Water Convolvulus a.k.a. Kangkung

Kangkung Day 9 Dec 12

Kangkung ni kalau digoreng belacan sedappp… Ada orang suka masak lemak.  I read somewhere that kangkung was a staple diet somewhere in China masa perang.  Banyak khasiat.

Growing kangkung is relatively easy.  I find that soaking the seeds in water for a few hours helps speed up germination.  These are my kangkung after 9 days of germination.  They are so tall and skinny with arms outstretched (teringat lyrics lagu Rihanna, “I threw my hands in the air, said show me something…”}seolah-olah rejoicing over the rainfall.  Rainfall?  Yes, kangkung is a water loving vegetable.  They should be fine with daily watering — kot? Well, at least they are fine with my overgenerous watering.

These kangkung are placed on a table by the window.  I am not sure if they’d stay in or will be moved outdoor.  We’ll see…


Potato Possibilities

Will it grow?

Will it grow?

I have always find potato plant an amazing plant; it’s mysterious plant because you just don’t know what you’ll get; abundance or a disappointment.  For that, there has always been attempts to grow potatoes and so far, the have never reached the maturity state.  Most of the potato plants I had would die before they produce anything.  I think my problem was, over-watering.  But my latest failure was attacks by my horrible cats – they actually peed in the pot where the potato was starting to grow.  Grrr…

I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos on tips and tricks on growing potatoes and of course, my favourite video to watch is the harvest. It’s always exciting to see new spuds emerging from underneath the dirt broken and scattered by hungry hands.

For the umph time, I am going to attempt at growing potato (AGAIN???).  So I got me this rather small potato from my mom’s potato box and got it to chit on my sunny desk.  I’ve got the medium prepared – just a regular potting soil mixed with sand to improve drainage and I only need to decide on the size and type of container to use.

Growing this tater in the ground is out of the question as the weather has been pretty cruel lately.  Update shall follow.

Spinach Unexpected



To me spinach is one of the trickiest  vegetables to sow, let alone to grow.  Reading from the internet, it’s been said that spinach would require cool condition to germinate (really??) and the seeds are delectable to ants.  One second: it’s HOT in here and ants roam free where I live, red, black, small, big, biting and non-biting, you name it!

But I am not giving up just yet.  This variety, Spinach Viridis is the fourth variety of spinach that I’d bought (following the Space Hybrid, Regular Spinach and Horensou varieties) and I haven’t had any luck so far.  But I kept buying more and more spinach seeds, just for the fun of it.  So I took a few and sprinkled them into this tiny nursery pot and added a thin layer of soil on top.   I watered the seeds when needed and at the same time I’d make sure that there were no ants coming along to steal the DNA cocoons.  One day, two days, then coming to 9 days, nothing yet.  Actually, by the 5th day I was already giving up – I’d stopped watering – and was already contemplating on what to sow next in this tiny pot.

Then on the 10th day, BOOM, a tiny sprout came up from underneath, out of how many seeds, I do not know.  Oh well, I suppose, without the patience, forgetfulness and tardiness can sometimes save a ‘dormant’ seeds’ from being denied of their right to grow.

How far it will go?  Is it going to grow into a good size spinach?  I pray that it will.


First harvest: Mini-me Corn

Puny corn

Puny corn

This corn came from the only 2-sprouting seeds given by a friend, out of 50 in a pack.  Why only 2 out of 50 seeds?  Hahahhaa..

My gardening fetish happened at the wrong time.  Now Malaysia is in the monsoon season and these corns were grown only a few weeks before the wet season and just when the plants started to put out the tassel rain started to come, beating the earth mercilessly and this baby had to withstand 4 days of consistent hard rain and afterwards, daily evening hard short rain.  I figured, most of the pollens got washed away by the rain and only a handful few managed to pollinate the silk.

I had no hope whatsoever on the yield but ears actually formed on these two plants, very small in size.  And today, seeing that the silk had browned out – I pluck one ear off the plant, only to find that I harvested the baby a tad bit too early (rookie mistake, and patience has never been my virtue).  I didn’t realise that the silk went brown due to rain.  Oh well.

