Story on how you can start the kitchen garden easilygayathri nagarajan
Make sure your terrace is already water proof and if you need do one more coat of cement and water proofs like mr.fix and other water proof paints.
Analyse: Analyse the number of people in your family and vegetables and greens needed for a week
Potting mix: Potting mix is the 1:1:1 cocopeat manure and red soil - cocopeat is weightless and doesn't have any nutrition but retains the water of the pot, Manure can be home made compost or a VermiCompost from the market,Red soil from the nursery.Identify the number of pots needed and accordingly use potting mix.
Cuddapah Slabs and Terracotta stones blocks:
Gradually iron slabs will cause rusting and hence we started using cuddapah slabs and terracotta blocks or stones fromthe shops to set up as a stand for our pots. This helps in cleaning and to drain water easily from the terrace , also used this way when we do rain water harvesting.
Composting \Manure : When you start a garden in terrace, make sure parallely you set up a composting yard or bio enzymes bucket to save the wetwaste from your kitchen. This helps to prepare your own compost and manure for the vegetable plants . We also buy the vermicompost from lalbagh and use bio enzymes and manures for our plants
Growing Vegetables: Make sure you start slowly with easy vegetables like raddish ,ladies finger, tomatoes and chillies.Also you can experiment with greens.
Controlling the pests:Vegetable plants are easily affected with pests and hence you need to take proper care for them. Spraying of neem oil and water regularly will help plant grow and fight against the enemies, mealy bugs and other worms and insects. Bio enzymes helps in nutrition of soil and preventing plants from insects. We also grow tulsi and marigold and other flowering plants int he middle of other vegetable pots to confuse pests. This helps in controlling pests
Birds and Squirrels: Birds and squirrels can be controlled by tieing the cds or plastic covers or hanging the clothes. This helps.
Above picture is the bird's eye view of our terrace garden with the water proof , cuddapah stones and terracotta blocks as stands for the pots.
We harvest vegetables like carrots, raddish, beetroot, cabbages, and exotic herbs like hongane,bhringraj,basle,malabar spinach,brahmi.
Few pictures of our harvest:
Above picture is the harvest of knolkhol tomatoes and raddishes. We also learnt while growing knol khol that instead of cutting the whole plant you can only take the harvest of a knol khol and leave the plant, so that few more leaves germinate and leads to 5 or 6 knol khols from the same plant. This applies to cabbage and cauliflower as well. Once you start gardening learning is endless and your time is occupied, This is a very good hobby for the people who wants to spend their time in a useful way.
Knol khols harvested from our terrace.
Posing with my kids - Harvested are Brinjals and Ladies finger
We also share the harvest with our relatives, neighbours friends and colleagues in office.We also help and motivate our neighbours and friends to grow and use organic vegetables and greens, few of our neighbours and friends have started gardening and grow few exotic greens.We also inform and share the uses of exotic herbs like brahmi, bhringraj,balloon vine and pirandai on how it can be used for the preparation of oil, face masks and other bone related problems .
So start utilising the space in your garden and Grow your own vegetables,greens and fruits.