Saturday, May 7, 2011

My organic garden's warriors!

Sometimes back i wrote a post about the friendly bug the lady bug. when I told the kids in family about lady bug, they were very willing to find more ladybugs for the garden from the neighbouring area. u know what they found a treasure of lady bugs, and it was the time when my rooftop garden was full of aphids, so "my loving adorable garden army" was all set to hit upon a treasure of lady bugs and collect them and let them feast free on the aphids in my garden.
here see them in action-------->


this is just one of the many consignments that reached my terrace garden:
  Little ones collected atleast hundreds of lady bugs and aphids are all gone. They have assured me of all help regarding collection of lady bugs any time. Thanks ya! love u.

Friday, May 6, 2011

tomatoes tomatoes every where..............and lo ! my dream came true.

Ahhhhhh.... posting after a long long time, well yes the professional obligations do come in way of a person's passion, but then I am an Obsessive Compulsive Gardener and not an obsessive compulsive blogger. So all this time I never ever ignored my garden but yes I was not at all able to post a blog regarding lots and lots of happy developments in my garden. 
So the hour and a half that i give to my garden daily was spent only and only watering the so many pots I have on my roof top,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, yes only watering- no weeding, no composting, no pruning, no cleaning, no arranging them decoratively...........only watering. weather is so damn hot, its cruel! I was only able to water them once in day, although some of them required it two times a day (professional obligations u see!). The advice of my dear blogger friend from south of Africa(eco footprint) do worked well. I have done mulching, but couldnot provide the plants the varigated shade that she advised me to, although i do shifted some of the plants to shaded areas.

Now the tomatoes story!

right from the time i started gardening I was mainly focussing on tomatoes, beacause I love eating tomatoes with my meals, and temptation of home grown fresh organic t omatoes always always motivated to grow my own. I was so very desperate to eat tomatoes that when i planted seed the weather here was of winters. Mid of a chilling December2010 I planted my first ever tomatoes seeds, I was not at all aware that due to small size of the seeds I was growing lots and lots of seeds, actually at that time I was a bit disappointed by so less quantity of seeds in the pack, So I emptied the whole pack in my growing tray:

and I think it was a hundred percent germination, I had hundred and hundreds of tomato seedlings. As i told u it was spine chilling cold and tomatoes are heat lovers, i used to shift them daily in the morning and evening in sun and insides to protect them from shades. I googled a lot and lot about tomatoes and according adapted all the tricks which i was comfortable adopting, like in the evening after bringing them indoors I used to sway the little cute purplish seedling with my hands, as I read that this would make them have strong stems when they'll grow big. Due to freezing cold their growth was quite slow, and i used to repent for planting them at the peak of winters. but come march they cought speed that i was amazed, now was the time to replant and i realized that i have planted way too many where am i gonna plant them apart from 30-40 pots i have prepared for tomatoes?????? So after planting them in all the pots I had to plant them in the green belt I mentioned in my previous post, so right now I have in all 120-130 plants approx. Then i had to give away my seedlings to  some of my students and my neighbours too, I couldnot imagine the tender plants i have grown go waste in the seed tray after all.
after replanting the seedling got growing space or should i say breathing space and due to warmness in the weather they grew day by day like magic:

I still remember the time i planted my first tomato seedling.........chanting the mantra OM NAMAH SHIVAY:     being extra careful not to damage the roots and voila the baby tomato plant was safe in my hands with all its roots intact and now I planted it in the above pot with a marigold plant as its body guard. now i had a experience of planting all the seedlings to the pots so there i was planted them in all the pots which i had for planting them, that very day it poured heavily and it was again a chilling weather and i remember my self praying all night long to God that why the little babies on their first night outside have to bear all that wet chill but all was well not a single plant of mine was wasted due to cold wet rains. thanku God!

all my three months wait of january, february and march was worth it, come summer and my plants gained speed and vigour and started within 15-20 days of replanting, I put some compost in the month of march.
just see and compare the growth within 10 days  my tomatoes plants have out grown the marigolds:---

The tomato plant down below was the first one to flower and first one to bear a tomato and it gave me immense joy to observe the growth of that first tomato on a daily basis:---

This was the look of the the tomato shelter in march 2011:----

and this is how all of it was filled up with green foliage within days:---

First flowers:

The first tomato that i was waiting to ripe eagerly as i have made it a ritual to offer my first produce to God:

and see what happened to it:  so the day when it turned totally red i picked it and i saw that a pigeon has already taken the offering........ well they will have their share too...........   :-)

Wow!!! this quite yummy sight :

Just see the abundence. all these months only i and my near ones know, how i have been dreaming of tomatoes not only while i was sleeping but also at my waking moments, i was always talking about tomatoes and see the picture below this abundence is what i dreamt of:--------->

I have also grew cabbage and they are doing quite well, giving me enough produce for a decent breakfast for three. My daily tomato harvest is around 500 gms-750 gms. its good man.

This is my daily harvest now, My son loves to eat cherry tomatoes and long melon and i gulp down all the tomatoes with my lunch and dinner, so no recipies for tomatoes, I think they
 are best eaten raw with salt and black pepper. yummy!!!!!!!

God's love in bounty !

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Garden journey so far.... (so good!)

First spring at my roof top Garden had been a total success.
Begonia lovely and beautiful, I fell in love at first sight when I saw it in the nursery:

China rose:- this small little plant is giving me flowers in abundence no demands, never had been fussy just needs lots of direct sunlight:

 I had loads and loads of chrysenthemums in my garden

It was so much of fun sitting on that chair enjoying the winter's sun and watching my chrysenthemums

I didnot had much success with dahalias but these are the three blooms I got from one single plant, I think they need lots of care, next time: 

These are the Gajanias they also gave me a lovely flowershow although around january end they got severely infected with Aphids:

These are the lovely geraniums,adorable lovely bunches of pink flowers which no body could ignore and every visitor to the garden had a word or two for them; sadly they also got infected with some disease which i couldnot identify, i sprayed them with mild soap water solution it helped but the blooms are not as they were:-

These are the marigold, put them as companions for the tomatoes, looking lovely with tomatoes arent they?

