I have not been blogging since twenty days.I feel a pang of regret,, but what to do? Life has been hectic. I am active on social network, yes Facebook. The notorious one, which takes all the time. One wants to read posts, comment on them, like the posts, comment again and so on. Since the topic is of interest , ‘Gardening”, I am hooked. Addicted!
Wondering how come , now? at this age?
I stumbled up on “Organic Terrace Gardening” ,a Bangalore based group, and found the energy and enthusiasm amazing. I could not help joining the group to dig into their experiences and expertise.
When I met the Organic Terrace gardening enthusiasts in Bangalore, it was a revelation. Their energy and their dedication, mingled with their generosity in sharing information simply bowled me over. I was also allowed to join in, though I was not from Bangalore and was given a warm welcome.
One of the group members Pradeep Dsouza was also kind enough to invite me to his house for the gardeners’ meet, which was decided, in a flash and worked upon. Once again I have to admire the positive vibes they all share.
This was the beginning of my Facebook interaction. That has led to frequent interactions , in what everyone is posting, along with my own humble contributions, a heady time I had. The obvious result is the neglect of other blogging activities.
(Say no to Facebook for a few hours and write the blog, I decided.)
Here is the gist of what I did since three weeks after my visit to Lalbagh Bangalore.
If anyone has said “coco peat” two years back, I would have thought of Amazon forests. Till I stumbled inot GG’s blog, I had no idea this medium is useful for terrace gardening. When I had started off in full gear, to plant my terrace with greenery, my husband was weary. The roof was not too strong, one had to be careful about using mud and pots. So coco peat was handy to fill up the containers.
Now, I have gained more knowledge on cocopeat. It needs to be this quality, needs to have certification for restricted use in organic agriculture , and it might harm the plants if not washed properly. ( Ignorance is bliss I used to simply add them to the pots, now I think ten times, before buying). I also came to know that Washing the cocopeat doesn’t solve the entire problem.
“Cocopeat has a negatively charged complex, surrounded by a couple of positively charged ions: sodium and potassium. Because these elements stick to the complex, like iron to a magnet, there is no danger to the plant root initially. The problem starts when fertilizing with calcium. The calcium will push the potassium and sodium aside and take their position. Consequently, the calcium that is connected to the complex won’t be available to the plant, while sodium and potassium that are released into the water will be available.”http://www.dutchplantin.com/en/frequently-asked-questions/difference-between-buffered-and-non-buffered-coco/
Quiet bothersome. But once you know the adverse effect, due care needs to be taken.
Many of the processes followed for the past year, looks inadequate after the interaction with experienced garden lovers. The new ideas leave me a little confused, I need to take up new ways of potting mixes, pesticide concoctions, new combinations. All exciting and time-consuming. But very satisfying , which leads to remarks like ” hey I did it” in Facebook comments.:-)
Back to gardening with full swing. The pots are all exhausted , the number of seeds, and bulbs I brought back( actually not much), needed urgent planting. The soil, cocopeat, farmyard manure, vermi ,needs to be bought again , with , frequent trips to markets, to feed the plants . With pouring rains, the plants get leached , and need nutrition . The flowering of some plants need more care. My time is all for them in the mornings. I get exhausted and make the family too edgy.
With such care, or lack of it, the plants are responding nicely. look at them.