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For gardeners out there, have you tried this? I have this old post which I wrote in May 11, 2009 and posted it at my blog Gardens and Empty Spaces. Back then “like” was not yet introduced by WordPress I think but you can comment on the post. This has earned a lot of comments.  Someone commented just yesterday. I am reposting it here.

In our trip to Zambales  a few days ago, I learned some interesting facts about growing things in one’s backyard, very common of which is the papaya plant. Papaya is a soft-wooded perennial plant that has an average lifespan of 5 years and would grow about 4 meters high. The flowering stage is from five to eight months after planting and harvesting comes around five to six months after that.

My sister-in-law is a certified farmer, she underwent a complete 6-months seminar given by the Dept. of Agriculture.  She shared with us what she learned and gave us some seeds of different vegetables which are quite easy to grow, given a small space ,even just in pots.

I was not even aware that you would be able to know whether that papaya tree in your own backyard will bear fruit or not. Most of us just wait for papaya to produce flowers before we will be able to detect whether it is a male or a female.  Papaya flowers are just like jasmine blossoms. The flowers of female papayas are close to the stems while that of the male ones produce long flowers. But we really don’t have to wait for six months before we’ll be able to know if they are worth cultivating or not.  That’s a waste of time and space, according to my sister-in-law. We know for a fact that only female papayas produce those sweet and delicious fruits. One sure way of knowing is this, papaya male plants have one straight root while those of the females are branched-out, producing two or more roots, they’re the only ones that you have to transfer and plant.  Interesting!

Tomatoes are capable of self-pollination so they grow fruits on their own. Same goes true with squash. We have planted some squash  and tomatoes in our small backyard and  they’re growing  by leaps and bounds everyday.  We also planted pechay (Pak Choi) in small pots. Eggplant seedlings are sprouting like crazy. I can’t wait, I am quite excited waiting for everything to grow.

I tried planting chayote two days ago at the back garden. We have a permanent trellis there where it could climb on. It is also known as mirliton squash,  an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.  When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash; it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crispy consistency. Let us see how it grows in the next few days.

Our back garden and that’s Noki looking at some of our cats.

Planted some sweet potato vines a couple of months ago. We use the young leaves (found at the tip of each branch) to mix with our sinigang.

 

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I took shots of more blooms in the garden early this morning. There are very few flowers but I love the greens just as well. I also transferred a pot of Snake plant indoor.

Do you know that Snake plants have several benefits in our lives? It also needs minimal care.

I wonder why they call it Mother in Law’s Tongue otherwise known as Sansevieria. It does not need a lot of water, you can water it weekly and is also  ideal indoors.

“The Snake Plant cleans air better than most other indoor plants as it has the ability to absorb excessive amounts of carbon monoxide. Additionally, it emits oxygen and filters other toxins from the air such as benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde” 

 

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Just updated my gardening blog. Took shots of my green plants early this morning. You can find them all here at Gardens and Empty Spaces.

 

 

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I have this unopened seed packet of eggplants which I bought last year. It’s one of the two I bought because I wanted to have more veggies at our small yard. One survived and it is still bearing fruit until now, just one at a time though. I don’t have much space in the garden so I mixed the seed with the ground cover ornamental plants at the side of the house.  On the packet was written that it will mature in 60 to 75 days and I was thinking by January next year, I’ll have more eggplants if I am lucky enough. Direct planting of seeds is sometimes better than having them first as seedlings then transferring them to the soil later on.

The garden looks presentable again, we have trimmed the carabao grass last weekend, cut unwanted branches of my Santan shrubs and also pruned my  Fukien Tea plants. It is getting hotter by the day so daily watering is a must.  I usually stay in the garden early in the morning. Our two calamansi trees are fruiting non-stop. I have picked more than a kilo  a few days ago and divided it between  my three neighbors. They are always grateful for these small favours. Calamansi is good for marinade whether it is fish or meat, it could also be used as juice (hot or cold).  We also use it as dipping sauce for other viands like fried fish or pork chop.

I set aside reading for a while, just got so engrossed with Wordscape last night. I have used up my earned coins because the clues are simply too difficult to form into words but it is very enjoyable.  I uninstalled those block games on my tab and only have this one. You can learn more from it.  I am encountering words that I didn’t know before.

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Tackled that long overdue weeding outside while the laundry is on Wash. An hour of pulling stubborn weeds, a dirty  job but it is much needed. Now my snake plants can be seen in all their glory. Planning to transfer one into a pot for indoor. Do you know that a snake plant cleans air better than most other indoor plants as it has the ability to absorb excessive amounts of carbon monoxide? It also  emits oxygen and filters other toxins from the air. I scattered dried Zinnia seeds where my  Blue Ternatea plant used to grow.

