Persatuan Pekebunan Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan
Selangor and Federal Territory Gardening Society
(251 Selangor)
All Things Grow with Love

Our Esteemed Patron
YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Chong Hon Nyan
PSM, DSGM, JMN, KMN, AMN, MA (Cantab), RCD (Singapore), DSc (Hon)


TALK 1: Rafflesia, the World’s Largest Flower – How it is Classified, Described and Conserved

Speaker: Emeritus Prof. Dato’ Dr. Abdul Latiff Bin Mohamad Faculty of Science & Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Date: Saturday, 28 July 2018
Time: 3.30 p.m.
Venue: YWCA PJ, 21 20/1, Petaling Jaya

Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae) whose flowers are the world’s largest in the plant kingdom is an iconic genus for conservation programmes in Southeast Asia because of its rarity and complex biology. This holoparasitic genus consists of a total of about 26 species in the region, 10 occurring in Malaysia: 4 in Sarawak, 3 in Sabah and about 5 in the Peninsula, in addition to 2 uncertain species. Its classification relies only on a few characters such as the relative size of its flower, the colour and size of blotches on the “petals”, the number of processi and the morphology of ramenta. Although in general Rafflesia species are rare and vulnerable to threats, both natural and from human activities, populations of certain species are easily found in the forests of Perak, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. The Royal Belum State Park–Temenggor Forest Reserves in Peninsular Malaysia, Ranau and Tambunan in Sabah, and Gunung Gading and Samunsan areas in Sarawak are important conservation areas for specific species. Mortality rate is high (70-80%), while growth rate of the buds is relatively slow. Pollination relies on the availability of carrion flies and whether the male flower’s anthesis coincides with the female flower’s stigma receptiveness. Dispersal of seeds is uncertain but squirrels are thought to be an agent. Among the identified threats to the survival of Rafflesia in the wild are bud harvesting by indigenous communities for medicinal use, unsustainable logging practices, land-use changes, and lately unsustainable tourism practices. Classification and conservation of other species in the Philippines, Kalimantan, Java and Sumatera will also be briefly discussed.

Coming from Jalan Universiti towards the crossroads – formerly, the Rothmans roundabout – go straight after the traffic lights to enter Jalan 19/1. Turn right into Jalan 19/1B, and then just after the Caltex petrol station turn left into Jalan 20/1. As parking is LIMITED, please carpool as far as possible, or use Grabcar.

There will be a charge of RM10.00 for members and RM15.00 for non-members to pay for rental of the venue. Please confirm your attendance with Ms Lina Santiago (016-2318504/ 018-2349895) – call or sms.

TALK 2: Use of Beneficial Soil Microbes in Home Gardening

Speaker: Dr. Chew Boon Hock Author of the recently published book Grow Your Own Vegetables
Date: Saturday, 18 August 2018
Time: 3.30 p.m.
Venue: Bilik Cube 2, Institut Pengajian Siswazah (Institute of Graduate Studies), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. (please refer to the map)

Fertile soil teams with billions of microorganisms, which include bacteria, fungi, algae, viruses and protozoa. They play an important role in maintaining soil fertility, making plants tolerant to pests and diseases, and decomposing organic matter. Some bacteria (nitrobacter) are able to fix nitrogen from the air and make it available to roots for absorption. Mycorrhizal fungi increase the availability of nutrients such as phosphorus, iron and calcium. These organisms are biofertilizers. Other microorganisms such as yeasts produce vitamins and growth factors, playing the role of phyto-stimulators in improving plant health and yield.
         Actinomycetes produce antibiotics, while lactobacilli produce organic acids to neutralize soil-borne pathogens such as Fusarium and Phytophthora, thus are biopesticides.
         In modern agriculture, the heavy usage and abuse of chemicals have caused hardening and acidification of the soil to the extent that many of the beneficial soil microbes are killed. The living soil is now dying. The eco-system is badly damaged, and the environment is heavily polluted, resulting in chemically tainted foods unfit for human consumption. WHO reported that 3.5 to 5.0 million people in the world suffer from pesticide poisoning annually. The situation will get worse if no restorative measure is taken. The use of these microbial inoculants – biofertilizers, phyto-stimulants and biopesticides – in agriculture is the logical answer to save our world from being poisoned.
         The same technology can be effectively applied in home gardening to produce healthy and safe vegetables/fruits. These microbial inoculants are now freely available in the market, coming from Japan, USA and Australia. Besides replenishing the beneficial soil microbes to improve soil fertility and health, these products can also be used for making good quality compost, organic fertilizers and also getting rid of bad odor. Unfortunately, many users do not know the correct application methods for these microbial inoculants and thus fail to achieve the expected results, and put the blame on the products.
         This talk will focus on the precise technology for the correct use of microbial inoculants for treating soil, and making compost and organic fertilizer for home organic gardening.

*You will be able to buy Dr Chew’s book at the talk at a discounted rate

There will be a charge of RM10.00 for members and RM15.00 for non-members to pay for rental of the venue. Please confirm your attendance with Ms Lina Santiago (016-2318504/ 018-2349895) – call or sms.

Volume 3 - Climbers, Bulbs,
Rhizomes, Tubers, Foliage Plants

This third volume of “Gardening in Malaysia” as with our previous two volumes, provides gorgeous photographs accompanied by useful information about the plants themselves. The subjects of this volume are climbers, bulbs, rhizomes, tubers and foliage plants. Some as you will appreciate are prima donnas like stephanotis demanding constant attention, while others like Honolulu creeper will happily reach for the sky with hardly a glance. We hope this volume will help you choose the most suitable plant for your garden. In addition there are eighteen chapters, many more than in previous volumes, with practical advice to guarantee you the most beautiful specimens of these lovelies.

ISBN 978-967-11225-2-5, A5 (146x207mm) size, Softcover, Colour plates

Price: RM28 per copy. Price inclusive of packing and postage (within Malaysia Only). Download this form for your orders. Contact: Selangor & FT Gardening Society h/p 011-28588786 or Lina Santiago 016-2318504.

Contents of Issue 1 - 2018:

  • Pictures Rehabiliting
  • Editorial
  • Pesticides in Your Fruit
  • Book Review: Tripical Forest Scientist
  • Pictures
  • A Little Farm on the Hill
  • Hakgala - Just Jawsome
  • Trivia
  • Gardening Inspiration from the Past
  • Pictures - Dracaena fragans in Bloom
  • Pictures - A Trip to the Cameron Highlands

SFTGS Celebrates
the Golden Jubilee

This year, The Selangor and Federal Terrritory Gardening Society celebrates the 50th anniversary of its existence. As part of the celebrations the society is having a Give Back and Membership Campaign on 7 Oct at 1Utama shopping mall.

We plan to give out 200 gift packs to the public. Each will comprise a tote bag with small packs of seeds and fertilisers, as well as the society's membership forms.

We appeal and hope that members will donate seed or fertiliser packages. Just small packs will do. Vegetable seeds will be good to encourage people to grow their own. Flower seeds will brighten one's world.!

— Dr Tan Swee Lian,
President, SFTGS

Guide to Gardening in Small Spaces

We are proud to announce that Ms Stephanie Choo, one of our members as well as a columnist in NST, has published the above book. The book is published by MPH under its MasterClass Series (no less!).

Those of you who live in a terrace or link house with limited garden space, or in an apartment with no land to speak of, will find this book full of useful information for gardening with such restrictions.

The book, in full colour, sells at RM35.90 per copy, and is available at all MPH bookstores. Do get yourself a copy!

— Dr Tan Swee Lian,
President, SFTGS