14 possible reasons why your plant is not surviving

One of the things that happened during the quarantine period was that more people are now into growing plants. Unfortunately, not all succeeded or they were able to germinate them but after a week their plants started to wilt despite the love and effort they put in. And the common question is WHY can’t I successfully grow this plant? I listed 15 possible answers here:

1. Dormant or dead planting material

Have you noticed that the seed you’ve planted and given with favourable environment is not germinating? It is possible that your seed has innate dormancy that needs to be broken or it is already dead prior to your planting.

2. Excessive fertilizer

Do you know the saying that anything in excess is bad? It also applies to growing plants. I know you want your plants to grow big and healthy but be mindful on the amount of fertilizer you apply because it might become toxic.

3. Overwatered

Not because your pot is not overflowing with water would mean you are not overwatering the plant. Some plants (like succulents) require lesser amount of water than others. Too much water will limit the oxygen available to plants.

4. Not enough moisture

I mentioned that overwatering can kill your plant so is not watering them. Water is an important factor in growing plants (you can even check your basic photosynthesis lesson) that is why you should never deprive them with water.

5. Nutrient deficiency

Did I say that excessive fertilizer can kill your plant? Aside from toxicity it would bring, it can also make other nutrients unavailable to plants. Different plant species require different amount of essential nutrient you need to provide.

6. Compact soil

Are you having fun compacting the soil inside your mini plant pot? Do not overdo it even in large scale gardening. Too compact soil will limit the air supply your plants need and it will also restrict root growth.

7. Lack of oxygen

Waterlogged and compact soil are conditions that limit oxygen. Oxygen is an important element for plants. All plant cells require oxygen to live because without oxygen they can’t breakdown their food to get energy.

8. Fertilizer damage

If we are not careful in applying fertilizer, we might cause damage to our plants. Fertilizers are damaging when there is direct contact. Make sure not to put them directly on the leaves or roots.

9. Uncontrolled insect pest

Some insects are beneficials but some are damaging to our plants. Make sure to control those pests before they cause significant loss to yield or worst they kill your plants. Make sure to use proper measure to control them.

10. Underlying disease

You might be wondering why your sooo healthy plant suddenly wilts. It is possible that a vector brought a virus to your plant. Or your soil is contaminated with fungi or bacteria that can infect your plant.

11. Extreme sunlight

Beauty experts would always say: “You can skip every step of your skin care except the sunscreen”. Plants need sunlight – yes. But depending on species, some would be sun loving while others don’t.

12. Too low or high temperature

For those countries with four season, notice how plants change from summer, fall, winter and spring. Again, depending on species, there are plants that would require an optimum temperature to survive.

13. Unfavorable soil pH

Is your plant growing in acidic (low pH) or basic (high pH) soil? If yes, you might want to correct the pH because it is probably limiting the availability of some important nutrients your plants need.

14. Competitive weeds

Weeds are unwanted plants. They do not only compete with your main plant for resources (like water, nutrient and sunlight) they may also release chemicals that can kill your plant.

My minimalism journey: the art of letting go

Have you ever attempted to become a minimalist but failed several times? I do! But I think that’s okay. It is a process. In each mistake you’ll learn and eventually you’ll become the minimalist you are striving for.

My first step was to donate my clothes that I hadn’t wore for a year because surely I won’t wear those for the next coming months. I realised that I was not using them at all. But why did it take so long before I gave them? I guess the answer lies to our emotional attachment to things. You think of all the memories you had with them – shirt you wore during your first job interview, the dress that your friend gave you, etc. If I list every reason you have in mind, you’ll end up not giving up even the most faded polo you have.

But you see, your eyes will betray you at times and you’ll add that another piece of clothing to your cart. If this continues for sure your closet will overflow with clothes. Do not let buying another closet your solution to this. Sell or give your old clothes you are not wearing anymore – that way you’ll earn extra cash or make another person a little happier.

I know I am just starting and still far from the minimalist person I am aiming but I feel like I am on the right track. Why? Because I learned a crucial step – the art of letting go. You need to train your mind not to hold on material things and keep only what really matters. If you gave or sold a thing that had been so close to your heart, congratulations! You are making progress!

It seems that I am enjoying giving my things a new home! I made an instagram account to sell some of them – @letgoproject2020. My first collection will be launched on August 7, 2020. Make sure to check it out. *wink*

Where to go in the Philippines: my top 6 favorite destinations

We all hope for everything to be better right now. And when that happens, some of us are planning to travel. Philippines has a lot of tourist destinations worth visiting. I had seen quite a number of places and here are my personal favorites.

