hibiscus

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in October 2016

It’s been raining quite a lot again, almost every day.  Some days quite heavily.  There was only haze on the odd occasion when it didn’t rain, but the haze wasn’t bad.  Usually October is wet, so it could turn out to be a very rainy year.  And quite cool.

I was away for much of the month, but what seemed to mainly grow was passion fruit vines and citrus trees.

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

 

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

 

grape vine

grape vine

 

hibiscus and bougainvillea in the sun

hibiscus. ginger poker and bougainvillea in the sun

 

duranta is happy

duranta is happy

 

bougainvillea

bougainvillea

 

rosemary

rosemary – so useful in the kitchen

 

likes the rain

Basil likes the rain, too

 

Canna Lily flowering

Canna Lily flowering

 

 

mock orange love the rain too

Mock orange love the rain too. They have grown.

 

really ripen

mini pumpkins

 

little pumpkins

another mini-pumpkin

 

passion fruit grow with the rain, but with little sun don;t ripen much

passion fruit grow with the rain, but with little sun don’t ripen much

 

squirrels are getting almost half of the passion fruit before I can

Squirrels are getting almost half of the passion fruit before I can.  So from this week I have been picking the heavy fruit even if very green, and putting them in a sealed plastic bag out in the sun when it shines.  It does seem to be ripening them. I keep the plastic bag more or less in my sight so that squirrels don’t find a new and very easy source of passion fruit. There are mangoes on the trees in the street.  Birds and squirrels should stick to these, I think.

 

mock

plumbago is flowering on

 

mockie flower

mock orange flower – very fragrant.  After rain they flower a lot.

 

passion fruit flower

passion fruit flower

 

It was actually sunny on Saturday, so I could dry some leaves to crush for compost

It was actually sunny on Saturday, so I could dry some leaves to crush for compost

Being almost November I would expect the rain to ease off, and it to become sunnier and warmer again.  We’ll see.  It’s the peak of the passion fruit fruiting season and there are probably 30 fruit growing on the vines, and I have maybe 15 in plastic bags in the sun ripening.  The season usually continues until around Christmas.

 

 

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in September 2016

It’s been raining quite a lot again, almost every day.  Some days quite heavily.  Probably as a result we haven’t suffered from haze from Indonesia. Usually October is wet, so it could turn out to be a very rainy year.  And quite cool.  In the car the air-con is set to 27, and the heater often comes on instead, so I have to reduce the temperature.  At home the air-cons do very little.

Anyway, nothing much has changed at all.   And thus there’s nothing much to say. So this will be short.

grey and rainy

grey and rainy

 

grey and rainy weather

more grey and rainy weather – you can see the raindrops on the leaves

 

pumpkin

pumpkin vines grew, but didn’t produce any big pumpkins

 

after rain passion fruit often flowers

after rain passion fruit often flowers

 

baby passion fruit vines now bigger and growing

baby passion fruit vines now bigger and growing. They are starting to climb.

 

passion fruit

passion fruit

 

passionfuirt

passion fruit – probably 25 green ones on the vines – but so little sunshine that they don’t really ripen

 

 

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in August 2016

It’s been raining quite a lot again, almost every day.

New pumpkin vines are growing more and more, and as it’s passion fruit growing season now, they are doing so.

In fact, there are over 15 passion fruit maturing on the vines, and I picked the first one the other day

first ripe passion fruit of the season

first ripe passion fruit of the season

"cold storage" passion fruit plant

“Cold Storage” passion fruit plant

many passion fruit are growing

many passion fruit are growing

torch ginger

torch ginger – you can eat the shoot coming out on the left – just pick and eat

torch ginger

torch ginger

rosemary

rosemary growing well from cutting

nnn

parsley – not happy with sun, but a bit happier with lots of rain

nnn

basil – growing well from cuttings

mock orange seeds are ripe

mock orange seeds are ripe – birds come to eat them

mock orange seeds are ripe

mock orange seeds are ripe

mini pumpkin

mini pumpkin

first full size pumpkins growing

first full size pumpkin growing

limes

limes are growing well

And that’s all that’s new this month.

 

 

 

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in July 2016

It’s been raining quite a lot in these few weeks.  Perhaps on average every second day.

The main thing that’s happening is old pumpkin vines are dying down, new pumpkin vines are growing, and as it’s passion fruit growing season now, they are doing so.

new pumpkin vines growing

new pumpkin vines growing

 

These passion fruit seedlings pictured below I transplanted in April are now growing tall – many of them several feet tall.

