January is about to end … already??!!
Hmmm … how time flies. I wish that time could have gone a little slower because it is a little scary to think that soon … before I even know it … it will already be the middle of 2013! Urgghh!!
But on the other hand … how I wish spring will come soon so that I can embark on another gardening adventure on our balcony! I must say that I am very eager to start with my balcony gardening … but I know that it is not possible either. Shesssh …
Ok, ok … I know that I am contradicting myself … but life is full of contradictions, is it not? hehehe … 🙂
Anyway … I have read somewhere that there are some seeds that I can sow already in January. And from last year’s experience … I also know, first hand, that I should already start to sow certain seeds because it takes ages for that particular seeds to grow (such as the white alpine strawberries which I sowed in February last year but which only really started growing sturdily towards the end of summer and bore fruit only in mid-autumn!)
So … that was exactly what I had done. I have started sowing some seeds and will continue to sow more … so that I can have an early start on my balcony gardening as soon as the weather starts to become warmer. (At times like this, I wish I were still living in the tropics when every day of the year is gardening season!)
Now, apart from making sure that I have my supply of potting soil to sow my seeds … I also need to have enough seedling pots.
Rather than buying more seedling pots this year, I chose to go the environmental-friendly way by recycling from things that I have at home … which is why I ended up making seedling pots from newspapers. As it was my first time that I was doing so and I had to try different utensils to see what size pots I will get from them … I ended up with pots of varying sizes!
I even tried making paper pots, origami style … but I think the method of rolling folded newspaper produces sturdier paper pots. So I decided to stick with this method.
Some of the seeds that I had planted about 10 days ago … pictures taken 2 days after sowing. The paper pots on the living room windowsill (top right picture) contain jicama or yam bean seeds, kindly brought by my friend Nit (at my request) when she came here for holidays in December.
Since jicamas need a long warm season for their tubers to develop, I have no idea whether I will get to harvest any jicama tubers given the climate that we have here. But … one can always try and hope, do you not agree? 🙂
One week later, more seedling pots took their place on the windowsill of our guest bedroom. It is starting to get a little crowded … but the worse is yet to come … at least, not for another few more weeks!
And much to my surprise, several of the seeds were already sprouting less than a week later … in particular the pea seeds! The hubby thinks that it must be the rainwater that I used for watering. He claimed that the seeds love it! Hmmm … I did not know that he knows about these seeds better than I do! 😉
This was three days ago … when I could still place the cover over the seedlings. I could no longer do so yesterday as the pea seedlings in particular have grown too tall for the cover!
The different types of peas sprouting happily on the windowsill : sugar snap peas, tom thumb peas and golden sweet peas. This is the first year that I am growing peas so I am quite excited to see how they will grow on our balcony. I hope that … unlike the beans that I tried to grow last year … I will get to taste the peas and the pea pods from these pea plants!
Despite my failure to taste a single bean last year due to the problems that I had with them … I am growing these dwarf broad beans again. Who knows … maybe I will get luckier this year and will get to taste my own home-grown beans. Interestingly, there is an alien seed sprouting in one of the bean seed pots. I have no idea what seed it is … but I decided to let it squat on that pot for now lah!
And these are some of my prized seeds. (I do have a lot of prized seeds this year! :)) They are a new breed of F1 hybrid strawberry plants with either pink or red flowers. They are not so readily available and, because of that, they are not cheap. Each pack of just 5 tiny seeds costs between 2.50 GBP – 2.80 GBP (not including the postage fee). But despite the price, I was a typical kiasu Singaporean … and decided to buy all the six different varieties that were offered by the seller on Amazon! hehehe … 🙂
Although I was worried whether I would get these seeds to grow … thankfully, much to my happy surprise, I saw that some of them had started to sprout just three days ago! Phewww …
But as you can see, the seedlings are really very tiny … which means that they could still die on me if I am not careful with the watering. So until they grow big enough to assure me that I made the correct decision to try and grow them … I shall not rest easy lah!
Apart from these special strawberries … I am also growing from seeds another variety of white alpine strawberries as well as yellow alpine strawberries. I would have loved to try and grow pineberry this year. Unfortunately, I have learnt that it is not possible to grow them from seeds (as they are hybrids and therefore will not grow true to form)… and it is not easy as well as also very expensive to order pineberry plants or bare roots online to be delivered to Switzerland! Awwww … but still … I am not going to rule it out, just yet lah! 😉 😉
These, on the other hand … are rows of 3 different types of lilies which came all the way from Malaysia. The tubers were posted to me by Ros … (a regular reader of this blog who has become one of my seed ‘swappers’) … along with several other types of seeds. I must thank her for her kind generosity and resourcefulness in sending me these tubers (and she sent several which I have shared with the mum). I am happy to report to Ros that half of those which I planted 2 weeks ago are already starting to grow! 🙂
Unfortunately, these screwpine (pandan) plantlets that were brought by my friend Nit in December are still waiting to be re-potted. Apart from making sure that there would always be enough water in the plastic bottle container, I had not really given them much attention. So I was very surprised to notice two days ago when I wanted to take some snapshots of the plantlets that they had started to grow big thick roots! Hmmm … I wonder whether I should try to grow them in the hydroponic way?