February 6, 2013
I started gardening on the terrace of the apartment building I live in, couple of months ago. I have a mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Would love to add fruits gradually. I also compost in an old bucket that I converted to a compost bin. I enjoy spending time in my small garden. I am growing avarakkai (broad beans), tomatoes, brinjal, beetroot, spinach, gongura, Okra, onion, garlic, chillies. I got some amaranth seeds, so trying my hand at those. In my limited experience so far, Okra plants were senstive, attracting aphids and gave me a small harvest. I lost one beetroot to big red ants - they devoured the helpless plant under the soil! Any ideas on how to avoid this from repeating? Or any experiences?
February 21, 2013
I too am a newbie in vegetable gardening, from Madippakkam, Chennai. I started with some corriander, methi, mint, green chillies, tomatos, bitter groud and just seeded some okra. I was buying the potting soil from a nursery at Velachery. They were good quality soil with a mixture of red soil, cow dung and sand. But this time I saw some oyster shells in the mixture, which means that the sand used is beach sand. I don't feel it safe to use for container plants. Can I use it for the plants on the ground? Is it safe? or shall I just throw it away.
February 21, 2013
My green chillies (the small ones called kanthari molaka) too were affected by aphids. I tried diluted dish wash liquid which killed the aphids, but I don't think it is plant friendly when used regularly. Now I'm trying the ginger+garlic + neem leaf mixture (grind them together with water, strain, dilute the liquid with some more water.) Spray it on the leaves once in two or three days. I'm using it on my new plants, so far good. If any one knows any other organic remedy for aphids, please share it.
Shakuntala, can you let me know where I can get good quality soil, manure and seeds? What do you use as containers? I started composting kitchen waste. How long will it take for the compost to get mature enough to be used as manure?
Thanks and happy gardening...