My experiments with gardening

Trying to grow a garden and get rid of the tag 'plant killer'

Hello! January 9, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 5:27 pm


It has been a really long time. I am gardening again after a gap of 3 years. Life came in the way..Anyway…Now I have lemongrass, mint, button rose, aloe vera, Mogra and holy basil.

I have planted a radish from market when it sprouted leaves in the fridge. Did it yesterday so I am not sure if it will survive.

I have planted lots of sprouted onions. They seem to be ok as of now. Lets see if they can stay 3-4 months at-least.

The mint has been going strong since more than 6 months. Mogra had a whiteflies attack. It is recovering now.

I have plans to plant some fennel and fenugreek. This time I do not want to plant fruits and vegetables. Herbs only this time.


Updates after ages! May 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 12:12 pm

I am so excited to post now…after such a long hiatus..So many things are happening and I don’t know where to begin!

Good news!

New entrant into the garden, Malabar spinach. Also called Bachali koora in Telugu. I think it is also called mayalu but I'm not sure in which language

FInally some 'fruit' of labour(2 bitter gourds)

After 1 month...thriving..Yay!!

I am really glad to announce that mint has finally invaded my garden!! YAY!! I stole got a small mint plant with roots from a public place :-P. It has grown and it has filled this pot! I am so happy…This picture is an old one, I tried to post earlier…I typed a really long one but lost it inspite of saving it…couldn’t recover it.

My first harvest of basil leaves for Pesto!

Can you spot the green cherry tomato...yet to ripen!

Bad news

Somehow chilli plants don’t survive in my home. Their leaves become all twisted and ugly and they don’t give even one fruit. All of them became like this so I had to uproot them. Had to do it!

I tried to grow a betel leaf sapling. Got one from a neighbour but it didn’t survive.

Anyway..that’s it for now! I will post very soon. I have been tagged by someone.. Yay! Next post will be in the honour of the tag.


Want to learn gardening professionally? February 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 12:55 pm

I know!

It is not rocket science and you do not need classes in it but but but…Any guidance is appreciated for amateur gardeners. We are pained and panicked souls..we worry at the sight of pests, spotted leaves, dying seedlings and refusing to germinate seeds.

So, coming to the point, I saw this ad in newspaper today.

The center for Extra-Mural Studies, University of Mumbai, is offering a two-month weekend course in ‘Garden Craft’ from March 17.

The course, designed for the amateur garden enthusiasts, will be taught by experienced horticulturists and garden experts. There are no age or qualification bars. The course will equip one to look after plants at home in a scientific manner. The last date of admission is Friday, March 9.

For details contact 022-26530266/022-65952761.

I saw the link mentioned and the course fees is Rs 6500 for 2 months. For me it is steep but I might do it after a few months if it is available. Also the timings are saturday 3pm to 6pm and sunday 10am to 1pm. Register at Kalina.

If you are interested do take it up and let me know how it was. I would like to take it too..


Updates after a long time February 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 12:56 pm

I know it has been ages since I last posted. So much has happened..I was travelling and my plants were taken care of by my neighbour.. etc etc

The cherry tomato plant is big now and has been transplanted  just now into the biggest pot I have. Also 3 brinjal saplings have been moved to bigger pots till I buy the ones perfect for them. Here is the photo.

Freshly transplanted

Of all the cucumber plants only 3 are left now because I had to leave them in my balcony while we went away. Cucumber plants throw vines and need support..once it gets attached to something you cannot move the pot so I had to leave them here. Only 3 survived the harsh summery days.

My flower seedlings(cosmos géant and mini sunflower) died inspite of my neighbour’s attention. I cannot sow them again because it is way too hot here  for something to germinate but I might try anyway.

Of the two chilli plants one has survived and is doing well. The other bigger plant(volunteer) is not well due to some disease. I am not sure what it is. The same thing happened to my jalapeño plant and basil plant also. Basil is still ok, jalapeño has died and this Chilli might die too. I cannot see any insects or anything so not sure what is up with it.

