The Root Awakening column for the second week of December 2010 provided answers to two gardening questions. The first question queried on how to go about to start the gardening hobby and be successful in it. My advice given was to first learn more about the plants that one is interested in growing. One should start off by getting their names right and get to know about each plants’ growth requirements. A good reference to look to is the NParks’ publication entitled ‘’1001 Garden Plants of Singapore’. It is a pictorial guide which makes reference by anyone very easy.
To better grow one’s plants, it is best to follow this guideline – grow the right plant in the right location. Understand the conditions in your growing area at home and choose to grow plants that are suited for that area. One should check out and take part in the gardening talks and workshops conducted by HortPark and Singapore Botanic Gardens as these are organised with budding gardeners in mind.
The second question touched on why young fruits of the custard apple tree failed to develop fully. Most would turn black and become aborted. From what I have researched, the custard apple tree is well known to be a plant that prefers a sunny, well-draining location. The symptoms the enquirer has described seem to point to overwatering or a plant that is grown in a waterlogged location. It is advisable to the plant to grow in a location with better draining soil and allow plant to dry out a little between each watering, especially in Singapore where we are located in an area with high rainfall.