Recently, the National Parks Board (NParks) came up with several initiatives to encourage gardening with edibles among Singaporeans. These initiatives aim to help Singaporeans get one step closer to improving food resilience and achieving Singapore Food Agency’s goal of producing 30% of the nation’s nutritional needs locally by 2030.
If you’re looking to grow your own edibles from scratch, here’s a beginner’s guide.
For beginners, it is recommended to grow herbs and green leafy vegetables. Herbs like dill, Thai basil, and Italian basil are easy starter plants. Easy green leafy vegetables to grow from seed include kang kong, bayam (spinach), nai bai (tatsoi), and pak choy. If you’re still unsure what you would like to grow, check out our wide variety of seeds to give you some inspiration!
Step by step guide
- Choose the right plants
Beginners can start with heat-tolerant vegetables, suitable for Singapore’s tropical weather, such as sweet potato, lady’s finger and long bean.
- Overcome space constraints
Make your own vertical self-irrigated garden by hanging pots off the wall to grow leafy vegetables such as lettuce and Chinese cabbage. You can also train climbers such as pole beans and gourds onto a supporting structure, which keeps them away from ground-dwelling pests and frees up space below, where you can grow some shade-tolerant plants.
- Grow plants from stem cuttings
Cut a healthy vegetative shoot of a mother plant and root them in a pot. The cuttings of the Cekur Manis, Brazilian Spinach, and Water Leaf root easily and regenerate quickly, and will provide a new harvest several weeks later.
- Use good soil with drainage
Good drainage is crucial to prevent root rot. To ensure good soil, incorporate good quality compost and coarse grit, such as expanded clay pellets (leca) or perlite, into your soil-based growing mix. This is crucial when growing vegetables such as Nai Bai, Chinese cabbages and chillies.
- Pick a good spot
Edible plants need about 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. If your home lacks the right amount of sunlight, consider using artificial grow lights. Most grow lights need to be switched on for about 12 hours daily and placed at least 15 cm away from the plants depending on the light’s intensity. Experiment with growing lights of different spectra to grow vegetables that look and taste good.
- Keep pests away
When gardening, remember to flip flowerpot plates and loosen hardened soil to prevent accumulation of stagnant water and curb the spread of dengue.
Where to buy gardening supplies and tools in Singapore?
As a beginner in gardening, you may be looking for some gardening supplies and tools. Good news, you can get them from us. We are a one stop shop selling a wide variety of gardening essentials, including seeds, pots, soil, compost and fertilisers, garden spades and other gardening tools.
Gardening isn’t a hobby reserved just for the green-thumbed. There are several fruits and vegetables that can be grown easily even if you’re new to this. Start living sustainably by growing your own edibles today!