One thing I am so wary of bringing plants inside (except for a pot of Chinese bamboo in one corner of the sala) is that Oreo plays with the leaves. I tried bringing in a small but robust pot of white grass before, when the day ended, almost all the leaves were scattered at the glass top of our side table. Naughty, naughty Oreo 😦

I am thinking since the snake plants have sturdy and thick leaves, it would be harder for Oreo to chew them. All I need now  is to remove the little weeds left  and  trim the carabao grass.

Heaven!

I’ll be able to concentrate on reading now. Having fun with my new tab and there are sites online where you could download e-books free of charge. I am so careful placing it back inside its box so it won’t get scratched meantime I don’t have a safety cover and screen yet. Haha, the things you do for those gadgets!

Would you believe, I sustained blogging every day for the first two weeks of August?  Hooray!  My stats has reached a sizable 585,669 as of this writing.

Just so glad there weren’t strong typhoons to induce flood. I hope the rest of the rainy days would be as good as this month. No flooding, no strong typhoons to hit our shore.

Good morning to all.

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Finally, I’m done weeding outside  but I have two blistered fingers  despite wearing gloves. Some weeds are so hard to uproot but I have to do it. My snake plants can’t grow well because of these stubborn weeds. At least half of the job is done. There is still the carabao grass to trim and the Fukien Tea plants and Pandakaki too.

My Pandakaki blooms. There are several but they are so tiny.

Carabao grass

I hate trimming the carabao grass. We have to use a manual grass cutter because there are lots of  concrete stepping stones in between. Hopefully by the weekend, Josef can help me with it. We also need to trim the Santan plants in front of our concrete fence. They are the dwarf variety but they are growing tall.

my front garden

Side yard with my two Calamansi trees

Ornamental pineapple and my bulb plant. The latter is a pink lily.

Sometimes, gardening becomes a chore that you can’t avoid.

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Quite a surprise but it is nothing new. When the rain comes, my rain lilies are happy and they produce such lovely tiny  flowers that make the garden so nice  to look at.

rain lilies….

I have them as ground covers in one area of the garden.

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There is a typhoon, and as reported by our weather bureau, the fourth one this year. And there are two more low pressure areas reported. I thought there would be an early morning rain since they said we will be having “habagat” rains until the weekend. Thankfully, the sun is shining bright. It gave me the chance to garden for an hour before it showed its face.  I still probably need the morning sun even if my vitamin D deficiency is now at its normal level.

Fulling weeds, deadheading some plants, removing dried leaves – such a tedious process but it needs to be done. And to think we need to trim the carabao grass again. It’s growing by leaps and bounds now that the rains are here. The grass looks greener though, everything looks so fresh. And the dried Zinnia flowers that I scattered a few days ago are showing their lovely blooms.

There is always a surprise in a garden. Sometimes you discover something which you haven’t planted but it’s growing there. Thanks to the wind and birds that sometimes scatter those seeds. Last December, I bought some Japanese Persimmon and tried planting some of the seeds. Surprisingly, it grew to a young plant.

I wonder though if it will thrive into fruition later on. Does Persimmon grow in tropical countries like ours? This is just a trial, if it does well and good, I’ll be grateful.

My fingers are showing signs of ageing even if I use thick gardening gloves. There is something in gardening that makes you fulfilled. Remember that peaceful feeling while pulling weeds and dirt sticks into you hands? It really requires patience.

And I just love this quote from Alfred Austin:

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body but the soul.

 

 

 

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The Gardener (Mary Oliver)

Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I
come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses.

I just love these words from Mary Oliver. She is one of my favorite poets. Yesterday, I  harvested almost a kilo of kalamansi (Philippine lime). There were plenty more but I was afraid to use the ladder to pick them.

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Morning exercise…..gardening!

Whew! That was quite a heavy downpour last night saturating the garden.  It rains almost every day now either late at night or early in the morning.

It’s the perfect time to tend the garden for a while. I noticed some shoots of my yellow Iris  growing with small roots. Have to cut them and replant. Trimmed my Mulberry tree too, it is fast growing and I am thinking of removing it for good. Mulberries grow tall as high as 70 feet  and they need a larger space to spread their roots. I am afraid that when this  grows even bigger,  our septic vault would be affected.  I already cut the branches but the roots are still intact.  Good thing it is just about a year old since I planted it as a cutting. I googled about it and I was so disappointed to know that it will take ten years before it bears those tiny fruits.

I need to transfer and replant my prayer plants. The outer leaves are already dry. If it does not rain this afternoon, they are next.

Prayer plants

They’ll be good combined with the purple-leaf plant that I have at the back garden but I don’t know its name.

Yellow Iris

Really need to propagate this lovely yellow Iris. It’ll be perfect at the round bed where the Mulberry tree is right now.

So much to do but I find gardening so fulfilling.

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