Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ash, Wax, Fuzzy, Winter !

What do all these have in common?

Confused ????

Well they are all synonyms for the the same plant - which we commonly called Ash Gourd in India (Benincasa hispida) !!

As a part of redesigning one of our gardens ( everything needs a redesign these days !), we erected some supports so that we could utilize vertical space as well. Utilizing vertical space is the key to increasing the productivity. According to general land laws, you also get the vertical space above the land for free, when you purchase a piece of land! So just like you have shelves in your room so that you can use the space available vertically, you use the same principle while cultivation.

Although quite a few creepers were planted, only a few survived our sporadic watering. You reap what you sow, only if you water :D

You can see below how we have erected the supports, and created a net so that all the creepers virtually form a 'roof' to the garden. Some aerial shots.

A few pictures from ground level

Some people grow ash gourd on ground. However, we decided to take the aerial root, since otherwise navigating on land to harvest other crops would become difficult.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And then there were Pomegranates !

Howdy folks !

One day we all thought about growing something .. something which is epic  - like something the ancients grew and talked about. So we got onto planting a few pomegranates !! Seriously, pomegranate finds mention in 'The Book of Exodus' and the 'Holy Quran'

An about to be ripe Pomegranate !
We have a couple of pomegranates. And this season they seem to be in bloom. Around five to six feet in height, this time around they are loaded! We did have a few when they were young, but those were very small (less than tennis ball size), nevertheless sweet.

Pomegranate symbolizes prosperity and fertility. Not just that, each part of the plant finds medicinal use in Ayurveda. Wow!

Find below a few pictures of pomegranate plant swinging to the light breeze and its flowers!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cleaning up !

An essential aspect of Gardening which no one usually likes is weeding ! Despite the fact that weeds are the plants most suited for your land, no one really intends to have them !!

However in our case, we have been truly blessed. If not for weeds, we would have not come across 'Kashikaya' / solanum nigrum, 'Gangavayalu'/ portulaca oleracea and 'Doggali Koora' / amaranthus polygamus.

Along with tomatoes, brinjals, lady finger etc, we have our very own 'weeds' which form a major constituent of our diet. No we are not complaining at all! But being lazy as we are, we usually find these 'weeds' alongwith some other nasty ones (which do not form a part of our diet) literally making our garden look like jungle.
These 'weeds' have a tendency to outgrow what we have sown and they give our veggies and small fruit trees a  run for their money! So on May 24th, we decided to clean up the area a bit. Here a few photos which will give you a idea of what we did.
Foliage! Before we started "weeding"
Cleaning up is much more of a task than planting. So we decided to work in patches. Also we have planted lots of Bananas and Casuarina, which are a bit difficult to make out within the sort of jungle of that we have. We cleaned up a patch carefully, put our very own 'homemade' compost near the young fruit trees and proceeded to the next area.
A view from the top, on the left we have patches where we cleared the 'weeds'. Right side is untouched
Left side of the garden
Right Side of the garden
Close view. This is how we ended up clearing. 
Little did we know that due to false information, we ended up clearing our 'ground cover' just before the hottest time of the summer ! So for now we have put a stop to this chop and drop. In order to salvage our lost pride, we are contemplating on cover the ground with either coco peat or straw. Be tuned for further updates !

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hail Storm Rocks - But the garden persists..

Jai sai master!!

             It is a hard thing to survive with the summers in Hyderabad. But generally there are showers in the evenings. On such evening some strange and rare thing happened. But before I speak about that let me tell you something. There were beautiful Banana trees, papaya trees, and many such fruit and vegetable trees all over our garden. It was very beautiful and we all were happy about the production. It was full of papayas giving at least one everyday. And then suddenly on 6th of April there was a Hail storm!! I was so sad that i was out of station, but the storm was awesome! It did damage the gardens, but because of nature's grace they were pretty fine.
            In the previous post you have seen a puppy which lives in our garden. In the excitement of hail storm everyone there forgot about the puppy. But it found a shelter under the trees by itself and it was not effected by the hail storm. The video of the storm is attached above have a look at it!!