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  • Writer's pictureSean

'March'ing On

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

It's been 6 months since I planted the first batch of the durian saplings in my orchard. I anticipate routine work to continue as normal in March. Ground covers are spreading quite handsomely while the saplings are growing well. As for the weather, high noon temperatures are set to continue but rain showers is still anticipated during the month.


Prep. work are on-going at home for my trip to the orchard this weekend. I've bought 2 x 19 ft lengths of Class 7 PVC pipes for staking and netting frames. Grind one end to sharpen it and make it easier to hammer into the ground.

Mulch are looking set to be ready for application on the weekend. A different recipe of dried leaves and banana tree stems chopped into small pieces with a machete would add potassium goodness to the mulch. Not as much volume as the first batch I applied last week but this time around I'm mulching for a new D200 sapling I'm planting including some mulch top-ups on existing trees.


It's now Week 11 of 2019, I took a leave on Friday so that I could have 3 days working at the orchard. Jobs done for the weekend are as below.

D200 Sapling Planting

I bought a D200 sapling to replace the same clone that was accidentally cut-off by my worker during grass cutting 2 weeks back. Yes, it was a small plant which was not obvious and I didn't put any marker on it.

Dug the planting hole on Friday and planted the sapling the next day. Normal procedures for planting applies. After planting I erected the cover netting and applied a generous amount of mulch. This was what it looks like after all are complete.

Cover Netting Erection

During my walkabout I noticed that some of the older D200 saplings which were planted a few weeks back and was not covered had signs of sun scald on its leaves. Didn't thought this might happen, I guest the sun was too hot even for these order saplings.

I erected nettings for 2 of my D200 saplings which was exposed entirely to the scorching sun as a precaution against sun scald. This would reduce the heat stress on the saplings. Seen below is 1 of the 2 saplings.

Some of the existing netting in on a few saplings were dislodged from the PVC pipe frame which I then re-fix all of it. Made it neat and tidy.

Foliar Spraying

I did 2 foliar spraying to be exact, Fastgrow spraying on Friday and a mixture of 1:150 dilution wood vinegar + 1.2 EC MKP cocktail on Saturday morning. To be completely honest, I had never mixed wood vinegar with MKP before this as a single foliar solution. I don't think the leaves would get burnt due to overdose but I will follow up on the affect towards the saplings.

Considering the low rain fall since February, foliar spraying is the only right kind of feed that I could apply nowadays.

Watering & Mulching

This should be the normal recurring task by now, topping-up mulch brought from home after heavy watering was done to the plants.

Planting Hole Digging

Dug 2 holes as a preparation for future sapling plantings in the orchard. Location of both planting holes are on the 4th terrace while another hole was on the main terrace leading to the upper portion of the hill side. The plan is to plant a D200 sapling and a D160 durian sapling (famously known locally as Tekka or Musang Queen).

As the normal steps goes, both planting holes will be left exposed to the sun until I come back in a fortnight for the actual planting.

Well, that was a debrief on what was done on the week. Cheers.


Its now Week 12 of 2019 and I would like to share some prep work that I've done during this week for my trip this coming weekend. Basically my prep work are divided into:

New Plant Purchase

I've purchased a couple of plants that I will transplant to the orchard. One is the D160 clone or commonly recognized as Tekka or Musang Queen.

D160 durians are among the highly sought after and well known durian clone types in the local market. It has a distinctive internal rust colored marking at the center of the fruit.

I don't intend to plant a lot of this clone type. The plan is for building a tree collection, add variety and to increase pollination rate of my main clones.

Another plant is the Ketum plant (Mitragyna speciosa) which is used for medicinal purposes but is currently having a bad rep in Malaysia due to the abuse of these Ketum leaves by drug addicts as an alternative to commercially available drugs. It's the cannabis of Malaysia but it does grow in other South East Asia countries.

This plant comes from the same family as coffee plant but the use of the leaves in Malaysia is prohibited under Section 30(3) Poisons Act 1952.

Compost Purchase

I'd have to say that getting good compost is quite difficult based on the ones that I've bought in nurseries all this while but I've found a good source of compost that I plan to use for planting the above plants that I've bought and here onward.

Based on my experience, compost sold are predominantly burned soil and crushed bricks mix with rice husks, coco peat and river sand. As far as I've tested these store bought composts, the pH ranges from 4 to 11 which is not suitable for any planting medium, really.

This compost looks the best, friable with a good earthy smell to it. No significant sand content with other recognizable organic matter.

Netting Pipe Frames

The pipes was cut at 4.7 ft length each in an angle so that it has a sharp end. Having a sharp end will allow the pipe end to penetrate the soil deeper and thus makes the pipe frames more sturdy.

Plant Booster

I didn't made this plant booster myself, it was cultured by my mother. I merely added some amount of molasses to feed the bacteria and yeast. This booster will be applied as a foliar fertilizer this coming weekend.

Basically the recipe for this plant booster are pineapple, papaya, 'kangkung', banana, pumpkin, water, milk, eggs and yeast mixed all together and left for 2 weeks to ferment. The end product will be a sweet, slightly beer-like bright yellow liquid.

Depending on the finest during blending, you may want to sieve it prior to using it in a spray pump. I didn't sieve it though and it didn't clogged my sprayer.

plant booster, liquid fertilizer, foliar spray

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