Wednesday 31 May 2017

Our HDB Garden (1): Getting Started

If you've been following me on Instagram, you would know that the hubby and I have been hard at work building our garden from 3 to more than 30 plants!

I thought I'll start a series to share our experiences with you so that you can join us too!

First things first, here're some of our recommended things you'll need to get started.

11 Things You Need to Start Your Own Garden:

[1] Plant Pots & Plates

Different sizes of pots and plates

You'll need the small one for germinating seeds, after which you'll need to repot them as they grow bigger. Do also check if the roots of your plant grow shallow or deep and buy your pots to fit accordingly.

Alternatively, you can also reuse old bottles, tins and any other containers that you can find in your house.

[2] Soil

Our packets of soil
(left is from Far East Flora, right from Aeon Malaysia)

Buying good soil is important for growing healthy plants!

[3] Gardening Tools

Our gardening tools

These tools are useful for repotting your plants and breaking up the soil. Don't forget to loosen the soil every week otherwise it will clump together and prevent water from reaching the roots adequately.

[4] Seeds

Various seeds we bought mostly from Tesco and Aeon Malaysia
Tiny chilli and tomato seedlings

You can either buy seeds or plant whatever seeds that you can find in your kitchen (such as chilli padi, lemon, lime, etc). I'll share more on that in the next post.

[5] Plant Signs

I love chalkboard plant signs and got these lovely ones from Art Friend

If you plant multiple seeds, you'd need plant signs to identify them. Be careful when doing so otherwise you'd end up like us identifying the wrong plants!

[6] Watering Container

These are ours, all from Daiso

Do note that most people tend to kill their plants by over-watering! Water only if the soil looks or feels dry.

[7] Self-Watering Device

This cute one is from Daiso

For the days that you might not be around to water the plants, add a self-watering device such as the one above to ensure the plant still has enough water.

[8] Fertilisers

These are only some of the MANY different fertilisers we use! The liquid one from Daiso is my favourite as it's the easiest to use.

Just as animals and humans need food to grow, plants also need to be 'fed' fertilisers. It's really not enough to just provide water and sunlight; not if you want healthy growing plants!

[9] Insecticide

The insecticides that we use

It is a must to spray your fruit and vegetable plants with insecticide otherwise insects will destroy the fruits of your labour (quite literally)!

Contrary to what most people think, organic does not mean pesticide-free (source). It means that the farmer used pesticides that are made with organic ingredients.

I know that by buying commercial sprays, we are making our vegetables less organic but we really don't have time to make our own. We figured that at least we can control the amount of insecticide that we spray and only use it when necessary.

If you prefer 100% organic, you can make your own homemade white oil insecticide by searching for the recipe on Google. We might probably try that one day, maybe (*laughs*).

[10] Plant Support

Plant supports from Daiso
Inserted into larger pots to support our growing creeper plants such as pumpkins

Besides supporting creeper plants like pumpkin, we use the plant support to determine that the plants grow vertically rather than horizontally. This is to save space and to allow neighbouring plants their space to grow.

[11] Plant Stands

Our plant stands
(Our garden has doubled in size since this picture was taken!)

We started with the wooden plant stand, which was too short so we got the IKEA grey shelving unit. We love the latter so much that we got another one such that we've got enough space to house more than 30 plants! =)


And there you have it, the essentials that you'd need to start your garden. Don't forget that your plants need sufficient sunlight so do read up about your plant and the amount of light that it requires.

Some plants, such as our mint, pandan and pumpkin, require lots of direct sunlight everyday. Others, such as our aloe vera and indoor plants, require very little sunlight. Make sure you provide the right amount of sunlight otherwise your plant will not grow well.

Do let us know how it went for you! We still learning in this journey as urban farmers as well! =)

Continue to >> Our HDB Garden (2): Sustainable Source of Vegetables


This post is part of my series on BC & Mad's HDB Garden and Our First HomeJoin us as we share our journey in becoming urban gardeners in our own HDB home! =)

You can also read about the progress of our garden before I blog about it on Instagram via the hashtag #bcmadgarden! =)
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