Friday, November 06, 2015

Container Gardening - Herbs, Chili, Watercress (Update)

Remember towards the end of last summer, I gave a little update on our vegetables, fruits, and herbs? It has been a year (plus a month)! We are now in fall/autumn.

Some plants e.g. Chinese watercress survived through last winter while others e.g. chili, basil did not.

However, in every gardening project, no matter how minuscule, we learn and improve - from choosing the correct vegetables, herbs and fruits to grow; to picking the platform to grow them e.g. raised bed and container gardening, and especially with California drought conditions - how to create a water-smart garden.


Chinese watercress 西洋菜
August last year, we planted Chinese watercress from rooting store-bought Chinese watercress in the City-Picker container (see photo) and it was a success. We have already had at least five harvest from last August batch. With fresh home-grown watercress, I usually cook them in soups e.g. Chinese Watercress Soup and rice congee/porridge.

Chinese Watercress
The Thai Dragon Chili and Thai (Bird's Eye) Chili, unfortunately, did not make it through last winter due to the chilling temperatures. Although they were kept in the greenhouse during winter, the pots/containers were placed directly on the ground during winter and the roots probably could not survive the low soil temperatures (conduction from the cold ground to the soil in the pot) during winter.

The Serrano Chili somehow got lucky and survived! Luckily, before winter last year, all the chili were put to good use either through pickling (Pickled Chili - pairs well with Stir-Fry Noodles) or making chili sauce (Garlic Chili Sauce - perfect condiment with homemade chicken rice).

Undeterred by the "death" of our favorite chili plants, we bought a few more chili plant seedlings (Super Chili, Jalapeno, and more Serrano) when they were on sale in the local nursery. We were very happy when we saw Super Chili plant seedlings which resembles the Thai Bird's Eye Chili.

Super Chili - new! bought this year!

Super Chili plant

No matter how small the gardening project, every drop of water counts. We have been using DIY drip-irrigation since day one we started our planting projects, and still do. In addition, we have also made careful choices by selected drought-tolerant plants such as Pineapple Guava, and Pomegranate which happened to be good for container gardening as well.

Pomegranate - Parfianka Variety


Pineapple Guava


There are no flowers to-date for the pomegranate and pineapple guava.

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