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Grow Your Plants in Pots
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by: Ms. Linda de Leon

“With current situation, our objectives now are oriented towards food production,” reveals Luisito Bertol, the president and general manager of Manila Seedling Bank foundation, Inc. (MSBFI). Now moving to its 25th year, MSFBI is also into reforestation and parks development.

Bertol and the seedling bank believe that space should not be a problem among city dwellers. They have done a number of successful experiments and they know that even condominium and townhouses’ despite space limitations.

Bertol’s team has developed seedlings of tomato, bell pepper, pechay, radish, okra, patola, eggplant, upo, sitaw and ampalaya -- which can be easily grown in pots. MSBFI suggests that instead of planting only ornamentals, add some pots of vegetables and herbs which are great to look at, too aside from providing good kitchen picks.

Everything you need from seedlings to fertilizers is available at MSBFI. The friendly team of Bertol will be happy to answer queries and help you out.

Here are basic vegetables growing tips designed for Metro-Manila residents:

Small Seeds
like petchay, radish, mustards, etc., should be raised in germinating boxes before these are transplanted in gardens plots.   

Germinating medium should be made of pulverized garden soil and compost. Spread the seeds evenly and cover it thinly with compost. Water as necessary. 

Note: Germinating boxes should have holes at the bottom for proper drainage. 

Big Seeds
like patola, upo, beans, okra, etc., can be planted directly into ground. 

Dig a hole about 2-3 cm. deep and place two seeds per hill. Cover the hole by placing the topsoil first.  

Where to plant?
If there is no area available in your backyards, vegetables can be planted in pots or empty tin cans.

Be sure that containers are filled with garden soil mixed with compost on a 50-50 ration. Containers should have holes at the bottom for proper drainage.  

Note: Vegetables are susceptible to dumping off with poor drainage. 

Climbing vegetables such as sitaw, patola, ampalaya, upo, squash, etc., can be raised in the following areas: Existing shrubs or trees 


-     For leafy vegetables apply urea. For fruiting vegetables, apply complete fertilizers. Avoid direct contact with the leaves, stem and roots to prevent burning effects of the fertilizer.  

-     If commercial fertilizer is not available, decomposed organic matter such as manure, dried leaves, or even decomposed garbage can be used as fertilizers. Urine can be diluted with water or substitute for urea. Apply directly on the stem of fruiting vegetables. 

Induced fruiting 

Squash flower sometimes do not develop into a fruit due to the absence of pollen grains. You can artificially fertilize the flower by transferring the pollen grains from the male flower.

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September 19, 2017

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