Soaking up the last remaining beautiful sunshine in October…

Except for Wednesday (which rained nearly the whole day), the last few days have been very sunny … especially in the afternoons. This morning, it looked like it would be a depressingly grey day because of the heavy mist … but it has just changed for the better. However, just as the meteorological department had forecast, despite the sunshine, the temperature has certainly dropped by several degrees. I can attest to that without even having to go out because light jacket and socks have now become my daily companions once again … urgh! And this morning, when the hubby went out for his appointment with the barber, the temperature was 5°C in town … which is usually 1-2°C higher than where we are. So … the cold season is coming slowly but surely.

Anyway … seeing that there was beautiful sunshine on Tuesday morning and thinking that it could probably be the last of such beautiful mornings before it starts to change … I decided to grab my camera and took snapshots of some of my plants that are still growing on the balcony. I have been taking advantage of some of the warmer afternoons to try and sort out my plants … throwing a few of the plants that I know will not have the time they need to grow and ripen properly before the weather totally turns cold (or rather the plants that have just refused to grow any more because of the drop in temperature)!

But despite the impending cold season … the gardener in me refused to let up … so I was still planting some seeds and cuttings as late as end September! Some are meant for the colder season but some are not … but I was keen to try planting, anyway … to see if they can survive … with a mind to bringing some of them inside when the weather turns colder. Of course, cannot be too many lah … otherwise it will be a mini vegetable garden inside our flat this winter!! hehehe 🙂

Some of my plants that are still bearing fruit, although not for long given the turn in the weather we have seen this week … strawberries, normal chillies, pepper, bird’s eye chillies and mini grapes.

Plus these mini tomato plants … which are struggling to ripen in the cooler autumn weather. Hardly any leaves left … only long spindly stems and some small cherry tomatoes which seem to take ages to turn red. In fact, some even dropped before they had turned red. I should have just got rid of the plants since I do not believe that most of them will ripen … now that days of beautiful sunshine will be even fewer. But … it is hard to do so when I see the cute cherries struggling to hang on to the plants!!

The radishes that I planted 3.5 weeks ago still growing well … so far. Hopefully, I will get to harvest them before the weather turns too cold that they decide to stop growing totally!

The potato plants grown in straws (left picture) do not seem to be growing as well as the ones that I grew earlier on … in soil. But I think it must be due to the weather since I only started planting them after mid-summer … when I should have done so in spring. The same with this second batch of carrots (right picture). They are not growing well either … sigh. In fact, I had to throw one pot which was growing even slower than this one! I will try to wait for as long as I can to allow them to grow a bit more before I will harvest them.

Worse, is this batch of carrot seeds which I planted in September! I know I should not even have tried but I was eager to see if it will grow after receiving them from the mail. I had ordered them online from the US and it is supposed to take less time than the other types of carrot as it is the smaller variety. Oh well … never mind lah … at least now I know better than to repeat my mistake, next year! 🙂

And these are the other seeds that I planted in September, too.

On the left are the wild rockets which seems to have sprouted even though I left the seeds to germinate outside where it was subjected to cold night temperature and rain (which is why they are called wild!!) … whereas the normal rocket seeds have not sprouted at all even until now! Next are some onions which seem to be doing well since they are meant for growing in winter … although the white onions in the big pot are taking a longer time to sprout than the normal variety. Then followed by some basil seeds which I had decided to grow so that I would be able to use them during winter. Behind the basil seedlings is the lemon grass that I planted in July this year. Still quite small after 3 months but at least it is growing and multiplying. So if it survives the winter season inside … then I will be able to use my own home grown lemon grass for cooking next year! yeayy!!! 🙂

Some plant cuttings which I have re-planted in September so that I can give away to a friend … chives, oregano, rosemary and parsley.

I thought I would try to plant some salads from the many seeds that I had collected from the plants that had bolted earlier on … and see whether I can grow them inside when the weather turns cold so that I can use in winter. Although only two of the seeds that I planted actually sprouted … I saw later on that there were many salad seedlings in the planter box that I had used for the salads! Aisey man!! So I now have so many salads seedlings … which I am reluctant to throw away although I did get rid of some. These are just some of them!

And on the right is the ginger plant that I had planted upon coming back from Singapore in September. I had pinched the ginger root from my sister when I saw that it had started to grow shoots! hehehe … The only problem is that it will be one of the several plants that I will have to bring inside before winter starts! I think my flat will look a whole lot greener than last year lah! 🙂

Now what else will I have growing inside my flat this winter … do you think … besides salads, ginger, herbs and chillies?

These ….

kesum (Vietnamese mint) and kangkong (water spinach or water convolvulus), too!!

I decided to try my hand at planting the Vietnamese mint after stumbling upon a blog that shared how it is possible to grow this plant in cooler climate. So I followed the advice, and voilà … it works splendidly!! I loikeee … not that I used the kesum leaves much in my cooking … since I am not much of a cook lah! But knowing that I can just pick some rather than have to buy a big bunch of them from the Asian shop when I need to use only a few stalks is what motivated me to plant them.

The kangkong was something that I thought I would try planting after I saw and bought a packet of the kangkong seeds when I was in Singapore recently. And after finding out more about how to grow them from the internet (since the seed packet was in Chinese) I decided to try plant them … both from the seeds that I bought as well as from cuttings of the kangkong plants that I had bought for cooking. And from the look of it … both work just as well … although they seem to grow faster by seeds than by cuttings! The only thing to do now is to wait for the kangkong to grow big enough for me to harvest and cook! I cannot wait!!! 🙂

The row of tropical plants growing in my living room for now … kangkong, lemon grass (which had been re-potted into a bigger pot just two days ago) and the Vietnamese mint. I loikeeee !!!

Of course the planting season is not over yet … oh no.  There is still one more that I intend to plant … but that one can wait for a few more weeks lah.

Other entries on my balcony garden:

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