Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Backyard Update March '12

My backyard has gone through several transformations since we moved in slightly over 2 yrs ago. Main challenge in maintaining it was of course, every home gardener's nightmare...weeds weeds and weeds that are so stubborn and just wouldn't die off no matter how many roots you pull out. The weeds root system is so invasive that they would just grow and grow in the whole row of backyard from one neighbor to another. We got tired of seeing how messy the backyard can get with overgrown weeds (and they grow so fast!!) and becoming potential home for snakes (yes, they have been spotted!!!), so we decided to lay bricks and tiles. The weeds still find its way out for sunlight at every nook and corner but overall they are pretty much under better control now. We've also started to plant in polystyrene containers collected from anywhere and everywhere we can get. There's a long list of plants yet to be planted but in the last 2 months or so, here are what that are growing.

Currently there are bamboo mustard green (2 stalks left as I've harvested some already - I don't quite like this variety as it's kinda bitter), spring onions, celery, chives, beetroot, radish, ladies' finger and brinjal plants. My dwarf beans in the top left container do not seem to be sprouting this time. I planted 6 seeds and only 1 has sprouted.

Here's a beetroot. It's tiny but I'm not complaining. Think I'll probably juice it with a mixture of other fruits.

Flower of chive. My neighbor in Melaka gave me a few of her plants and I re-planted them after a few hours later. I thought they wouldn't survive but they did. In fact, they've surpassed my expectation. Chive plants seem to transplant easily and although they may look like they're wilting in the first few days after transplanting, just leave them be. They just need some time to pick things up. Chives are great as cut-and-grow again. New shoots will start growing in just a matter of few days only. Our plants are flowering quite frequently. I'll be collecting the seeds for sure.

Winged bean plant. Needs to be transplanted into a 5 gallon bucket. Am trying to see if it can thrive in a pot. Hope it can and that we'll get some beans for chili stir fry soon.

The winged bean plant will soon grow on the top level vertical trellis. Am saving the smaller lower level trellis for cucumbers. Hopefully they will sprout successful first of all.

Here's another pic of the top level trellis. We've laid 2x2 feet tiles to prevent weeds. This is my short cut trellis. 3 long poles inserted randomly in and out of the chicken coop wire and just stick them into the ground. Not sure if they will hold, so only time will tell, if my winged bean grows successfully.

Our 2nd bitter gourd from the same single plant we have.

One of the radish plant has started to flower.

Plan to sow more seeds next week when time permits. Happy gardening!


  1. Nice to see your garden growing. I have not been growing vegies for the past months.

    May I ask how do you grow the beet root?

  2. Hi JC, I've only just recently started to clear my backyard and rekindle my veggie planting interest. I used normal black soil and sowed the beetroot seeds - 1 seed in 1/2 cm deep and abt 6 inches apart fr 1 seed to the other. I watered the soil first before sowing the seed. I think I also soaked the seeds in water for 2 or 3 hours before sowing. I read somewhere in the Internet. Then I basically left it at a partly shaded place until they sprouted before moving the container to my backyard. I used chicken manure pellet to fertilise. I was pleasantly surprised too that they grow. But so far I only saw 1 beet jutting out. I have 5 plants.

  3. Very nice garden. Photos are very nice and attractive.

  4. your blog is very inspiring. I've been bitten by the gardening bug and seeing your photos and your experiments is exhilarating. What a high !!! Thanks for all the info you've provided. I got an idea about when to harvest my radishes.