If I haven’t mentioned it before, I grew up way out in the country. Each summer my hard working father would plant the big family garden, with help from all the kids. Planting, weeding, harvesting, our summer was filled with gardening! Although I didn’t always enjoy the hard work I DID enjoy the fresh organic vegetables! I enjoyed them so much that when I went off to university I did not have a very good diet. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually pay money for the subpar vegetables at the grocery store. Pathetic, I know. I did eventually get over it we buy a lot of vegetables now. In fact, we pay extra for buying organic vegetables.
As much as I love gardening and fresh vegetables, I never got much into gardening here in Malaysia. I’ve made a couple half hearted attempts, but they never worked out very well. However, I really would love to save some grocery money (who wouldn’t!) and we have a bit more room now than in our previous house, so I’ve felt the urge to do some gardening!
I first started with a potted basil and parsley plant that a friend gave me when they were leaving for a long vacation. I turned the smallest plot of ground in our front porch into an herb garden:
the basil has done quite well. It looks a bit spindly here since I had just picked all the big leaves a few days earlier to make a batch of pesto. I looooooove pesto!! There is a rosemary plant and several parsley plants on the right. The parsley doesn’t do quite as well as the basil, but it IS growing and I don’t use it that often anyway.
In the past month we have bought some planting boxes, dirt, seeds, and started growing some more things! Here are the beginnings of our efforts:
My mother-in-law is an awesome gardener. I asked for some mint clippings from her. The first time they all grew roots after sitting in water for a few days, but all died after I planted them. So she gave me some more. This time I didn’t wait for roots to grow, I just planted them as she suggested. A few of them died, but there are still a few green ones in here. I’m really hoping they survive!!
I had a potato that was growing eyes, so I thought I might as well plant it and see what happens. I know this is totally NOT the right kind of container, but it’s all I had available at the time. I did start it way at the bottom, and I heaped on more dirt as it grew taller, until the container couldn’t hold any more dirt. It looks healthy, but very spindly, I know potato plants are supposed to be a lot more bushy! I’ll see what happens…
This curry leaf plant has been through a lot! We’ve been growing it for more than 7 years and just had to bring it along here as well! Sometimes it gets bug ridden and I have to cut off all the leaves. But it always grows back!
This is Svara’s papaya tree. She planted it here when Naren was tossing out extra papaya tree seedlings and she checks on it every day!
One of the vegetables we buy every single week is spinach. Actually, it’s called spinach here, but it’s really not. It’s amaranth. But it’s used just like spinach and is just as, if not more, nutritious. It’s supposed to be easy to grow, so I’m giving it a try! I was thrilled to see my amaranth seeds finally spouted yesterday! This is a green and purple variety.
I’m also growing a green variety:
When we moved into this house my mother-in-law gave us a passionfruit seedling. It is finally big enough to sprout vines and start climbing on the fence. We can’t WAIT to have fresh passionfruits!!!!
Here are my tomato seedlings! I’m not sure yet where we’ll plant them, we have a couple weeks to think about it anyway while they grow big enough for transplanting. The last time I tried growing tomatoes was in our very first house. The plant grew well, got flowers, then got a fungus and died. I’m hoping to do better this time!
I’ve learned that papaya trees grow well, but are very sensitive. They do the best when they are planted and then left right where they are. This is one from a seed that just accidentally fell there, and it’s growing really well!
These two tiny plants below were planted at the same time as the plant above! They were planted in a little polybag and they sprouted well, but then stayed the same size. We transplanted them outside, but they are still not growing. Well, I think they have a couple more leaves than they did two weeks ago when we replanted them, but they are still SO puny! It’s like they are holding a grudge against us planting them in such a tiny polybag to start with LOL
My mother-in-law also gave us a couple small payapa plants. With papaya trees you always have to grow a few. Apparently some papaya trees are male and some are female. You have to have both to end up with papaya fruits. Obviously my mother-in-law is more successful in planting papaya trees in polybags than we are. She used a bigger bag. These are planted outside our wall. We are lucky to live in an end house, so there is some grass outside. The soil isn’t the best, so we have to put some potting soil when we plant these trees.
Lastly we are growing some four angle beans! These are one of Svara’s favorite vegetables, so we HAVE to grow them! We just transplanted them here a few days ago, so hopefully they will do well!
They are climbers/creepers, so we planted them by this wall. Obviously they have a loooong way to grow before they reach the grill at the top to grab onto. I’ll be taking some photos of their growing progress!
So that’s most of our garden for now! I look forward to charting its progress and also to eating our fresh organic goodies!!!