1. Enchanted River (Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur)

This one is on top of my list. If you’re gonna ask me just one place you should visit, I won’t think twice and will immediately suggest this one. I guess I will be forever under the enchantment of this river. THIS ONE IS JUST SOOO GOOD!!! ❤

2. Magpupungko Rock Pools (Siargao Island)

Not your ordinary beach destination. I would recommend that you go here during low tide to better appreciate the place. There is a beautiful beach in the place but what caught my heart more was the rock pools and the waves.

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3. Kawasan Falls (Badian, Cebu)

If you want that adrenaline rush this one is surely for you. You will climb, swim, jump or do free fall. The color of the water is mermerizing – some parts are opaque and some are clear with different shades of blue and blue green.

4. Gigantes Island (Carles, Iloilo)

Who loves inexpensive seafood? This place is our heaven on earth! Eat different kinds of seafoods without breaking the bank. Imagine having scallops at P 1/pc! Aside from the food, the island offers a postcard view and exciting activities.

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5. Kiltepan (Sagada, Mountain Province)

Witnessing the beauty of the sea of clouds, orange picking, and spelunking are just a few things you can do here. I am telling you a 4D3N trip is not enough that you’ll immediately plan your next visit to this place. And a breakup is not required to appreciate the place. (LOL)

6. Cagsawa Ruins (Daraga, Albay)

Visiting this place will give you a quick time travel. The first time I was here, I remember the picture from my SIBIKA textbook – I felt nostalgic and amazed by this picturesque view  – the cone volcano and the buried church.

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Unrequited love is hard

Have you ever loved someone who didn’t reciprocate your feelings? WELCOME TO THE CLUB!!! It is okay if you are still in love with this person but if you are totally over with him/her, then congrats! Unrequited love is hard.

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Do you still remember the time you first laid your eyes to this person? You have butterflies in your stomach every time you have your (imaginary) moments. His or her actions towards you have romantic meaning. One day you found yourself feeling so sure that you both feel the same but voila! He/she is in a serious relationship with someone. </3

It is painful to love someone who doesn’t love you back. There will be times that you will expect something from this person and end up crying in your room. There is also a possibility that you may bumped into him/her with his/her special person. You’ll surely get sad (or cry) not just once but prolly 10 times.

It’s okay if you still love him/her even after a year or more. If you are still waiting for their feelings to get aligned with yours. Feel the rejection, the pain and sadness. Maybe in the future you might be a thing. But, if not, for sure you’ll see love in a different lens.

Weeds to monitor in your field

You read it right. WEEDS. These are plants that can compete with your main crop. They grow where it is not wanted. If they dominate your field, you can expect significant loss in your harvest. Here are some weeds to monitor in your farm:

Amaranthus spinosus

Chromolaena odorata

Eclipta prostrata

Physallis angulata

Celosia argentea

Cyperus kyllingia

Ipomoea triloba

Synedrella nodiflora

Cynodon dactylon

Paspalum conjugatum

Ageratum conyzoides

Trianthema portulacastrum

Coccinia grandis

Portulaca oleracea

Cleome rutidosperma

Heliotropium indicum

Digitaria ciliaris

Tridax procumbens

Commelina benghalensis

Ipomoea aquatica

Paspalum conjugatum

Ipomoea triloba

Although they are labeled as ‘unwanted’, make sure not to overdo your weeding. These species can also serve as alternative host to pests. Instead of feeding on your main crop, they’ll go to these weeds. 😉

4 reasons why you should start growing your own food

Do you know Li Ziqi in the Youtube community? She creates videos about farming for her family’s consumption and her contents get million views in a few hours. It amazes me how so many people like the concept but only few do the actual farming.

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I listed 5 reasons why you should start growing your own food now and you’ll never know you might be the next Youtube superstar! *wink*

1. It can save you during lockdowns (and even after)

Remember the days when quarantine was so strict? – there’s the limited days you can go to the market and there’s also the scare of the virus whenever you go out grocery shopping. The list goes on. But imagine if you have some crops that are available in your garden to sustain your daily needs – these plants can save day!

2. It makes you healthier

If you grow your own food, you will need to commit on getting up early in the morning (you are also forced to sleep early). Monitoring your crop and applying the care they need will be your exercise. Studies also suggest that farming helps you relax – releasing the stress that piled up. You also choose what to plant – so better grow healthy foods.

