My experiments with gardening

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

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!


Seeds seeds and more seeds! December 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 6:58 pm

I have sowed some more seeds of chives, spinach and basil. I know I’ve a basil plant but I sowed them anyway.

My cicora seedling has sprouted.. yippee! It is really beautiful. Now is the toughest time for both of us. It has to battle Mumbai and it’s weather.

I have transplanted my tomato seedlings and let’s see how they fare. They are very young to transplant but what to do…I had 3 of them in one slot and they were very leggy so had to transplant them.

I have a feeling that the oregano plant is not oregano at all…It smells funny and it is not ground hugging as oregano is supposed to be…

I think this calls for a trip to the nursery…

The pests which I reported earlier…I do not see after neem spray. I hope it stays that way.



Disheartened but still going on.. December 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 2:34 pm

I have not post anything because I was depressed about the condition of my plants..

Spidermites on Spinach and hibiscus(very difficult to get rid of them on this plant). They were on holy basil too but got rid of them with help of neem and insecticide

Whiteflies on Jalapeño and chilli plant. Spotted them just yesterday. I think those were the reasons why jalapeño was just hanging in there..

Aphids on curry leaf plant. Earlier I pruned all the branches and new leaves that had aphids and some brownish flies. They came back. I have some kind of spotting on few leaves as well.

All of this depressed me so much that I felt what is point. I read so many blogs and books on gardening. Everyone seems to grow so much stuff but I ate few curry leaves from my plant and nothing else..

But..the new day came with some hope. I potted the oregano. The cherry tomato seedling is out and I might get another seedling as well. I sprayed neemastra on all the plants with pests.

I planted some capsicum and chive seeds. The other seeds which are still to sprout are thyme, cicoria and methi.

So what if  I am unable to harvest anything(as of now..) or grow much..  I am tending to many plants in various stages.. I have few plants which are not giving up on me..Basil, oregano, holy basil, parsley, aloe vera and a white flower plant. I have spent a lot of money on all the material for gardening. I might be able to go ahead with the experiments for many more months so I will just wait for things to perk up. If  not anything..they are purifying the air at my home.

I think I will have to get dill or fennel and few flowering plants so that they attract beneficial insects to eat up the pests. It seems a mixed garden is the way to go to avoid pests.

I have planted a few more mint cuttings..

Never give up!


Fertilizer ahoy! December 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 7:19 pm

Finally got fertilizer for the plants. It seems to be a slow release fertilizer. He gave me from his open stock so no idea about the proportions but I think the NPK are of same ratios but not sure how much percentage.

Next time if someone tells me you can grow lettuce in Mumbai I think I’ll shoot them. The fertilizer guy had 2 varieties of lettuce seeds but I did not buy it.. I can’t go through another heartbreak. Au contraire, I bought seeds for ”chicory” or cicoria(catalogna frastagliata). I could not get Endive frisée so this was the best alternative. I will plant it tomorrow and see if it can germinate and grow. If not then I’m going to try in the monsoon. It gets cooler then.. un petit peu.

Things to do

  • Put oregano in a pot/container. It is still in black plastic bag
  • Sow cicoria

I have pot which is like a graveyard for anything I put in it. It used to have a wonderful tulsi plant which died when we were away and forgot to give it to neighbours for watering. After that disaster.. nothing grows in that pot. It had mints, lettuces, herb cuttings and seeds which never showed any sign of growth. I wonder what to do with it..complete change of soil or put loads of compost or manure or just throw it away?

BTW, the store also had seeds for leeks. I’ll have to read about leeks and see if they can survive here.

PS: I have sowed cicoria and thyme(again!) seeds today.


A better day in garden! December 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SDJ @ 12:47 pm

I have pruned holy basil(Tulsi) plant so that it gets bushier. The sweet basil plant is looking better and I have pruned that too.

I had got 6 plants from my last visit to nursery of which 3 are showing progress (spinach, oregano and parsley ) and the rest 3 are hopeless rosemary, thyme and..

Iceberg lettuce

Dear lettuce…I’m sorry darling!  It’ll never workout between us.. You would be happy with the nursery guy. He’ll always take better care of you. (Unless by some miracle I’ll start living in cooler places with even cooler winters then there will be hope for “us”). I’ll always love you. 

Jalapeño pepper is still hibernating and so is my other chilli plant which I got from a roadside vendor. It has 2 small chillies but they are not improving at all. They are very small.

My yellow hibiscus has lots of leaves but no buds. I think it needs some fertilizer. The curry leaf plant which had aphids… I pruned all the stems which had bugs so it is looking better again.. I need to repot it though because there are 2 curry leaf plants in one pot …I realized recently.

I planted 2 methi seeds today.

**Hush hush** I see the sure sign of the hook.. cherry tomato c’mon!

The seeds for the cherry tomato are from a supermarket packet of cherry tomatoes. I forgot to use them so all of them went bad. I saved the seeds and planted 2 of them. They are showing improvement within 2 days. I think it is better to always save your own seeds because they sprout better than the shop ones.