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Weekend Sale at Geekgardener’s

This weekend, the following products are available for purchase. There are seeds, seedlings and the much awaited Panchagavya. This time there is a special entry. Fresh lettuce that is. You can come to the garden, pick the lettuce you need and it will be cut right in front you.. fresh. Limited stock hence on first come first serve basis


  • Panchagavya




  • Seeds and Seedlings

    • Hungarian Yellow wax Seedlings [ Bajji Pepper]
    • Black beauty brinjal seedlings
    • Green chillies
    • Cabbage
    • All other vegetable seeds.


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  • Cocopeat

  • Fresh lettuce for sale

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The location for purchase is
Preferred timings: 10AM-2PM 3PM-6PM

Happy gardening.

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So you want to start a kitchen garden – Part II – Seed starting

This post is a continuation of Part I. This post focuses on seed germination  popularly known as seed starting. Seed germination is the process of sprouting of a seed and beginning of  growth. A seed germinates when the environment around is conducive this includes temperature, light levels etc.. When the environment is not favorable for the seed to sprout, it simply waits. This waiting period is called period of Dormancy.

As gardeners, our job is to gently wake up the seed and remind it of its job!. Sounds like a piece of cake? You’ll see!.

You might be reading this because, you may want to sow some seeds and wanted some info or you have already sowed them and can’t wait to see them sprouting. In any case, you will not be disappointed, read on.

Before jumping into seed starting for a kitchen garden,, one need to decide a) What are we going to sow and where? b) Is it the right time of the year for that vegetable c) Will the vegetable grow where you live?. This might involve some googling or watch this blog. First week of every month I will be posting what can be sown that month.

Once you have decided the vegetable you can go ahead and start your seeds.

For seed starting, you need the following.


  • Seed starting mix
  • Seed starting tray/flat or a pot.
  • Seed labels ( optional if you have super memory)
  • Seeds
  • A polythene wrap and a rubber band.
  • A Marker.

Seed starting mix:

This can be soil based or soilless.  To make a soilless mix, you can simply use

  • plain coco peat,  Or plain perlite or plain vermiculite
  • Mixture of perlite and coco peat. and vermiculite Or
  • Fine topsoil free from fungus or any insects.
  • Sand. Or
  • Tissue paper ( Surprised?)



  • Take the seed starting medium which could be any of the ones listed above in your seed starting tray or pot.
  • Ensure, the tray has very good drainage and is free from any insect eggs or fungus.
  • Make the seed starting medium moist. It should not be very wet but just enough moisture. When you squeeze the medium in your palm, the clump that forms should stay in tact when you open your hand.  If it is little more moist, don’t worry, just make sure the container has good drainage.
  • Now, fill your tray with medium till an inch from the top brim. The depth of the tray must be atleast 2 inches. It helps if it is deeper the roots dont get pot bound.
  • Gently compact the surface to make sure it is flat.

It should look something like this. This tray you see is 10” X 9” X 4”. I found this in a plastic recycle shop. Works like a charm.

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  • Now it is time to sow the seeds. Here you need to see one more thing. How it has to be sown? Few seeds need light to germinate and few needs to be covered ( darkness to germinate).  Oh My god.. I don’t know if it needs light or not ? now what do i do?  No worries. Just point your browser to this beautiful website. In this site, you get all the information necessary for seed starting a vegetable. Happy?
  • You have the seed starting tray filled with media ready. You can either make furrows and place the seeds in the furrows and cover them with soil or just place the seeds on the surface and just press them a little deeper with dibber or your little finger.. Make sure the seed doesnt stick with your finger and comes back to you when you lift it. ;). It should look like below. A depth of 0.5 cm is just fine for tomatoes and its relatives like chilly, eggplant, pepper etc.
  • Once the sowing is complete, simply cover the surface with a polythene cover and keep it in a bright location but away from direct sunlight. A balcony would be fine.  Watering is not necessary till germination happens. The cover will hold the moisture in.
  • Keep checking the tray for signs of germination. A small hook will show up first and then the cotyledons. When you see a sprout, remove the cover off the tray and keep the tray in a place where it gets good light. IMPORTANT: Any delay in keep them in a well lit place during this phase of its growth will cause seedlings to become tall, thin and spindly. They won’t make good yielders.

Here is a food parcel container hosting a few pepper seeds.

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NOTE:I am posting pics of different veggie seedlings so that you get a general idea.


  • Now the seedlings are germinated, you are excited. But hang on, the game is not over yet. In fact it is the beginning 😉
  • As said above, keep them in a place that receives good sunlight. Gradually expose them to direct sunlight starting from few minutes the first day and then increasing day by day.
  • Do not let the media go dry. Any stress and this point of its growth is irrecoverable. The idea is to keep the media moist all the time. So dont let it dry and dont overwater either.
  • Water them with a half strength fertilizer. If organic, use compost tea otherwise use any complete water soluble fertilizer.(Use as per directions on the fertilizer label).
  • Keep the environment where the seedlings are kept, dry and airy. If not fungus might develop causing damp-off which can be very frustrating.

Here is how the seedlings look once they germinate.

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Here is a pot that contains cabbage seedlings that just germinated.MyGarden 870

You can also grow seedlings in cups like this.Image(703)

The picture you see below is that of Okra( Ladies Finger). The top 4 of them are healthy seedlings and the bottom 2 are affected by Damping-off. You can see the weakened point in the stem that simply gives in. Damping off is caused by  a fungus.

