Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spice it up - A comprehensive spice collection

As promised on the home page, Gernot Katzer’s website http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/  presents solid information on spices. Its comprehensive and contains details on the etymology of the names. The photos are really wonderful and some are very rare. However, the only thing I was disappointed is that it doesn't contain information on how to grow the spices. Otherwise, its  a super site and I would recommend all home garden lovers to visit it to update yourselves.

Visiting someone's blog

I am still blog hopping in the hope of becoming an enlightened gardener. And I chanced upon http://www.agrowingtradition.com/. Its such a wonderful site and the photographs are really amazing. Its by a person based in the USA and the vegetables on his garden are really colorful. A unique table on the site gives details of the harvest month-wise.

Herbal Leaves - Collection

I recently read about Indian Spinach and was wondering what plant it is. After some searching on Google, landed upon http://www.medindia.net/alternativemedicine/ayurvedaanddiet/Herbal-Plants/Indian-spinach.asp

Its a wonderful site containing descriptions on a collection of Herbal Leaves. If you can follow the Tamil language, the names in Tamil are also present, making life more comfortable. It also gives information on problems solved by the herbs, and a nice recipe to turn the herbal leaves into a nice dish for dinner. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gardening Blog Directory- Blotanical.com

Its good to be networking with fellow-gardener-bloggers (or blogger-gardeners). I joined Blotanical.com last year and I have been getting quite  a few visitors from all over the world. Sign-up if you like to have an international gardener-blogger networking experience.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where to Plant ? One important tip

If you are trying to have maximum plants in your garden, the outer periphery of the house can also be used and made a part of the garden. Of course, the key concern would be a threat to the plants from cattle (assuming people are not a threat). There are certain plants which cattle do not eat. The Oleander, for instance, is not consumed by cattle. Among trees, the Indian Beech tree, popularly called Pungai in Tamil, is not touched by cattle. Any cactus-like plant would also be a safe bet to plant outside. The Parijat Tree(Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, also called Night-flowering Jasmine) which bears beautiful flowers that give off a very pleasant scent, is another good tree to plant outside. The Parijaat tree is revered by Hindus. It also has immense medicinal properties. The flower stem, which is a brilliant orange in colour, is used for cloth dyeing.

A word of caution here. While cattle do not eat these plants, they could trample on them(which is often the case near my house). One should build atleast a simple wooden fence to protect the crops.

Visiting others' blogs - Raj's Musings

I am freaking out to other gardeners' websites and its been a real journey. http://rajsmusings.wordpress.com/ is a superb site with tons of info on gardening, especially if you like to grow vegetables. The best photographs on the blog are of the harvests that Mr. Raj has. The vegetables look so fresh and inspiring. I am really inspired and plan to get a papaya plant immediately. Any tips?

Visiting others' blogs - iGrowVeg

Another wonderful site by a veggie gardener. The good plus about this website is that it offers a month-wise list of vegetables to be grown. Detailed video-like slides show how the seeds turn into saplings with instructions. A site to treasure for Vegetable garden growers.

Buying Seeds Online in India - Finally a website

Since I am in a small town, we do not have any brick and mortar store selling seeds. I kept looking up on the web and finally found that http://www.indamseedsonline.com/ is the site where you can get a good variety of vegetable and flower seeds online. There are good season-wise categories of plants. With each seed variety, the instuctions for planting and growing is included. The only catch is that you have to buy for a minimum of Rs.200. Otherwise, thumbs up to this website. (I am not sure of the quality of seeds. Need to check it out. If someone is aware, please advise.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Growing plants without soil - Welcome to Hydroponics

I was really amazed to come across this website which speaks about HYDROPONICS - the art or science of growing plants without soil. The site claims that one can grow any vegetable/fruit through this. Read here for more details - http://www.tomatoland.net/edurink_site/pages/index.html. The site has some wonderful cartoons as well.

Visiting others' blogs - Geekgardener's Weblog

Its a pleasure to stroll around to other Gardens Online( Hey, I am referring to visiting blogs ). Geekgardener's blog is really impressive, especially with the photos and descriptions on interesting topics like growing watermelons in containers. Visit his/her website at http://geekgardener.in/. The blogger is based in Bangalore and refers to places/ shops where you can buy seeds.

Bell Peppers

I have been having a really hard time trying to grow some Bell peppers, popularly called Capsicum. I have planted seeds several times with no luck. Any tips on how to get them going? Does it require any special conditions?

Its raining Bitter Gourds

If there is an easy vegetable to grow, its the bitter gourd. My garden is full of bitter gourd creepers now and I keep harvesting bitter gourds frequently. Here are some tips on growing bitter gourds:

While I bought them initally, I would suggest that you buy bitter gourds, cut them to discover wet seeds inside, dry them in the sun and once its fully dry, you have the seeds ready for planting.
Its a climber. So decide upon a location which will easily allow the climber to catch up and grow. Its a lean plant, keeps growing tall and the leaves are very flimsy. Plant the seeds near the building. From the first floor/ any high level, drop a rope(preferably nylon) which will reach all the way upto the place you have planted seeds.
The climber will grow and even within a few weeks, nice yellow flowers will pop out. Its a very tender plant - be careful not to brush against it. Do not touch the flowers. They are flimsy too.
Within sometime, the flowers will dry up and turn into bitter gourds.
And you can enjoy the fruits(sorry, vegetables)!

Growing Mints - Some practical lessons

The Good phase
Growing mints has been a real experience. Initially, i bought mint from the vegetable market. Most of the mint stems had roots. After removing all the leaves and using it for cooking, i planted the stems. Even within a few days, nice little green leaves started growing.
The Mints took a real beating this summer. Not only that, the plants started growing prolifically and covered a large patch of the garden. I always picked the leaves and never removed the stem.

The Bad Patch
During peak summer, the mint plants started drying up. I missed watering the plants for only a day and it resulted in a disaster - except for a few of the mint plants, the rest turned black and no amount of watering revived them.

I would suggest those having mint plants in really hot places to grow them in the coolest corner of the garden. Its a bitter lesson I have learnt.

I have joined Indian Maali - Gardener's Network

One of the comments on my blog had a link to Indian Maali - the Gardener's Network - http://indianmaali.ning.com/ . Its a nice blog and I especially loved the pictures. I have signed up. I hope to share my knowledge and receive tips on gardening.

Search This Blog