Strike a Balance with Gardening

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Gardening with a purpose of growing your own food has caught on starting with small pots and going to mini farms atop terraces. Pictures of fat, juicy tomatoes, healthy greens and freshness from gardeners flood social media groups, articles on the ease, convenience, stress-busting factors and knowledge only increase interests and enthusiasm levels make more turn towards this healthy wholesome activity. We enjoy watching and teaching eager minds about dirtying their hands, mixing potting components, showing the need for composting and enjoy watching eager folks getting mitti under their nails and loving it. The bug from our garden has bitten us all 🙂

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With every new information from our own experience we share the know-how of creating edible green patches at home and discovering the relevance of growing. Start with simple and easy greens – Fast to grow, harvest and commonly used in all homes. Coriander (dhaniya), spinach (palak), mint (pudina), mini greens like mustard seeds, cumin seeds grow in almost no time 3-4 weeks depending on sunlight and soil. Don’t have seeds? Look into the kitchen masala box for some of these or get hold of sprigs of coriander and plant them in. You can harvest the tender shoots from the stem just above the soil. The best part about these greens is that continuously re-grow giving you ample produce from just a few seeds. Avoid letting them flower, once they do its the last phase of the plant.  We regularly grow basil, french beans, double beans, lettuce varieties for the first harvest. A small hint; Basil and marigold go great together while growing veggies place them between, it gives off a strong perfume scent distracting pesky pests, letting your garden grow peacefully.

Tomatoes and chillies are our all-time favourite, the patience pays so the last thing you want to do is cook them! 20141107_091152Depending of the size of the pot, one plant can give a few kilograms at one go. Tip: Plant your tomatoes and chillies a week apart that way you get harvests for a couple of weeks straight without heading to the stores. These take about 60 days and bigger ones take nearly 3 months for a harvest. We prefer growing tomatoes, Italian basil and chillies since we always need this in the kitchen.  Tomatoes tend to get attacked by pests (commonly aphids and leaf miner) grind ginger, chillies, garlic ferment overnight and spray in dissolved water on the affected part. This should help but remember pests are part of gardening so the most you can do is control the numbers.

img_20161117_112106All vegetables need sunlight, a minimum of 6-7 hours a day. During the germination process do not place the planted seeds under direct sun, let them be in the shade for 1 week, once they start sprouting shift them into shade and once they start growing, direct sunlight. To make sure all your seeds germinate, create a small nursery tray you can get them in any store.

Gardening Great for Body, mind and stress-buster

Did you know that gardening is known as horticulture therapy and helps combat depression and high-stress levels? Attention Restoration Theory enables individuals to keep mental balance, re-connects to oneself and improve relationships at home and work. We believe that nature is the best tool for educating young minds, studies and initiatives by guerilla gardeners like Roy Finley have shown that gardening is amazing for kids, a massive learning tool and useful to engage growing minds. With growing stress, work and balance going off interacting with the natural world keeps us in check.  You can grow a good-mood garden with these steps as well, sunflowers, cherry tomatoes, oregano are known to fight depression and lift your mood.

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