My Sweet Potatoes ' Have Come A Long Way ', Nobody Knows It But Me!

The sweet potatoes that I had dug up yesterday. 

A neighbour of mine looked on in awe as I dug up some sweet potatoes from my front yard planter yesterday morning ( when I happened to be at my home in Ipoh for a short two hours ). She was amazed at the quantity and size of the sweet potatoes that I had dug up.

" You know, I've planted sweet potato vines many times since years ago but they've never had any sweet potatoes. " she told me. 

Just then, as she was telling me this, another neighbour ( whose house is on the left of hers ) came out of her house. She called out to her and asked her to come over and see my sweet potato harvest. 

" A lot of people have said that you've got to plant the vines on raised beds in order to get some tubers ( sweet potatoes ). But as you can see, she didn't! Yet, she managed to get some - some quite big ones! How's that possible? " she asked her next door neighbour, pointing at my newly-dug up sweet potatoes.

Not really expecting an answer, she continued, " Moreover, her planter is so small and she is seldom around to look after the vines, what more, water them! Oh, I just can't figure out how she can easily get those tubers! And I must admit that I'm actually quite envious of her! " ( Little did she know that I have actually put in a lot of time and effort in nurturing the vines and weeding the planter they are planted in whenever I got to be around! )

Funnily, her next door neighbour never seemed to get her news right. She suddenly shot these questions or remarks at her as she got nearer, " I thought it's the pumpkin!!? What're all these? Oh, yes you were saying sweet potatoes! Weren't you? How silly I am! That pumpkin thing has long since been a history! Well, what a wonderful harvest all these are! "

All the while ( while they were busy discussing and talking about my sweet potato harvest ), I just maintained an all smiling face. Only when they had finally finished with all the talking and turned to me that I started to speak...

" I'm just lucky and patient! " I said, with a wide smile on my face. " Lucky that nature has ( most of the time ) been kind to me. Lucky that I've got some good soils to work with. And lucky that I've got some coffee grounds and homemade eco-friendly enzymes to feed them, and to boost their energy. Finally and most importantly, I've got an inborn patience. Growing sweet potatoes could take about four months or more. That is probably too long a time for those who lack patience! " I continued, hinting her that ' impatience ' could be the reason she is not getting any sweet potatoes all these years.

........... I have only harvested a few sweet potatoes ( tubers ) ( total weight = 1.2 kg ) this time, but already, it has initiated a discussion among my curious neighbours. The story of my previous one and only precious pumpkin has been ( and still is ) one of the many topics of conversation among my neighbours since three months back ( whenever they meet - while walking their dogs around the neighbourhood in the evenings )! I think if I were to harvest a couple more sweet potatoes when I go back to Ipoh again next week, they would remember and talk about them for years!

My sweet potato vines on the planter before the digging up of the sweet potatoes.

Would You Be Interested In SNACKING On SEA ALMONDS?

Part picture of the Ketapang or Sea Almond or Terminalia catappa tree ( with fruit clusters ) - taken adjacent to A'king Jetty, Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Once, my Singaporean friend was hesitant, when I extracted a tiny nut from a small fruit which I had picked up from under a big tree at the East Coast Park and handed it over to him to taste, " Are you sure this is edible, and not POISONOUS??? "

Seeing my serious gesture, he popped it into his mouth anyway. Not without a doubtful look on his face though. His eyebrows raised questioningly and that made me laughed out aloud.

He chewed on it for a few seconds. Then, he blurted out, " Oh, this tastes just like almond! " 

" It is one, " I smilingly said. " An almond... - well, a sea almond to be exact! " I told him, happily. 

" We had lots of these fruits landed on our garden - dispersed by fruit bats and squirrels from an adjacent tree - when I was still a child. Our parents told us that their kernels are edible. Growing up, I have had eaten lots of them - especially whenever I feel bored. And as you can see, I am still around today! " I continued, laughingly.