Sweet Alyssums kept them in my balcony they are giving us unending sweet fragrances from last three months:


These are pansies, 4-5 plants in  one container, arent they looking lovely?

 I had been a plant lover always, but this is the first time that I am nurturing them myself. This is the first time I have a roof top garden and that too is coming up according to my ideas and wishes. In the year   2010 when we renovated our house and me, my husband and son shifted to a bigger room with a balcony the idea of terrace garden came up in my mind. Ours is a joint family so after the renovation the space constraint was all gone and first I ventured to make a balcony garden, so that whenever I look out of my window I can see greenery, then gradually with frequent trips to plant nursery and ever increasing collection of plants that space seemed smaller to me and I counted total terraces that we have, and hey we have four terraces in all so I took the one which is easily accessible from my room first for my ornamental roof top garden.

 hubby dear got the shed fixed up for the shade plants and garden furniture:-

 then I took the other terrace for my edible container garden:-

these are beans, chives, cabbages, tomatoes, radishes all on the roof top in containers.

these are peas, I dont know whether they will survive the hot weather approaching soon

my tomatoes in companion planting with onions

 The top most constraint with roof top gardening is carrying the soil upstairs, again hubby dear came to help, he got the green belt area in the side of the house cleared and fenced up so that I can plant more veggies over there.

here you can see him toiling hard to straighten up the fence  :)
I have grown lots of veggies in this area tomatoes,eggplants, beans, bitter gourd, round gourds, corn, greenies, fenugreek, spinach, cucumber, basil and marigold, so now i am gardening on land also, I do fear that i have planted too much and whether i would be able to have a good produce or not, but then this is my first time and I am learning, i will fare well, I always do.

Within this 5-6 months of starting gardening I am a happier and content person, I feel more closer to God when I am in my garden.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You won't believe this!

Posting after a long time. Actually there is so much going on in my garden and wanted to share it all here but after spending time over there no time left for blogging, but today have taken a resolution that I am sure going to  blog atleast once a week, want to be in touch with all and yes! want ur kind advices and comments too.

yesterday - 7th March something great and amazing happened and i would like to call it a miracle. So right from the time I am attacked by 'the gardening bug' and googling all the gardening blogs and websites I was in search for a kind bug called the lady bug, specially after my geraniums were attacked by aphids. I searched for the lady bug in my surroundings but couldnt find it so i  thought let it be and just wished that from its own, some day lady bugs will come and help me out with aphids(though i sprayed the plants with mild soap solution  meanwhile). thanx to the use of excessive pesticides and insecticides in my part of the world I could'nt find any.

Now the amazing part! yesterday was my birthday and I was just attending all the phone calls of loved ones and I felt tickling on my left palm and when I saw what it is?...... HEY! it was a cute little lady bug. I was overjoyed, I think it was my birthday gift from God, hmmmmmm.... I think God kinda likes me gardening. You know what, I hadnt been to my garden or anywhere out that morning I was just in my room attending phone calls. Here I have clicked the little one:-

I rushed to my terrace garden after clicking its picture to share with you all, while it was still exploring my palm to give it an idea of prospective food joints it can have at my roof top but some how it flew away when  I was rushing towards the stairs, I was so excited that time that i forgot that it will fly inbetween if I will not hold it by both the hands, well, well, well in the evening I saw two ladybugs on my geranium, So thank u dear God for the long wished for birthday gift.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

French round radish in containers.

Wow! this is another produce of mine that I am tasting, looking, harvesting and ahem growing for the very first time. I am on top of the world after harvesting my first round radish on the top of my roof yooooohoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! was my reaction today morning when I decided after two three days of contemplating with the help of googling, the exact time to harvest french radish. I prayed and then very very very delicately held the leaves of my organically grown radish and pulled it and lo... here it was the cute little darling ( in the back of my mind I was talking to the radish --" my baby did I hurt you?"). Here is the beauty in all its glory for you to see.... a moment to remember for me..

All ready to see outside world.
here she is,, wow what colour, its more beautiful than the seed pack showed.
and I rushed downstairs to show it to my husband, (you can see my impatience I havent washed it till now :-)  )

and then my hubby had to go to office and yes I prepared a simple, beautiful salad with this radish for him, and it turned  very nice, :( could not take a picture of that due to morning hustle bustle. I would like to tell, how i hated to cut the little thing with a knife but even then it presented a good show, i didnot peeled it and it gave real good shade to the salad with a mix of red, white and as i cut the leaves too so it was green too, I put some sprouted moong, lemon , salt and pepper. It was yum ofcourse, I could see it from the expression of his face and yes i was also very happy as it was totally oraganic fresh and home produced. You must be thinking why i prepared a salad for my Husband first, well he is the one who is sharing my new obsession with interest and helping me in every way he could, he deserve that don't he?

I have grown 14 red radishes  and they are all ready to come up within a week .

Here is how the radish journey began on my terrace in containers. It all happened in a month:---

I planted one seed in one small pot, but now after looking at the size of harvest I think I could have planted three in one small pot, well next time:---

Now this is what happened to Radish Number 2, goes to my dear Son Abhinav :-----

All Set......


hmmmmm... let me try (tasting radish for the first time)


will finish it mommy......

Today was a good day!!!!!!