Jasmine Grand Duke of Tuscany

I’ve had this Jasminum sambac ‘Grand Duke of Tuscany’ since last year but somehow after a month of planting it, it didn’t grow really well.

After repotting and pruning it, this year I noticed that the plant started to grow bigger.

2 weeks ago it started to bloom.

The flowers are really fragrant.

From what I read, this jasmine plant needs a strong acidic soil. So far I have tried putting coffee ground taken from Starbucks and all kind of organic fertilizers I have.

Info taken from logees.com:

Jasmine ‘Grand Duke of Tuscany’ (Jasminum sambac)
With a rich, heavenly fragrance, the thick 1″ fully double white blooms emerge on the tips of its upright stems. The carnation-like blooms are much revered throughout Asia where a perfumed drink is made by soaking the flower overnight in water. A slow-growing cultivar that loves a warm, sunny location.

Once my plant is getting bigger and stronger, I will try to propagate using softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings.

Hippeastrum reticulatum

This year my hippeastrum has bloomed twice. When I first planted this, I thought it is a pink lily. Later I found out that it is not a lily but amaryllis.

After researching more, I found out that what people thought as amaryllis is actually hippeastrum.

The one that I have is hippeastrum reticulatum. The flowers are pink with reticulated colors on the petals. (Reticulate means having the veins or nerves disposed like the threads of a net)

To make sure that your hippeastrum will reflower, you have to let the bulb retains its original size or gain size. If the hippeastrum has been grown for 2 or more years, offset (daughter) bulblets will be produced. If the bulbs are transferred to a larger pot with the bulblets left attached, you might get a large number of flowering bulbs and create quite a show.

One of these days I am planning to repot the plant. By separating the offsets from the main bulb when repotting into individual pots, I could have a few more pots of hippeastrum in my garden. This type of propagation will produce a flowering bulb in three to four years, which will be identical to the parent plant.

Update on Timun Mini

After a week or two of seeing the timun mini growing well, I decided to repot it into a bigger pot and put obelisk for it to climb.

Amazing how the next day the tendrils grabbed the obelisk.

As this is the first time I tried to plant cucumber, I have no idea what to expect next. I am reading a few articles on cucumber growing. One I find quite useful is this : Growing Cucumber.

Will update more about this timun mini later.

Buah Bendi – Mammoth Spineless Okra

We went away for a wedding for a few days and this is what happened to the buah bendi..huhu! I guess by this stage it will be too woody for me to pick and cook it. I decided to keep it on the plant and let it grow mature so that I can harvest the seed pods from the okra later.

So far, this is the only mammoth spineless okra that managed to bloom from flower to fruit. (Yes, it’s called as fruit even though it’s eaten as vegetable)

Anyone know how long should I keep it on the plant before I can pluck it to harvest the pods? Will the fruit turn brown to show that it is matured enough?

Bunga Bendi

Since I’ve never planted okra/bendi before, I was so fascinated when I saw the plant has flower coming out.

A friend told me that after the flower wilts, the okra/lady fingers bud will start to form.

But I was shocked to find the bud fell down on the floor the next day. At first I thought some insects or bugs ate the bud but after a close look, I just realized that the okra bud fell down by itself.

And then a new flower formed and this time I was lucky enough to take some pictures before it wilts. The bunga bendi looks like hibiscus, right? That’s because they come from the same family.

I am still waiting for the okra to successfully develop. Can’t wait to eat my first bendi that I plant.

Timun Mini

Before I gave birth early this year, I bought more vegetable seeds from tanamsendiri.com. One of the vegetables I chose is timun mini (cucumber).

There’s only 5 seeds in one pack so when I planted it a few days ago, I just put one seed in the soil.

2 days later, it sprouted. Amazing!

The above picture was taken today. Do you notice the tiny leaves? I am reading the guide on how to plant cucumber from tanamsendiri blog : Tanam Sendiri-Mentimun

Hopefully my cucumber plant will live long and I get to sample the fruit of my labor :)

Update : Mammoth Okra

Check out my previous entry on this heirloom spineless mammoth okra/lady fingers.

One of the plants died during my confinement period. One barely survives. Fortunately after several days of watering and tender care, it emerges back into a strong okra plant.

Now I can see 3 buds of okra coming out. Really hope it will turn into lady fingers that I can cook.

My son and I planted a few more okra seeds in another pot. They sprouted 2 days later.

I have placed the new plant in the area where it gets more sunshine. We will see how it grows. Will update later.

Italian Parsley

After a few failed attempt with chinese celery (daun sup), I bought seeds of Italian Parsley from Diana of kebunbahagiabersama.blogspot.com.

I planted the seeds and waited for the Italian parsley (Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum) to grow. It certainly took a while because by the time I was in confinement, the herbs finally emerged and survived the period of negligence..haha!

I have no idea why I chose the seeds to grow in the first place because we never use flat-leaf Parsley at home. Now that I have many healthy stalks, I might have to try few dishes that use the herbs, oven roasted potato, anyone?

Cherry Tomato

I tried to plant cherry tomato from seeds with hope that one day I would be able to collect the tomato and eat them as salad. After 2 months of planting, out of 6 small plants which sprouted from the seeds, only 2 managed to grow big. And then they started to produce flowers.

I have been checking whether any of the flower turn into tiny green tomato but I couldn’t see any. I even thought perhaps I should try the manual pollination to help my tomato plant..haha!

And then a few days ago I saw this tiny red tomato hanging alone on the vine tip. I feel like jumping with joy watching my first home grown cherry tomato.

As I am writing this entry, I found some info about the two types of tomato plants from organicgardening.com.

“Tomato plants are vines, and they have two basic ways of growing, called determinate and indeterminate.

The vines of determinate varieties (sometimes called bush tomatoes) grow only 1 to 3 feet long, and the main stem and side stems produce about three flower clusters each. Once flowers form at the vine tips, the plant stops growing. This means determinate types set fruit over about a two-week period and then stop, which makes them excellent choices for canning.

Indeterminate tomatoes have sprawling vines that grow 6 to 20 feet long. Most produce about three flower clusters at every second leaf. They keep growing and producing unless stopped by frost, disease, or lack of nutrients, which means you can keep picking fresh tomatoes the whole season. Pruning is necessary, however, or they will put too much energy into vine production.”

I am not sure whether the cherry tomato plants I have is the determinate or indeterminate varieties. I think I have to read more about tomato planting after this.

Bendi Heirloom Mammoth Spineless

This is like the third time I tried to sow okra/lady fingers seeds. The two times that I tried none ever grow. But this time somehow two healthy plants emerge from the soil..hehe!

For this type of okra – Mammoth Spineless I bought the seeds from Diana of Kebun Bahagia Bersama. Check out her entry about this heirloom lady fingers plant : Rare Heirloom Mammoth Spineless Lady’s Fingers.

I have moved the pot to another part of the yard where it can get sunlight and splash of rain (though it has not been raining for many weeks now).

I’m praying that the Mammoth lady fingers plant will grow well and I can get to taste at least one okra that I plant on my own.

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