While the trees are most commonly found growing on our coasts or in our jungles and parks or along our roadsides, the Sea Almond or Ketapang or Terminalia catappa fruit kernels ( nuts ) edibility is rarely known to a lot of people. It is not surprising though - considering the fact that they are extremely difficult and not worthwhile to extract. Thus, making them uninteresting to people and so, words about them, not widespread too. Only a FEW like me, I suppose and some wild animals like fruit bats and squirrels know about and appreciate them, it seems.

To me, they make really great snacks on a boring day. The fun is all about having to really ' work hard in extracting them ' - in order to enjoy just a tiny bit of them - which I find most challenging and interesting! 

What about you? Would you be interested in SNACKING on SEA ALMONDS too?

An old Ketapang or Sea Almond or Terminalia catappa tree - Picture taken at Tenggol Coral Beach Resort, Tenggol Island, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Garden Update - June, 2018

How super busy life had been recently! I was back to my small garden in Ipoh on the sixteen of this month. But only now I manage to really sit down and write an update about my garden there. I had been busy with work while I was in Ipoh. I had also spent a few days on reading the Infinite Life Sutra at a nearby Buddhist Society there. After that, I had joined Fourth Sis and her daughter for a few days at a beach resort on Tenggol Island, off Dungun, Terengganu ( some four to five hour drive from Kuala Lumpur ). There, we got to go out all day long every day - swimming by the beach, snorkeling out in the sea, strolling along the beautiful beach and lazying on swings under trees - until we had had enough. Thanks to the kind weather! It was only yesterday that we finally came back to our homes in Kuala Lumpur.

The weather had been rather dry and hot with no rain for quite some time before I went back to Ipoh. I was rather sad at the sight of my plants - at both my front and back yards. They were all in dire need of water - hot and thirsty. So, immediately after I got out from my car, I reached for the hose and gave them all a good, thorough bath and drink.

As I watered....

At My Front Yard Planter....

I saw a long, quite plump sweet potato ( Ipomoea batatas ) tuber being half-exposed on the surface of the soil. After I was done with the watering, I carefully dug up the tuber. It looked pretty good except for its pest-affected half. I saw a suspected culprit - an insect, which I had failed to identify or had its picture captured, crawling out from it. There was nothing else I could do except to happily accept the fact that there would always be some ' uninvited creatures ' ( PESTS ) who would come and share my ' TREASURES '.

I removed the pest-affected half and threw it away onto some nearby bushes in the neighbourhood. After that, I washed the unaffected tuber clean with a gentle scrubber and left it on the kitchen floor to dry. Before I left Ipoh, I steamed the tuber and let Second Bro had it for breakfast as I knew he has always loved sweet potatoes. He said it was not sweet enough but the texture was great ( Perhaps the less-sweet taste has got to do with the variety - the Taiwan variety ). He loved and treasured it nonetheless - considering the fact that I HAD GROWN IT ORGANICALLY for months, I think?

I calculated three turmeric plants ( Cucurma longa ) that were already at least a foot tall. I had observed that others had remained more or less the same height as the last time I saw them ( about one and a half month back ).


At My Backyard Planter....

( Some bad, bad things... ),

I saw no signs of the winter melon plant ( Benincasa hispida ) ( which had already started to flower the last time I went back) ever existed. It must had been either gnawed alive by some pests or lost to other plants during competitions for nutrients or space or water.

I was rather sad to see that most of the Gynura bicolor plants had died because of the drought and hot sun. And, I was disappointed to see that the Madeira Vine ( Anredera cordifolia ) had not made any progress since the last time I saw them.

( Some good, good things... ),

I was happy to see the Butterfly Pea  ( Clitoria ternatea ) plants already trailed up to the top of the fence and were flowering. I gave them some pinching here and there so that they would become more bushy and so more flowers, hopefully.

I was fascinated to see the sweet potato vines ( Ipomoea batatas ) [ a different variety from the front yard ones ] having trailed far out of the planter to the concrete floor. And, like always, it was wonderful seeing the basil plants ( Ocimum basilicum ) growing ever strong despite the drought.

