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6th Block RWA holds Terrace Gardening Interaction Companion farming on terraces works best

IMG-20170325-WA0100In a world of complex trends and issues, gardening can be a real stress buster in your daily life . It’s a passion that will enable you to eat non toxic food and also green up the environment.
As a continuation to a garden workshop organised by the 6th Block RWA six months back, the group members decided to have a follow up gardening interaction session on Saturday the 25th of March between 9 am and 12 pm. The session was held at the BBMP Park behind Koramangala Club and was facilitated by the 6th block RWA through Mr Ramdas.
The purpose was to exchange information on Terrace Gardening and Vinod Kumar from Kudremukh Colony spoke on the benefits of terrace gardening and its maintenance .
Having a garden in your balcony or terrace has multiple benefits . It increases green cover and adds oxygen to the surroundings.
It is estimated that plants around your house can help in reduction of temperature and also cut down on noise pollution.
The interaction described how we can effectively maintain a low profile garden and be self sufficient to grow clean and non toxic vegetables, fruits and flowers.
There have been many articles on how to get started with your garden. We would like to focus on the right soil mix. It is really important to ensure that you have disease free soil in your garden. Most small scale nurseries will sell you soil that is under nourished. This is soil that has been brought from large construction sites where excavations are almost 30 feet deep. Soil below a depth of 4 feet will have less nutrients and hence it is important to enrich your soil with the right compost.
The preferred ratio will be 1/3rd red soil, 1/3rd vermi compost / compost and 1/3rd cocopeat.
If you have access to pseudomonas bacteria, it would help if added to the soil before potting or planting . Pseudomonas have an anti fungal and immunity property that give plants strength from the inside to fight diseases and pests.
It is recommended that watering must be done early morning or late evening to avoid water loss and to give plants maximum food producing capability.
All fertilisers / compost must be added only after the sun goes down and remember to water the plant once applied.
Companion farming can be used on the terrace or garden for better yield and quality.
If you have a soil bed that is used for your planting then it’s better to intersperse them with some greens, some roots, some lemon grass, some mint, onions and mostly bright coloured flowers like marigold. Flowers when in bloom attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. Aromatic herbs and colours from the plant confuse pests and don’t let them settle down.
Laying traps for pests is also recommended. A bright yellow coloured sheet or any piece of material brightly painted with yellow paint can be smeared with neem oil and hung in your garden. These attract aphids and mites who get stuck on them.
A concoction of chilli : garlic / ginger with 2 tbs of neem oil , 1 tbs liquid dish washing soap and mixed in a litre of water, when sprayed on plants infested with aphids or mites will kill these unwanted visitors. If you have to deal with rodents, use peppermint spray or pepper powder as rodents hate the smell of both.
A well balanced soil with the right compost and some cow dung will ensure you have a great harvest.
For starters the easiest crop to grow would be bush beans, tomatoes, radish, chillies, mint, brinjal etc.
Everyone can be a gardener. It just requires a small window sill, balcony or a terrace.
Remember when you garden you are contributing to a greener environment and enhancing the air we breathe .

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