Soil available locally is often clayey, drains poorly and retains too much moisture. Prepare your own by mixing at least two parts of gritty material, such as fine-grade lightweight expanded clay aggregate pellets LECA , with one part of mature compost and one part of commercial loamy soil mix.
Water potted herbs thoroughly enough that the excess drains from the base of the pot. Avoid using saucers, as they are a dengue risk. Water herbs once or twice daily; sunnier and windier locations may require more frequent watering.
To check the soil, use your index finger to feel for moisture below the soil surface. Water only when the potting mix is on the slightly dry side. Avoid over-feeding.
For most herbs, use a few pellets of slow-release fertiliser Osmocote, for example and a weekly foliar spray of dilute seaweed extract. Want more home inspiration? See our home decor section! Expat Living is your trusted guide if you are moving to or living in Singapore! Our team will help you find out about shopping, dining, entertainment, schools, travel, fashion, finance, health and beauty.
The soil should be slightly acidic. Choose from locally recommended varieties. Plant 6 — 8 bushes for a reasonable harvest, and at least two varieties to promote fertilization. Choose from locally recommended varieties of slicing-type cucumber. Bush varieties are compact and better for small gardens. Start from seed in pots or sow direct when the ground has warmed. The soil must be rich, moist, and well drained, so make a small hill and plant 2 — 3 seedlings. To retail moisture, we cut holes in black sheet plastic and set over the seedlings. Protect seedlings from cold spring nights and pests by covering with any clear plastic or glass container; remove as soon as the sun comes out or the seedlings will get too hot.
Netting is not good enough: the birds get caught in the net. Sow seeds directly into the soil and thin out the seedlings when they come up. Beets grown for greens will produce all summer; just harvest the leaves for salads as you need them. They provide a delicious and colorful addition to any salad. Some gardeners may howl at these suggestions, and rightly so, as we each have our preferences and tastes. Corn is a heavy feeder, requiring lots of fertilizer. Keeping up with the demands of enriching the soil can be difficult and expensive.
Additionally, raccoons have a taste for corn and corn takes up a lot of space for the yield. Carrots take up very little room considering the yield, but they require rich deep soil, free of stones. Prone to rust fly damage, carrots need to be grown under a floating row cover. It was too difficult keeping the row cover anchored in winds, and the rust fly would get in. Similar to pumpkins in space needed to grow, watermelons have to be well grown to be large and tasty; in our experience, the fruit was always smaller than expected and not very sweet.
Not the best use of space, especially for an inexpensive, short-season melon. It takes a lot of space to grow pumpkins; their vines can trail along the ground for twenty feet. The relative amounts of these elements are listed on most bags of fertilizer and soil amendments. Early season plants like peas, Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, and onions grow best at temperatures between C F. These plants prefer a cooler time of the year to grow and will usually tolerate frost.
Vegetables like lettuce, celery, cabbage, carrots, radish, parsnip and leek have intermediate temperature requirements. They grow best in temperatures between C F. Set these out after the early season plants are established. Warm season vegetables grow best in temperatures above 20C 70F and will die if exposed to frost. These include corn, potato, tomato, eggplant, beans and all the vine crops. So make sure the majority of their growing season is in the warmer months.
For crop-specific instructions, read the seed packets.
How to grow an edible garden
Planting schedules, planting instructions and days to maturity will be listed on the seed packets you buy for each vegetable you plant. Garden vegetables can be grown from seed sown indoors in pots or trays, sown outdoors directly into the garden beds, or transplanted from starters bought at a garden center. When sowing seeds indoors in trays or pots, use a fine sterilized potting mix do not compost or garden soil for starting seeds. Stand pots in water until soil is fully wetted. Set pots on windowsill for light, but remove at night if frosty. Some plants, like peas and beans, must be sown directly.
Plants which are direct sown are usually sown thickly very close together and then thinned once they are sprouts. This ensures a full crop, since some of the seeds may not sprout. Most vegetables are annuals.
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- Soil preparation.
However, some, like asparagus, are perennials. Keep them well watered until they are established, smaller roots have difficulty drawing enough moisture from the soil. Plants that have been started in any type of container should never be uprooted or separated from the soil. Lightly water the pot so the soil is moist then coax the seedling out using a gentle tap to the side of the pot.
Turn the pot on its side and the seedling should easily slide out. When setting out plants started in peat pots, gently tear off the rim and the bottom of the pots, leaving the rest intact to protect the roots. The remaining sides of the pot will break down into the soil over time. After transplanting new plants, create a berm of soil around their base with a slight depression in the center.
How to Grow an Herb Garden: Tips and Guidelines | HowStuffWorks
This directs water down towards the central root zone, and reduces the amount of water lost to runoff. Watch how the sun travels in your garden.
Plant your garden with the shortest plants at the southern end and building up to the tallest plants at the northern end. Plants supported by a trellis, like squash, peas or pole beans, should be placed toward the northern and eastern edges of the garden plot, so as not to shade other plants. This will prevent a windfall of one crop all at one time, and will extend the harvest over the full length of the growing season.
A small, clear shelter like a cloche will protect seedlings from pests, warm the soil, and provide more favorable conditions for delicate seedlings. However, be sure that the soil is kept watered, as the cloche will prevent rain from wetting the soil.
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For more information about how to build a small portable cloche, read How to Make an Instant Cloche to Protect Seedlings. Bare spots invite weeds. Fill in any bare spots with small annuals like lettuce, celery, mint, nasturtium, or parsley.