I am very proud to show the following picture. My first harvest(If I can call it that..)

Spinach and chives

Spinach is doing well. When I saw onions with sprouts, I planted them in pots and I have been getting chives regularly.

Also, My aloevera has 3 small saplings of aloe and if anyone wishes to have them I would be glad to share it.


New tidings in the new year! January 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 3:20 pm

I would like to put up the before and after pics of many of my plants. The weather has been much better in Mumbai. They say it is winter but I would call it an odd weather pattern which is helping germination a lot.  I have got so many seeds to germinate and my plants are doing much better.

God works in mysterious ways. You know I had 3 cherry tomato seedlings. I planted 2 good ones with care in pots and one I discarded. After all my work I glanced the discarded seedling and I felt sorry for it and just planted it in the cup because I did not want to waste my pots. The other two promptly died and this one was just hanging in there. I thought it might give up but one day it started growing and it surprises me everyday with its growth.

You know sometimes while gardening you think you can be God by deciding which seedlings to keep, discard or to give away some saplings because you have too many but you may never know which will work and which will not. You’ll never know the outcome. It is best to keep every seedling, sapling because if not, you might be left with nothing. You know I had 23 cicoria seedlings, I thinned them out to 1 per cell and now I dont have even one. They all died. I don’t know what went wrong. 😦

Really love the pictures. With less care from my end and occassional glance they became this big. I had leaf miners in cucumber and cherry tomato. Promptly disposal of leaves helped in control. Now, I have whiteflies in Cucumber, Hibiscus and Tulsi. I am not spraying anything and still thinking as to what to do. Maybe I’ll set up a fly trap.

In my next post I’ll put the details of all the shops, resources for gardening in Mumbai and surrounding areas.

Cherry tomato plant(Left one taken on 31st dec. Right one taken today)

Showing first true leaves

Ready for transplant into a bigger pot

Single chilli seedling on 31st Dec

Chilli seedlings today

Young cucumber seedlings on 31 Dec

Much bigger with vines

Voluntary(I did not plant seed) chilli plant

Voluntary seedling on December 4th


Progress and my other ‘kills’ December 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 12:54 pm


Beautiful true leaves showing here

Cucumber seedlings are showing nice progress. Pretty soon I might have to introduce support for their vines. And also…the graveyard pot has come to life here with 4 cucumber seedlings.

Cherry tomato seedling with the true leaves

The cherry tomato seedling is also showing its true leaves.

Spinach seedlings are showing true leaves.

Out of some 20-25 seeds sowed in there..Only one germinated

Brinjal is going to show true leaves next week.

Cicoria seedlings are showing true leaves.

2 of the cosmos géant seedlings survived my touch.

My kills:

I killed parsley in repotting. I read online that parsley has a long tap root and it needs a deep pot. My pot was some 4 inches deep so I tried to repot it into a deep one and it died.

I killed all of my okra plants after transplantation. The ones in the yoghurt cup are the only ones alive because ‘I did not touch them’.

Most of my basil seedlings have died in transplantation. One or two might survive but you never know.

All 3 of my mini sunflower seedlings died in transplantation. Sowed the seeds again in soil mix this time to avoid transplantation.

All of my dianthus seedlings died again in transplantation. Again sowed the seeds in soil mix to avoid yes…the transplantation.

My Jalapeño pepper plant died. It just succumbed and I don’t know what happened.


I kill more than I grow and I wonder how I’m helping the global warming cause!

Anyway.. Happy new year everyone! I hope we all stick to our resolutions.. which brings me here..

Gardening Resolutions for the new year:

Grow Rosemary, Thyme and Mint from cuttings.

Reduce the gardening expenses by finding someplace to get soil without spending money on soil packets.

Try to be organic as much as possible and to spray less.


Start composting because it reduces waste and expenses. I can use the compost as the soil mix for plants.


I cannot think of anything else…I will update as and when I think of anything.


