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Practical ideas at Horticulture 2014

Farming and gardening enthusiasts will find an array of practical ideas at the ongoing Horticulture 2014, the garden show which will run through February 3 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. It is under the auspices of the Philippine Horticultural Society headed by Dorie S. Bernabe.

Urban dwellers with limited space will find doable techniques in the exhibit booth of East-West Seed Company. The company has an exhibit booth where flowering plants and vegetables are grown together in one place.

  •  garden show, Horticulture 2014,   ornamentals, East-West Seed Company, Manila Bulletin

  • practical Trellis, vine vegetables, Manila Bulletin

  • ashitaba, Edsa Garden House , Manila Bulletin

  • landscape booth,Boyet Ganigan, Dr. James Silvestre, Manila Bulletin

  •  Amadeo, Cavite,  Farm of the Spowarts, Merry Mushroom Farm, Milky Mushroom,  Rolita ‘Baby’ Spowart, Manial Bulletin

  • FLOWERS AND VEGGIES AT HORTICULTURE 2014 – Visitors at the ongoing garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle will see practical ideas they can adopt in their homes and farms. The East-West Seed Company, for instance, has an exhibit of flowers and ornamentals that could be adopted in a home garden. The flowering ornamentals are grown side by side with vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, pechay, mustard, kangkong and others. The garden show, Horticulture 2014, started on January 24 and will run through February 3.
  • PRACTICAL TRELLIS FOR VINE VEGETABLES – Here’s a practical way of trellising your favorite vine vegetables grown in a container. The trellis is made of bamboo slats, curved into four directions at the top. This is practical for growing ampalaya, cucumber, upo, patola and other vine vegetables. The vines will be distributed into the four curved portions and the fruits could just hang under for easy harvesting. Vegetables will grow well in a container as long as they are provided with a good growing medium that is rich in organic matter, and the plant should be fertilized regularly.
  • REAL ASHITABA FOR GOOD HEALTH – What is claimed to be the real Ashitaba that is said to have rare properties for good health is displayed by Edsa Garden House at the commercial section of the ongoing garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. This belongs to the family of the celery. It is very unlike what some people are passing off as Ashitaba but which is said to be actually gyneura, a plant that is also claimed to be good for the health whether eaten fresh or cooked. Photo shows Pearl Banaag holding a pot of full-grown Ashitaba. Also available at the show are smaller propagations.
  • FIRST PRIZE IN LANDSCAPE BOOTH – The exhibit of Boyet Ganigan and Dr. James Silvestre garnered the top prize in the Landscape Booth competition at the ongoing garden show at the Tropical Garden at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. The two are the owners of Arid and Aroids which boasts of a wide collection of rare, big specimen plants from the Philippines and many countries around the world. In front of them are huge specimens of Asplenium with crisped fronds. By the way, the nursery of Arid and Aroids in Silang, Cavite, will be visited by farm tour participants on January 26.
  • MILKY MUSHROOM AT THE SHOW – Rolita ‘Baby’ Spowart points to her Milky Mushroom exhibited at the Horticulture 2014, the garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. Milky Mushroom is a species from India which is being propagated by Baby Spowart in her laboratory in Isabela, and grown in her farms in Cavite and in Bulacan. On January 26, farm tour participants from the two-day Horticulture Conference, a highlight of Horti 2014, will visit the Merry Mushroom Farm of the Spowarts in Amadeo, Cavite.

In places where it is difficult to cultivate the soil because it may be very stony or adobe with no topsoil at all, container planting could be resorted to.

The exhibit includes vegetables that are grown in black plastic bags which are growing and fruiting very well. The vegetables include eggplant, tomatoes, different varieties of sweet and hot peppers, pechay, upland kangkong and others.

The trick in growing healthy and robust plants in containers is the provision of a planting medium that is rich in organic matter. The company uses coco peat or coir dust, carbonized rice hull, river sand and organic fertilizer.

Another doable and very practical technique that is worthwhile copying is the trellis used for vine vegetables grown in containers. At the show is a sample of the trellis consisting of bamboo slats that are curved at the top going toward four directions.

The vine vegetables suitable for such trellis include ampalaya, patola, upo, cucumber, sigarilyas, patani and others. The fruits will just hang under the canopy for easy picking.

East-West Seed is also popularizing decorative potted flowering plants as well as for use as ground cover. These include marigold, vinca, petunia, zinnia and others.

VERTICAL GARDENING  — Harbest Agribusiness of Toto Barcelona has a practical way of growing vegetables vertically. Leafy vegetables like lettuce, mustard, kangkong, pechay and others could be grown in a vertical bed consisting of two mesh wires that put in place between them the growing medium of moss and organic material. For convenient and effortless watering, the vertical beds are watered by drip irrigation.

Harbest Agribusiness, by the way, is into hybrid seeds of high-value crops, mini farm machinery, irrigation equipment and other inputs in farming and gardening.

NOTABLE WINNERS  — Visitors will also see the gorgeous plants of Boyet Ganigan and Dr. James Silvestre who own Arid and Aroids nursery. Their exhibit booth won the top prize in the landscape booth category. One can see the huge specimens of philodendrons, ferns, bromeliads and other rare ornamental plants.

The second prize winners in the landscape booth category are the tandem of Remy Rodis Santelices and Edna Felipe. Their exhibit booth also showcased a lot of beautifully grown ornamentals and orchids.

The Best-Plant-In-Show was garnered by the variegated Malapapaya or Polyscias nodosa owned by Yuyung LaO. Instead of all-green leaves, this plant has green and yellow foliage.

SENATOR VILLAR — The guest of honor in the ceremonial opening last Thursday was Sen. Cynthia Villar who heads the Committee on Agriculture and Food in the Senate. She congratulated the Philippine Horticulture Society for staging Horticulture 2014 with a focus on Tourism, Wellness and Livelihood.

She urged those engaged in horticulture to grow more vegetables for food and medicinal herbs for wellness. She recalled her visit to Ireland where she observed that a lot of the homes were producing a lot of vegetables and medicinal herbs. She was told that during the last world war, the Irish survived on the vegetables and medicinal herbs that they grew.

Although she could not do much gardening herself because of the demands of her office, she has been an active supporter of gardening, environmental protection and livelihood generation. She has supported gardening in different barangays during her incumbency in Congress.

And the Villar Foundation which she used to manage when not serving as legislator has been supportive of horticultural research. The Foundation, she said, had given a grant to the Institute of Plant Breeding in Los Baños to support the propagation of hibiscus which is an important ornamental plant for landscaping and beautification projects.