 

passionfruit seedlings - some had come from compost, and the ones in the brown pot from germinating seeds

passion fruit seedlings – some had come from compost and I replanted them, and the ones in the brown pot from germinating seeds

I subsequently bought some huge passion fruit in Cold Storage, ate most, but germinated some of the seeds.  These I transplanted into the garden last week, in several spots.

passion fruit seedlings

passion fruit seedlings in one spot

And I have got one passion fruit, green, but full size – so early in the season!

first passion fruit of the season

first passion fruit of the season

And there are also a couple of tomato plants that have come up out of the compost.

tomato plant

tomato plant

No real change with other plants, so it’s been another quiet month.

 

 

 

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in June 2016

At the beginning of June it was raining quite frequently – at least once every couple of days.  But for the last couple of weeks it has only rarely rained.

A week ago I picked the last of the pumpkins from the present pumpkin vines, making for a total of almost 30 pumpkins this season.  So I still have enough pumpkins to last several more weeks. However, several small pumpkin plants have started growing out of the compost I put on the garden.  We’ll see if I get more.

The passion fruit vines have finished their hiatus that started around February this year and have started to grow again – particularly the ones that grew out of the compost and the seeds I germinated.  I usually keep some seeds of the best passion fruits and also put a few seeds in the compost just in case they come up sometime.

We had bought two grape vines. We put them in different locations.  One thrived, the other didn’t do so well, so we moved it, but wherever we put it, it wasn’t happy.  It died this week.  Unfortunately the remaining moringa tree seedling also died.  It was thriving until something bit its top off. I moved it, and it sprouted some more shoots, but then it was attacked again by something, and it didn’t survive.  A similar problem happened with a tomato plant and it’s now unhealthy.  Until now I have had no success with tomatoes here.

Otherwise it’s going well.  Pumpkin season may, or may not, be over, but passion fruit season is coming.

small mock orange are growing happily

small mock orange are growing happily

 

lime tree is slowly growing limes

lime tree is slowly growing limes

 

passion fruit seeds have germinated

passion fruit seeds have germinated

 

Passion fruit that germinated earlier this year are growing tendrils and starting to climb

Passion fruit that germinated earlier this year are growing tendrils and starting to climb

 

pumkin plants are growing from seeds in the compost I put on the garden. Also, the garlic I planted is now unhealthy - up till this week it was growing well; something chopped the top off the tomato plant and now it's dying

pumpkin plants are growing from seeds in the compost I put on the garden. Also, the garlic I planted is now unhealthy – up till this week it was growing well; something chopped the top off the tomato plant and now it’s dying

 

another young pumpkin plant is spreading

another young pumpkin plant is spreading

 

in another spot the tomato plant is healthy, as is the garlic

in another spot the tomato plant is healthy, as is the garlic

 

plumbago sometimes dies off a bit, but after pruning comes back

plumbago sometimes dies off a bit, but after pruning comes back

 

citrus trees like this spot

citrus trees like this spot

 

papaya in a pot - for decoration

papaya in a pot – for decoration.  I  have some water for watering. I don’t want mosquitoes so I use it quickly then dry the buckets in the sun.

 

lemongrass and hibiscus

lemongrass and hibiscus

 

tumeric plant and flower

turmeric plant and flower

 

ougainvillea

Bougainvillea

 

duranta - a thirsty plant

duranta – a thirsty plant

 

some herbs

some herbs

 

aloe vera - we drink its juice in the morning

aloe vera – we drink its juice in the morning

 

rosemary

rosemary

 

Jpeg

crepe ginger plant has grown a lot

http://www.jaycjayc.com/costus-woodsonii-red-button-ginger/

one grape vine dies - it didn't like its location, and moving it didn't help. The other is very happy in this spot

one grape-vine died – it didn’t like its location, and moving it didn’t help. The other is very happy in this spot

 

herb

basil

 

mother-in-law's-tongue

mother-in-law’s-tongue

 

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in May 2016

It has finally become rainy season again. It’s rained about four or five times a week, often at night.  Thus it’s been cooler, too.

Gathering water for the garden has thus been easy.

The main success this month has been pumpkins again. So far I have harvested 25 full size pumpkins.  We’ve eaten boiled pumpkin, steamed pumpkin, baked pumpkin, stuffed baked pumpkin, pumpkin soup and baked pumpkin dessert.  And I have cut and air dried the surplus pumpkin, then vacuum-packed and frozen it.  I have then tested the frozen pumpkin by steaming it, and it was good, so this freezing method works.