Even though there were some flowers and shoots that I could harvest, I did not do so. As I had got no time to cook. I let them be until the next time I go back. It would be lovely to see how different things are after a long absence - whether good or bad.

and ( Some wildlife sightings... I was lucky enough to be able to capture two of them in picture and video respectively... ).

A frog ' hiding ' in between the pebbles and brick stone...( somewhere in the middle of this picture )

A short video clip of a small, white butterfly dancing around the plants.

Overall ( at Both my Front and Back Yards ) ....

I noticed that most of my plants showed some nutrient deficiencies in their leaves. They did need some urgent feeding but I just did not have any fertilizer to feed them. I was unable to get my usual coffee ground supplies from Eldest Sis's neighbour, whose hot-brewed coffee business was a struggle during the Muslim's fasting month ( from mid May to mid June ).

All for now! Thank you for reading this! Bye!

A Day Out To Our Prime Minister's Hari Raya Open House.

On Friday, me, along with 80 thousand other ( mostly Malaysians ) flocked to our Prime Minister's Hari Raya Open House which was held at the garden of Seri Perdana (  overlooking the Prime Minister's office ) in Putrajaya. It was my first time. So, I had no idea I was actually going to join a huge crowd gathering!

Before I realised it, I was already stuck in the middle of the traffic jam!

It must had been some magnetic force that prompted me to move along with the lot of eager crowd who patiently and slowly inching their steps towards the entrance to the many large tents in the garden where the open house was held to welcome guests like us. 

Imagine how very eager we all were! It was an especially hot day. But surprisingly, none of us ( including ME - who usually dislike being in crowded and hot places ) seemed to have mind it at all! Despite being under the canopies of the many Rain trees that lined the walkway, it still felt very hot. I supposed none of us had not bathed in sweat.

Finally, after the long, long queue, THESE people had had their ' sumptuous lunches ' inside the tents!

And I had had mine. A plate of plain Briyani rice only ( as the side dishes were all meat-based and not catered for vegetarians ). Oh, but NO! I later found out that even this rice is sometimes cooked with chicken soup. Gosh, how I regret! I should have eaten just a cake or two to be safe!

As I left, I saw many happy faces posing in front of the big, open house sign board with gifts ( from our Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir ) in their hands for some photo-takings.

I was camera-shy. So, I took pictures of the many beautiful flowers and plants and the surrounding landscaped gardens instead.

It had been an unusually great and fun day out for mebeing a part of an 80-Thousand Crowd Gathering. My only regret was not having a handshake with our Prime Minister! Not that I did not have a chance though. But that I was afraid he would be too tired.

Nevertheless, many thanks to our Prime Minister and his Cabinet - OUR NEW GOVERNMENT!

And finally, wishing all Muslims out there, A WONDERFUL HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI!

How Long Can This Spark of Interest in Gardening Last?

This past Sunday, I bartered an unused backpack for a bag of 28L Organic ( 6 in 1 ) Soil Mix and two bags of 3kg Black Soil with Fourth Sis's fellow Facebook Barter Group member. Even though the backpack cost much more that the soils, it was a most worthwhile deal to me. For at least the ' poor ' backpack has now found a new owner who would hopefully, appreciate and not abandon it at the corner of a store and forget about its presence after that - just like what I had carelessly done to it when it was with me. And needless to say, I got some precious, much-needed soils which I was most happy about.

The extent of our ( My and Eldest Sis's ) joy every time we talk about our gardens, seems to have sparked Fourth Sis's interest in gardening recently. She only has a small balcony space to start with. But that would be enough for her to play in at the moment. The soils which I had got from the deal were given to her to start some edibles ( which she is only keen in growing ) in pots. I helped her fill up her one and only empty pot ( which Eldest Sis had given her) with the whole bag of the 28L Organic ( 6 in 1 ) Soil Mix. After that, I tucked the sprouted Chayote gourd ( which I had earlier planned to have it planted at my backyard back in Ipoh ) into the soil somewhere in the middle of the pot and let her do the watering. She will have to do all the other works by herself like staking the plant or making it trail up a trellis when it grows taller some time later.

