate Level) by The Tender Gardener

Do you already understand the basics of soil but wish to learn to make your own seed raising mix and potting mix? There are many recipes out there, but it also depends on what you’re growing. Hear about the variations of soil mixes and participate in this hands-on soil mixing workshop. We will also talk about soil amendments, including compost.

Date & Time: 25 February 2017, 10:30am – 12nn
Venue: NÓNG at HortPark (33 Hyderabad Rd (Off Alexandra Road), #01-01 (Beside the Lawn), Singapore 119578)
Cost: $55 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential
Registration: Reserve your seat here

What you will learn in this session:

– What soil amendments are
– How soil amendments can improve your soil
– How to mix your own seed raising mix and potting mix

What you will take home:

– A list of seed raising and potting mix recipes
– Notes from our workshop
– Seed raising mix sample
– Potting mix sample

 

Soil Mixing Workshop on 3 December at Make Your Own

Old woman hands holding fresh soil. Symbol of spring and ecology concept

I have organised another soil mixing workshop for December, come join us!

Wish to learn the basics of soil and learn to make your own seed raising mix and potting mix for edible plants? There are many recipes out there, but it also depends on what you’re growing. Hear about the variations of soil mixes and participate in this hands-on soil mixing workshop.

Date: 3 December 2016

Time: 3pm – 5pm

Venue: Make Your Own, Blk 4 Upper Aljunied Lane, #01-06, Singapore 360004

Fee: $55 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential. Reserve your seat below!

What you will learn in this session:

– Nutrient requirements of plants
– Physical needs of plants
– Soil amendment basics
– How to grow and care for seedlings
– How to mix your own seed raising mix and potting mix

What you will take home:

– A list of seed raising and potting mix recipes
– Notes from our workshop
– Seed raising mix sample
– Potting mix sample