Friday, January 16, 2015

On starting an organic terrace garden.

In the past, I have posted many pictures of my organic terrace garden.


Satish and I have managed to succesfully grow Tomatoes, Brinjals , Mint, Amaranthus, Beans, Bitter gourd, Bottle gourd, Green chillies, Celery, Parsley , Rocket leaves, Lemon grass, Basil, Fenugreek (methi) to name just a few!

It's almost like a farm that we have on the terrace of our 14th floor penthouse. When we started off this organic terrace garden, we had no experience whatsover. I was inspired by this video.
(do watch it. It is about 18 minutes long and worth a watch. very inspiring)

We initially tried to grow carrots but we failed miserably. We had no clue how exactly to go about it. All we knew was that we were doing something wrong.Then we started researching online and I found there was a wealth of information available there. I also stumbled across this wonderful group on Facebook, which I am now a part of, and they have so many tips for beginners.

Armed with those, we began. We started this in April 2014 and now, we have a really nice garden. Here are a few snapshots from it.


And here is a set of a few more pictures.




Many of my friends who have seen  my organic terrace garden wanted to know how to start one and what I did. They asked me to blog about it.

There are many resources available online if you want to start one.

Here are a few links:

How to start an organic terrace garden:
http://www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/a-beginners-guide-to-organic-terrace-gardening-what-do-you-need-to-get-started/

Dr.B.N Vishwanath is a pioneer in organic terrace gardening. He conducts many workshops. You can also get a handbook here:
http://www.cityfarmer.info/2008/03/05/a-handbook-of-organic-terrace-gardening-bangalore-india/

Another good resource for beginners is Garden guru's blog:
http://geekgardener.in/2009/12/15/so-you-want-to-start-a-kitchen-garden-part-ii-seed-starting/

Those of you who want to start one, please begin by first watching the video which I linked and then reading up each of these links. There is a wealth of information given in the FB group which you will have access to, once you join.

Personally, the soil mix that i have used for my garden is

1/3rd red mud, 1/3rd coco-peat , 1/3rd horse and goat dung.

Coco-peat allows the roots to run freely and it prevents the red mud from caking up and becmoing hard. I used compressed coco-peat of 5 kgs. (You have to soak it in 25 litres of water and then the 5 kgs expands to 25 kilos. You can also use 1 kg of it and soak in 5 litres of water. Instructions are on the pack). You could go to any gardening store in your respective cities and pick up all the stuff mentioned above.
I have bought almost all that I need from the store at  Lalbagh Botanical Garden, bangalore.

The thing about gardening is that it needs a lot of hardwork and patience. You will not get instant results. You will have to spend at least 15-20 minutes with your plants every day. You will have to remove weeds, watch out for pests, diseases etc. You will have to add compost to the soil every week, remove dead leaves etc.

But oh the joy of watching a seed sprout, slowly grow, then blossom into a plant that starts giving fruits! It is unmatched! And trust me, once you get the first crop, you will be hooked. It is addictive, this business of growing your own food. It will be the freshest, tastiest stuff you hve ever eaten. No amount of money can give you that satisfaction of having something that yiu have grown yourself.

Give it a start! You don't need a huge space. Just a small balcony which gets adequate sunlight is more than enough to grow beans, tomatoes and greens.

Happy gardening!
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10 comments:

  1. Hi.. I love this post.. Wonderful and thank you very much..

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  2. Thanks Ashok! Appreciate your leaving me a comment! :)

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  3. That's awesome Preeti. Hope many of us would find this post help on growing organic. It's a need in today's world.
    Cheerz

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  4. super posting... very inspiring and initiating to have a wonderful terrace garden...

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  5. Fantastic post....really appreciate your kind efforts to OTG & sharing your experience to us. In fact this is must for all as especially in our country we get very few fresh poison-less veggiee & unknowingly we sometimes do eat it.. Gonna try it on my terrace soon. Thanks.
    By the way, I'd ordered your book It happens for a reason from Amazon, received it today & gonna start from today itself. Have a good confidence that I thoroughly gonna enjoy it.

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  6. Awesome! I have been thinking of starting a garden and finally am ready to get my hands dirty. Thanks for posting the links and the videos.These people and their work is so inspiring and ofcourse yours too:))

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  7. You are great at gardening As writing mam :) its very very nice post happy gardening :)

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  8. Too good Preeti! This doesn't happen without liking, interest and hard work....
    Congrats to both of you for your efforts.

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  9. Superb one. what a beautiful gardening. I am also very fond of plantation in my terrace and has grown so many flowers and veggies as well. Thank u for the share.

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  10. I'm sure going to try organic terrace garden and I will definitely spread this idea to my fellow neighbor who can afford doing it.

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