Go Indigenous!!

The first time I heard the word Indigenous (with reference to plants) I knew for sure they were referring to the genus of plants originating in India!! Well, I did realize that I should refer a dictionary and not come up with my own interpretations!!

So what is Indigenous? Indigenous means originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native. (To me, who stay’s in India, the misinterpretation and correct interpretation didn’t really make a difference though 😉 )

So, Why should we go for Indigenous plants?

Because only and only indigenous plants help you attract the fauna!! By fauna, I mean, the birds, bees and other insects!

So how do we identify these native plants?

The simplest and most useful trick I use here in India – I check if there is a name for the plant in local language. If the local language has a name for the plant it definitely is a local/native/indigenous plant.

If I know only the English and/or Botanical name of the plant, I know its not indigenous to India or my State!

Gardener’s Confession: Yes, I do have a few plants that are not indigenous, but a majority of them are Indigenous!! 🙂 😉 🙂

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A Garden is more than just plants!

While we start with plants, a Garden is never just about plants!

A Garden starts with plants..

goes a step further with flowers..

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one step further with Bees..

Another step further with Birds..

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This image does not belong to my Garden. But I have seen hummingbird hovering around my Pentas and feeding on its nectar many a times!

Further with Butterflies..

Still further with all the pests, insects, worms and weeds..

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I have got 4 caterpillars in my Garden!

And a final one with predatory birds and insects!

All my upcoming Posts are about completing the Garden and how to go about it!

Hope you Like it!!

Happy Gardening!! 🙂

Also Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook !!

Disclaimer: The images used in the post do not belong to reemasgarden.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Your Garden does not need additional water!

Surprising as it may seem you can manage your Garden very efficiently with the existing quantity of water usage. Garden by no means is demanding, especially when it comes to water! So whether you’re facing a water crunch or you believe in water conservation, these tricks will definitely help you save water.

#1 Always Mulch the Soil: Mulching helps to prevent water evaporation from the soil thereby requiring less water. To know more about Mulching click here.

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#2 Use Fresh Cow-dung: Cow dung is excellent to prevent water evaporation and keep the soil well hydrated. Mix 1kg of cow-dung in 5 liters of water and use it to water the plants. This acts as excellent compost, mulch and water retention technique. You can also try making amrutjal. Click here to know more about amrutjal. (Disclaimer : Please do not use fresh cow dung in monsoon/rainy season. The moisture in the soil combined with humidity in the atmosphere will lead to fungal growth.)

#3 Water from Mopping the Floor: It is a great idea to Mop the floor with plain water (without any chemical floor cleaners) and then use it for watering the plants.

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#4 Water from washing clothes: You may not be aware but there are many 100% eco-friendly detergents available in the market. So you can use the water that drains out after washing/rinsing the clothes and use it for watering the plants. In fact its a great idea to connect your washing Machine’s drainage pipe to another smaller pipe that leads directly to your garden or pots.

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#5 Water from Washing Your Fruits & Vegetables: It is a great idea to wash your fruits, vegetables and other food items like cereals and pulses in a container and use the same for watering the plants.

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These are my top 5 water saving techniques. Please add your ideas in the comment section below!

Happy Gardening 🙂

 

 

 

No more Dripping!

It has been a huge concern for all the people staying in apartments/ flats/buildings – The water dripping from the pots! For those that are not worried about dripping .. it is about their Balcony and Terrace floor getting wet. I understand. But before I tell you some quick fix solutions, I want you to understand that the water that drains out, is excess water, which means you have been watering the plants in excess and you have to reduce the quantity of water.

Option 1: Use Trays – Very obvious I know but still many don’t use it.

Option 2: Use self-watering Pots – With Self watering Pots, you just need to water the plants once in a week. (Between 4-10 days). Excess water is stored and does not leak/drip.

Option 3: Use Bottles – I know I have spoken about it in my previous post but you can use this trick here as well. This one here is slightly different than yesterdays.

Option 4: Water them in intervals – Assume your plant needs 200 ml of water daily. So instead of watering it with 200 ml all at once, you can water 100 ml twice in a day or 70 ml thrice in a day. If this sounds very tedious, you can make use of drip irrigation as well.

Understanding the Water Requirements: Water requirements of plants depends on its size and the season. More water is required in Summer and very less in Monsoon. Also more the flowers and fruits, more the water requirement. Water holding capacity of the soil also makes a difference. Loam can hold more water than sandy soil. So all I want to tell you is observe the plants and soil while watering them. In a week or ten days, you’ll get a hang of it.