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Damping off ( Close up):

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Damping off can be prevented in many different ways, including germination in dryer conditions with better air circulation, starting seedlings in sterilized soil, and/or using a fungicide for this purpose, either a commercial one or a homemade solution, such as one made garlic.

Trichoderma is a beneficial fungi and is used as a bio fungicide. It is used for seed and soil treatment for suppression of various diseases caused by fungus


Transplanting is when you move the seedling into its more permanent place for it to grow and produce yield. The target place can be a container or on the ground directly. Here we will focus on container only.

  • Select a container that is large enough to grow the transplant you are planting. Typically tomatoes, eggplant  need 20L containers. Cabbage and chilly can do with 10L approx.
  • Take  a container that has good drainage.
  • Choose a soil mix that has good amount of organic matter and rich in nutrients. Add a handful of bonemeal to the potting mix when you transplant.
  • Few plants can be planted more deeper ( burying a part of stem) and some have to be transplanted with their crown ( place where its stem connects with soil) at the soil surface.
  • Plant the transplant in the container and slightly compact the soil so that the plant anchors well.
  • Always transplant either early in the morning or in the evening.
  • Do NOT keep the container in direct full sunlight immediately after the transplant.
  • Water them with plain water after you are done with transplanting.

A typical plant ready for transplant will look like below.

seedlings ready for transplant. ( Actually. Late by a week).

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Cabbage transplants

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If you are growing in cell trays then your transplants might look like the ones below. A Capsicum transplant.

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Brinjal Transplant

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These pictures are to help you identify the stage at which a plant can be transplanted.

While I tried my level best to include much of the information related to seed starting, I might have missed something important that needs to coverage.

As always I welcome comments/suggestions.

Happy seed starting!


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Basket full of Container grown veggies

In one of my previous post, I mentioned that I bring a brinjal or two along with me when I return from morning watering my plants. That changed today! First, I started collecting with my hands, but little did I realize that no way my hands are going to handle so much yield that awaits plucking. With a basket in hand, I started plucking…

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You can see Black beauty, White brinjal ( This is why the name Eggplant).Tomato, local variety and chery and few Podland pink tomatoes sprinkled on top of white brinjal.

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Just the brinjals. Look at the diversity. You know, the purple brinjal plant has purple flowers and the white one has white flowers and few of them have purple. Sometimes nature is a mystery!.

The some of white brinjal were taken for cooking and boy! was it creamy. I think we have enough brinjal for the next two weeks. 😉

All the harvest you see here are container grown. The largest container is 20L and most of them are in 8-10L containers.

More later.


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Container grown Eggplants – Black Beauty

While the image of fresh brinjals from my last post on eggplants Red, White and Green still green in my mind, there is another batch of brinjal plants getting ready for harvest. The variety that I am growing now is Black Beauty.

When I went for vegetable shopping a while back I saw this huge black beauty weighing almost a Kilogram. It was priced at Rs 25-30 a Kg. This was enough push for me to start sowing black beauty in my own container garden. With some local searching I was able to get the seeds that said “Black Beauty”.

The seeds were sown like usual in trays and transplanted into containers. Then Magic happens and you will have something like this …

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I can hear you saying “Come on! this isn’t black beauty?!” “Its more like purple?”. I too am wondering. May be its the lack of direct sunlight for long hours? May be I was taken for a ride by the seed seller? I dont know.

I was expecting a 1kg brinjal from my plant. This one was about 300 gms. But that doesn’t bother me.

One might notice a brown scar on that brinjal’s base. This brinjal was growing so low in a container that it started touching the ground. I had to remove some soil to make room for it to grow and there was a small stone that made its mark on this brinjal. I was shocked to see that spot as I didn’t want this brinjal to be infested with worms. No way.

Totally I had 10 plants of this variety but I had only 3-4 big containers . Hence the rest of the plants had to adjust with whatever container they got..

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Look at this plant below, that is so happily growing in a polythene bag. Its that simple. You don’t need great containers. A simple thick polythene bag will serve the purpose. I was looking for a black polythene bag but then this one is much thicker than the black ones available in the market.You can see a small brinjal that is growing near the base.

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There are other vegetables that I am growing right now. Red cabbage, Bitter gourd to name a few.

Let me finish give a spicy ending to this post.

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Ornamental chillies in a 4 inch pot!.

More later


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Red, White and Green

No, Its not about a flag or its color. This title is about my latest harvest from the terrace container garden.

I have 3 container with White Brinjal growing in them. By the looks of it, it was very clear why the name eggplant was given to it. But As I gave time to the plant for its fruits to grow, I ended up fruits of the size of an egg.. an ostrich egg…. I actually got 2 batches of the harvest in a weeks gap.

This guy was the biggest of all.













Batch 1:

The “Eggs” were really soft and had an amazing taste.













Batch 2: We have the red, we have the white and there is green 😉

By the way, dont start praising and give credit to the eggplant for bearing a Nokia cellphone. I just threw it in there to make the size of the veggies more sensible. The tomatoes and the chilles are from the garden too.












Tomatos are no less and are competing with the eggplant..












I am sowing Okra this week in 10 containers. WIll keep posted of the progress..

till then…


NOTE: Now the pics are taken by my good-old Nokia 6600. Bear with the quality and the clarity.

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