Saturday, April 11, 2009

How to plant in a pot

Hey it is a Saturday already. Hopefully today is a good day to do gardening for you where ever you are. Today I'm going to share with you my experience in planting aloe vera in a pot. Most of us would have learn it way back during school days, so I would suggest you to continue reading only if you have nothing better to do.

The first step would be preparing the pot. The best practice would be to soak the pot in water for at least 15 minutes. This only applies to the pot made from clay. This is because a dry clay pot would absorb water. We would not want the pot to absorb the nutrients from the soil later on. In my case, I do not have a basin big enough to soak the pot. So I just put the pot under running water for a while.

Step number 2 would be preparing the soil. The Jabatan Pertanian term would be "medium tanaman". There are lots of choices for you to choose from. Premixed soil, black soil, red soil, compost premix and et cetera. Some tips that I want to share with you based on my experience. The premixed soil is a combination of black soil and coconut husk (sabut kelapa). In Sungai Buloh they would sell it at RM1.70 - Rm2.00 per bag. The black soil is like the one in the picture above. The price is RM1.00 per bag. The red soil is RM1.50 per bag. Compost premix would be more than RM2.00 per bag.

So if you know the recipe of the premixed soil, why not make some on your own. I bought 11 bags of black soil at the price of 10 ringgit and a big gunny (guni tepung punya size) of coconut husk at RM8. With 18 ringgit I think we can make more than 20 bags of premixed soil which if you buy them ready made, it'll cost you at least RM34.

My recipe would be 1 part of soil with 1 part of coconut husk. Is that the standard measurement? I don't know. But if you reached this line already on this post, I guess you are desperate enough to just accept my advice. :)

Next step is to mix the ingredients. Usually I'll have Arianna to do this task but for this documentary purposes, I don't want soil being splattered all over the place.

So this is the end result. We now have our own home made premixed soil. Haha...

Step number 3.. or is it step 4? The pot holes must be covered with something. Standard practice would be using stones. Some people would use fine net, charcoal, tiles or what ever that can cover the hole. Basic function is to make sure that the soil stays in the pot. So why do they make holes in the first place? Common sense would be.. to let excess water to drain out of the pot. Then why three holes instead of 1? Hah! You had me there....

After covering the holes, you may fill in the pot with soil. Fill it up until 3 quarter full. Again this is Rumet's standard.

Step 5: Preparing the plant. Wifey suggested to soak the plant overnight or over overnight. The idea is to give opportunity for the plant to grow some roots while being submerged in water. Hmm.. tatau apa nak comment... next!

Step 6 is to plant the aloe tree. Easy peasy la right? Just push down the tree into the soil lah. Try your best to keep the tree pointing upwards. I am still in the process of learning that.

There you go. How to plant tree in a pot in your backyard. As simple as 1,2,3,4,5 and 6!

And yes.. Step 7. Make sure you water the plant immediately after that. This is to keep the soil wet and the cool down the plant after going through all the process. It's a culture shock for it too.. it has to adapt to new environment and all.

Tips: Do not water the plant too frequent. The beauty of our premixed soil is that it has coconut husk in it. It has the ability to retain water. It's good if you are the type that travels a lot and would be leaving the plants unattended for a few days. If you leave it for 1 month... no amount of coconut husk can help I think. Unless you pray hard enough to get the rain pouring.

Now what are you going to do with the extra soil that you've mixed previously? Simple solution is to pack it in the bag. If you have a compost bin, then it is also a good idea to dump it there. I'm in the process of acquiring my own compost bin. Waiting for the approval from the Finance Minister.
Once you've packed the soil in the plastic bag, make sure you tie it tightly. Reason? Kalau tak ikat nanti... senang tumpah la tanah tu! So next time you can skip Step 2 and 3 to plant a tree.

That's about it ladies and gentlemen. Hope you can benefit from this step by step guide on how to plant in a pot. See you all in the next How To session! Hehehehe

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