Monday, 18 July 2016

My Dazzling Water Diamonds

After every rain shower, my garden plants looked refreshing and clean.  God even dressed the leaves with dazzling  ' water diamonds ' .  My garden is full of them and I know that I have to collect them all before they vanished off.  With the help of my trusty Nikon and the close-up lens, I captured them all . And now I can showcase them to you, hoping you guys will love my lastest collection of ' water diamonds ' from God :)  If these had been real diamonds, I would not know their worth in carats. Needless to say, my skill has improved much to my mentor 's delight.  He is surprised and in awe when I showed him the pictures taken .  

Thank God for sending a ray of sunlight after the heavy shower, turning the water droplets into dazzling diamonds :)   Though I am still a newbie in photography, I am well pleased that I managed to capture the sparkles without any special effect lens.    

I managed to capture the sparkles without the help of any special effect lens

love the sparkles caught by the correct setting of the camera

I am so proud of myself...months of handling the dslr has
paid off for me

another beautiful shot

thank you for dropping by 
and following my progress thus far :)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Homegrown Dwarf Cotton Plant In Container

I am amazed that I finally did it. Growing dwarf cotton plant in container.  It grows fast and in no time, the plant is producing flowers.  Beautiful white flowers which turns purplish pink the next day...awesome sight.  The flowers stay fresh for two days only, they drops off and cotton bolls starts to grow after the petals drop off.  This plant has to be in full sun.  Thanks to Alice who told me that the plant has to be in full sun.  After that, the cotton bolls starts to mature fast and in a period of five months ( from seeds to cotton bolls ) the bolls start bursting open and you can see the cotton inside the bolls. It takes another week for the cotton to be fluffy and ready for harvesting.  A beautiful and awesome experience planting my own cotton plants.  

Here is a rough guide to plant your own cotton plants

1. Germinate seeds ( see you tube video at the bottom of page )
2. Once germinated, repot to a plant in one container with compost soil
3. In full sun once it starts to grow to about  a foot tall
4. Give them once each week with liquid fertilizer that is high in potash (potassium ) eg.FAA
5. Cotton does not like too much water. Water seedling and mature cotton plant 3 times a week to soak the soil around the roots and allowing the top layer of potting mixture to dry slightly between waterings.
6.Flowers will appears 45 days from sowing. Flowers will wither away and form bolls which cracks open and form fluffy cotton in about 130-150 days from sowing.

I love the flowers....soft and lovely colors

the flower starts as white then slowly as it closes
it turns purplish pink before it drops off

ants loves the sweet inside 

as it closes, it is about to drop off

as soon as the petals drop off, the boll is form

as it grows to this size, the boll will cracks open

like this....soon the cotton lint will turn fluffy

it is about time for harvesting

it will crack open further to four compartment..the seeds are inside each 

I waited till it turned fluffy like the picture above 
before I harvested the cotton 

love this awesome sight :)

beautiful fluffy white cotton lint  :)
homegrown and I love watching them
matured from flowers to bolls to cotton balls

Sharing here a tube video to show how to germinate the cotton seeds...hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Time To Harvest The Edamame

If you have read my previous post on my homegrown edamame, you will know that it has been six days since and yesterday was time to harvest them before they turned into matured beans.  So happy that I succeeded in growing the edamame plant.  The experience is really wonderful. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when I harvested them our salad that night.  

Edamame boasts terrific flavor and nutrition. I am glad that I tried my hand in growing them. Edamame is a Japanese word that means " beans on branches" which actually describes the way this vegetable type soybean grows. The pods appear in bunches on branched ,bushy plants. Edamame offers a tender, toothsome bite and is picked before the pods are fully ripen. The flavor tastes like a cross between a pea and lima bean.  Each pod yields two or three beans packed with high quality protein, along with calcium, fiber, vitamin A and isoflavones ( health-enriching disease fighting compounds ) They are easy to grow as they are heat tolerant and attract few pests.

Click here to know more on how to plant edamame

time to harvest the pods once they are plump

I harvested the plump ones only and leave the rest to mature for later use

best time to harvest them is in the evening and that 
was what I did ...taste sweet and nutty

I blanched them in salt water for four mins and
soaked them in ice water
added them to my salad..yummy!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Homegrown Edamame

When my friend, Alice Chooi, from Malaysia Gardeners group of FB wanted to help me germinate the soy bean seed that she wanted to gift me...I was so happy because I am not good at germinating seeds.  When she handed me the plant it was about 5 inches tall.  I met her in Sentral and she passed it to me...holding the plant dear to my heart.  Today , I get to see the fruit of my labor.  The process of growing it gives me so much pleasure...from tiny purple flowers to bunches of edamame bean. It doesn't need hand pollination at all.The ants did all the job and now you see bunches of edamame beans hanging on the plant.    Edamame is actually immature soy bean :)

For a first timer, I would say I did quite well , though the beans are not that meaty as those served in Japanese restaurants. 1/2 cup of shelled edamame a day will punch up our fiber, protein and vitamin /mineral content in our diet.  

Half cup of shelled edamame gives us .....

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams fiber
  • 2.5 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
  • 11 grams protein
  • 13 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 mg sodium
  • 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
  • 10% Daily Value for iron
  • 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
  • 4% Daily Value for calcium 
after a month and half, the flowers started to bloom

beautiful tiny flowers ..this is 2 times zoom using my close-up lens :)

then the flowers will drys up and slowly the beans grows 
the bean is covered with white fine hairs

and another month the white hairs turned brownish and as the beans
grows longer, you can see the beans bulging out in the pods

it takes a bit of time before I can harvest them

another 2 weeks before I can see the bulge clearly :)

soon soon I can harvest and taste the first fruiting
I will keep some for the soy seed

this is one great experience of growing 
soy beans :)

A Big Thank You To Alice Chooi
for the me my first pleasure in
planting soy bean for my snack :)