From Garden to Kitchen
Have you ever experienced that feeling, when you go to the kitchen and realise that there are no green chili or tomato or coriander in your refrigerator? Now, you are in a big fix - what to cook now or how to manage.
Now, we think of a second situation, when after the absence of these basic supplies doesn't panic you instead gives you an opportunity to once again visit your PURE, ORGANIC TERRACE GARGEN. The visit which will be full of bliss. That feeling when you are moving towards the garden makes you so full of pride and a complete lesson of positive self-affirmations takes place in the journey from "Kitchen to the garden".
There is a scientific study that proves that people who are involved in gardening are more happier and enjoy healthy relationships.
So, when objective of all of us is to be happy then why not we move forward and take the first step towards gardening. I accept the fact that it's not going to be easy but none of us would enjoy a smooth ride. After all we are used to roller coasters. So, let's try to plant a organic terrace garden and take baby step at a time.So, let's start the ball rolling……GET SET GO!!
The first member we would like to add to our family is :
It's not only considered an incredible herb in our Indian Mythology for its spiritual nature but it has many medicinal properties too. It has many antibacterial, antiviral properties and acts as a immune booster. It is one of the main ingredients of grandmother's kitchen.So, let's get started now. Tulsi plantlets can be either brought directly from the nursery (There are major three types of Tulasi - Rama, Krishna and Vana Tulasi) or the seeds can be bought from the market. The first requirement is of 16 - 20 inches pot and a good quality potting soil mix. The drainage capacity should be good and the PH range should be between 6.5 - 7.0. A very important component of the potting mix should be some good biofungicide. It prevents any root related fungal disease or any problem caused due to excess water. The seed should be covered with half inch wholly cow manure from above.
The temperature while sowing the seeds should be around 21 degree Celsius. To fulfil the temperature requirements you can keep the pots indoors or in the shade net. It will take around 7 - 14 days for the seeds to germinate. For a good growth try pruning all the stems from above once 5- 6 leaves appear on the plant. This will give a good growth to the shrub and prevent formation of the flowers and the seeds. After all we want to enjoy our Tulsi organic tea as long as we can and that too straight from the garden.
- As mentioned earlier, biofungicides should be added to the potting soil mix or the seeds should be treated with it (Seed Care).
- The plants should be exposed to minimum 4 -6 hours of direct sunlight.
- Overwatering should be avoided. Always insert your finger in the soil and check whether water is actually needed by the plant.
- If the temperature increases beyond the mentioned range, use shade net.
COMMON DISEASES AND THEIR CONTROL:
- Fungal Disease : It will be in the form of powdery infestation on the leaves. Depending upon the extent of disease either some sulphur -based fungicide (mild infection) or copper - based fungicide (severe infection) can be used.
- Aphids, mealy bugs and other small pests can be taken care of by the misty spray of Pure Neem Oil. The spray should be applied thrice at an interval of 10 days each.
- Homemade insecticidal soap solution can also be prepared to keep away the pests.
A regular top up of Vermicompost is required every 10 - 14 days to maintain healthy plants. One more good news is that Tulasi repels many pests and maintains the health of neighbouring plants along with marigold plants.
Coriander prefers a sunny weather with intervals of shade during the hot hours of the day. The preferred temperature range is 20 - 30 degrees Celsius. The ideal time to plant coriander is June-July in summers and October - November at the start of winters. The pot or the container should be deep enough for the proper root growth (around 20 cm).
It grows well in the loamy soil ( 40% sand, 40% silt and 20% clay by weight) or potting soil mix with a good drainage capacity and a PH range between 6 - 8.
The seeds should be soaked overnight in water for a better germination rate. The seeds should also be treated with Azospirillium for a good crop establishment and Seed Care control the wilt disease in the foliage. The seeds should be sown 4 cm apart and 1 cm deep. The soil should be watered with the help of Hand Sprayer. The coriander seeds take around 14 - 21 days for germination. So, have patience and do not get disheartened. After all, good things take time to happen and the fruit of patience is always sweet. To maintain a continuous supply of coriander in your kitchen sow the coriander seeds in the second pot once the germination of seeds takes place in the first pot.
If you have taken a good potting mix full of nutrition, then there will not be a requirement of top ups otherwise make sure that you add fully decomposed compost (Wholly cow manure) and a good liquid biofertilizer. Your completely organic, good green lush foliage will be ready for the kitchen in about a month.
Enjoy your fresh tempting coriander without waiting for vegetable seller or without going to the vegetable market in hot summers.
The common diseases of coriander are:
- Powdery Mildew : Use Pseudomonas fluorescence (2g/litre), wettable sulphur(2-5g/litre) or Pure Neem oil.
- To prevent from other fungal pathogens have proper spacing between the plants, avoid overwatering and washing the leaves unnecessary with water.
- Put Yellow sticky pads in the pot for control of aphids and white fly.
We can grow mint both in the pots as well as in the garden directly in the soil. Generally a 12 inches pot is preferred, may be a poly grow bag as the runner roots of the mint will occupy the complete space available to them, covering the space of others plants also. So, these midsummer blooms are a good idea for forming soil covers. That means mint is a naughty one and for disciplinary reasons we have to restrict it to the pot.
Mint prefers a very light soil, gritty compost or a potting soil mix with a very good drainage capacity. You can even make your own soil by mixing sand, cocopeat and perlite in equal quantities. The temperature range is ideally 18 - 21 degree Celsius. Always place the pot in the east direction and keep on turning the pot at an angle of 180 degrees as ins to grow more in the direction of sun.
Once the pot is filled with soil you can either take the stem cuttings om the mature mint plant 1 cm above the stem junction. These can be directly planted in the soil at two feet apart. Or, to make sure that the cutting grows better you can dip the cuttings in fresh water till white roots develop on it. Now, they are ready to be transferred in the soil. Make sure that the soil remains moist but always avoid overwatering them. Mint leaves will be ready for harvesting in about 30 days. The mature mint measures between 1feet - 2 feet in height. You can either pluck the leaves or cut the stems one inches above the soil.
Plant Mint near the cabbage and tomatoes possibly. Mint also suffers from various diseases such as fungal blight, rust, leaf spot and viral disease. The best way is to discard the infected plants and to take preventive measures as mentioned for coriander.