(Predators) Dead. From. Cute.

While rearranging my plants today, my domestic helper spotted a tiny (about 5cm) reddish-brown gecko amongst my plants.

Strangely enough, there have been tiny flies/insects living amongst my plants for the past few months. I suspect it’s because of the moisture level.

I’ve also found that with the slight increase of flying bugs, tiny little spiders have also made their homes with me, weaving their webs from the undersides of leaves to undersides of leaves. I like spiders and leave the little critters alone.

With the addition of this new gecko (I hope it stays!), I hope the “ecosystem” of my planting area will be a livelier one, discounting pests and diseases.


Vegetables update

From 27.01.09

Kangkong sprouts pretty easily. They have visibly strong roots.

From 27.01.09

Rocket seeds from Dawn sprouted, too. =) They look so cute. Their leaves are shaped as small little clovers, unlike other sprouts, with typical leaves.

From 27.01.09

Sharp-leafed spinach seedlings all popping up.

From 27.01.09

Lettuce seedlings.

From 27.01.09

Kangkong seedlings in soil growing strong.

From 27.01.09

Sawtooth corianders firming up.

From 27.01.09

Capsicums setting fruit after successful manual pollination by me.


My lettuce, sharp-leaf spinach, rocket and kangkong seeds have sprouted. W00t.

Veggies. W00t!

After my unsuccessful attempts at sprouting lettuce and spinach seeds by Horti brand, I went to ask the founder of GCS about it. Apparently, Horti seeds have a notoriously low rate of germination for vegetables; easy-to-grow herbs like catnip and spearmint are fine. But once it comes to veggies, Horti ranks waaaay down.

I’d planned to check out Known You seeds, but by chance, I was within the city area when I went to buy rooted sawtooth coriander plants at Golden Mile Complex. So, I went to another less well-known to consumers seed shop: Ban Lee Huat. They wholesale to nurseries and for commercial purposes, that’s why most of the GCS forumers don’t know about them. But apparently, they come pretty highly recommended too. And someone who bought seeds from them had nice plants sprouting.

So, with today’s shopping concluded, I went home with:
1. Two bunches of rooted sawtooth coriander
2. One packet of unrooted green malabar spinach
3. Lettuce seeds
4. Kang kong (water spinach) seeds.

The uncles at Ban Lee Huat were the old kinds, with coarse speech and loud voices. But they were kind. They even advised me on what veggies to grow in Singapore (honest business, I like), and told me not to get too much seeds from them, or they’d spoil.

I’ll definitely patronize that store a lot more, especially since they also sell a wide variety of Chinese tea leaves.

Filler post

Went to buy a pack of “Spinach Banyan” from Shop and Save. Have chosen the five strongest root stalks out after cutting the leaves away.

Three went into the soil, two into the hydroponics solution.

Let’s see if I can grow spinach that way…

Propagating my mints as well.

Waiting for more of the seeds of cinammon basil I’d sown to sprout. One thumbpot of it has already grown true leaves. The lime basil as well.


The seedlings which I’ve transplanted into leca (expanded clay bits) and hydroponics solution have started showing true leaves.

I’m using two methods, both learnt from my own research, and also 42ndFloor’s posts:

1. The seedlings are propped up by leca bits.
Pros: The roots have something to grip.
Cons: One needs enough volume of leca to prop the seedlings up.

2. Cutting a hole in the lid of a plastic container, supporting cuttings (haven’t had the chance to use seedlings yet), and immersing the roots in the hydroponics solution.
Pros: Easy and convenient
Cons: I don’t know.

From 13.01.09

The four herbs in leca and hydroponics solution.

From 13.01.09

The roots of the eau de cologne mint cuttings.

From 13.01.09

The EDC mint on my table.

From 13.01.09

True leaves.

From 13.01.09

True leaf.

From 13.01.09

I can’t remember what herbs are what already.

Chocolate mint rooted via air-layering! W00t!

I was complaining some time ago about the difficulty of rooting this strain of chocolate mint (as well as my orange and grapefruit mints).

I’d tried the traditional way of doing a cutting and plonking it into the soil and keeping the cuttings in bright shade. The cuttings dried up.

I tried putting them into water to root. Somehow, they also dried up.

I tried the traditional air-layering method, by simply pinning one portion of the stalk to the soil. After almost a month, nothing.

Out of frustration, what I did was use the sharp side of a pruning scissors, cut partly through the stalk, smear rooting hormone on it, and then pin it down to the soil.

And what did I see tonight when I went to check? =D

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