The other two bags of Black Soil will be used for the White Bitter Gourd seedling ( there were five initially but only one seems to be still standing now ) when she gets another empty pot which Eldest Sis had promised to give her later. And so, till then for this...

I keep my finger crossed that Fourth Sis's interest in gardening would last longer this time. Else, I would have to adopt her pots of plants in no time. Her interests in things were often ' short-lived ' in the past!

Mum's Best-loved Plant ( Allamanda cathartica ) Is Back!

When Mum was still around, we had a few Allamanda plants ( Allamanda cathartica ) planted in our garden. Mum got the plants from one of our neighbours. The plants were always covered with plenty of beautiful, bright-yellow, trumpet-like blooms throughout the year. Mum used to smile every time she went out to the garden and sat under the Rambutan tree, facing the row of blooming Allamandas. " Look there Jade, they are so beautiful! " She used to always point at the blooming lots and say to me. Seeing Mum's contented smile at the sight of the blooms, I couldn't disagree. I nodded my head and smiled back at her every time. Though they were actually nothing more than just ordinary blooms to me then.

After Mum passed away four years ago, my eldest brother redid the whole garden. He had all the Allamanda plants ( Mum's best-loved plants ) removed. My heart couldn't help it but went with them. I missed ( and still miss ) their beautiful, happy yellow blooms. ' Only Mum ' would know how much I have missed them! They are no longer ' just ordinary blooms '. They are the most beautiful and desired blooms of all. Seeing them are as good as seeing Mum.

So, when I was given an Allamanda cutting by a very kind neighbour ( who noticed me admiring her blooming Allamandas outside her house ) recently, I was most happy. Mum's best-loved plant is back! Not back to the same old garden though. I have put it to root inside a poly bag filled with some soils. Hopefully, it would successfully root so that I could have it planted inside one of the big pot planters at my backyard the next time I go back to Ipoh.

Till then... Wish me luck!


Growing up, I seldom get to eat out as my mum and older sisters would tirelessly cook 365 days a year for us all. As they never liked ' diversification ' in their cooking, we got to eat only almost the same types of vegetables everyday - year round. Having left home to be on my own for many years now but being not adventurous myself when it comes to cooking, I have unconsciously picked up their ways of cooking and become a monotonous cook - just like them. Whenever I went to either the wet market or supermarket, it would always be those same types of vegetables that I would pick up and load into my shopping bag or cart every time. I had no interest at all to even hang around a while longer, look for or at , what more try other available vegetables that were on sale. 

Though cooking has never been my passion, nor would it likely become one in the future, I ought to somehow, diversify and be more receptive when it comes to using other types of vegetables in preparing my meals - if I want to be a healthy vegetarian.

My interest in using other types of vegetables in my cooking started last year after my visit to Taiwan. While I was there, I had had the taste of some very exciting vegetables like the Bird's Nest Fern ( Asplenium nidus ) ( which I had blogged about HERE sometime back ), Chayote ( Sechium edule ) fruits and shoots, Hongfeng Cai ( Gynura Bicolor ), Madeira Vine ( Anredera cordifolia ), White Bitter Gourd ( Momordica charantia ), and a few more. Most of them were totally new to me though we do actually have them back here in Malaysia. 

We may not have Bird's Nest Ferns for sale as vegetables at our every day market like in Taiwan, but we do have plenty of them around us. They could be found growing wild or cultivated as ornamental plants everywhere around our houses, jungles, parks and even roadsides. So, it is pretty easy to get some of their young fronds as vegetables.

