Monday, August 29, 2011

Cusinera, how does your potted garden grow?

VARIEGATED CALAMONDIN PLANTS© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011THE THREE AMIGOS (Variegated Calamondin Plants)

About 1 1/2 months ago, I’ve decided finally to get my act together on properly raising my ever enduring collection of potted plants.  Through the years, I’ve been a bad potted gardener…..hardly feeding and watering them but miraculously they still hanged onto their dear lives to live!  Lucky me!

To change this neglectful cycle, I’ve purchased Pine bark mulch, Epsom salt, Dynamic Lifter (stinky fertilizer pooh pellets), fish emulsion elixir, Pest Oil and Pyrethrum sprays and some good quality soil.

VARIEGATED CALAMONDIN FRUITS© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011VARIEGATED CALAMONDIN FRUITS

Here’s the result of my effort….good steady Variegated Calamondin fruit supply.

KAFFIR LIME PLANT© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011KAFFIR LIME PLANT

Gorgeous new leafy Kaffir Lime Plant, at first all my citrus plants dropped most of their original leaves due to lack of watering but after that they produced really healthy dark green leaves.  This Kaffir Lime Plant of mine if left to its own free will….will produce tons of fruits but I tend to take most of the young fruit buds out to encourage new leaves.  Mr. Kaffir is the only one that is susceptible to Citrus Gall Wasps…lumpy branches, if you open the top layer of the bark of the stem you’ll see tiny holes where the Citrus Gall Wasps store their babies.  I usually cut out the affected branches and place in a plastic bag before dumping the bag inside our rubbish bin.

Most of my potted citrus occasionally suffers from the attack of Leaf miner (curly swirls under the leaves), Aphids, Scales, Caterpillars and Ants….this is where the Pest Oil and Pyrethrum Sprays comes in handy.

BAY LEAF TREE© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011BAY LEAF PLANT

I have 3 potted Bay Leaf Plants and during the middle of winter, I’ve decided to take most of the diseased leaves which left the Bay Leaf Plants almost naked…hehehehe!  One in particular was so affected with scales that I brushed it with an old toothbrush wetted with soapy water, making sure that I haven’t missed any nook and cranny of the blasted plant, then sprayed with Pyrethrum….so far it worked!  They are slow growing plants but to my joy they are now producing new leaves, so worth all the scrubbing.

ROSEMARY PLANT© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011ROSEMARY

What can I say about my Rosemary Plant…..it looks like a uncontrolled fizzy hairdo, I have moved it to the back of our house as its original position was not sunny enough and due to lack of watering, there’s not much leaves.

BABY CURRY LEAF PLANT© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011BABY CURRY LEAF PLANT

I got 3 potted Baby Curry Leaf Plants from a batch of seeds my parents gave me, this plants are very slow growing ones.  They look so delicate that I’ve decided to put them in a portable plastic greenhouse casing so that they don’t get battered by strong winds when it gets too windy.  So far, they are very happy=)

BABY ROSEMARY PLANT© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011BABY ROSEMARY

I’ve purchased another kind of Rosemary, this time the leaves are thicker and I saw the fully grown one….it looks so nice!  Can’t afford the fully grown one which was around AUD$40+, so I opted for the baby version that sells for only AUD$8 each.

BABY VARIEGATED CALAMONDIN© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011BABY VARIEGATED CALAMONDIN PLANT

I’m on the look out for another Plain Calamondin plant but what I found was baby Variegated Calamondin plants…. can’t resist, I bought another one.

CALAMONDIN PLANTS© BUSOG! SARAP! 2011CALAMONDIN PLANTS (x Citrofortunella microcarpa )

These are my original Plain Calamondin Plants, since Miss M was a baby!  All through the years they stuck with me, they produce wonderful large juicy Calamondin (Kalamansi) fruits but hardly produce good leaves.  So for the rest of this year, I’ve decided they won’t be producing fruits as I will try my hardest for them to be more leafy.  Even if I have to colour my “black thumb” with a green marker pen to make it a “green thumb”, I will do it….just to have this two Calamondin Plants look normal enough!