Photo updates December 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 10:46 pm

Even the yoghurt cup has Okra. Brinjal on the extreme right


Sometimes I feel like hiring someone to write the blog exactly how I want to… in the sense half of the time my captions for photo go away somewhere.. I type them but they are not visible. I don’t know how to bring them back. Frankly, I am supposed to know all this.  ‘UI’ expert for god’s sake!


Seedlings galore! December 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 8:15 pm

My my my how many seedlings have I..

I had sowed nearly 10 types of seeds. Basil, cosmos géant, dianthus, mini sunflower, okra, brinjal, cucumber, parsley, lettuce(I know.. I’ll never learn) and aboli(also called kanakambaram in telugu).

Cucumber seeds were the first ones to sprout. They were already 6cm tall by 2nd day and I had to transplant them immediately.. I wonder how many of them will produce cucumbers to eat.

It rained I think some 17 seedlings

Everything has sprouted except for lettuce(no surprise there!), parsley and aboli. I have read that parsley takes 21 days for sprouting so we have a long wait ahead.


The challenge now is transplant all of these seedlings into pots and see them make it.

I think December is the time to sprout anything in Mumbai. I have so many coriander sprouts which I planted so many months ago.

Coriander seedlings in Aloe vera's pot. 7 of them.

In some pots I have some 7 seedlings of spinach and I think half of them might be thyme because that pot had thyme seeds earlier.

Now will have to buy containers of many sizes to hold all of these seedlings. My husband thinks I’m crazy. Tell me something I don’t know!


Purchases and what not! December 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 5:31 pm

I went to the supposed ‘mecca’ of gardening here in Mumbai and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I will not say never but I’ll try and get my supplies elsewhere! It cheap to get seeds from Punjab rather than going to a part of mumbai which is on different railway line than yours.  The lady of the shop which we will call R**** for now was a matron from hell. Anyway I do not wish to continue this train of thought.

So,  here is the list of major things I got.

4 different types of flower seeds, seedling tray(a big one this time),  fertilizer for flowering, plant starter(some hormone to make your seedling grow in well) etc

I sowed 10 different types of seeds today. I know it is way too much but with the kind of germination rate I have I’m sure it is ok! I can see a ‘spinach’ seedling coming on… woohoo

Fertilized my flowering plants so I hope they bloom. My cherry tomato seedling and cicoria got the plant starter so I am hoping for wonders.

The ‘bugging’ news is I caught 3 leaf chewing small snakey kind of bugs. They did not look like caterpillars because they were not crawling. They were hanging down from the leaves. Thinking of the feel of them on my hand makes me shrivel with disgust. It was the worst part of my gardening experience till now. I killed them by dumping them in water. Also caught a white fluffy kind of bug on my hibiscus so I guess I am keeping up with these guys.

This makes you realize that having plants is like having pets except they dont pee or poo in your apartment. You look for signs of illness because they dont talk. Wash them weekly. Feed them and water them. Keep checking on them and look for signs of distress. You worry about them when you are going on a vacation(Where to keep them). Now you get the drift…


Taking stock! December 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 9:22 pm

I have read all my old posts and made a list of all seeds I sowed. Let me tell you it is pathetic. I have planted Chinese cabbge, Thyme(twice), Tomato, methi, capsicum, chives(twice), spinach(twice), brinjal and basil. All of them failed!

There might be hope for spinach, brinjal and basil but I have no hope for others.

The cicoria seedling is still small.. I wish it gives more leaves soon.

I planted brinjal and spinach seeds today. I have left them open and did not cover with plastic. Let’s see.

The three tomato seedlings.. I am worried..2 of them are showing signs of giving up.

I have to get flowering plants and some nitrogen rich fertilizer for spinach and cicoria. I will post some photos pretty soon.

The good news is I have 5 small coriander seedlings with good improvement. I think ‘Ignorance’ is the key here. If I ignore my plants they thrive. Apparently too much attention kills or rather too much of MY attention kills anything!