pumpkin

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 January 2015

After a few days in mid-December with no rain, I thought the rainy period had come to an end.  But then rain resumed, so we’ve had three months of rain and cooler weather.

So all through Christmas it was cool, and thus more Christmassy than usual.

a  grey Christmas

a grey Christmas

The Great Flood of early October eventually killed off all the papaya but one – and the ants and mealy bugs are trying to finish off the last one.

only papaya left after the great flood - and happy plumbago underneath

only papaya left after the great flood – and happy plumbago underneath

mealy bugs

mealy bugs destroying a papaya tree

mealy bugs

mealy bugs

this grasshopper has been eating some of my plants

this grasshopper has been eating some of my plants

I have fought back by putting more papaya seeds into the soil. A few have germinated.

a tiny papaya grown from seed on location

a tiny papaya grown from seed on location – one on the left dying – after snail attack?

a slightly bigger papaya grown from seed on location

a slightly bigger papaya grown from seed on location

a slightly bigger papaya grown from seed on location

a slightly bigger papaya grown from seed on location

It rained almost every day until about the second week of January, when the rain became less and less frequent.  When it hasn’t rained we’ve had glorious sunny and reasonably mild days.  As of the middle of the month it hasn’t rained for a week, and I have had to use town water instead of collected rainwater on the plants for the first time in three months.

great weather

great weather

So, with all the rain the passion fruit, which had decided the fruiting season was over and had stopped producing, reevaluated the situation, started flowering again and produced more passion fruit.  A second crop. There are about 40 green full size passion fruit on the vines waiting to ripen, now.  As a result vines weren’t growing. And now in mid-January, the baby vines are starting to grow as the rainy period appears to be over.  Baby vines which have really done nothing for months are growing tendrils in order to grasp onto something higher and grow up.

one of many passion fruit flowers

one of many passion fruit flowers

one of many passion fruit flowers

one of many passion fruit flowers

some of many passion fruit

some of many passion fruit

Every day now for the last month I have been gradually pruning back the passion fruit vines, then drying the leaves in the sun, and putting the leaves on the garden.  This allows more sun and air in as the vines get thinned, and seems like a good idea.  According to web articles I have read, one should prune back one third – which is more or less what I am doing.  I just have to follow the vines first to ensure I am not pruning anything which has fruit on it. Once I have picked the fruit I can do that part of the vine.

passion fruit seedlings I grew from seed

passion fruit seedlings I grew from seed

passion fruit seedlings I grew from seed - two weeks later

passion fruit seedlings I grew from seed – two weeks later

passion fruit seedlings under attack - snails or grass hopper

passion fruit seedlings in middle of photo under attack – snails or grass hopper

a passion fruit plant I grew from seed last year - it's been dormant for months, but now has tendrils reaching out

a passion fruit plant I grew from seed last year – it’s been dormant for months, but now has tendrils reaching out

Strangely two mock oranges I have grown from seed are now very sick – they had spent some time with a smaller pot of mock orange that wasn’t well.  All the others are very healthy, so I don’t know what is happening.

dying mock orange - why, I don't know

dying mock orange – why, I don’t know

Mock Orange loved the rain and produced lots of fragrant flowers, but not so many seeds thereafter – and the birds come and eat many of them. From memory, around Christmas many mock orange seeds germinated and I could then collect tiny seedlings and repot them as they grew.  This year was cool and wet, and perhaps that’s why this hasn’t happened.

the mock orange loved the rain

the mock orange loved the rain

the mock orange loved the rain

the mock orange loved the rain

the mock orange loved the rain

the mock orange loved the rain

the mock orange loved the rain

the mock orange loved the rain

lime tree - hardly any growth for four years - but a few tiny fruit at last

lime tree – hardly any growth for four years – but a few tiny fruit at last

mango tree across the road - with lots of ripening mangos

mango tree across the road – with lots of ripening mangos

mango tree across the road - in the middle is a squirrel eating a mango

mango tree across the road – in the middle is a squirrel eating a mango

Mostly squirrels are leaving my passion fruit alone, as eating mangos, with their relatively thin skin is easier, I suppose.  But still the passion fruit are attacked sometimes. I always pick the ones that have just started to turn purple, to try to beat the squirrels, but they can tell which are ripe inside better than I can.

squirrel on the roof - it had just attacked one of my passion fruit and I scared it away

squirrel on the roof – it had just attacked one of my passion fruit and I scared it away

blue pea plant grwing well as usual

blue pea flower plant growing well as usual

cana lily

Cana Lily

Pumpkin vines have still been producing tiny pumpkins that just then rot – unless I pick them first and eat them – steamed and then with butter.  However, I notice one pumpkin that is growing towards adult size.  Other baby vines are starting to grow some more and spread.

pumpkin vines are growing

pumpkin vines are growing

the one pumkin so far growing towards full size

the one pumpkin so far growing towards full size

Now I have to use town water again for the plants, as I have used up the rain water supply.

my favourite accessory at the moment - RM5 from Daiso - and it works great

my favourite accessory at the moment – RM5 from Daiso – and it works great

I have put some more passion fruit and mung bean seeds into this pot. Let’s see if they germinate this time.

passion fruit and mung bean seeds, sown mid January

passion fruit and mung bean seeds, sown mid January

And just for fun I am growing a couple of papaya in pots at the moment.  I don’t know what I will do with them when bigger.

a couple of potted papaya

a couple of baby potted papaya

Aargh – chasing the squirrel away from my passion fruit again.

super-squirrel

super-squirrel

And the lovely weather continues.  This is normally the sunniest and hottest time of year.

lovely weather

lovely weather one morning at the Penang Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

A short update on what is happening in the garden this month:

The passionfruit plants I germinated many months ago, and which grew to tiny seedlings – and then stayed tiny – are now starting to grow.

passion fruit seedling

passion fruit seedling

The mature vines are producing the occasional fruit.

passion fruit

passion fruit

Mock Orange are flowering and producing seeds, as normal, although mostly the birds get them before I get a chance.

mock orange seeds

mock orange seeds

However, the plants are only growing slowly, and none of the seeds are germinating.  Their growth spurt seems to be around the end and beginning of the year.

mock orange seedling

mock orange seedlings

mock orange flowers

mock orange flowers on a larger plant

The pumpkin are dying down now, but some new pumpkin seedlings have appeared.

pumpkin seedling

pumpkin seedling

The tomato plants are growing, and have flowers, but I have yet to see any fruit grow.  Growing tomatoes here is tough.

tomato plant

tomato plant

And the Cana Lilies flower sometimes…

cana lily

cana lily