Al's Green Fingers

Potted Pineapples

Growing your own pineapples is quite easy when one lives in a warm or tropical country because pineapples love sunshine! But even in cooler climes it can be accomplished if one has a greenhouse or a sunny corner in the home.

To start you need a good tasting pineapple, not one which is too tart. It should be fully ripe. Next a flowerpot of about 20 cm (8 inches) diameter and potting soil. Cut off the top of the fruit with about 2 cm of the flesh included. Scoop a little from the soil to accommodate the size of the cutting. Press the cutting firmly onto the soil and cover all around with the soil you removed. Then water just enough for the soil to be moist. Place in a sunny position and keep plant just moist, not letting it dry out.

Initially the leaves will start wilting before new growth occurs and eventually they dry up completely. By then new leaves should have sprung up strong and sturdy. You will also notice a difference in colour compared to the old leaves.

The plant in the photo is now about 3 months old and I hope I will soon see a sign of a new fruit. Some years ago I was successful in harvesting my own fruit from such cuttings but they were planted in open soil which is more beneficial to the plants. Now I have no garden and have to grow what I want in containers.

I would love to hear from anyone who has successfully grown a pineapple in a pot with a delicious fruit as reward! While mine is still in the process of growing it is time to transplant it into a larger pot to give it the needed room for good growth.

Three months old pineapple plant

Grow your own herbs!

If you like cooking you will want a fresh supply of aromatic, succulent herbs handy instead of running off to the market each time you need some! 

The best and easiest way is to grow your own. You do not need a garden for this, just some flowerpots, good soil and the herbs you want to plant. 

Today I want to tell you about efinrin (Yoruba), nchuawuni (Igbo), daidoya (Hausa), ntong (Efik), aramogbo (Edo) or clove basil in English. Its botanical name is ocimum gratissimum. It is one of the easiest shrubby herbs to propagate. Seeds are readily available, but a faster way is planting cuttings. Break off a small branch from the plant having first asked permission if it is not your own. Prevent the cut end from getting dry and stick it into your flowerpot filled with soil. Water generously and within a week you will see new growth. Keep the soil moist, not wet, and allow the plant to get sufficient sunlight, either in the morning hours or later in the afternoon after the ferocious noon heat has somewhat subsided.

After a month you will be able to pick your first leaves for that delicious peppersoup you had planned for a while. There really is no substitute for fresh produce!

Known in English as clove basil, the name will tell you that it is great in lots of other dishes where basil is required. In my opinion efinrin is far superior to ordinary basil because of its lovely scent and wonderful taste!

You can add it to jollof rice instead of the boring old thyme. If you want, use it for a great pesto
or even in a white sauce. I know some people who love Thai curry and are always looking for Thai basil. Try efinrin instead! 

These are just a few suggestions but I think that there are many more possibilities, especially since this plant also has many health benefits.
3 months old efinrin shrub

1 comment:

  1. This is good to know. I'm coming for some cuttings!


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