DISCLAIMER: SOME OF THE LINKS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS THAT I MAY EARN A COMMISSION IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK OR MAKE A PURCHASE USING THE LINK. WHEN YOU MAKE A PURCHASE, THE PRICE YOU PAY WILL BE THE SAME WHETHER YOU USE THE AFFILIATE LINK OR GO DIRECTLY TO THE VENDOR’S WEBSITE USING A NON-AFFILIATE LINK. BY USING THE AFFILIATE LINKS, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT REEMASGARDEN.WORDPRESS.COM WEBSITE AND I GENUINELY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT.THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE ARE THOSE OF MYSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE OPINIONS OF NOR REFLECT THE VIEWS OF ANY MERCHANTS I AM AFFILIATED WITH. I HAVE CHOSEN TO ONLY RECOMMEND PRODUCTS ON REEMASGARDEN.WORDPRESS.COM THAT I USE OR HAVE THOROUGHLY RESEARCHED.  ANY REFERRAL MONEY THAT I MIGHT GET PAID WILL NEVER INFLUENCE THE CONTENT, TOPICS, OR POSTS I MAKE.

 

What if I am on a vacation? How do I water my plants?

This problem has been topping the charts and has been one of the primal causes as to why one does not have plants. The fact that plants dry up or die when they are not watered is really worrisome.  It is very obvious that we would not be around all the time to water the plants. There are many ways to tackle this problem. So don’t worry about the agony and the pain of seeing dried plants after returning home from your vacation. Here are a few tricks that will help you save your plants!

Always mulch the pots and move them away from sunlight before leaving. To know more about mulching, click here.

Option 1: Self Watering Pots

There are many types of self watering plants available. Yes, they are expensive as compared to the regular pots. But its worth it as with them around, you have to water the plants just once in a week. Have a look at these! Click on the images to know more!



Option 2: Plastic Bottles

Option 3: Bottle with thread idea

Option 4: If it is a monsoon season, you can place them in an open space like your building terrace or open Balcony.

Option 5: Request your neighbors/friends/relatives to water the plants. You can also place the plants in the corridor/terrace/community space which would make it easier for the neighbors to water them.

Option 6: Drip Irrigation Kit

You can use an automated Drip Irrigation System. If you have a manual drip Irrigation installed, you can just add a Timer to it. You can also use a manual drip Irrigation and connect it to neighbor’s tap/ Community Tap and request them to water the plants. Click on the images below to know more.

None of the above steps are required if you’re going out for 3 or less days. In such cases Water the plants three hours before leaving and again water them thoroughly just before leaving.

DISCLAIMER: SOME OF THE LINKS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS THAT I MAY EARN A COMMISSION IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND MAKE A PURCHASE USING THE LINK. WHEN YOU MAKE A PURCHASE, THE PRICE YOU PAY WILL BE THE SAME WHETHER YOU USE THE AFFILIATE LINK OR GO DIRECTLY TO THE VENDOR’S WEBSITE USING A NON-AFFILIATE LINK. BY USING THE AFFILIATE LINKS, YOU ARE HELPING SUPPORT REEMASGARDEN.WORDPRESS.COM WEBSITE AND I GENUINELY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT.THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE ARE THOSE OF MYSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE OPINIONS OF NOR REFLECT THE VIEWS OF ANY MERCHANTS I AM AFFILIATED WITH. I HAVE CHOSEN TO ONLY RECOMMEND PRODUCTS ON REEMASGARDEN.WORDPRESS.COM THAT I USE OR HAVE THOROUGHLY RESEARCHED.  ANY REFERRAL MONEY THAT I MIGHT GET PAID WILL NEVER INFLUENCE THE CONTENT, TOPICS, OR POSTS I MAKE.

 

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!

Understanding Seeds

A lot of videos that I have seen online recommend using seeds from our kitchen for planting, especially when it comes to vegetable seeds. But before you do this, just understand the two basic types of seeds.

Type I: Open Pollinated or Traditional method: “Open pollinated” generally refers to seeds that will “breed true.” When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants roughly identical to their parents.

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Type II : Hybrid Seeds: Hybrid seed is a seed produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrids are chosen to improve the characteristics of the resulting plants, such as better yield, greater uniformity, improved color, disease resistance, etc. An important factor is the heterosis or combining ability of the parent plants. But the most important point to note is that the seeds of the next generation from those hybrids will not consistently have the desired characteristics.

Hence I request you to take into consideration the fact that most of the vegetables that we purchase today belong to the Hybrid category. Using seeds from such vegetables may or may not result in production of the vegetables of the desired characteristics. It is best to buy seeds from a trusted source/Brand. However if you’re experimenting, I think using seeds from kitchen is a great way to learn without spending much 🙂

Note: Please do not confuse hybrid seeds with genetically modified seeds. Genetically modified seeds are absolutely different category of seeds. Hybrid seeds are good and do not have any harmful qualities.

Disclaimer: None of the images in this post belong to Reema’s Garden!

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.