If you’re thinking about growing some fresh produce of your own, here’s the guide with just the help.
From growing Thai basil to cherry tomatoes, cultivating your own edible home garden in Singapore is a great way to introduce some greenery into your humble abode, impart a little life-cycle-of-a-plant knowledge to the kids and save money – with fresh produce on demand. Plus, with more space-friendly urban farming kits out there, it’s easier than ever to get started. Just think, you could be serving up home-grown salad or onion soup the next time you host a dinner party!
What You Need
A basic urban farming starter kit includes a few pots or a planter box, some seeds and soil. Gather other essentials like spades, rakes (if needed) and watering cans. Add compost to your soil mix for even better results (read more below).
First-time gardener? Don’t be discouraged if your initial attempt is a big fail, says Cynthea Lam, founder of urban-gardening company Super Farmers. Her advice? Try again. “Keep experimenting until you get it right. Plants are hardy living things and wish to survive as much as we do. Before you start on any project, do some basic research online, read up on what is needed or watch some videos to get inspired.” Tip: Consult NParks, which has a wealth of information in DIY guides to gardening.
How To Make Compost
Compost is an organic alternative to chemical fertilisers. Leftover fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags are some of the more commonly used compost mixes. Check out NParks’ useful DIY compost guide, to start making your own. Tip: Pick up a large EM Composting Bin ($128), which holds 20 litres, from GreenSpade. Too much work? Purchase 50 grams of vermicomposting soil ($10) – complete with earthworms! – from The Garden Store.
No Space? No Problem!
You may have seen pretty hanging potted plants on, say, Pinterest home decor boards, and found them appealing. Such a placement is a great way to minimise space usage, whether suspended from the ceiling, or hung over a railing. Find hanging planters at Tumbleweed and Noah Garden Centre, with the latter offering durable Corsica Easy Hangers (from $10.30 each).
Alternatively, you can dress up unused corners of your home with some refreshing greenery. Good lighting is all you need, as well as nifty planters like Noah Garden Centre’s Brussels Herbs Station ($22.90). Another space-saving solution? Invest in a novel tiered gardening system from Aerospring Gardens, which promises to help you “continuously harvest fresh living greens and herbs”. Its pole options allow for growing nine plants (Aerospring Garden Mini – 3 Sections, $419) on up to 36 plants (Aerospring Garden Pro – 12 Sections, $780).
Singapore’s climate is perfect for growing microgreens all year round. Microgreens – baby plants that are grown and eaten as seedlings – are beginner-friendly plants to kick-start growing your own produce. To start, pick microgreen seeds of your choice, a container and some potting mix (sunlight and water are a given). Some popular options include watercress, dill, celery, leeks and more. Everything Green sells starter kits from $4 to $88.90.
Otherwise, starter plants like long beans or brinjal tend to be fairly easy to grow. Kangkong (water spinach), kailan (Chinese kale) and Thai basil are also simple-to-grow leafy greens. When you gain a little bit of experience, have a go at pandan, cherry tomatoes or lemongrass!
Whether or not you are composting, consider saving the tops, stems or seeds of edible plants such as carrot, celery and spring onion – they can regrow from these parts. Check out our list of such plants here.
Confused about how to be the best plant parent? Plantonic makes it a breeze to keep your house plants happy and alive. Try its 4-in-1, non-toxic solution that works as a fertiliser, pest-repellent, revitaliser and cure for diseases. Also, if you want a good laugh, watch Plantonic’s very, er, confident promo video on its site! (from $24.90 for two bottles)
By Willaine G. Tan + some text adapted from thefinder.life for The Finder Issue 306, March 2021 / Photos: Courtesy of respective brands + 123RF.com
More on The Finder:
11 Replant-able Greens You Can Buy Once And Grow Forever
How To Grow Your Very Own Edible Home Garden In Singapore
8 EASY Tips To Grow A GARDEN In Your Singapore Home, Even If You Don’t Have A Yard