LIVE green

BECOMING AN URBAN FARMER

With this handy guide, everyone can grow their own herbs and vegetables!

Living up to Singapore’s reputation as a garden city, urban farming has gained popularity in recent years as more people are growing edible plants in their HDB flats. Growing your own food means you get to harvest at your convenience, and save money while enjoying chemical-free produce. Hands-on experience will also encourage children to connect with nature and appreciate their food more. Have a go and share the fruit of your labour with your neighbours.

VEGETABLE: SPRING ONION

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  • Spacing between each plant: 10-15cm
  • Soil type: Well-drained loose soil
  • Time taken from sowing to harvest: 10 to 20 days
  • Good to know: The easiest and fastest way to grow spring onions is through the planting of sprouted shallots. Spring onions require frequent watering and plenty of sunlight, and are ready to eat when they are 15cm high.

VEGETABLE: LONG BEAN

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  • Spacing between each seed during planting: 25-45cm
  • When to transplant to a bigger pot: When the seedling grows to 10-15cm
  • Spacing between each seedling when transplanting: 15-30cm
  • Soil type: All types
  • Time taken from sowing to harvest: 50 to 90 days
  • Good to know: Rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, long beans grow best in warm weather and when well-watered. Long beans require support, so you can give them a trellis or poles to climb. Optimal time for harvest is when they are 30 to 45cm long.

FRUIT: TOMATO

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  • Spacing between each seed during planting: 3-5cm
  • When to transplant to a bigger pot: When the seedling grows to 15-25cm
  • Spacing between each seedling when transplanting: 30-60cm
  • Soil type: Sandy-loam, slightly acidic
  • Time taken from sowing to harvest: 60 to 100 days
  • Good to know: Water regularly but avoid keeping the soil soggy. Cut unwanted leaves and install plant poles for support as the tomatoes grow heavier.

FRUIT: CHILLI

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  • Spacing between each seed during planting: 5-10cm
  • When to transplant to a bigger pot: Growth of 8-10 seed leaves
  • Spacing between each seedling when transplanting: 40-90cm
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Time taken from sowing to harvest: 120 to 210 days
  • Good to know: Chillies thrive when the soil is moist but not soaking wet. Give the chillies a little extra water after transplant. After transplanting, water them on a daily basis so that the soil remains damp.

HERB: CURRY LEAVES

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  • Spacing between each seed during planting: 120-150cm
  • When to transplant to a bigger pot: One-year-old seedlings are suitable for re-planting
  • Soil type: Sandy loam with good drainage
  • Time taken from sowing to harvest: 1 to 2 years
  • Good to know: This plant is easy to grow even for a beginner. Place the pot in a place where it can receive direct sunlight. Trim the plant regularly to get a fast and rich growth of fresh curry leaves. Spraying salt water on the leaves every two weeks can ward off pests.

Tips!

  • You can get the seeds from supermarkets and gardening stores.
  • If your seeds are not germinating or flourishing, try moving the plant’s location to a spot where there is more sunshine or adjust the amount of watering.
  • Homeowners with space constraints can try building an indoor vertical garden by hanging pots on empty walls. The plants also function as a decorative item.