Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Terrace Gardening experience

This blog is dedicated to all my Beloved OTG members

Every home will have some open space where you can keep few mud pots and start growing essential vegetables.  The vegetables we get from the market are all grown using high chemicals which are not good.
This is the main reason why all should start Kitchen Gardening at Home.

Our home is on a 40 x 40 feet site and has a small garden . It has lawn and few flowers.
We decided to keep pots in our open terrace .

I joined the OTG group in facebook which got me very good friends.  The members give suggestions , share experience and share seeds and samplings. There will be OTG events where we can buy gardening materials.

Gardening is therapeutic and can be one of the easiest ways to relax. You also get a green space that you could escape to on weekends or after a long day at work. But if you are new to gardening, knowing exactly where to start can be daunting. Just follow these simple tips and make your grow-your-own dreams a reality.

1. Decide what you’d like to grow: If your family doesn’t eat a lot of fruits, then growing them does not make a lot of sense. You could grow vegetables or herbs instead. You’d also need some knowledge on which crops grow best in the various seasons. 

2. Choose the location well: Fruits and vegetables need full sun, with a minimum of five hours of direct sunlight every day. Greens, herbs and root veggies survive in partial sunlight. You’d also want to avoid areas with high wind or where water collects easily when it rains. 

3. Plan your garden beds: Once you know what you plan to grow, decide on the type and size of the beds. Raised beds look attractive and are easier to work on but also dry out fast. If you live in a dry area, a sunken bed might be the way to go to retain moisture. Avoid overcrowding and give your plants space to grow. You’d ideally want to start with a small garden and then expand as you get better at gardening.

4. Invest in basic tools: You would never use a paring knife to cut butter. So avoid using dull and inappropriate tools in your garden. Get some basic equipment like a garden hoe, leaf rake, garden shovel and hand tools initially. Good tools will save you time and effort in the garden.

5. Test your soil: Before you start gardening, you need to know the type of soil you have. Is it acidic or alkaline? Is it contaminated? Does it have enough basic nutrients? The crop you have chosen to grow should be compatible with your soil type.

6. Build your soil: Most plants thrive in well-drained, deep and fertile soil. So work on it to make it healthy. Add mulch, compost and worm castings to ensure that it is in top condition when you begin.

7. Choose the right seeds: Some seeds can be planted directly into your garden, and others are better via transplant. If you are not ready to do your own transplants, you might want to bring these plants home from a nursery in your neighbourhood. 

8. Plant with care: Most seed packets come with detailed instructions on how to plant them. Yet there are a few things to keep in mind. Some seeds need light for germination. You need to pick the right season to plant them. Also, young plants are more susceptible to damage so provide them with some protection initially. 

9. Nurture your garden: Grow a garden that you can tend to. If you have a packed schedule, stick to only growing herbs or microgreens. Also, be careful with how much you water the plants. Over-watering can damage the plants. The general rule is one inch of water during their growing period. Also, bugs tend to be attracted to plants that are damaged, stressed or deficient in some way.

Healthy plants mean minimal pests.

That’s it. Your garden is ready. Just remember to harvest your crops promptly for best quality.

 My few successes at gardening :

Vegetables :
Bitter Guard

Brinjal plants

Neem tree:

This neem tree is more than four years.  Unable to grow beyond this.    May move it to nearby park.

BitterGuard :  This was my first success in gardening.   I got over 30 numbers and still it is flowering.

Greens ( thanda Soppu)  It is a large pot with about 1 M diameter and 30 cms high.  The seeds were bought from Salem.

 Tomato :

Bush Beans:          10 Jun 2013
Bought 6 pots at the cost of Rs 40 each.  Bought one bag of red soil at Rs 50.  I had compost 10 kg bought at the rate of Rs 8 per kg.  Added handful of neemcake.   All the six pots were filled with this mixture and 12 seeds bought from Annadhana were sowed.   After about 10 days i could  see them coming well.

Musk melon :

The compost i bought had some seeds . Finally it turned out to be Musk melon.

03 Oct 2013.

some more pictures of my OTG.   The inputs from OTG members made my garden like this.

My first year experience :
Brinjal,tomato, capsicum, Bush beans, Musk melon, Okra, chilly, Basil, Long beans, Cherry tomato, coriander, Curry leaves, Bitter guard, soppu.

Composting :

Vegetable Waste :
Every day we generate about 1 to 1.5 kg of vegetable waste.  The skins of various vegetables, Spoiled ones, sometimes visitors coming home may waste .  All this are dumped to the pot below.   This costed about Rs 900 in Oct 2011.  We need to add micro organism once in 3 days and stir well. The compost from this is a good nutrient for the plants.

After some time i added few Worms ( Red wigglers ) and started Vermi Composting

I was doing composting using Khambha from dailydump for over two years.  I became an outlet for Dailydump from Nov 2013.  I decided to place one Khambha in a Park nearby to bring more awareness among people in our area.

Leaf Composting :
Wire Mesh used for storing and drying leaves,   Blue drum for Leaf composting

Drip Irrigation Kit :   Blue Drum : leaf Composting

23 Nov 2013                                    Cherry tomato 

The seeds were from Annadhana .  It was sowed in 10 pots and the yield was close to 750. When i was writing this blog on 23 Nov 2013, still it was yielding.

1 Mar 2014 : i still have 2 Galina ( Yellow Cherry tomato ) plants giving few tomatos.   In fact we got bored of this variety.

1 March 2014

Two pots had butter peas . seeds given by Anu Radha in Dec 2013.

Strawberry      Mar 2014

Flowers from My Garden

Rain Lily's

Strawberry :

Delhi Carrot :

Musk Melon :  You can also see the Plant

Stevia :   the Sugar Substitute

Few More successes

What You  can Grow in Pots ?

Gardening Workshop for children on 25 Dec 2016

My Plants taken to Venkat International School on 23 Dec 2016

10 Jun 2017

Videos of the Facilitation Function

Pl do visit