3. It will give you additional savings

Don’t you love to pair fried fish and steamed mixed veggies (e.g. okra, kamote tops, eggplant) plus bagoong with sili and calamansi? I’m craving now so I need to stop. LOL. The plants I mentioned can be bought in the market but they too can be grown easily. Think about the amount you can save if you have these in your backyard.

4. It can be a source of income

There was this time a friend of mine harvested so many okra that she had surplus. She sold those to her officemates and she earned around 300 pesos! Not a big amount but it was surely an added money for her expenses. With proper care, the veggies you plant for your own consumption might also be your additional source of income.

 

How to grow corn

Do you love boiled sweet corn but your supermarkets are always sold out? Why not plant them in your backyard? Seeds can be bought easily online and cultivating them is a no brainer. Here’s a quick guide on how to grow your corn:

1. Choose the right kind of seeds

Decide what kind of corn you want. If you want yellow sweet corn buy yellow sweet corn seeds. Buy good quality seeds – buy from trusted sellers. Check the germination rate and purity of your seeds.

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2. Prepare the land

Plow the soil where you intend to grow your corn 3-4 weeks before planting. Make sure to break big clods. Pulverize again a week before planting if needed. If it is hectarage of land, create furrows a day before planting at 75cm apart and 8m deep.

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3. Apply fertilizer

Add fertilizer between furrows then cover them with some soil. If you are doing your planting in the backyard create an 8-cm hole spaced at 20-25 cm apart and apply your fertilizer and cover with thin layer of soil. If no soil analysis has been done, apply 5bags (50kgs/bag) of 14-14-14 per hectare.

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4. Plant the seed

Plant 1-2 seeds per holes or hill if you are planting in a furrow. Cover the seeds with thin layer of soil and gently press it to obtain a good soil-seed contact.

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5. Water the holes/hills

Irrigate/water your hills/holes after planting if it is dry season and there is no chance of rain. Do this every 2 weeks until a month before harvest time. If it is rainy season, water your plants when necessary.

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6. Weed and monitor other pest

Do spot weeding from time to time or when needed. If it is a big field and has furrows, do off-barring after 21 days from planting. Monitor also for other pests and implement control measures if necessary.

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7. Thin out

If you planted 2 seeds per hill and both grew, remove the unhealthy one to avoid plant competition.

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8. Do sidedressing

Sidedressing is application of fertilizer near the plant. After a month, apply 4 bags urea (46-0-0) per hectare and immediately cover the applied fertilizer. Avoid putting urea to the leaves. Irrigate after fertilizer application.

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9. Always visit

Always visit your field and check for diseases, pests and rodents and apply necessary control measures.

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10. Harvest

Time to harvest depends on the variety and the maturity stage you prefer – baby, green or physiologically mature corn.

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Beaches in the Philippines (Part 2)

Last time I posted some beautiful beaches in the Philippines, but the country has a lot that one post is not enough. Here’s the part 2.

1. Sugar Beach, Sipalay, Negros Occidental

Located in the sugar bowl of the Philippines, the sand of this beach looks like unmilled sugar, hence the name! But I’m warning you the sand is salty so do not dare taste it.

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2. Magalawa Island, Palauig, Zambales

Zambales really has a lot to offer including this one. Wake up to a beautiful sunrise while walking on a sandbar.

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3. Lola Sayong, Gubat, Sorsogon

A 12-15-hr road trip from Manila by land, this beach will allow you to relax from the city noise with the sound of its waves. They also offer surfing activity for beginners and pros.

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4. Patar Beach, Bolinao, Pangasinan

The bluish-green color of the water that kisses the shore is a view it promises. If a day of stay is not enough, there are inns around that offer overnight stay and stores where you can get your food.

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5. Borawan, Padre Burgos, Quezon

A white beach for your mermaid self. It will only take 3-4 hours land trip from Manila. The water is clear and calm but be careful not to swim to the area with lots of jellyfish.

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6. Magpupungko Beach and Tidal Pool, Siargao Island

Siargao is known to its Cloud 9 surfing camp but in case you still have time to spare, you should go here. You’ll surely enjoy the adrenaline rush of jumping off the high rock formation but be alert on the level of the water. High tide with strong waves starts at 10am.

