Flower Garden – Part XV – Petunia

Petunias are here! 😀

The lovely, colorful, bright, cheerful Petunias are here! Once you have petunias in your garden, you can’t help but fall in love with them.

3 quick reasons why you should have petunias:

They come in various colors. They are perfect for adding different colors to your Garden!

They have multiple blooms at a time. Gives your garden the grandeur you have been searching for.

These plants have a tendency to fall or grow downwards, making them apt for hanging baskets.

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They say petunias are both annuals and perennials, but I have seen only the annual ones. That means… new colors every year 😀 😀 😀

As I have said earlier, with annuals you can add sufficient compost while potting and just once throughout the life of the plant (or more if you feel necessary). Petunias will make digging around them difficult. So be sure to add compost while potting them.

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Petunias love bright sun and don’t fare very well in the monsoons! So be sure to buy them after the monsoons!

Happy Gardening 🙂 🙂 🙂

Disclaimer: The images in this post don't belong to reemasgarden.com. I lost my Petunia pics.. sob..sob.. ;( ;( :(
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How to pot your plant?

If you’re wondering why do YOU need to pot the plant when the Maali (Gardener) can do it for you, click here.

So here’s how I pot my plant.

Disclaimer: There is no right or wrong way to do it. I am expounding a few methods which have worked extremely well for me.

Scenario #1: Planting in Big Pots For Flowering & Fruiting Plants

Pots of Size 6″ and above. By 6″ I mean that the height of the pot is 6″ or more.

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Adding both the compost ensures adequate supply of nutrients to combat the ill effects of chemical fertilizers added by the plant sellers.

Scenario #2: Planting in Big Pots For Non Flowering Plants

If you’re planting non-flowering plants like Palm or money plant, you can fill your pot using any soil and dry cow-dung manure/vermi-compost in a ratio of 1:1.

Scenario #3: Planting in Small Pots For Flowering Plants

If you’re potting small plants that require containers smaller than 6″ I would suggest using only organic compost to pot the plant. No Soil at all. (The plant that you purchase will have enough of soil in it. So utilize the remaining space in the pot for adding compost)

Scenario #4: Planting in Small Pots For Non Flowering Plants

Here, you can use vermi-compost and soil in the ratio 1:1 to pot the plant.

Scenario #5: Sowing Seeds in Big Pots

This scenario refers to your vegetable garden. Here you have to prepare your vegetable bed/planters/Containers in the same way as mentioned in Scenario #1. The only difference is, when you’re filling your top 25%, use vermi-compost and soil in the ratio 1:1.

Scenario #6: Sowing Seeds in small Pots

If it is a flowering plant, fill the pot with organic compost and soil in the ratio 1:1

If it is non-flowering plant, like your herbs and leafy vegetables, fill the pot/container with vermi-compost and soil in the ratio 1:1

Where to get the Compost

As far as cow-dung manure is concerned, I would suggest you source it from your local Dairy farm (Tabela). It is one of the cheapest and best manure for plants. To know more about Cow-dung manure click here.

You can prepare your Organic compost at home. Click here to know how to prepare your compost at home.

Alternatively, You might also want to check out the ready to use potting mix available! Click on the images to know more!


 

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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.

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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MOO!!

None of the discussions on gardening/ farming/ organic produce/ manure/ composting is ever complete without talking about COWS!!

Cow dung and urine are considered one of the most elite sources of compost. Cow dung is rich of minerals and bacteria cultures which turns the soil very fertile. However there are many ways in which we can apply this cow dung to the soil. I’ll be discussing a few of those methods. Cow dung can be added to the compost bin/pit as well. There is no right or wrong way of application just a better way.

The first method that I am going to talk about here is called

AMRUTJAL (literally translated as NECTAR-WATER)

For making AMRUTJAL we require

1kg of fresh cow dung

1 liter of cow urine

10 liters of water

50 grams of jaggery

Now all you have to do is add all of the above contents in a container/bucket, mix them all thoroughly, cover the container and keep it aside for three days. During these three days you have stir the mixture (clockwise and anti-clockwise, 12 times each) three times every day. Fourth day onward you can use this mixture.

How to use: Dilute the above mixture with water in ratio of 1:10 i.e. for every one liter of mixture you can add 10 liters of water and use it to water plants. This acts as an excellent compost for plants.

Here’s a video for reference!!

VC : Amit Dharamsi

MULCHING

Mulching is nothing but covering the soil around the plants with dried leaves/grass or coco peat. Such a covering stops water from getting evaporated and helps to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching is very beneficial in the winter and summer season.

mulch1
This is just a reference picture. This doesn’t belong to my garden.

After sometime the leaves start decaying and get converted into compost. This improves the fertility and health of soil.

Mulching also reduces the weed growth around the plants thereby saving all the nutrients in the soil just for the plant.

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This is just a reference picture. This doesn’t belong to my garden.

Mulching is ideal for slightly bigger plants. You can also mulch the soil around bigger plants by planting smaller plants around them. This may not add to the fertility of soil but it definitely help to retain the moisture in the soil and reduce the weed growth.

NITROGEN IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENT!!

We have always heard and believed that Nitrogen is the most important nutrient!! The fact is Nitrogen is just one of the important nutrients required by plants. However the producers of chemical fertilizers have somehow succeeded in convincing us that Nitrogen is the most important nutrient. To judge how important any element is; let us first understand the macro and micro nutrients required by plants. The following is a simplified version of the study of nutrients!

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MACRO NUTRIENTS:

GROUP I : (60%) Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen : These are the most important nutrients without which the plants cannot survive for a long time.

GROUP II : (30%) Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium : These are again very important  nutrients required for flowering and fruiting of plants.

GROUP III : (10%) Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur : These are required in little quantities however are important.

MICRO NUTRIENTS : All other elements fall into the micro nutrient category like iron, zinc, sodium, chlorine, copper, etc. They are required by plants in a very minuscule quantity.

Enhancing Soil Using Compost

IMG_20160315_093554As we all know compost is nothing but decayed organic material used as fertilizer for growing plants. All plants require nutrients for healthy life. We have already discussed about the hazards of chemical fertilizers. Hence compost is the best way to provide plants with all the essential nutrients. We will now understand how does compost help in fixing/enhancing different types of soil.

We can correct any soil by adding compost to it.

Let’s take the example of clay soil. Clay soil has tightly bonded minute particles which do not allow air and water to penetrate very easily. By adding compost to the soil we can loosen the bondage of soil particles and allow air and water to penetrate very easily; thereby creating a perfect condition for plants to grow and flourish.

If loam contains more of sand and less of clay it can be corrected by adding compost whereby the compost provides all the vital nutrients required by plants and also helps in water retention.

Hence composting is one of the most important aspects of gardening.