Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Fire Trees, 2 Months After

I think I'm better at planting trees and herbs than flowers. I have so far been successful with my fire trees! They have grown to about 6 to 8 inches in just two months! I spotted one young fire tree in our village and I am hopeful that my fire trees would also bloom a year or two from now (I honestly have no idea when they will start to bloom haha). Anyway, here they are!

I noticed that their leaves close in the evenings (they sleep!). They are under the sun most of the day and I just water them once a day (in the mornings). I'm planning to plant more and have them adopted by friends when they are a year old.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Planting Sweet Basil from Seed

My quest to become an urban farmer has definitely been a challenge especially because of the hot summer weather. A couple of the herbs I bought from Tagaytay have dried up, including the second sweet basil I got from Sonya's Garden.

I did some research and found out that you can grow basil two ways. One, by cutting off a stem and planting it. Two, planting from seed. I tried the first one and failed miserably. I was successful though in planing seeds which I got from my first sweet basil plant. I've been keeping them away from the sun and watering them just once a day.

Here's a couple of seeds that sprouted a week after I planted them (on Black Saturday).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Planting Cleopatra Hot Pepper (Sili)

I finally had some time to plant during the Holy Week break and I'm happy to see some of the seeds sprout over the last few days.

I got the "Cleopatra Hot Pepper" seeds from SM Hypermarket while shopping for vegetables. I decided to get it because I remember my Mama Lola had a sili plant and it bore a lot of fruit. I don't really like spicy food, but some of the dishes I cook require a sili or two in it.

I planted a couple of seeds in different locations at home - the backyard and the garden (in a shaded area and in an area that gets a lot of sun). The first to sprout were the seeds planted exposed to the morning sun. I water it every morning and just check whether it needs to be watered in the afternoon (following the Tagaytay gardener who said that I should water my plants when the soil is dry). And so far so good. Here's my days old sili plant:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Planting an Orchid Tree

My aunt got a pack of orchid tree seeds at Sonya's Garden during our trip last December for my Mom. My Mom gave me a couple, but it took me sometime before I got around to planting them. My marigold planting was an utter failure so I thought I'd use those pots. As with other seeds I planted the seeds about 5 centimeters deep (if you look at the pot I realize now that I'll have to transfer them soon). I thought they were not going to sprout because it took about ten days before I saw some greenery peek through the soil. Here's how they look now, three weeks after I planted them:

I just water them using a small water pail and not a hose. I just put enough water to moisten the soil, I don't want to drown it like I did my other plants (haha!). I also water them only when the soil is already dry, so I check them twice a day -- early in the morning and in the late afternoon and water only when needed.

The orchid tree at Sonya's Garden is really, really tall and pretty! I hope that my babies would grow up like them!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Planting a Fire Tree

I love fire trees! My first encounter with them was at Shell, Tabangao where my sister used to work when I was a kid. Fire trees lined the road going into Shell Tabangao's golf course and they were just absolutely beautiful. So when we went to Sonya's Garden a few weeks ago I bought a small packet of fire tree seeds. I tried to look for tips on how to grow one, but found none so I just went ahead and planted two on Valentine's day.

It finally sprouted on the 20th of February. I was so excited and took a photo of it.

And here it is a day after it sprouted.

I'm so far just watering it when the soil is dry. Hope someday it would be as tall as the fire trees I first encountered in Shell Tabangao.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gardening Full Speed Ahead, Lessons Learned

I took a break from blogging here because I thought I'd focus first on making sure that my plants would live. My sister bought me a couple of herbs when we were in Tagaytay last December and one out of five died. I luckily managed to bring back two into good health and the other two are still under observation (but showing signs of getting revived).

Watering. One thing I learned from buying from Mahogany Market is "don't believe everything that the tinderas tell you". They told me that I should water the plants twice a day. Little did I know I was drowning them already. I managed to keep four of my plants from dying because my Mom did a spot check on me and said that I was over-watering them. I got a handy tip from an elderly tindera when I went back to Mahogany Market two weekends ago. Water your plants when the soil is sandy. She said that was her rule of thumb. My plants have remained healthy since I followed that advise. Also water the plants early in the morning or in the later part of the afternoon.

Sunlight. My tiny garden would also only get some direct sunlight from six to nine in the morning so I moved all of the plants I bought to the back of the house where they would enjoy more sunlight. I have some plants who like getting sun all-day (i.e. the angel plant), but for my herbs I placed them where they would get direct sun only in the mornings.

Wind. When I transferred my herbs to the back of the house I didn't realize that it was so windy where I placed them. Good thing I noticed it and saved them from destruction. I also placed reinforcements on some of them. I couldn't find any wood sticks I could buy (barbecue and popsicle sticks are too short), so I got some balloon sticks. It's working so far, hopefully it should be okay (please leave suggestions if you have any).

Aside from tips from my Mom and trusty garden sellers I've been reading a lot about gardening online as well. I never expected that I would fall in love with gardening, but its relaxing and fulfilling hobby.

Have you started your garden?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Buying Plants in Tagaytay (Mahogany Market)

I've been to Tagaytay numerous times, but skipped buying plants at the roadside because I didn't want to risk getting side-swiped by speeding vehicles.

Last weekend we discovered the Mahogany Market. We went there to buy fruits and vegetables, but was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of plants for sale!

There were flowering plants - magnolias, zinnias, orchids etc. and  non-flowering plants (just leaves). Each plant cost at least PhP20.

All kinds of herbs and spices which you can get 5 for a PhP100.

And fruit bearing plants like calamansi, American lemon, orange, duhat and many more. Depending on the size of the plant you can get it at PhP50 (make sure you bargain!).

Mahogany Market is located at Mahogany Avenue. Here's the map:

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