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7. Maniwaya, Marinduque

“Maniwaya ka sanang, minamahal kita.”. Yes, believe me when I say you’ll fall in love with this place. Watch the mesmerizing sunset and interact with the fishes on the shore.

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8. Samal Island, Davao

Another beach where you can walk to its vastness during low tide. A great place if you want to have some quiet soul searching and adventure at once.

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9. Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Planning to go to this island because of the Survivor show? Go ahead and book that trip cos you won’t regret. Try island hopping and enjoy seafoods that won’t break the bank.

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10. Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro

Lost for things to do in a beach? This one doesn’t only offer a swim, an island-to-island zip line awaits you? Scuba diving is also a must-try here.

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Beaches in the Philippines (Part 1)

I grew up afraid of the sea – the unknown depth and unpredictable waves. The first time I went to a beach was a year before I graduate from college and I didn’t even swim that time. After that year, the universe is kind enough to allow me to witness the beauty of Philippine beaches. Here are some of them.

1. Aguirangan Beach Camarines Sur

The first beach I visited! It was 2013 and I used my friend’s digital camera.

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2. Hundred Islands, Pangasinan

I am trying to remember the name of each island we visited (btw it is HUNDRED ISLANDS). LOL.

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3. Queen Tuna Park, General Santos

Have a walk or swim for free! This one is open for all and no entrance fee is needed (well that’s the situation when I was there).

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4. Cagbalete, Mauban, Quezon

This is the low tide situation but do not wait for the high tide if you do not know how to swim. LOL.

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5. Calaguas, Camarines Norte

My friend took this using her GoPoor. Nope that’s not a typo. Forgive me for not giving this beautiful beach justice with my pic.

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6. Laiya, Batangas

One of the known beaches in the country. Ala eh!

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7. Alubihod beach, Guimaras

Perfect timing when we went there – a not so good weather! (Did you feel the sarcasm there?) LOL. But it didn’t ruin our trip! We still enjoyed swimming and island hopping.

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8. Gigantes Island

Different shades of blue! ❤

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9. Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Looking for some calm morning and wild nights in a beach? Puerto Galera is the place to go!

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10. Love Beach, Occidental Mindoro

Looking for a quiet beach with black sand? Consider this one on your next trip.

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Source of carbs, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals crops to plant when you have small space:

During the strict lockdown period it was difficult to get some of our basic needs like food. Even online shops got paralysed. Our only option was during those scheduled market day/s.

If you are considering to grow your own food and you have a very small land, here are some crops that can be your source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals and won’t occupy so much space.

Carbs

It is a challenging task to grow a cup of rice so let us give a BIG THANKS to our rice farmers! Also, stop wasting even a single grain of your rice. Aside from being a challenging crop to grow, it will also require a big land area. So here are your alternatives:

1. Cassava

Make sure to choose those varieties with low cyanide content like Lakan and Rajah varieties. This crop will take 8-10 months  before you can harvest but a single cutting can give you a week  or more of carbs.

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2. Sweet potato

Sweet potato roots are harvestable 4 months after planting. Cuttings from the supermarket can be your source of planting material. We love this as snack but you can substitute this to your rice.

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3. Corn

Who doesn’t love sweetcorn? This crop is not your ordinary snack. You could find this in almost every chips you enjoy. One plant can bear 1-2 ears. Its plant architecture will allow you to grow more plants in a small space.

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Protein

Price of meat went up during the lockdown period because of transportation cost. Planting your own source of protein would be a great option for you and your vegan friends.

1. Mungbean

A cup of this will give you your daily protein need. Mungbeans are harvestable 90-120 days after planting. With high-yielding varieties, you can harvest up to 4-5 times in one cropping.

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2. Peanut

Our favorite chicha is rich in protein. Growing peanuts won’t require you hectarage of land unless you want to be a supplier of big markets. Maturity date of peanuts depends on variety and can range from 90-140 days after planting.

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Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. To keep your digestive system healthy you will need to have some food rich in fiber. My recommendations below can also be grown soil-less through hydroponics!

1. Pechay

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2. Lettuce

green fresh lettuce. studio shot.Click below to see other images of vegetables:

Vitamins and minerals

Boost your immune system with these veggies that are packed with vitamins and mineral but do not require a lot of space and too much effort to grow. Make sure to check my previous post on this.

1. Saluyot

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2. Alugbati

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If you are interested, there are published articles to read to see the amount of cabs, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals in these plants. Happy farming!