(Fertilizing) Envizymes’s Gondwana Fertilizer experiment

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The first update for this experiment was on July 31, 2010. Today is August 25, 2010. So approximately slightly more than three weeks have passed.

Both plants have had older leaves turn yellow and drop.

I’ve added four applications of the Envizyme fertilizer to the pot with the plant tag.

There doesn’t seem to have much differences of the larger plants in each pot; but the smaller plants show marked differences in growth.

With four applications (four tablespoons) of Envizyme.

Without the Envizyme application.

(With) Closeup.

(Without) Closeup.

(Gardening happy) Portulaca flowers


Honestly, how can one not feel cheered up when seeing a whole bunch of portulaca flowers bloom like that? =)

(Pest control) Updates on 1-step ant poison

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After quite some months of using the 1-step ant poison, I have this to say: ants these days are getting more intelligent. Heh.

I don’t think it’s purely the fault of the poison for not working. What I believe is that the ants either adapt to the poison so quickly, or else they quickly learn to scent out and detect the poison, that usually after a week or so, they avoid the poisoned liquid.

I’ve tried the 1-step one on ants in the garden and ants in my kitchen, and both sets (different nests, I guess?) avoid the liquid.

However, I’ve also bought other ant poisons in the meantime (Horti ant-dust or something; and another ant lures/traps from Giant supermart) and none of them have worked.

We need stupider ants, or more intelligent traps.

(Photography) Shades in the wind

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(Propagation) Cephalotus follicularis


In October 2009, I went to Cameron Highlands with a group of friends, and bought back three adult pots of cephalotus follicularis, otherwise known as the Albany Pitcher Plant.

At that time, while I’d had some experience in growing some forms of carnivorous plants, the ceph was one I’d stayed away from for some time because of their notoriety in suffering from root shock whenever they get transplanted.

I decided to risk it anyway. Once I got home, I set to transferring them out of their too-wet long-fiber sphagnum media, and into a potting media which I’d pre-mixed (and which has worked on all the CPs I’ve owned thus far).

Unfortunately, all three parent plants died on me over the course of a few months.

Thankfully, during repotting, I’d done leaf pullings (about six leaves) and had plonked them tip-end into pure peat moss in a clear plastic container.

For almost five months, there were no signs of anything happening. The leaves remained green.

My policy with CP propagation is that…well…I’m terribly lazy to clear out anything, sometimes for months on end. And a few times, this has worked in my favor really well, because even when the leaves rot away (like those of my venus flytraps), plantlets will still grow provided you leave them alone.

So, after about six months, I saw the first shoot. It was nothing more than a single green point then, but it has now grown to form a shape and some pitchers.

Three other leaves have sent out shoots also. I gave the second-eldest away, and am now left with three in total.

Not bad for a total newbie at cephs, methinks. =)

My method: Hold the parent plant firmly, and use a pair of sharply-pointed tweezers to grab hold of the leaf as close to the parent plant as possible. In a stable move, pull the leaf downwards so that part of the main stalk tears off along with the leaf. Place the pointed tip into a layer of peat moss in a clear plastic container, and water thoroughly so that the peat is moist but not boggish in conditions. Leave the container in an area with bright sunlight (mine gets two hours of direct morning sun a day, and bright shade thereafter). Do not disturb unless you see leaves yellowing or rotting away – remove these ASAP. Note that one ceph. website (I can’t remember which) states that new growth can take anywhere from one month to nine. So, do be patient.

The eldest plantlet in the box.

The second one…

The youngest for now.

Four out of six (remember, I gave one away) is an acceptable average. Now, to manifest the last two leaves growing something too…

The act of courtesy and respect

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This is a miscellaneous post, but since it has to do with being in a local gardening forum, and plants, and people’s behavior, I thought I should post about it.

Many of us spend money – hard-earned money, I should add – on the plants we have now. As newbies to any forum, we might find things really novel and new, and might (I emphasize this word) not know where to get the plants which interest us and caught our attention. To me, that’s perfectly fine.

I was a newbie once. I was a student then with less money than I could spend now. However, I PMed people asking if they could 1) direct me to where they bought the stuff they had, which I wanted, or 2) asked if I could buy (another emphasis) what I wanted from them. If they offered me that for free, it was definitely much appreciated. 90% of my plants and seeds were bought, or gifted to me by friends (note this word).

There have been many newbies to the Green Culture Singapore forum in the two years I’ve been there, who, upon joining and having less than ten post counts (which, really, speaks no more than a desire not to contribute knowledge and information) PMs various people all at once, asking – and sometimes in rude tones – for free stuff.

Sorry, I’m not that generous. I’d offer things to those members or people who have spent some time actually making their own contribution to the forum, or showing an eagerness to learn without asking for anything in return; I will offer things to friends whom I’ve spoken to for years; I will offer to the newbies whom I’ve seen show an interest honesty and respect; I will NOT, however, offer anything to someone who joined only in June this year, have most of his posts in the forum asking for things or simply commenting on things without the desire to learn or share, and keeps PMing me asking for more extras.

Oh, sure, I have more than enough surpluses. But I would prefer to give those away to the few who have taken the time to know and interact with me, and who show some genuine interest in both gardening, and as a person. Even now, two years down the road, when I ask for any freebies given out, I make the offer of an exchange on my part to the person, and if he doesn’t accept the offer on the spot and insists on giving me the seeds or plants free, then I make sure that the offer remains open in the future. If I want more seeds from someone else other than what he offers, then I offer to pay or have an exchange, every single time.

I’m a bitch? Sure. For this, I like it this way. I’ve never said I was generous to strangers, and I don’t expect strangers to be generous towards me.

I want something, I’d be willing to pay for it if it’s within my means.

If some or all of those newbies who are or have been doing this reads this post, all the better. Let it be known, then. I have no more money than I have right now, and I’m struggling to sustain my passion. I don’t see why anyone else should leech off of me, or I should leech off others.

(Gardening happys) Gardening EXTREMELY happy!

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Forgive some weird grammar or whatever else errors for now. I am ecstatic. I just bought myself two allspice plants. =D

I’ve waited for well over a year to get this. Finally!

Bad picture with harsh flash, but oh well. 😛

(Gardening happys) A new pot of portulaca

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I went to World Farm to look for my much-wanted carnations ‘sweet williams’ but was told they were sold out. Disappointed, I nevertheless continued walking through the whole nursery, all the way to the back and back to the front. And it was there at the back that I found another variation or variety of the portulaca I’d bought a few weeks back.

It was well worth it! =D

The whole pot.

Red center and yellow outsides. The center is quite…frilly thing, kinda.

An almost bright-pink center. So contrasting! That was why I bought this pot.

(Gardening happys) Portulaca flowers

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I was never much of a flower person. Even now, I am not. But somehow, portulaca flowers cheer me up extremely well.

Very cheerful flowers. Too bad the sunlight this morning wasn’t good enough to take better shots.

Yellow portulaca.

Dark pink portulaca.

Portulaca with slight variegation.

Zinna flowers silhouetted against the sky.

Big red zinnia.

Pink zinnia.

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