Organic Gardening’s Allure
By: Muskan Aggarwal | Date: 30th May 2018
Soon, gone will be the days where pesticides and fertilizers are the norm with the ever-growing popularity of organic farming/gardening, as more and more people are taking it up.
People are becoming more conscientious about the input in every step of gardening and have made it a healthy approach for our environment and its inhabitants.
Here, meets someone with the same ideology- Mrs Bindu Kumar. she is a nature lover who has left behind the old days of pesticides and fertilizers and has newly entered the world of organic gardening, realising that the chemicals are harmful not just to the plants but also to the birds and butterflies that feed on the flowers and fruits.
After leaving behind the chemicals she has adopted a new method, so we shall look into the process in detail.
For the soil, she uses a mix of red mud, manure and some sand for the pots and for the plants in the ground as well. If she finds that the ground soil is unhealthy, she removes a foot of the top soil and replaces it with her mixture. She revealed that the manure was made from the combination of cow and goat dung.
The compost process involves readymade plant meal (comprising seaweed, panchgavya, bone meal, neem) and vermicompost as she believes that earthworms are a natural way to increase air spaces in between the soil thus also eliminating pests in the way.
Therefore, to allow the proliferation of worms, she tries to build the soil in such a way that it naturally attracts microbes, earthworms and such organisms. As for the plant meal, she uses 50 gms every 10-15 days for flowering plants and 75 gms for fruit bearing plants.
Now coming onto the watering process, she waters her plants according to their own requirements so there is no definite amount that she uses. Also, for watering her plants she uses a bucket and mug for the plants in the pot and a hose pipe for those in the ground.
She waters them so because she does not want to disturb the manure and fertilizers by the pressure of the water pipe, so the weak pressure in her hose pipe really works to her advantage.
While watering she ensures that she washes off the dust, that came from traffic and pests, from her leaves except in summers or when she waters them at 10 am as it could make the leaves vulnerable to burn from the sunlight.
This brings us to the watering schedule, that is usually around 6:30 am -7 am in the mornings or at 5 pm in the evenings to allow water retention for long durations in the soil.
She has expressed that she has been thinking about drip irrigation, as it would make watering the plants easier, but never got around to it. and since her gardening is still in stages of infancy, recycling methods have not yet been put in place.
Since the garden is at its infancy stage, the expenses have been high, she said when asked about the cost and investments that she had to make for it.
But in due course the costs reduce considerably, she continued. Up till now, she has spent close to 1,23,000 (i.e. in 6 months) the major chunk of it belonging to the soil replacement and labour.
Curious to know what she grew, we asked her about her garden to which she replied with delight that she had fruit bearing plants and trees, and some flowering plants, but no vegetable patch as of yet.
Since she is concerned about the loss of habitat the animals suffer due to human activities, she hopes that her plants will provide the food and shelter to little birds and squirrels in her area.
Fortunately, there has been no miscommunication from her work and people have seen the results of her work. She believes that actions speak louder than words so the people prefer results rather than just talk.
In this world where every action has become social she has managed to retain the privacy of her abode, as her love for the flora and fauna is so great that the society’s perception is of no concern to her and thus makes little effort to reach out or publicize.
She claims that she is just highly dedicated to plants and animals and that she will spend money to do what is necessary to take care of both.
Her claim finds truth in her personal achievement of having reformed the neglected and diseased plants of her new home into heathy and invigorating ones. She did this by trimming them and changing the top soil, adding manure and taking care for 4 months.
Amazingly, she revealed a major secret to her techniques for growing her blooming and happy plants. She takes the belief that all beings have life to heart, so she always talks to her plants and gives them pep talks which increase a plants inner positivity and help in further enriching their growth. It is this technique that had majorly helped her diseased plants recover.
“I know I might sound nuts, but it is as important to talk to plants as it is to humans, in fact better”
Gardening involves a lot of feeling of both the gardener and the plants. It allows us to become closer or in fact become friends with nature and revel in its beauty.