CEBU

Khok: Veggie plantito

Sira-Sira Store

AHOY there! Or should it be, timbeeer?

Almost anywhere I go in cyberspace, it’s plant enthusiasts (PEs) I bump into. Oh, even in my little old village, PEs are sprouting like mung beans everywhere. Before I get corrected, PEs are now called plantitos (male PE, for tito or uncle) and plantitas (tita or aunt, a female PE).

Your Uncle Ober is a plantito, but not the floral and ornamental type. I mentioned here sometime ago we often harvest from our vegetable and herbal garden for our cooking needs.

Taking care of plants offers immeasurable pleasure and benefits. In my case, food. And for the handful of ornamental and floral plants that I do have, the joy of seeing vibrant new growth.

TIPS: Know your plant’s needs. Does it want light or shade? How much water does it want? I water my cacti once a week with nary a complaint from them.

Food production can clip your marketing budget by a few pesos. Not bad for a micro-farmer. You can grow vegetables in pots on your porch with no problem. Choose a sunny corner.

Start with common plants as alugbati and kamunggay. They are fuss-free and can tolerate a lazy gardener.

ALUGBATI. Save alugbati stalks after removing the leaves. Place potting soil in an old pail. Stick the stalk into the moist soil and water it lightly. Check for new leaves, and water every two or three days or as needed.

KAMUNGGAY. This is my miracle plant because it thrives even in poor soil, and mineral water jugs or water drums. When the roots get crowded, some die off. The plant grows new roots, and uses the rotten matter as food. Although it’s not a choosy plant, I use potting soil.

After planting the kamunggay, water lightly. Check your green baby daily, and water as needed.


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