Pot the Stevia

Half of the Stevia seeds didn't germinate. Many of them began to rot, after being attacked by evil micro organism in their moist cradle so it was time to transplant the seedlings to pots. I had no idea if they would survive the transplant because that was the first time I dealt with seedlings with such as small pair of leave, an almost non-existent stem and just a single tiny short root hair. It reminded me of one of those moth flies I saw a lot of during my days as a young boy.

Yeah, that was it
From a rough estimate I transplanted about 12-15 seedlings. As mentioned earlier, the root was extremely short. There was absolutely no way to plant the seedling without burying the leaves, which I was a tad reluctant to do so because 15 seedlings were not a lot to play around with. Sometimes this forces them to grow downwards to entrench themselves deeper into soil. I decided to take a gamble on the roots over the leaves of these Stevia boys. Please don't die on my watch, brothers, you are the pioneers to my Stevia empire.

Ah Fun told me she didn't think it was feasible for anyone here to plant 100% of their fruits and vegetables in the backyard. The costs and time spent, she deduced, would be counter productive. I couldn't disagree because no one could possibly be fully self sufficient, especially most of their time were spent in the office working. However, I saw cases where people had a crops they would never finish in their entire lifetime in their backyard. Such as Rob&Sham's Rosemary, Lily's Lemons, Auntie Lucy's Mulberries, Samantha's Chillis and my very own Aloe Vera, Orthosiphon aristatus (kumis kucing), Chocolate Mint and Lemonbalm in HDB corridor garden back in Singapore. 

While it may be impossible to be fully self-sufficient in each and every type of herb, spice, vegetable and fruit that we consume on daily basis, it is definitely possible to do so for a selected range. The range can be increased by barter trading with your friends and neighbours. Cost and effort wise, some herbs do not require much attention and fertilising. Certain hardy ones don't even require much watering. Even if work is required I think it is well worth it because a good small garden can be rewarding for the soul, providing us a sense of healing and rejuvenation, a private sanctuary for our rushed minds and bodies. 

Unlike most Singaoreans I know here, what I've got here is just a small balcony. No land no corridor. That doesn't stop me from starting my own potted garden. I have an Aloe Vera pot doing very well since the start of Autumn, some old onions that we chucked lazily into another pot that have been providing us spring onions when we needed them in soups or porridge, a pot of flowering weed planted by my mum which I intend to make way for a more useful plant before she arrives next week, a Sweet Basil from a cutting I stole from Patrick's place doing really well by now. I'll be adding more to the collection. Perhaps by next Summer, most of these plants will be in full mature glory.


  1. Some researchers have recently revived a plant that have been frozen in permafrost for 400 years. I think your stevia should be alright :)

    I think the planting of various fruit trees in the garden is not for trying to be self sufficient but for de-stressing, colour and the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of our labour. Being able to pluck a few pieces of chilli when we need them instead of going to the supermarket is another.

    I'm sure you will have your own garden too in the not too distant future.

  2. This time of the year may not be great for trying to get them germinate? Seem like warmer weather is better.