Saturday, January 6, 2024

Learnings from Gardening

Before I detail my goals for gardening, it's useful to review last year's goals. This will give me an idea what to prioritize this year and understand what kind of energy I may need to reach my targets. 

1. Prepare the garden properly. Our garden is flanked with bamboo. They were the right size when we moved in, but didn't realize they'd grow so tall! Well, it killed the grass because it couldn't get enough sunlight. We'll have to tame the bamboo and do something about the grass coz it's gotten very muddy.

Our pocket and side gardens have been fixed. We had planter boxes installed and replaced the grass with turf grass. We were hesitant to use artificial grass at first, but it's been good so far and low maintenance. 

2. Address drainage issue in the garden. 

Fixed! No more flooding and mud.

3. Assign an area for growing veggies so they get enough sunlight. 

We had two vertical gardens installed. Got some veggies going, but didn't realize the kittens would climb the vertical garden! Have to re-think this option.

4. Assign an area for ornamental plants. 

Yes, it was useful to understand whether the plants needed direct or indirect sunlight.

5. Get some indoor plants that are low maintenance. 

We have some, just need to move them in!

6. Cultivate veggies and herbs that are useful for cooking (onions!). 

Got some herbs and veggies from Tagaytay. Most are alive and I have been using some for cooking. Yay!

7. Don't get overly excited over acquiring seeds. 

Yes, I have stopped buying from online shops. I just now buy Ramgo, but have stopped buying for now.

8. Study first before planting anything so your effort is not wasted. 

Yes, I have a spreadsheet!

9. Be consistent with fertilizers and pesticides. 

So far have been consistent, except when I was hospitalized.

10. Be always well so you can take care of your plants!

Slipped once!

Most important goal last year was to clean up our garden. It got really unruly. I'm happy our garden is more organized now. Only thing we need to do is rake the bamboo leaves that consistently fall everyday. It's now part of Sweetie's exercise regime, haha, and he gets to play with the kittens whenever he does it. Here's what I learned the past year:

1. Before buying plants, consider the requirements for its upkeep. That includes sunlight and fertilizer requirements, pruning, adding soil and re-potting. The bamboo came with the house. It was pretty at first, but it requires a lot of cleaning and trimming. 

2. Feral cats. One of our issues is keeping up with feral cats. We had to learn different ways to keep them from turning our garden into their toilet! Also had to learn how to protect our plants. I can't use the area where I was supposed to grow veggies because of the cats. 

3. Understand how vining plants grow before potting them. I had pothos in Singapore before, but they didn't grow long. A friend suggested to plant pothos in a shallow pot so it's easier to trim.

4. Ornamental plants are easier to manage than veggies. No wonder my Mom stuck to ornamental plants. 

5. Like cats, plants should be fed and watered at the same time everyday.

#BeKind #StaySafe

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