A neighbor once asked me how I keep my plants lush and healthy. So I had to reveal one of my gardening secrets: I give these plants a boost once a month with epsom salt. Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfur, two important minerals needed by plants to help their roots absorb more efficiently the various nutrients found in the soil. Whenever I use epsom salt, I always see a dramatic improvement in the appearance of the plants, within a few days of application. Read More
One of my favorite aromatic herbs is the lemon balm. It has a mild lemon and minty scent, ideal for flavoring salad, seasoning for fish dishes, for brewing tea or other medicinal purposes. Because of its scent, it is widely known to repel some bugs, like mosquitoes. With proper care, this herb thrives remarkably well in our humid tropical climate here in the Philippines.
One of the easiest leafy vegetables to grow in the tropical setting are the mustard greens. They can be eaten raw as an alternative to lettuce or spinach for salad, or cooked along with other vegetables. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are known to lower cholesterol levels. Mustard greens have limited space requirements and can be grown in full or partial sun, so they are very ideal for urban gardeners.
One of my favorite herbs is the Vietnamese Coriander, not only because of its unique smell and flavor, but most especially because it brings back a lot of good memories from my childhood days. “Rau ram” was a common sight in my mother’s backyard garden. We would eat it raw, to perk up Vietnamese soups and salads. It is one of those wonderful herbs that give Vietnamese cuisine its truly distinct flavor. Read More
Like many gardening rookies, eggplant was one of the first vegetables that I had really set my mind on. I researched extensively about this plant and I thought I already knew everything I needed to know about growing eggplants. It was around December when I began to plant a couple of seeds of the variety called “Warhawk”. By the end of March, my heart was filled with excitement as the plants showed their first set of flower blooms.