Follow the science of growing plants

With individuals staying residence throughout the lock-down, now’s the proper time to take pleasure in some gardening. And it’s completely alright in case you don’t have rolling fields of mustard to nurture your inexperienced thumb. Your terrace is ok too. Agricultural scientists Vishwanath Kudur and Rajendra Hegde say in case you observe the science of growing plants, you can be a profitable city farmer.

Kudur and Hegde conduct workshops on terrace gardening. As these periods have been suspended, resulting from COVID-19, Hegde solutions questions on social media and conducts on-line periods.

Hegde, born in Honnavara right into a farming household, holds a doctorate in Agricultural Entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. He spent 15 years working with farmers to assist them develop crops by adopting the proper methods to handle pests. As programme coordinator at the useful resource NGO, Agriculture Man Ecology Foundation (AMEF), he has educated dryland farmers in sustainable practices.

“When I met Vishwanath in 2004, he was already propagating terrace gardening. We conducted national seminars to propagate sustainability by growing crops in containers,” says Hegde, who additionally labored for the natural farming wing of Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation. He co-founded the BRICS LLP in 2015 to re-think and construct on pest administration practices for city foodscapes.

Hegde says he and Vishwanath based Garden City Farmers to advertise natural terrace gardening in 2011. “In a spot like Bengaluru if individuals can have wholesome gardens, it’s a boon. After some time individuals get dissatisfied as they don’t know the best way to handle pests that assault their plants. One needn’t kill bugs, they must be managed. Just like human beings, plants too want good well being to keep at bay insect assaults.

During the lock-down, Hegde’s telephone and mail are inundated with questions on the best way to begin a wholesome backyard. “These are the basics people need to know about the overall management of plant health.”

Follow the science of growing plants


For wholesome, well-yielding plants, seeds must be huge, pest free and viable, Hegde says. “There is nothing known as natural seeds. Seeds are seeds or planting materials, and there’s nothing natural or inorganic about it. The concept behind city gardening is to advertise native or native varieties which have developed in the native atmosphere. Crops grown like this are higher than hybrids, which want completely different circumstances to thrive. One must supply seeds domestically by means of gardeners or suppliers of native seeds just for the first time. Then one can study to supply and accumulate viable seeds by leaving the first fruit to mature on the plant. Remove the seeds and dry them in the shade for a few week. Select huge seeds and retailer them in a paper cowl or bottle in a cool place and they’ll final for a yr.

Seedlings and germination

Small, medium and massive seeds must be dealt with in a different way. Leafy greens, comparable to amaranthus, coriander, spinach, methi and mustard have small seeds and could be sown in rows with slender spacing. Bushy greens comparable to tomato, brinjal, chilli, capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, khol-khol have medium dimension seeds. They are raised in nurseries in trays, espresso cups or milk covers in a gentle growing medium and transplanted. Bhindi, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, cucumber, beans have huge seeds and needs to be planted singly (seed dibbling). They could be transplanted or immediately raised.


“Containers are not as important as what goes into them,” says Hegde. You have to decide on the dimension relying on what you might be growing. Milk covers, damaged buckets, wheat, rice, cement or jute luggage could be made containers. Pots in mud, coconut coir and jute fibre will also be used. UV-stabilised develop luggage are the newest additions in the market.

For bushy crops comparable to tomato, brinjal and chilli, a one cubic ft container will do.

For creepers/climbers/vines, comparable to ridge/bitter/snake/ash or bottle gourd, cucumber, chow chow, a 1.5×1.5×1.5 foot holder is ok. For perennial crops comparable to curry leaves, lime, sapota, guava, hibiscus or jasmine, a 2x2x2 foot container is a minimal requirement.

Growing medium

This could be made of three elements compost and one half soil. The compost needs to be a combination of 40 % manure (cow or horse dung, goat or sheep pellets) 40 % vermi compost or earth worms; 5 % plant truffles (neem, hongamia, mustard or groundnut); 10 % cocopeat/leaf powder; 4 % rock phosphate (out there in agri-input or backyard outlets or nurseries) and one % bio-fertilisers/humic acid granules for natural dietary supplements of major and secondary vitamins comparable to nitrogen, phosphorous potassium calcium, magnesium and sulphur. Manure could be changed with do-it-yourself wet-waste compost.

Placing the pots

Direct daylight is extra vital for almost 50 varieties of meals crops. Dispersed mild from the sides is nice sufficient for a lot of crops comparable to leafy greens of any type, together with lettuce. “When you distribute the pots prudently, it is another step in the right direction and requires perfect planning.”

Soil-less medium

While soil-less mediums can be utilized, they don’t provide all the required amino acids. This is the distinction between protected meals (surakshita aahara) and purposeful meals (poushtika aahara).

A workshop on pest administration on city foodscapes might be on Facebook stay on May 2 at 11 am and a workshop on sustainable agriculture on May 3. For extra data and queries, mail Rajendra Hegde on [email protected]

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