The second instalment of the Root Awakening column on Straits Times Life! was published today and it provided answers to three gardening questions. The column also disseminated the various talks that are being conducted in HortPark to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year.
The first question was about the growing organic vegetables in pots. It is a problem to get truly organic-certified potting mix in Singapore. For practicality, one can only practise chemical-free vegetable gardening over actual organic gardening. To control pests and diseases, one can choose to use only non-chemical formulations, such as chilli and garlic sprays for the control of sucking pests and bicarbonate of soda solution for powdery mildews. Such concoctions are better as preventives.
The second question was about the presence of white coloured insects on a reader’s chiku tree. The most common white coloured pest that is encountered on fruit tree is perhaps the mealy bug. For a non-chemical way of eradicating them, one can spray a solution of white summer oil over them.
The last query was about lanky growth that was seen in jasmine plants. Lanky growth is most likely caused by the lack of light and probably the plant has been grown in an overly shady area, such as under a big tree. Due to the lack of light, plants will also respond by the refusal to produce flowers, even the correct type of fertiliser has been given.