In the Fast paced life, everyone needs and rather deserves a little retreat from the hustle bustle. Travel, Reading, Cooking, Sports could be the perfect leisure but the most rejuvenating hobby these days has been taken by gardening. Gardening is not just growing plants on your rooftop or in your gallery, it is also about growing along with your plants. The ones who have been active with gardening or urban farming can very much relate to this “ TREES TALK”. They do, they are stress busters and replicate YOUR love in THEIR growth. Not only they fill your plate, but also they are an immense source of love and affection. If you have already tried and failed at farming, if you have not tried it at all, or if you are struggling with your green children or if you are at an advanced level of being an urban farmer, this is a guide for all of you.
This article has been prepared by the guidance of Mr. Pravin Mishra, who is a gardening enthusiast and guides the urban dwellers like many of us, on how to do enthralling organic urban rooftop farming.
Step 1 : PICK YOUR CHOICES
To begin with, DECIDE, which plant would you like to grow in your backyard, balcony or terrace. In this article we will proceed with the examples of 3 dinning table salads : Onion, Tomato and Chillies.
After deciding, you have two options to chose from :
1) Buy Seeds
2) Buy Seedlings.
Buying seeds and watching the tiny green vertical shoot poping out of earth, is a sight that you should never miss. You can also buy the seedlings from any nursery nearby but it would be better if you get seeds and then treat them properly so that your plant is properly immunised to all the diseases and pests which has been elaborated in the text below.
If you buy seeds, Make sure the seed is of utmost quality, do not go for cheap seeds and try to buy company seeds. For onion, tomato and chillies, there are various brands that you can find from the link below...
Seed Directory- click Here
Step 2 : SHOPPING TIME
While you are at the nursery buying seeds, also make sure to buy these items :
- seedling tray
- coco peat
- Vermi Compost
- Azotobacter biofertilizer
Step 3 :MAKE YOUR HANDS DIRTY AND FEEL GOOD
After you are done making purchase of the above mentioned items. Its time to make your hands dirty and feel good. There are two ways to grow your plant :
a. Soil -less
b. Less - Soil
In the urban settings, it gets difficult to get access to good or nutritious soil, and so there are other methods using which you can restrain yourself from using soil and alternatively you can use Coco peat. Coco peat is coconut fibre made from coconut husk.
PREPARING THE BASE FOR SEEDLING TRAY :
Mix the coco peat with Vermi compost and Perlite in the ratio of 3:1:1. Perlite is a stone which is light weighted and has high water retention capacity. Vermi compost is a product that would be a manure to your soil and would help provide the required nutrition to the plants.
Step 4 :
Fill the seedling trays with the above mixture and lightly press with the thumb. After you are done with making the base for the seed, carefully place the seed in the centre of each tray hole and further cover the same with vermin compost to save them from any attack of birds.
Now you have reached to the most difficult phrase of this whole activity : YOU NEED TO WAIT.
Relax, Sit back and wait till your tiny- wenny pops out.
It would take around 8-10 days for the first four leaves to germinate. The appropriate time to switch the plant from the tray to the pot is like :
First 4 leaves : Fine time
First 8 leaves : Best Time
First 10 leaves : At this stage, the plant has grown to the fullest and it needs to be transplanted to the pot ASAP, If you wait any longer, the roots might start to form lumps and could invite nematodes, which you would not want.
Step 5 :
After the plant has grown to a stage where it is ready to be transferred to the pot, Its time to ponder and select the type of Pot that you would need. To begin with this, you should first know, why do you even need to think of that , why do you need to select a pot ? Cannot any size, any pot work ? Well, It does not work like that, If your plant’s root system is going to be a huge and if its going to form a gigantic network, you should select a pot with a bigger diameter. With our plants, tomato , onion and chilly a pot with a diameter size of about 10-12 inches will work perfectly.
STEP 6 :
How to prepare pot :
There are two methods to prepare the pot, It can be either done using
a) Soil - less methods : For soil less terrace farming, take a ratio of 1:2 of coco peat and vermi compost and mix it with Azotobacter ( 1gm/kg of the mixture ). Also to save the plants from other bacteria and exposure to diseases, mix Trichoderma (1 gm/kg ratio ) to the mixture.
b) Less- Soil Methods : For Less soil method, Prepare a mixture with 75% of soil and 25% of vermicompost. Further mix Azotobacter and Trichoderma in the ratio os 1gm/kg.
STEP 7 :
After you figure out that it is the correct time for the plants to be transplanted to the pot, there is a certain manner in which you are supposed to treat the plant roots. Before transferring the plants to the pot, Dip the roots of the plants in a solution of Trichoderma,Azotobacter and water. Add pinch of before mentioned elements in 2 Liners of water. This magical solution will save your plant from all the diseases.
After dipping the roots in the solution, place the seedling in the centre of the pot and enjoy the green leafy plant to make you happy ever after. You can expect fruits to be grown in around 45-50 days.
Hope you will enjoy being the urban farmer.
Mr. Pravin Mishra can be contacted at 9818789315.