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 !