Prefer eating organic? Why not try growing your own vegetables and herbs! While it takes lots of time, care and attention, being able to see the fruits of your labour, and eat it too, will be pretty satisfying.
Whether you live in a landed estate or a HDB flat, you’ll (soon) be able to start taking care of your very own edible garden. If you thought that you aren’t able to grow vegetables or herbs in the Singapore climate, let alone in your home under your care, think again! There’s actually a wide variety of vegetables and herbs you can grow from xiao bai cai to cucumber and even pandan leaves and cilantro. Seeing that not all off us have green thumbs, we’ll need lots of guidance to be able to grow our own vegetables.
Until 30 June 2020 11:59pm, every household in Singapore can register to receive two packets of seedlings from the National Parks Board. These seedlings will grow under your care and produce leafy vegetables for your consumption!
Gardening with Edibles by National Parks
The Gardening with Edibles initiative was launched 18 June 2020 to encourage the public to garden at home. This initiative also aligns with the “30 by 30” goal by the Singapore Food Agency to produce 30% of our nutritional needs locally by 2030.
How to take care of your seedlings
If you’re a complete beginner, don’t worry. National Parks has included the necessary instructions with the packet of seeds. They have also uploaded a series of videos on their YouTube channel to guide and assist you in starting your home garden!
When caring for your plants, be sure to take note of its necessary living conditions. Different plants have different requirements for sunlight, water and soil. When first planting your seeds, you can start out with an egg tray filled with seed raising mix. Once the seeds have grown into seedlings, you’ll have to transfer them into a pot so that the roots have ample space to grow.
General rules for planting your seeds:
- Plant the seeds about 10cm apart to avoid overcrowding
- Cover the seed with soil (Fresh seed raising mix)
- Keep your plants in places with good air circulation (with fresh air and low humidity)
- Plants that under direct sunlight usually require more water
- Water your plant when the top few centimetres of the soil is dry
When your plants or over or under watered, the leaves will start to wilt and turn yellow. This in turn will attract pests to your plants low immunity. To try and rescue your plant, remove the dead or dying leaves and roots. Be sure to only water you plant when the soil is dry.
National Parks even has a video that teaches you how to make your own fertiliser and pesticide at home with vinegar and fruit peels / vegetable waste! Now you’ll be able to reduce your food waste too.
You can even use the vegetables you have bought to “lengthen” their lifespan! Rather than using that spring onion for one dish, why not allow it to grow and produce more spring onions for you to use!
Here are some vegetables you can try to grow at home:
If you’re plants aren’t fruiting as you’d hoped, don’t let it get your hopes down! There are lots of factors that go into the life of your plant and with more experience, you’ll be able to ensure the steady growth of your plant.
You’ll see the fruits of your labour in due time! Once your crops are ready for harvest, you’ll be able to prepare them in the kitchen and cook up a meal for yourself. Be sure to take good care of your plant and check it’s condition consistently!