Bird's Nest Fern

While it is very easy to find Chayote gourds ( fruits ) and shoots for sale at most Malaysian markets, it is most difficult to find its shoots ( especially ) for sale at my place in Ipoh - meaning that, if I want to eat its shoots while I am in Ipoh, I have got to grow the plant myself. My crave for its tasty shoots and leaves had made me, without much thought, sacrificed one good, fresh fruit some time back. I had had a whole fresh fruit buried into the soil at my backyard planter in the hope to have a plant up. But, sadly, nothing has comes up from it and I gave up completely on the hope to grow one since then. So, last week, when I saw the Chayote fruit which my fourth sister had bought the week before has sprouted on her kitchen floor where it was placed, I had the most happy surprise of my life! I will have it planted in the soil at my backyard the next time I go back. Hope it would still be fine to plant then.

The sprouted Chayote fruit. ( No picture of the plant to show yet )

Regular readers of my blog would have known that I have had Gynura bicolor and Madeira Vine planted at my backyard for quite some time now. The reason why I planted them is because they are not easily available - whether at my place in Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur. I have harvested them a good number of times since planting ( the Gynura bicolor leaves especially ). They may not be the most impressive vegetables of all in terms of taste and texture but I love them nonetheless.

The Gynura bicolor plant.

The Madeira Vine

Bitter gourd is one of the few types of vegetables I used to eat since young. I mean the green variety. I was totally unaware of the availability of the white variety. In fact, I had never come across it until I went to Taiwan last year. There, I had seen it being sold at most wet markets and on the menu of almost every Chinese food restaurants. Its pearl white, smooth-skinned fruits looked and still look very appetizing and pretty to me. Back here in Malaysia, I had not seen anyone selling its fruits until a few months back when I happened to stumble upon a family of three selling their limited White Bitter Gourd produce at the Taman Muda, Ampang, wet market. I had bought a few fruits from them in the hope to get some seeds to start my own plants. Unfortunately, all of them were not mature enough. I gave up on the hope to grow one until recently when my fourth sister was given a mature fruit from a very kind man near the market. The seeds from the fruit seemed mature enough and so, I dried and saved them all for later planting. Last few days, I tested with five of the many seeds to see if they are viable. And guess what? They have all sprouted! I have yet to ponder over what to do next with all these wonderful little SURPRISES!

The White Bitter Gourd sprouts. ( No picture of the fruit or plant to show yet )

All for now. Thank you for reading this! Bye!

Sometimes A Simple Mugful Of Fern And Moss IS ALL That Is Needed

I have been quite down and rather indifferent to a lot of things recently. I am pretty much aware that I need some kind of happy booster - to turn myself around - to be my usual cheerful self and keen on things again. 

So, I decided to get some fresh, new stuffs on my work table this morning. I went down the stairs to the garden below my home with a set of fork and spoon and an old lunch box in hand. I headed straight to the shaded, wet spots under the Manila palms where I have always sighted ferns and moss growing in abundance. I used the spoon to scrape a few patches of moss off the ground and guided them into the lunch box with the help of the fork. Then, I chose a small-sized fern, gently pulled it out from the soil with my hand and put it on top of the moss inside the lunch box to be brought home.

Back home, I took out a defective, white porcelain mug from the kitchen cabinet and filled it with some soil. I dug a small hole in the soil with the spoon and gently placed the fern into the hole. After that, I wholly-covered the surrounding bare soil with the patches of moss ( moss carpets ) using the set of fork and spoon. I spotted a worm or two wriggling on the underside of the moss. I let them be at where they were. They would not wriggle out of the mug as long as their food source is in there.  Finally, when all were done, I sprinkled some rainwater which I had collected earlier for my previously potted moss ( rainwater is best for moss growth ) onto the mugful of fern and moss. 

Then, I placed it on my work table with a smile on my face. I stepped back and admired my new, simple little creation. My heart sang a little in joy just then. Who would have thought that a simple mugful of green fern and moss could be that ' refreshing ' - to me, at least?

