Chilli 2nd batch

6 weeks old seedlings.

For this second batch of chilli planting, I sowed 3 types of chilli, which are cili besar (big type), cili geronong (type of habanero) and cili padi (bird eye chilli). Previous chilli trees which I brought together when we moved in last time were already dried up and dead. Also because I planted them along the gate wall, so its harder to clear up the weeds & bugs like to live there and damage the chilli fruit.

When the seedlings were 8 weeks old, I transplanted 9 cili besar, 9 bird eye chilli and 7 cili geronong to the soil at our house backyard. While the remaining I sent to village as requested by my mother in-law, to be planted around the house there.

First row, all cili geronong.
Bird eye chilli in second row (right) and third row (left) mixed with cili besar.
Fourth row all cili besar.
Last month, when the chilli trees already 3 months old and started to grow taller, I stake them by using bamboo at each end of the row and loosely tie them up using string.
Interweave the string across the stem to provide enough support from strong winds.

This month the plants are 4 months old, and they started producing fruits.

Currently only have 5 cili geronong trees (2 are still small), 6 bird eye chilli and 8 cili besar.
Cili besar is a type of chilli that produce a large number of fruits in large sizes, especially this particular tree, even though its not as tall as others, it still produce fruits.

I found that the soil quality affect the growth of the plant. Soil around the above chilli plant area is quite hard and don’t absorb water well (clay-like soil). The root can’t penetrate deeper into the soil & can’t get enough aeration to assist nutrient absorption. Chilli needs well-drained media such as coco peat or top soil mixed with compost, so that the root can uptake the nutrient while the media is draining or drying up. If it’s wet constantly, then the root might become rotted.

This cili geronong is coming from the same seed as the first batch, where they produce fruits which are bigger than store-bought chilli.

Here also I found that chilli plant that exposed to maximum sunlight will produce hotter & spicier fruit. We always used about a quarter of the cili geronong in our cooking, since the spicy fragrant & taste is very strong.

Lowland Strawberry

We got this strawberry plant from my mother, and at that time it already have a few stalks or runners which can be used to propagate the plant. My wife is the one that take care of them, together with other potted plants.

Bought a few pots to grow the runners. During this time the mother plant only grow large leaves.

A few tips we learned on how to grow strawberry:

  • Soil must be well-drained – not too wet and didn’t dry out too quickly, cocopeat is most suitable. Currently we used top soil with some compost, to ensure well aerated root.
  • Water lightly – only water when the top of soil is dry. Don’t expose directly to rain, we place the plants where they receive only sprinkle of rainwater.
  • Using organic fertilizer such as chicken manure is good, but for us it attracts pests or insects to the soil. Better to use low NPK fertilizer (e.g 12:12:12)
  • Only need 6 hours of sunlight. We placed the plants where they received only morning sunlight, so that they won’t overheat.
  • Keep number of leaves low, at most 9 leaves, as from my understanding, most nutrient will be used by those leaves instead of producing fruit.
This is the second ripe fruit. The first one was from the mother plant, and it was larger than this, about the normal size (~1 inch).
Current location of the plants. We plan to propagate more strawberry plants for sale.
Taste a bit sour. To prevent it become sour, one tip I read is to reduce watering when the fruit is going to ripe.

Aquaponics book & build materials

2 weeks ago I ordered a free copy of The Aquaponics God Manual book, where I only need to pay for shipping cost, and yesterday I received not only one, but three (!) copies of the book. You may order yours here.

The Aquaponics God Manual book

Since the progress of building the aquaponics is quite slow, so for now I’ll just cover on the materials I’ll be using to build the set & where I got them.

1×2 timbers, from a hardware store near junction to Taman Malihah.
3.6mm plywood, ½ inch PVC pipe & 2 inch UPVC pipe, from the same hardware store as timber above.
(Left lower) 2000 L/hr water pump and air compressor, from a pet store in Matang. (Right) 20 gallon pail from super store at Genesis Parade
1 inch styrofoam boards, from a stationary shop at Tabuan
1000 liters fish tank, from a hardware shop near Jalan Sekama

There are a few stuff missing, such as pond liner, garden netting, pipe fittings, electrical wiring & water test kits. Currently it is still in progress so I’ll update when the system is ready for test run.

Chicken brooder and grazing box

There’s a new batch of chicks hatched last 2 weeks, and I’m going to build a chicken brooder for them. It’s basically a smaller coop which used to grow chicks until they reach around 2 months old before being released into the bigger coop and get mixed with existing chicken.

Chicken brooder.

I build it using left over materials from various sources. I recycled the pallet wood from the electric grid construction in the village, garden mesh from the extra I have after covering the house gate, and the netting is the one I created last time in Penang to use to cover the apartment window, but never finished it.

The watering cups I have extra from last time and also another (smaller) feeder.
Light bulb to provide heat at night.

To install the brooder watering cups with the existing waterer, I use a hose splitter to split the water flow. I also moved the watering cups inside the coop to be near the door, to ease the clean up process – every week these cups need to be cleaned because it got some dirts in it.

Split flow. Hen outside there is the mother for the new chicks.
I put the brooder high above the ground to prevent it become wet when got raining.

Grazing box is just a box filled with grass but covered with wire mesh to prevent chicken from scratching the grass, which purpose is to provide leafy greens food for the chicken.

Also made of recycled pallet wood.
I brought some grass from our house, but they are a bit too long. Should have used smaller grass, plant it inside the coop and then cover it with the box.