Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nature - the best teacher

Whoever said 'nature is the best teacher' was damn right!! The things I have learned about gardening in the last three months are worth more than years of college education in botany. My misconception about a garden being some odd plants that need daily watering and no other care has been completely annihilated!! But be warned, that I am still learning a lot about gardening and have much more that I want to research. I don't even feel I know enough to call my self a novice gardener!!

This post is to list some of the things that caring for and nurturing a terrace garden has taught me. In fact, many of these practical lessons have made me feel ashamed because I have just thrown my college education in biology out the window. Many a times, I have said the phrase "Of course, why didn't I think of this?"

Throwing a bunch of seeds into a pot will not ensure you get a good yield of plants. This is the deadliest and most sinful mistake any gardener can commit. I have done it. But learned not to do it through emotionally painful lessons. Each seed will sprout into a separate plant. Some may never sprout. I lost my spinach plants to this mistake. It was depressing. They were ALL doing so well until ALL of them drooped and wilted. It was the most heart wrenching experience - overcrowding and fight for light and nutrients claimed my greens.

Merely watering plants will not give you any results. Every alternate weekend I continue to turn up the top soil and add fresh compost and supplement the soil with egg shell powder and 'panchagavya'. I carefully examine the soil surface to pull out weeds. I have also been able to figure out that the greens like spinach and mint prefer partial shade.

I am also using crushed dry leaves to protect the potted soil from drying up in the intense heat that Bangalore is beginning to see. This was how I lost my carrot seedlings initially. I am also able to judge how much water each plant needs.

Above all, gardening has taught me to be patient, has taught me to segregate waste, learn to be disciplined in following the process of composting.

I have had my first harvest of okra, coriander, fenugreek and spinach. Hopefully with a harvest of tomatoes, onions and beans, I hope to reach out to my neighbours to educate them about composting and benefits of organic vegetables.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hope you had a good time going through my blog. Please feel free to leave your valuable comments and suggestions. Thanks!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.