Transplanting & Fertilizing

  • When to replant after seed sprout? After it grows 3-5 leaves?

Generally yes, 3-5 leaves exclude the cotyledons, so 3-5 true leaves. However, for fruiting vegetables, 3 leaves are a bit weak, you need them to be pretty strong before you transplant. 

So typically what I do for vegetables and fruiting vegetables is I transplant them when I have 4-5 leaves.

Under optimal condition (full sun), my vegetables seedlings are ready for transplanting in about 14 days. In classic home environment (les sun), about 18 to 21 days. 

  • How to transplant coriander seedlings? I only have success with coriander microgreens.

If you intend to transplant coriander, the best success I have seen is using individual small pots or seedplug tray for seeding. Then transplant the whole plant with root ball intact.

  • What will happen if transplant too early?

Seedlings are too young and not fully developed, higher chance to suffer transplant shock and die.

  • How to get eggplant plant to flower and fruit? I had one flower which then dropped off. If only one flower, how to (hand) pollinate?

Generally, if your environment is a bit windy, eggplant is quite hardy and you do not need to pollinate them. Same flower has female and male parts. If you are really concerned, take a brush, give it a circular moment then it will be pollinated.

If you only have one flower and it is not pollinated, it means it is not ready. If you want to encourage more flowering, switch to fertiliser with high P (good root system) and K (properly flower).

Don’t water too much. Plants think about reproduction when they feel like they are dying. Plants have this kind of survival instinct.

  • Can I cut my tomatoes plant shorter. Will it survive?

Can. I assume your tomato plant is the indeterminate variety. Indeterminate tomato tends to grow very tall, about 1 – 2 m in our weather. With sun, they grow very fast. When my tomato reaches about 1 – 1.5m, I snap off the tip and I keep some of the suckers and let them grow. Suckers can also flower.  

Tomato is not a forever plant, after 9 months – 1 year, need to regrow.

  • Is HB101 safe for edibles? Need to dilute?

Check with the seller, ask them for ingredient list. Minimumly, it will tell you whether there is chemical. In the market, HB101 comes in two forms. One form is imported directly from Japan, small bottle and very concentrated. This one you need to dilute. 

Another form is is diluted version in a bigger bottle at a cheaper price. If you dilute further, it becomes useless.

To sum up, ask the seller:

  1. Do you have ingredient list?
  2. Is it all natural or is it a chemical composition?
  3. Can I spray in a hot day?
  4. Is there a witholding period that I can’t consume my edibles after I spray?
  • My yellow watermelon plant grew one fruit but since the past one week, the fruit seemed to have stopped growing. It currently has a diameter of 3 cm. Some of the leaves are also turning yellow.  Why?

Look at the fruit. If the fruit turns yellow, it means that the pollination is not successful or the fruit has aborted because environment becomes not favourable to it. I need a photo of the whole plant, a photo of the fruit (close-up) and a photo of your soil (close-up). Then I will be able to tell you in more detailed.

  • Banana peel water or dry banana peel powder better for indoor edible plants? Is banana skin water a good fertiliser? Can I still use my slimy banana water? 

Banana skins when soaked get very smelly/slimy, dried powder form will not. It is said to increase K (potassium in soil) but I used it previously, the result is not obvious to me and I kind of stopped the soaking process. Just compost the banana skins. In home environment, best to get a pot, layer with soil then chopped kitchen waste then soil again then kitchen waste then soil. Rest and let it break down. Typically take months if you chopped them up to very fine.

  • Can I use my dog’s poo as fertiliser?

Generally dogs and cats poo are not suitable for plants as they tends to be slight salty.

  • What about NPK 8-8-8. is less than 10 organic?

Bioplus 8:8:8 is certified organic

  • Is seaweed fertilizer ok for vege and fruits?

Check out the NPK. Go for higher N for vegetables, higher P and K for fruits. Refer to session 3 slides. Go for seaweed that doesn’t smell for home use.

  • What type of fertilizer is suitable for chillies?

Fertilizer with high P and K. I do use Bioplus 8:8:8 or ABS fertilizer to keep pests out.

  • Does AB mix also chemical?

AB solution is constructed nutrients. In a way chemical. I have yet to know of pure organic AB mix. I read that US has a form of organic hydro mix in the form of molasses. I have yet to see them in Singapore though. But to plants, they only recognise the basic molecules of ammonium and nitrate. They don’t bother is it is natural or chemical.

  • Is it better if we dissolve the fertilizer in water and water the soil?

If it is in solid form, use as solid. If liquid then apply accordingly. I do not see a better result say when soak animal manure and water the plant vs apply as solid as yet.

  • For fruiting vegetable, high P& K fertilizer required, but organic fertilizer has low P &K, right? Do we switch to chemical?

The highest natural fertilizer for high P and K is bone meal, bioplus 8:8:8. Yes, chemical will give you very good result, if you don’t mind using them.

  • Can we put fertilize anytime of the day?

Yes generally. But if folic fertilizer that you generally spray on leaves, refer to instruction. Some do not like heat.

  • If you add fertilizer weekly to veg, do you still add compost?

No. I only add compost when I treat the soil at end of the cycle and before next planting. Compost is not fertilizer, fertilizer may be a component in compost.

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