Here’s what I have done to improve my potted garden:

  • Added some premium potting mix to my existing pots.
  • Used a top layer of pine mulch on each of the pots, I found it easier to water as the pine mulch absorb the splashes of the water and it avoids your soil to splatter everywhere every time you water your plants.  Should have used pine mulch earlier as there’s no more weeds on any of  my pot plants.
  • I’ve cut some 600ml empty coke bottles and used the middle sections to create a circle barrier strip around the stems to keep away the pine mulch.
  • Because summer is creeping out at the moment, I water my plants every other day until the water runs out from the pot’s drain holes….I’ve read somewhere that by letting the water run freely out of the pot’s drain holes flushes the extra salt from the soil.
  • Every month I sprinkle a handful of Dynamic Lifter under the pine mulch near the borders of each pot.
  • I water my Plain Calamondin plants every three weeks with Epsom Salt diluted in water (2 tspn per litre) as the leaves are a bit on the yellow/light green shade.
  • Once a week I water my plants with Fish Emulsion Elixir diluted in water.
  • New shoots of leaves are emerging now, so during the late afternoon at least once a week, I spray them with Pest Oil or Pyrethrum to avoid Leaf miner and also Ants that leads to Scale and Aphids infestations.
  • Mr. H is almost finished with my requested shade shelter, to filter the coming summer full sun and gusty winds. …and I get to sit somewhere where there’s some shade, as we don’t have the luxury of a verandah.
  • Almost every day I check for Leaf miner affected leaves and picks them off manually with my hands.

So, with all this extra care I’ve been doing….hopefully I can post a good update by the end of the year=) *Fingers crossed*

10 comments:

  1. I'm crossing my fingers for you! We recently started to get serious about gardening after we moved to Oakland, a sunnier city here in the Bay Area. Our calamansi tree is blossoming like crazy. Our bay leaf plant is doing very well. I think we're harvesting radishes soon. And we have peas, cucumbers growing. I am amazed by how much we can grow in pots at home. So excited for you. Keep us updated.

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  2. I envy people like you who are gifted to grow healthy plants like these, Thea. They said you've got to have a green thumb and I'm sure you have. Okay, this is what I've used so far to have a green thumb -- I've used paint, crayola, permanent marker, pencil, food coloring but nothing worked. So if you're asking how my potted garden grow? He he he -- it doesn't! :)

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  3. @Jun~ thanks for your support! I will definitely update about my potted garden....what I love about growing edible plants, for one is since I bought a living bay leaf plant, I never bought dried bay leaves from the grocery=)

    @Ray~ hehehehehe....to tell you the truth, if there's a crime on negligence on plants...I would have been in jail a long time now=P *green thumb* my thumb just got a green bandaid on it...pretending lang, next will be the permanent green marker na, LOL!

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  4. I love plants and occasionally, they love me back. No success at all on citrus. Love calamansi and especially delighted with your variegated calmondin. Love using kaffir lime leaves. They just taste fab. You have a fantastic garden of beauties! I guess you'll be whipping up a lot of zesty recipes.

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  5. @Adora~ the only thing I haven't use yet is the kaffir plant...haven't tried thai dishes yet, but hopefully soon!

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  6. Wow, I envy your garden! I can't seem to make anything grow, but it's very inspiring to read and look at the pictures of your plants.

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  7. hello cusinera, kumusta po yung calamondin?=)

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  8. @Anonymous~ I just recently included 2x pics in my twitter @cusinera_althea =) I had a handful of harvest about 2 weeks ago from one of my plain calamondin. There's more leaves on the pair of plain ones. The variegated are doing well....recently trimmed them and top up the soil under the mulch. I've also trimmed the bayleaf trees as I have run out of home dried bayleaf...so drying some at the moment.

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  9. Hi cusinera, may I please ask where you bought the Calamansi plant in Brisbane? Or any ideas where I can buy this plant? Thanks, Vanessa.

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  10. @Vanessa~ Visit Bunnings, I usually see the variegated calamondin trees in their plants department =)

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