Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Seed Week" - Alternatives

I happened to remember this : "Seed sowing is the first step towards gardening.".....though I just can't recall the blogger's name who wrote that phrase.
The irony is, most of my garden plants did not originate from me sowing seeds, or collecting, saving or even buying seeds. Well...at least not until last October, when I started my small vegetable patch. I bought them fresh from the local wet market or Tesco as part of my groceries, emptied out the seeds and threw them away in planter boxes. My first seeds were cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, chillies, eggplant, capsicum and lady's finger (okra). Then I had seeds buying spree at MAHA 2010 and of course some given by Bangchik (My Little Vegetable Garden), Diana (Malay-Kadazan Girl) and Malar (My Little Garden). Majority of my garden plants came from seedlings bought from nurseries, DIY stem propagation, root propagation, rhizomes, tubers and just about any part of the plant that can be grown. So these are alternatives to seed sowing in gardening! Lets have a look at some of these that I have done in my own garden.
growing tumeric using rhizomes, I use tumeric leaves in cooking rendang

so seed sowing is the start of my vegetable garden this year... corriander, pak choy, sweet corn, sweet peas, french bean, okra, Japanese cucumber, kale, lettuce...



Thai basil and celery using stem and root cuttings





Im very impatient with seeds. You sow the seeds then you wait, and wait, and wait...sometimes might be forever, or nothing at all....just to see the tiny green dots coming out.



I grow my onion like this, solely for the leaves in ganishing my soup, stew, omelette, fried rice, noodles...


growing pandan using their roots submerge in water first until they start rooting, of course you can plant them direct into the soil



my spider plant with lots of baby spiders dangling, so just cut one and put it in soil



stem propagation - rosemary



stem propagation - thyme



as explained in my previous post here, blackberry propagation by stem or nodes



see how the node has grown from the plastic bag and planted into the soil



this was the start of my stem propagation - grape seedlings



also mulberry seedlings



recently I learnt something new...grafting, taught by a friendly nursery boy who was not stingy in parting his knowledge to me




tapioca (ubi kayu) stems propagation




growing caladium tricolor by tuber




growing mint by rooting the stems first in water


propagated the frangipani stems recently - pink/white bloom


finally the balsam seeds given by Malar just thrown randomly among portulucas and coleus




I find that I get the same thrill and satisfaction in growing those plants whether by seeds or otherwise. The anticipation of seeing the seeds, stems, rhizomes, tubers, or roots continuing their life growing into healthy plants is so exciting and you feel very sad if they don't.
Take a peek at Diana's garden at Kebun Malay-Kadazan Girls and learnt something interesting about her own garden seeds during the "Seed Week".
Continue with the above phrase : " Gardening is a beautiful habit and hobby as it gives content to the heart and peace in the mind".

26 comments:

Bangchik said...

Wow, the range of plants, cuttings and seeds in your garden is enormous by my standard. I see grape vine cuttings placed in sand in your photo....hmmm interesting. I am going to start grape in february, a new addition. We can compare notes on grape...

Kerri said...

I see you have that intrinic desire to propagate that we gardeners 'suffer' from :) You've inspired me to take cuttings from my daughter's Rosemary plant.
A blogging friend sent me a frangipani cutting from California last summer. It looks alive but hasn't grown any yet. I'm hoping it will survive to go outside in a container this coming summer.
I enjoyed your lovely Bloom Day post. You certainly have some beauties blooming. Lucky you! I'm longing for spring!

rainfield61 said...

You have so many babies in your garden.

Once the timing is right, you must have a great harvest.

milka said...

Wah wah wah... you propagated so much each wanna buka kedai ah! You're so expert now p3chandan! Thumbs up for you! And i'm eyeing on your grape vine... LOL

Malar said...

You have many little plants growing in your garden!
Mulberry, blackberry and grapes? you really have green thumb!

Lrong said...

You just gave me an idea to try growing pandan... shall try to take a small branch section back next time...

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

I miss pandan and ubi kayu, its not suitable to grow where I am here. Kak Shidah your garden looks like nursery. Like Milka I am eyeing you grape but thats not all blackberry and mulberry too. Thank you for sharing.

One said...

That' a lot of plants. I like ubi kayu but it doesn't seem to like my clay soil. When it grows tall, it falls.

I grow a lot of mint by just cutting and sticking them into the soil/peat moss.

James Missier said...

Thanks for the tip on the grafting.
Wish you could eloborate more on it..
how it you do it?
I had tried twice using a pot and soil but nothing seemed to appear - this style look very more promising.
How did you manage to put the plastic in the middle there?

p3chandan said...

Bangchik I love to do propagation, so I will try on every plant that I have throughout the years. Are you into selling seedlings now Bangchik? I used to sell the grape and mulberry seedlings before but not now.

Kerri, I did a lot of propagations in my garden,especially if I love that particular plant, why not make a another pot. Glad that I inspire you to do the same. Thank you.

I hope so too Rainfield, Im keeping my fingers cross all the seeds will germinate and give me a good harvest this year!

p3chandan said...