Even Happy Plants Failed To Cheer

I was very much in a mixed of emotions when I went back to Ipoh last week to vote in The 14th. Malaysian General Election ( GE14 ). I was very excited about the long-awaited election though it was not my first time voting. In the midst of my excitement, my heart was somehow, still saddened at the loss of someone whom I have always regarded as my teacher, who passed away two days before the election after battling with cancer for a few months.May he be reborn among the lotuses in the pond of the seven gems in The Land Of Ultimate Bliss - The Western Pureland ). The GE14 results which were completely out the next morning did lift my mood quite a bit but not much, it seemed. My heart still feels the pain and sadness.

At my backyard...

The two Winter Melon plants were very showy with some pretty, bright yellow, cheery blooms on them. I could be getting some fruits if I'm lucky since they do not need to involve pollinator insects or other manual interventions to pollinate and set fruits.

The two Butterfly Pea Plants had already found and trailed up the fence. There were some pretty, bright indigo-blue blooms here and there though there is only one visible in the picture below.

I had harvested some Basil leaves and brought them back to Kuala Lumpur for my fourth sister.

The Madeira Vine had finally stopped flowering. Lots of new leaves were formed. Hopefully, there would be enough for harvest the next time I go back.

At my front yard...

The Sweet Potato plants ( vines ) were growing very happily, it seemed. They spread very quickly and had covered-up almost the whole of the planter. I did not harvest any of their tasty leaves this time in the hope to get some big, healthy tubers some time later.

Some of the Turmeric plants had grown very well and were taller than the Sweet Potato plants; while some seemed to have ' drowned ' and were not visible at all from the top of the planter. Hope they are fine nevertheless.

I usually found solace in watching plants whenever I feel down. But not quite this time - even amidst all those happy plants at both my back and front yards. I guess I need a little bit more time to cheer up and feel alright again... 

Suntanning No More, Hopefully...

I often tell myself that if I do not want to get sunburn or suntan, I should go out and work in the garden, only when the rising sun is not yet hot or after the sun has set behind my back neighbour's house,  But then, time and again, whenever I managed to find the time to stay at home, I am often just too excited about the garden; so intensely excited that I would go out instantly whenever I feel like it, either to do some harvesting, planting, trimming or weeding or simply to watch my plants - regardless of whether the sun is scorching hot or not. 

I always let my impulse be excused FOR ONE LAST TIME. " Alright! Only for today. Never again tomorrow! " I always promise myself. But then, that one last time is never really the last time and that tomorrow never seems to come.

Even though it is merely thrice or so times each month ( being out there in the garden under the hot sun ), and has spanned less than a year so far, with each time lasting for only a short two to three hours,  it has somehow a rather, significantly and sufficiently suntanned my skin almost permanently. I am most worried that in no time I would be as ' black ' as a piece of charcoal ( a bit of exaggeration here though ) and people may mistaken me for someone from some similar colour-skinned race!

I have always loved and used to working in the garden wearing my usual, casual short-sleeved t-shirt and short pants. But since I find it extremely hard adhering to the more appropriate gardening time ( when the sun is more gentle ) and do not wish to be suntanned in any way, I have got no choice but to change my usual gardening outfit completely so that I would be more well-protected from the hot sun.

So, I unhesitatingly bought a big straw hat and took out some of my old, long-sleeved shirts and pants from my ready-for-recycle clothes wardrobe compartment yesterday - all of which would be brought back to my holiday home where my small backyard garden is sometime next week - FOR A COMPLETE CHANGE!

Hopefully, these new outfits and protection means would prevent my skin from tanning further...

Some Pretty Harvests And Plants Update

I did not have enough time to tend to my plants at my backyard last week when I went back to my holiday home and had the pumpkin plant removed at my front yard. It was not until on Wednesday, when I finally managed to go back again and do something there - SOME LONG-DUE HARVESTS. 

Like always, I had some really pretty harvests this time. Thanks to ' Mother Nature ' who never fails to take care of my plants whenever I am away. 

I had harvested...

