Home grown produce — a search for how to in Hong Kong
In a way I am very lucky to have at the club where I work at my disposal a lot of space and green area! especially in Hong Kong one of the most expensive places to buy land in the world. So it comes as no surprise that we want to start growing some of our own produce, after all all it takes is a little bit of tender loving care.
Yeah right! change that into a lot of tender loving care, because I may have a gardener who can help me at a later stage, the seeding etc I have to do all myself, also the first out planting and organizing a Bird Free cage, plus getting the knowledge of the plants, how to care for them, which ones to stake, which ones need pesticide and which ones don’t need.
I have now growing 6 pots with Cherry Tomato Plants, 3 Pots with Bell Peppers, 6 pots with Local Chillies, a few pots with Sage, 25 pots with Rosemary, 10 pots with Big Local Tomatoes, and just started seeding 4 days ago another 15 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes (think: Brandywine, Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra, Kumato etc) as well as 12 varieties of chili’s, (think annaheim, chipotle, Jalapeno, scoth Bonnet, Habanero etc.)
I think with this selection, plus a bunch of herbs seeds, Eggplants and Zucchini Seeds on the way I am going to quickly run out of space…..unless of course I make a mess of everything and screw up most seedlings, or get trouble with bugs, I am after all NOT a farmer, or not yet I should perhaps say.
Tomatoes, how to care for them? they need to be pruned, they need to be staked and tied to the stakes, they need to be topped, if any of these are left out you will most likely end up with nothing, oh and apparently Chili’s should not be grown near tomatoes…..as you see there is lots to learn for me!
Very hard to see in the image above is the rosemary bed in place, under a staircase to avoid direct sunlight all day, at the far end of it i pushed some passion fruit seeds into the ground, and i hope to cover the entire staircase with passion fruits once they come to fruition.
In fact this whole seedling care takes me every day 10 minutes for watering , and once they need to be replanted I may loose an afternoon to it, so its not all that demanding, I do however try with these tiny plants to make sure they stay away form any rain, as rain in Hong Kong are huge drops, unlike in Europe for example, rain here would make minced meat from any seedling in no time, also too much sunshine, not that we can complain about that at the time, as we haven’t seen the sun much, but its best to keep them out of direct sunlight to avoid them drying out way too rapid.
If anyone has a desire to send me some seeds, pls do so, as long as it can be grown in a pot I will grow it!
Also a thing I didn’t know about Tomato Plants, is that when you replant them, you bury the first set of leaves under teh ground as this will sprout new roots and create a stronger plant with more yield, so as I am doing everything in pots, I thought to solve this the smart way, my pots are only filled for 3/4 with soil when i planted the tiny plants from the seed trays, once the second set of leaves emerges and the distance is big enough I add soil to cover the 1st set of leaves…:) thought this is a more handy way then instead to disturb the root system by transplanting them again.
Does anyone know of a good seed or plant shop for vegetables and herbs and fruits in Hong Kong, if so please let me know then as many things are hard to get here and I ended trying for the third day in a row to order some stuff online but for some weird reason it wont accept my credit card each time around.
The seeding area is right next to my office so I can better care for the plants, once they move to the main garden and into their bird protection cage I shall post an update on how everything is going on and what my (sadly expected losses) of learning are.
If you are a home grower as well, pls let me know, I would love to get in touch!