Milka, thank you. If I like a plant, I will propagate another one so I dont have to buy again if one dies. Not an expert yet only by trial and error..I used to sell those grape seedlings in 2007, but now Im left with only 6 for myself.

Thank you Malar, not always green thumbs some do die on me like orchids and roses! I have no luck with them yet.

Mr Lrong, actually pandan is easy to grow but I dont know if they can survive in your weather there, but no harm trying!

Diana, we cant have everything sometimes, but I do envy you and your garden full of flowers and veggies that cant be grown here.

p3chandan said...

One you can add mulch to your clay soil and can grow anything. I grew ubi kayu and forgot to pull them out until they grew into roots! Mint you can just stick them in the ground and very easy to grow but I love to put them in a jar as they give out nice spicy aroma in the room!

James, you just put soil and a bit of rooting powder in a small plastic bag, clip/tie it tight and make a small slit in the middle. Then wrap this on a mature stem after you have taken out the outer skin on the stem, by using tape or string to tie it really tight for 2 weeks. After that open it and see if it has start rooting, cut the stem, make another hole on the plastic and plant the growing stem in a pot. Good luck!

kitchen flavours said...

You have a lot of plants! I have tried to propagate rosemary many times, but with no success! I'm trying out with my thymes now! Love ubikayu, wish I could grow them too!

p3chandan said...

Kitchen flavours, actually Ive tried a few pots myself, they need shady area because our sun is too much for them. I grew ubi kayu for the pucuk ubi so thats why always forgot to pull them out until they became tua and cant be eaten!

Patricia said...

I am very motivated after reading this delightful post. I especially am impressed with your seed tray for your vegetable seeds. It looks like an upside-down egg carton; is it? Many of your plants are not familiar to me but look wonderful.

Mr. H. said...

I really, really enjoyed this post and loved seeing all the different ways you propagate your plants. I really must try propagating our mulberries, I did not realize they would root from cuttings like that.

kitchen flavours said...

Hi, in reply to your question over at my kitchen. Usually olive oil is used as they are mild and do not have the strong smell of oil. Canola oil or sunflower oil would be a good substitute. You may use our normal cooking oil like the brands Eagle, Knife, Buruh, etc.. but these oils have a rather heavy oily smell, but since the bread recipe calls for just a tablespoon, I think that any of these would be OK to use. I personally do not like to use butter as they tends to turn a darker colour when used in frying or saute. It's a matter of personal perference. Hope you try out this bread recipe and let me know. It is a really lovely bread for a sandwich!

Lady of Leisure said...

frangipani, love em so much, ada bau jugak frangipani kan.. we bought red one called tequilla sunrise then neighbour pulak gave us pink hehe...

p3chandan said...

Thank you Partricia, Im glad my post here motivated you although Im a novice gardener myself. Yes that is an egg carton to hold my germinating seeds, quite handy and easily disposable.

Mr H, thank you, happy that you enjoyed my post about propagation. Yes mulberries are easily propagated by stems, after cutting them, soak them overnight in 3" of water in a container, then plant them in a pot of soil until they grow roots and can transplant them after that.


Kitchen flavours, thank you so much for giving me all those useful info on using different type of oil and butter. I will definitely try your bread recipe although Im not good at baking :).Thanks again.

Lady, I suka frangipani ni because bau dia and of course bunga dia pun cantek. Tapi ade jugak yang tak berbau rase nye dia orang panggil plumeria. I got that also but it is only white colour. I got pink and white and hopefully will get the red one soon from a blogger :)

Stephanie said...

Way to go p3chandan! You have done a lot. All those cuttings and little seedlings looks like they will grow strong and healthy. I especially like the way you root with the plastic bags. They save space too this way ;-) Kudos! And good luck with grafting. Knowledge is one thing but 'workmanship' is another. From your photo I am sure you will do ok. Btw do you grow all your herb plants at one place?

leavesnbloom said...

That's some array of seeds. I have to commend you on the many propagation techniques you are using - you are in my eyes "green fingered" as you have had such success aswell. I too have used water in the past to propagate the mint but I've never grafted a single thing in my garden.

p3chandan said...

Steph thank you.Actually, most plants are very easy to propagate. At the moment, my herbs are in individual pots.With the new raised beds Im making now, they will be transfered into one bed specially for berbs.

Rosie thank you, its a matter of practice makes perfect though Ive had failures.

threedogsinagarden said...

In the past, I have always been too impatient with seeds and propagating new plants from cuttings. These days, I find that I am increasingly interested in creating new plants from old ones and would like to try harder to be successful at it. I enjoyed reading about your methods.

p3chandan said...

Thank you Threedogsinagarden. Im learning to save seeds for the first time too and of course I want to be successful in germinating them first.

Appalachian Feet said...

Wow, you are propagation royalty! That's quite a lot of plants that you started yourself. I think the balsam is the same as amaranth greens? I ordered some and was surprised when it came up looking the same as a plant I already grew -- common names are so tricky.

Sunray said...

Really great job of starting from seeds.

Cher
Goldenray Yorkies