Some Gynura bicolor leaves,

some Ocimum basilicum ( Basil ) flowers and leaves,

some insignificant, whole Amaranthus sp. ( Red and Green Amaranths ), 

and, some Ipomoea batatas ( sweet potato ) leaves.

All of which had been shared with my sisters back here in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Meanwhile on the same planter at my backyard....

The two Butterfly Pea ( Clitoria ternatea ) plants which I had transplanted from my eldest sister's garden last month seemed to have thrived - though they had yet to find the adjacent fence for support. And yes, I had finally made up my mind to keep one of the accidental Winter Melon ( Benincasa hispida ) plants. For I had learnt that it requires very little care to thrive and bear fruit; which would be really great for my frequently ' unattended ' garden.

The Butterfly Pea plants could be seen at the bottom left while the Winter Melon plant could be seen at the bottom right of this picture.

The Madeira Vine ( Anredera cordifolia ), which I had planted for its nutritious leaves some months back, was really taking its sweet time, it seemed - in showing off its small, fragrant, cream-white flowers which would eventually turn black - slowly, and one after another. There was no indication that it would put a stop to its flower show anytime soon. I wonder if I would ever get to harvest any of its leaves at all. Sigh. Still hopeful though. Wish me LUCK!

All for now. Thank you for reading this. Till next month... Bye!

A Most Noble Sacrifice, Not A Voluntary One Though

After much self-debates, I finally had the pumpkin plant removed yesterday. There was no more reason I could give myself to retain it any longer. My hand-pollination done on one of its flowers has not worked. The need to do something for the nutrient, space and sun-deprived sweet potato and especially, turmeric plants ( that were growing on the same planter at my front yard ) was becoming more and more apparently urgent. 

A choice or decision has to be made fast. Either a plant or some plants must play ' Hero ' or ' Heroes ' ( be sacrificed to make way for, thus save all other plants ). ' Proudly ', it was decided that it ought to be the strong, long-time, space-dominating pumpkin plant. To be the first ever, ' appointed ' ( not a voluntary one ), most noble Plants Hero of my front yard planter.

The pumpkin plant before the removal. The sweet potato and turmeric plants were hidden somewhere underneath it.

It took me a long two hours or so to have its itch-inducing hairy vine and leaves removed completely. It had been tough for me. As my skin was very sensitive to its hairs. Though I had a pair of gloves on, I still got some red, itchy bumps on my hands; which slowed me down. As I couldn't let the itch passed without some scratching every now and then. Luckily it never lasts. 

The heap of the drying pumpkin plant after the removal

While having the pumpkin plant removed, I accidentally unearthed a sweet potato vine that had a small edible tuber at the end of its root. A white one that looked more like a radish to me. Though it was nothing rare to get a tuber, it wasn't something which I had expected. As I had planted them merely for their tasty leaves. Nevertheless, it was quite a pleasant surprise for me. I had it boiled and eaten later in the evening yesterday. Its texture was great though its sweetness was rather inferior.

The accidentally unearthed sweet potato tuber.

My fourth sister suggested that I should just cut its vine at various points and leave them on the planter to rot and act as my soil mulch. But since I wanted to spread coffee grounds around the nutrient deficient sweet potato and turmeric plants soonest possible, I couldn't follow. Allowing them to dry out and wither away on the planter would take some time however little. I was worried that the somewhat stunted turmeric plants couldn't wait any longer. I had to save them as soon as I could.

Hence, after the removal, I immediately fertilized each and everyone of them with lots of coffee grounds. I also gave them all, a good thorough bath and drink. For the sun was already up and it was getting really hot when I finished. Finally, when all were done, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. For I knew they could, from then on grow happily with ample nutrients, space and sun exposure.
One of the all-rounded fertilized turmeric plants.

Finally, there are new new hopes for the sweet potato and turmeric plants. Picture taken after the bath.

Thanks to the dear Plants Hero - The Pumpkin Plant, for its most noble sacrifice!

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