Flower Garden – Part XV – Petunia

Petunias are here! πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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 πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: The images in this post don't belong to reemasgarden.com. I lost my Petunia pics.. sob..sob.. ;( ;( :(
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Orange Red Lantana at Reema's Garden

Flower Garden – Part XI – Lantana

If you want a plant that needs no care, no pruning, not much composting, yet all season flowers.. Opt for Lantana! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Well I just gave you all the reasons, didn’t I? Now what do I write in the rest of the post? πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

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Lantanas are small bunch flowers available in various colors and shades of Red, yellow, orange, violet, blue, white. etc

Butterflies love Lantana. You must have noticed these flowers alongside the roads/highways. They often crop up on their own and many times are classified as weeds!

These are seriously no care – no maintenance plants. So go.. get them πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

When I say not much composting, what I am suggesting is, you can add compost in an interval of 75-90 days i.e just once in every 2-3 months. Also, I am assuming you’re potting your own plant. Click here to know how to pot your plant.

Happy Gardening πŸ™‚

An Ideal Farm – Part I

All the posts in the featured series talk particularly about Indian Agriculture Scenario.

We all dream about an ideal farm.. Ideal way of doing agriculture.. and then we just shun the thought thinking its just a dream.. Well.. I just decided to give it more thought and pursue it through..

An ideal farm is a farm that at first addresses all the drawbacks/concerns of current farms/system and secondly, adds value to the whole system, thereby making it an all together new system.

So when I wanted to conceptualize my new farm there were four major concerns that I wanted to address. The Photos to your left talk about the concerns and the photos to the right talk about the solutions. Click on the images for description:

  1. Fragmented Land Holdings

2. Labor oriented

3. Infertile soil due to Excessive/prolonged use of chemical Fertilizers.

4. Inadequate/Poor marketing of the produce.

Yes, you got it right. So we are talking about a fully mechanized farm which is huge in size (runs right till the horizon.. or at least I imagine it that way) carrying on organic/natural farming and supplying organic produce directly to consumers!

More about it in next post!

Happy Gardening! Happy Farming!

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.

Easiest Plant To Plant… The Eggplant!

Hello Friends, Bloggers, Writers, Photographers, Gardeners and Farmers..!! Missed you all so much!! Can’t believe it’s been more than 6 months since I last posted an article. By the way, my last article was on tomato; did you try it?

If you ever thought that tomato was a bit cumbersome task with planting and replanting; here comes the most easiest Β plant to plant! The Eggplant!! πŸ™‚

Believe me when I say, you have to do nothing for growing this plant. Just spread the seeds on the soil and its over..!! You don’t believe me right? Lets go step by step.

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You need a pot which is at least 6 inches in-depth. That’s how long the roots grow. Bigger than that is great but not smaller than that!

Fill it with mud.Β Now spread the seeds on the soil. Please don’t press or dig them into the soil.. Sowing methods are different for different seeds.. The easiest one is to scatter/spread them on the soil. Β This is how the seeds look…

Eggplant Seeds
This image does not belong to Reema’s garden.

Now sprinkle some water on the seeds.

Keep sprinkling water 2-3 times a day for next one week. Also (if possible) do not place the pot in direct sunlight.

The seeds take around 4-7 days to germinate.

The fun begins now!!


As you must have noticed these are very young plants. You just have to water them regularly and keep adding compost every 10-15 days.

The Buds start to appear in a month’s time. Have a look.

Once the buds develop, you’ll soon have flowers. They are really beautiful flowers. Mesmerizing indeed!

Once you have the flowers, the flowers will slowly wither and make the way for the fruit. Here’s a look.

And then you have the fruit.. Yaayyyy!!!

That’s it! HAPPY Gardening!! Ending this post with my favorite Pic.

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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.

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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.

Composting – 4

How will you know if the compost is ready?

It normally takes around 3 months for the composting process to get completed.

You know your composting process is going well when you can sense a slight heat in your compost bin.

Also slowly the contents will start turning black. When all the contents in the compost bin have turned black, the compost is ready.

Composting – 3

Some Dos and Don’ts :

  1. Maintain the Air and Moisture level in the compost bin : Adding more of green waste increases the moisture and thereby a possibility of stink and insects. However a correct level of moisture ensures that there is no stink. The microbes (bacteria) need air (oxygen) in the process of decomposing. Unavailability of air (oxygen) slows down the process. Hence it is advisable to stir the entire contents twice a week once the compost bin is 50% full.
  2. If you are covering the compost bin please ensure that the cover has holes in it for ventilation. You can also tie a cloth for covering the bin.
  3. If there is a lack of dry leaves and surplus of kitchen waste; you can dry the kitchen waste in sunlight for a day or two and then add it to the compost bin.IMG-20160825-WA0023
  4. All the materials added to the compost should be finely chopped/crushed.
  5. Put uncooked waste only (at least in the initial stage till you get familiar with composting).
  6. Egg shells are fine but do not add any meat.
  7. Avoid putting any kind of seeds in the compost.
  8. Do not add any citric fruits like lemon to the compost. (I’ll write about other ways in which you can use these citric fruits)
  9. It is advisable to add some ready organic compost to the compost bin as this ready compost contains bacteria culture. This will ensure the speedy conversion of the waste into compost.

Composting – 2

The most awaited article of the season : How to make compost ?

Kindly note that following is a procedure for making compost on a small scale. If you have a farm or if you need to start composting on a large scale please contact me here.

Take a huge container (something like an old bucket or a tub or a big cardboard box)

Let’s start layering the container.

Start filling the first 25% of the container with dried leaves or any other carbon rich organic matter.

Fill the next 10% with kitchen waste. As discussed earlier the kitchen waste is a good source of Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous, magnesium and Calcium.

Again fill the next 25% with dry waste/dry leaves/sawdust

Fill the next 10% with kitchen waste.

And fill the last layer with dry waste/dry leaves.

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Now if you have analyzed you will notice that 80% of the container contains dry waste (carbon) and only 20% contains wet waste. The reason behind this is :

  1. The elements are required in these proportions.
  2. More of wet waste might stink during the decaying process. It may also attract some small insects and mosquitoes. In order to avoid that we add more of carbon especially on the top most layer.
  3. The dry leaves are very fluffy and bulge up but once you add kitchen waste on top of it, it will go on compressing.