I took my tiny harvest inside the house and showed it to my father and he just smiled at me, remarking that I’d plucked it too early.  But then, after tearing open the bright green leaf and removing the still green silk, I saw plump kernels, very inviting.   Without waiting, I boiled it and albeit the size, the taste was nectar sweet.


18-Day Old Ailsa Craig

11 days after the last post

11 days after the last post

The onions have started to put out new stalk; are they called stalk?  Anyways, compared to the apple, progress for these onions are quite slow, but, they are getting there.  I’ve decided that they will stay indoor for at least another 2 weeks – or at least until the thickness of the plants are about the size of a matchstick before I could place this box out in my little garden (no immediate transplant in the garden, yet).

I realised by now that indoor sowing yield better and way faster results.  A batch of these onion had been directly sown in the ground and NONE, I repeat, NONE of them germinated – they might as well have been destroyed by the weather or may be eaten by snails even – so, this are actually the second batch.

I started out with 18 seeds and now there are 16 left in the box (it’s a small tissue box which I’d decided to use as germination station before discarding/recycling.  I wonder if all 16 will make it.  Fingers crossed.

Also, whenever sowing seeds, I always decide to not to use up the whole packet just in case the particular batch failed, especially for rare and exotic seeds as securing them may require me to go overseas myself to get them or buy online from worldwide seed sellers like Thompson and Morgan and risk damage in the mail.

I still have some seeds left.  I wonder where I can get Ailsa Craig seeds here in Malaysia should I fail to get one successfully grown onion to flower and seed.

Infant Apple Tree

Variety - Rose Apple

Variety – Rose Apple

This is an update of the apple tree that I’d planted from seed.  It’s now 18 days old.  I haven’t been doing much to it – actually, I am not sure what I should do.  I water it every couple of days, and have started to add in organic fertilizer.  It seems to be growing very well and top leaves are getting larger.

The plant is growing in my bedroom still, on a table by the window, getting a couple of short hours of afternoon sunlight (which is somewhat less now that it is monsoon season) and 14-16 or so hours of cool white light.  No idea actually if the plant has been benefiting from the artificial light but hey, it’s been growing ain’t it?

On a more serious note, from my random readings about apples; apple grown from seeds, if the tree produce fruits, the fruits may not (highly likely) be the same of the fruit the seed had come from.  And some say that the apples may not be edible at all, combined with the fact that it might take 10 years for an apple tree grown from seed to bear fruit!  (Have I mentioned this in my previous posting about this seedling? Mehh.. no worries)

But it is perfectly OK.  I adore this seedling regardless.  I hope it’ll continue to grow happy and healthy and besides, I can always buy apples at the store can’t I?


My Scrawny Zucchini

I got the seeds from New Zealand.  Never actually cooked Zucchini and only ate it once or twice at most, when I was living in the USA many years ago.  But as I am, always curious of vegetables I’d never planted, I decided to buy the seeds and give it a try here in my homeland.

Zucchini Greyzini

This plant, greyzini, is only 3 weeks old, very scrawny, not big and lush as those seen on youtube (how did they do it???).   It is possible that I hadn’t fed them enough with fertiliser.  I was thinking that the soil bought from the nursery was composted enough – as they’d told me – but it turned out that I needed to do more than sow and leave.  2 days ago, I’d added in some chicken manure.  I know should have done that earlier, actually, but how the heck was I supposed to know that the nursery bought soil was lacking nutrition? Oh well, it’s alright, I am learning something new today.  But, being as scrawny and young as it is, 2 days ago, I noticed something else…

Zucchini bud Nov 10

The plant is budding, well, I am assume that they are flower buds; I don’t know, I’ve never seen zucchini plant before.  I wonder if it is normal, anyways…  I’d be fun to see zucchini blossom.  I read that I’d be seeing male blossoms first before female blossoms will turn up.  Hopefully they’d get pollinated.

Today evening I’d give the zukes a nice dose of backyard compost which is now baking in the oven (sterilisation) to kill possible weeds and pest eggs.