Aditi Deodhar - Brown Leaf

The Brown Leaf

When I realized that Mulching is the most undervalued Gardening practice, my quest for best mulching options began. I realized that there is nothing at par with dry leaves when it comes to mulching. During my search for dry leaves, I came across BROWN LEAF – a forum founded by Aditi Deodhar dedicated to stop the burning of dry leaves! What a beautiful concept I thought!

Brown Leaf Donate

 

Dry leaves are often considered as waste or litter and are burnt away. This not only pollutes the atmosphere but is also a substantial loss for the environment as what comes from the soil should go back to the soil. Aditi was deeply moved by this method of dealing with Dry Leaves. She shares that when she started to advice the city sweepers against burning of these leaves, they started piling the leaves; to a point that they didn’t know what to do with the heaps of leaves. It was to address this issue that BROWN LEAF was born.

 

BROWN LEAF was founded by Aditi Deodhar in Feb 2016 in the city of Pune. BROWN LEAF adopts 3 way solution for dealing with Dry Leaves – Mulch, Compost & Donate. It now co-ordinates demand and supply of Dry leaves.

BROWN LEAF has a dedicated app wherein you can inform about the availability of excess Dry leaves in your area/locality/Streets which will be then coordinated to somebody who is in need of these leaves.

To know more about the organization you can visit their website, www.brownleaf.org

Aditi says, she wishes to replicate this model all over India where the dry leaves are burnt off! If you wish to take BROWN LEAF to your city or if you wish to know more you can contact pune.brownleaf@gmail.com!

Keep Mulching & Composting 🙂

Happy Gardening!

 

 

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Inexpensive Gardening – Part 3 – Compost

Over a period of time I have spoken a lot about organic composting and even experimented a lot with them. Here’s a quick recap to all the Composting Ideas!

  1. Cow Dung & Cow Urine always stand at number one position when it comes to compost. To read more about application of manure click here.
  2. Dry leaves are the second best option as they are carbon-rich! To know more about how to use dry leaves as manure click here.
  3. Potassium and Phosphorous are the two vital minerals required for flowering and fruiting. Use all the fruit and vegetable peels from your kitchen. You can also add ash if you find it. To know more about plant requirements click here.
  4. To keep them safe from pests keep them well nourished! A well nourished plant has a good resistance towards pests and rarely gets infected.
  5. Another most crucial thing, to keep the plants safe from pest, is to grow them in right season. I’ll soon come up with an article on seasonal and Perennial Plants!
  6. Mulching is the best way to keep the soil hydrated and prevent it from developing cracks and losing nutrients. To know more about mulching click here.

Inexpensive Gardening – Part 2 – Gardening Tools

Now that we have done some Jugaad about the pots and containers lets do the same for Gardening tools!

One often keeps worrying about how would he/she carry out all the gardening activities without the required tools which are pretty expensive! So here’s a list of things that you can pull out right from your kitchen and use them!! And as when you feel you’re thoroughly enjoying the process, you can go ahead, make some capital investment and buy some tools!!! 🙂

Below depicted are a series of images. To the left are all actual tools and to the right are the things with which you can substitute them! 🙂

The first tool that comes to our mind is a trowel!

The other options for trowel are

The same above utensil can be used as Digging Bar from the reverse side. Here’s a look!

The third on our list is a twine which can be substituted with any thread that you have at home

The next one is a pruning shear which can be replaced with a kitchen scissor!

Next comes Gardening Gloves! Though personally I love to put my bare hands into the soil and feel the mud; I know there are quite a number of people who do not like to do it and find it dirty! So till the time you get your Gardening gloves, here’s a Jugaad! Tie a plastic bag around your hand loosely such that you can move all your fingers, close your fist and open it!

A word of caution: Such a polythene Glove will only save you from dirt and not from the Prickles. Ouch!

That was my list of Gardening Tools! If there is still something you need and you do not have it, knock the neighbor’s door! 😉

Inexpensive Gardening – Part 1 – Pots & Containers

Idea Number 5: Use some old buckets or paint buckets! I know this is the most common idea. But it is one of the best ideas as well.

buckets
This Photo does not belong to Reemasgarden.

Idea Number 4: Plastic Bottles: Don’t underestimate the power of a plastic bottle. It is one of the most important tools in gardening! You can cut open a plastic bottle as shown in the picture below and use it for growing anything ranging from Coriander to spinach to fenugreek and many more. The pictures would give you a better idea! I’ll soon be coming up with an entire article dedicated to the plastic bottles!

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Cut Open the bottles from the center as shown in the picture. Create small holes underneath for outflow of excess water.
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I had planted coriander!  Click here to view an article on how to grow coriander!

Idea Number 3: Use any container/tiffin box from your kitchen! Yes our kitchen has too many plastic containers that are either old or slightly cracked. Instead of disposing them use them as pots!

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This was a plastic box in which we got our ice-cream. So Instead of disposing it, I chose to use it in my garden for small plants.

Idea Number 2: Use a cardboard box! Our house is loaded with cardboard cartons. Just give them a plastic coating from inside and use them. Yes I can hear you asking “Will it hold? Will stay in the long run?” The answer is “NO! It wont stay in the long run. But it will stay long enough for you to experiment and know whether you’re liking gardening! Once you know you’re good at it and you’re enjoying the process there is no harm in making some capital investment in form of pots and containers!!

I had this huge cardboard box so I just covered with plastic from inside and voila!! I had my raised bed ready! Free of cost. This box contained 9 eggplants. Just be careful about one thing when you’re using a cardboard box. Don’t relocate it. Just let it stay fixed in a place. Lifting it or moving it may cause damage to the box as it is just a cardboard!You can similarly use a shoe box!

When you place the lid under the box, it makes the box even stronger and if the height of the box is six inches you can plant any plant. If shorter than 6 inches, choose a smaller plant.

Idea Number 1: Use the existing Containers effectively! The following are the pots that contain rose plants. I used them to grow fenugreek and even Okra! You can experiment with more plants!!

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Okra in a rose pot! Click here to know how to grow an Okra in your Balcony!

Do you find Gardening Expensive?

Lets talk Money!
Do you find Gardening expensive?
Many people assume that Gardening is very expensive as it involves expenditure on
  1. Pots or Containers
  2. Gardening Tools
  3. Compost/Fertilizers/Manures/Pesticide/Insecticide
  4. Seeds
  5. Miscellaneous items like Garden decoration and lighting, etc
Click on any of the above points to know the various methods of making Gardening Economical rather almost free..!!
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