Urban Farming Restart!
It all started with the arrival of the NParks seeds. Lol. Coupled with working from home from the COVID situtation and a brand new sunny balcony, I started planting edible again after a long hiatus to restart this urban farming attempt. This time round I decided to be a bit more organized rather than using random pots, so I bought this planter box from China.
These planter boxes are very popular in China. I see them alot in the social media videos, so I decided to go for this. They do have various configurations and I went for this one that is co-joined. The length of the planter box is 80cm and depth is 26cm. This depth is good enough for most vegetable and some other smaller fruiting plants like chilli. Next is the soil. For that I bought 2 x 40L of GreenSpade Organic Potting Soil + 2 bag of chicken manure for the fertilisers. FYI, the chicken manure is treated, so there’s no smell at all, in case you are wondering. I also bought 10L of perlite to be mixed into the soil for better aeration. All the links of the products can be found at the end of this post.
Farming the bayam
After setting up the planters and mixing the soil + chicken manure + perlite, sowing the seeds would be next. Now, I truly underestimated the quality of the seeds from NParks. Usually, when I get seeds from online shops or NTUC, the germination rate is not consistent. But it’s rarely near 100%. Because of this, I sowed the seeds generously and was expecting moderate germination. Couple of days later, the seedling cames sprouting. These are Bayam seedlings. They are a kind of spinach, I think.
It didn’t take very long for the seedlings to grow up. And caring for Bayam is extremely easy. Just daily watering. Very soon we had young bayam. And becuse of the germiation rate, all of them were packed together. I had to do some thinning else, the whole bunch may not grow optimally. Just a matter of about 8 weeks, I had bayam ready for harvest.
We managed to harvest a big bunch. Bayam can be harvested about 3 times before the plant grows old, so we cut out the more mature leafs instead of pulling out the whole plant. The plant will continue to grow and produce more leafs for harvesting. And of course the most satisfying part of this is eating the produce. What’s good about planting your own edibles is that you know what goes into growing it. No chemicals and pesticides. And we harvested 3 times from this batch.
With the success of the bayam, I have gotten a little more ambitious. I will be trying out others edible including fruit trees. Here’s a sneak peak. The planter box has been upgraded to a a double storey setup. I have a vining frames for a vining plant, and other recycled smaller pots for single pots of Kailan. Kailan seeds are from NParks so again, excellent germination rate. 100% success! Next step for this urban farming experience, is of course to add in the technology bits since I’m a techie. I’m alreadying thinking of automated watering and moisture level detection for the soil.
Planter boxes from Ezbuy – https://ezbuy.sg/product/51000568461166.html
Green Spade – https://www.lazada.sg/shop/green-spade/
Past farming attempts – Farming in HDB