Bangkok Balcony update

Bangkok Balcony update

Okay, I admit it, I am greedy. Especially when it comes to my veggie garden. I am running out of space on my balcony and might take up my girlfriend’s offer to move some of my veggies over to her balcony.

For now, it’s bye bye to nice, cool, breezy Bangkok and hello to…it’s freaking hot hot hot!!  Since we returned from Sydney on 29 December, we had  only had one day of rain. How is this possible???

This season, I am a little adventurous with my veggies. Beside my usual herbs and tomatoes, I now have zucchinis, cucumbers, rockmelons, eggplants, capsicums and my most favourite of all, lettuce!! Normally they melt away in Singapore but since it was unusually cool in January (It was almost cold one stage – 16’c!!),  I decided to give it ago.

The highlight though of this post is my cucumber harvest. One of my readers sent me some Japanese cucumber seeds and they are growing wild. So far I have picked two cucumbers to add to my salad. Do you know what it is like to pick a cucumber off the vine and put it straight to your mouth? It’s heavenly and just what cucumber should taste like…

 

Before I show off my veggie garden, here are some of the photos from one of my readers who also had a great success in growing cucumbers. Apparently the secret for this amazing cucumbers was chicken manure. I need to get some of that!!

cucumber for harvest-HC

cucumber climbing1HC

Another photo from the reader, I have never had a great success with eggplants in Singapore, so well done!

Eggplant-HC

So back to my garden – it all started on 3 January this year. I used toilet rolls with soil in them to plant my seeds. The paper will disintegrate when you transfer it to a bigger pot.

seeds raising bed

rockmelons

The seedlings above have now taken over my balcony as seen below! The cucumber pots are on the left hand corner and the Melon plants are on the right hand side with nice little flowers.

 

cucumber on the vine

Finally, I had my first cucumber !! Look at how big this is? It took me about two months from seeds to this. I am never been so patient in my life.

cucumber and hand

 

 

My beautiful zucchinis… I picked some of these flowers and added them into my stir fries. There was no signs of any female flowers for at least for a month. I was starting to worry and then the other day, I  spotted a baby female flower. You know what that means?? Zucchini!!! I am sure these plants know that I am waiting by the pots so I can eat their precious vegetables… Muahahah!! (evil laugh)

 

zuchini flower

 

Female zucchini flowers have a little bulge at the back of the flower and a male flower has just a stem. Since I am up on the 29th floor, there is no way there will be any bees so I will have to pollinate them when they open up. You do this by taking a small soft paint brush and brush first over the male flower in the stem in the centre and then use the same brush over the female flower. Alternatively,  pick the male flower and remove the flower petals and gently dab the stamens to the stigma inside the female flowers to transfer the pollen. Now you wait and hope this flower will grow to be a delicious vegetable in a week or so.

 

zucchini with female flower-close up

 

Well, my hope for the zucchini didn’t last too long. All the female zucchini flowers have just turned yellow. I have been doing some research and I think it’s too humid here, but I refuse to give up!!

 

 

My Eggplant is looking really luscious. I have just transferred this to  a big pot so hoping for huge eggplants soon.

 

eggplant

 

 

Lettuce!  My seed packet instructions says it needs be in the full sun but I think Bangkok sun was just melting them so they have been in the shade for the last few weeks.

 

lettuce

 

My mini garden salad with the lettuce and the cucumber that I harvested last week.

salad

 

They are looking great but slowly getting attacked by little insects.

cos lettuce

 

 

Unfortunately, I had to harvest majority of them before it got eaten by insects. It all went to my big salad.

lettuce harvest

 

 

The last time I grew a melon plant, I had a honeydew melon the size of my palm. Before I even had a chance to take photos, we swallowed it up in seconds. It was the sweetest thing I have ever tasted. Having had this experience, I am now so excited to try organic Rockmelon.

Initially there was no sign of female flowers, only male flowers. The more I researched online, the more it said to just wait…. Well, waiting has finally paid off. There have been female flowers every corner of the vines  and I made sure every female flower was pollinated. Like cucumbers and zucchini, melon flowers should be also pollinated.

 

melon female flower

melon vine

Within a month, the flowers have transformed into palm size melons. Not one, but three of them!

Melon-palmsize

 

I’m counting downs the days for when we can pick and eat these melons. Happy gardening!!