Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy Hobby!

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I had my first vegetable garden when we lived in Hosur.  That was an independent house and we had space at the front and the back.  I grew from peas to potato and onions there.  The red soil over there was very fertile and everything grew up fast and healthy.  This was in the late 80's.

Then in my previous house in Chennai, I went for just flowers (link here).
Now, we live in a flat.  I have kept some pots with desert roses in our balconies, which are easy to maintain.

One of my friends here, took the initiative to start Roof Top gardening.  She consulted many specialists in Roof top gardening in Chennai and we started implementing it nearly 4 weeks back.

We went for 'soil-less cultivation' method.  They provide thick plastic containers as shown in the picture, with coco peat, vermin compost, organic manure mixture and seeds.  They place perforated rubber sheets beneath the basket so that if at any time, during rainy season or something, the excess water will drain out easily.  Since soil is not used the basket is very light weight.  The coco peat is made of coconut fibre.  It acts as a sponge and retains water for longer time.  We have got a small 4 ltr. water can/water sprayer.  One can of water per day per box, is enough for the current weather now.  We may have to water the plants twice a day once severe summer starts.  Coco peat acts like a sponge and so, is wet/retains moisture for a long time. To start with, we bought 5 containers/baskets.  3 of us are maintaining them. 


Our Roof Top Garden!
Starting stage.  Some sprouts of greens (paalak/spinach) can be seen.

This basket is just for paalak/spinach! We should cut the big leaves with our nails one by one (!) when they grow and use.  In this way, the leaves will keep on growing for nearly 3 months.  We can remove when the growth dwindles and sow more seeds. 

Beans plants and Paalak leaves! We can grow 2-3 types of plants in one basket!

This basket has got greens (Arai keerai), cucumber plus bitter gourd plants and creepers.

Close-up picture of the beans plant.  Flowers have started blooming!

This is ladies finger/bhindi/vendai kaai flower.  You can see 3 tiny bhindies also! Click on the pictures pl.
This is cucumber creeper.  Flowers and buds can be seen here!

I did paalak paneer (link) yesterday.  Before cooking, I ate some raw leaves which were very tasty:) It was a happy feeling, growing our own vegetables and using them at home!

Paalak/spinach leaves.  I plucked them yesterday and did Paalak paneer!


Added this picture now (4.3.15) to show the rubber mat with holes, beneath the plastic box/trough, which will protect the flooring when it rains.  The box will not stick to the bottom flooring.



Mr. Radhakrishnan (Besant nagar, Chennai) was the consultant for us and we are very happy with the results.  He can be contacted in this number: 9444620185.

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18 comments :

SG said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos. You must be living in a posh area in Chennai. Please do not give me your address. Please just tell me which area you live. Thanks.

radha said...

Very nice rooftop garden. It must be keeping the top floor cool also ! And what a treat to have fresh vegetables from the garden !

Sandhya said...

SG: Thank you, SG! I have mailed you now.


Radha: Yes, Radha! Thank you! It is a nice feeling watching them grow!

Shail Mohan said...

This wonderful. We can eat veggies without pesticides.

Ashwini Sriram said...

Wow maami! That looks gorgeous! I also want to see your garden. The leaves look so fresh and the best part is that we KNOW that it is free from harmful chemicals. Great!

Destination Infinity said...

I have a couple of pots on my terrace and have grown groundnuts and tomatoes in them, successfully, until now. I am planning to expand into other vegetables shortly. This is more of an experimental/learning attempt and might consider buying something like this once I get accustomed to growing plants in terrace. Thanks for the info and great to know we share a common hobby!

Destination Infinity

Usha basker said...

Nice to read about ur terrace garden. Beautiful pictures of plants. U r Ashtavadhaani Sandhya Kumar mami. U r an interesting personality with multiple interests. Keep it up.

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: And it is interesting to watch the different stages of the plants!


DESTINATION INFINITY: Thank you, D.I. Half to one hour a day is enough for taking care of them!


USHA BASKER: Huh...I see people doing so many things. This is very interesting and useful too, Usha!

usha basker said...

Nice roof garden Beautiful pictures of plants. I really appreciate ur multiple interests. You are really an Adhtavadhaani mami. Keep it up sandya Kumar mami.

sharu said...

Very nice post mami, your spinach has grown well and looks fresh and healthy. ..

Bikram said...

wowowo beautifullllllllllllllllllllll


when can i come tell tell :)

Bikram's

Gouri Guha said...

Loved reading this post and also so nice to see your garden-of-greens.

BK Chowla, said...

Must be giving you a very good feeling

Sandhya said...

SHARU: Yes, I feel so happy to use it in my cooking!


BIKRAM: Anytime, Bikram!


GAURI GUHA: Thank you, Gauri!


BK CHOWLA: Yes, Chowlaji! I feel so happy while watering them!

KParthasarathi said...

I am so happy to read about your roof garden and see the nice pictures.Besides the satisfaction of seeing your efforts materialize,this hobby will give you some exercise and happiness.
Personally I would go for flower garden than vegetable garden especially in an apartment complex.

Sandhya said...

K PARTHASARATHY: I am so happy to see your comment, Partha Sir!

I had many many flowering plants in my earlier house. My house was surrounded by good fragrance there. Here, it is on the terrace. We have to go up to see their beauty and inhale their fragrance. So, went for vegetable gardening. It is very interesting and a happy hobby for me and my friends here!

Jeevan said...

This sounds cool, fresh and healthier! You had grown some pretty greens and it is also inspiring to get one of those containers :) btw. i love your terrace with sea views.

Sandhya said...

JEEVAN: Thank you, Jeevan!

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