The procedure is simple.  Just cut the pumpkin into wedges and let it dry out overnight – maybe in an air-conditioned room. The vacuum packing is easy.  Just put the wedges into zip lock bags.  Insert a drinking straw through the opening and then seal the rest of the bag.  Suck the air out, quickly remove the straw and seal.  It works well.

one of the last pumpkins growing for the moment

one of the last pumpkins growing for the moment

There are still four pumpkins growing on the vines.  Some of the vines have been dying off, and I have used them as mulch – as you can see below.

new pumpkin vine appeared and is growing

new pumpkin vine appeared and is growing – old pumpkin vine as mulch, too

And a  new vine that I discovered a month ago is growing.  I don’t know if it will grow big and produce like the other two vines.

newly planted passion fruit vine now has tendrils and is entwining itself and grwoing up

newly planted passion fruit vine now has tendrils and is entwining itself and growing up

Early every year I germinate some passion fruit seeds from the previous year’s crop.  So far the plant pictured above is the biggest.  But there are others pictured below, some of which I have already transplanted, and some of which are still in the pot.

passion fruit grown from seed are doing well

passion fruit grown from seed are doing well

 

Jpeg

Lime tree is still producing

 

lime tree keeps on producing

lime trees growing quickly

 

moringa tree - in one week it's grown from a germinated seed to 7" tall!

moringa tree – in one week it’s grown from a germinated seed to 7″ tall!

 

grape vine happily growing. It's thirsty and likes water.

grape-vine happily growing. It’s thirsty and likes water. Moringa tree in background.

And otherwise nothing much has changed.  Normally in a month or two the passion fruit vines will start growing faster again.  And I will have to clear away many pumpkin vines.  And we had a visit from a lizard one day…

6" long lizard spotted

6″ long lizard spotted one day. It wasn’t shy.

 

6" long lizard spotted

6″ long lizard spotted

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in April 2016

Up until a week ago there had been a couple of thunderstorms with heavy rain, a couple of small rain showers, but it had otherwise been overwhelming dry and hot. Now it is starting to rain a bit more frequently, and otherwise, the rain clouds have been around, but by-passed us.

OK, so  this month’s answer – pumpkins.  I have picked several, and have several more growing, adding up to about thirteen full-size pumpkins so far.   That’s actually quite a lot, and leads to a lot of steamed pumpkin, baked pumpkin, pumpkin soup and even pumpkin pie.  With some also frozen for  future meals.  As I don’t eat so much food, pumpkin is a large part of my diet right now.

one of many pumpkins growing

one of many pumpkins growing

 

pumpkin

pumpkin picked

 

very healthy looking

very healthy looking

 

I am growing two types of pumpkin - this round one is the other type

I am growing two types of pumpkin – this round one is the other type

 

five picked today

five picked today

 

going to bake a stuffed pumpkin

going to bake a stuffed pumpkin

 

stuffed pumpkin

stuffed pumpkin

 

stuffed pumpkin

stuffed pumpkin

 

pumpkin pudding before steaming - pumpkin, egg, milk

pumpkin pudding before steaming – pumpkin, egg, milk, sugar

 

steaming

steaming puddings

 

steamed

steamed – they are really delicious

 

toasted seeds - I saved some seeds for planting next season, though

toasted seeds – I also saved some seeds for planting next season, though

 

after baking

after baking

 

after baking

after baking

 

dinner

dinner with salad

 

passionfruit seedlings - some had come from compost, and the ones in the brown pot from germinating seeds

passion fruit seedlings – some had come from compost and I replanted them, and the ones in the brown pot from germinating seeds

 

another pumpkin plant has started growing - it just appeared in the garden

another pumpkin plant has started growing – it just appeared in the garden

 

I keep bumping my head on this one, so the ribbon is supposed to remind me it's there

I keep bumping my head on this one, so the ribbon is supposed to remind me it’s there

 

limes developing well

limes developing well

 

Canna Lilies coming up

Canna Lilies coming up

 

ginger is not so happy in this small pot, because they grow laterally

ginger is not so happy in this small pot, because they grow laterally.  We harvested some and made ginger juice – and it’s delicious

 

tumeric happy

tumeric happy

 

we bought some grape vines - not sure where to plant them

we bought some grape vines – not sure where to plant them

 

rosemary - only one of the three seedlings we bought survived

rosemary – only one of the three seedlings we bought survived.  Aloe Vera in background

After the passion fruit season ended I pruned the vines, and then around February / March tried germinating the seeds.  I have also pruned the mock Orange by now. So hopefully the rainy season will belatedly come, and I won’t have to water most days.  Still, most plants are pretty happy and growing nicely.