Time to grow greens. Time to get back to basics.

Balconies don’t offer much leeway in terms of space and sunlight. I have tried growing many kinds of veggies including cauliflower, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, carrot, radish, etc. But the economics of space advises me that sticking to green leafy ones is the best way to go. Since I get most of the seasonal fruits and veggies from organic stores, thinking of keeping the limited balcony space exclusively for salad greens and some aromatic herbs, the ones that you want to just cut, rinse, shred and make a salad out of, all in a jiffy.

But it all begins with basics, ain’t it? Realised that my regular compost bins won’t suffice as I would need a big load of super-rich compost to get things going and ride the routine later on. So took out my big blue barrel drilled with holes, dumped half a bag of dry leaves at the bottom, started the first layer with kitchen rejects and finally, topped it off with a layer of cocopeat-based inoculant.

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 A lot of things fell in place quite rapidly: Took out at least two litres of leachate from the compost kit which I started some 10 days ago. The crazy amount of fruits we consume has let out this much of nutritious liquid! Added a little jaggery to the leachate; in other words, feeding the microbes and keeping them alive for some more time. This will keep the microbial load intact at least for a few more weeks in all the indoor and outdoor pots.

Prepared a pot mix using compost, cocopeat and soil in equal portions and planted a store-bought sprouted celery root which was growing roots sitting pretty in a bowl of water.

Gardening was halted over certain pressing personal commitments. Missed this activity so much that thought of sourcing compost from outside and get it going at once. But it makes sense economically to prepare a super-rich compost heap at home. More importantly, I know for sure what goes in. If all the ingredients in the growth medium aren’t in order, I will have little control over the fungal infections later on. So, as I usually do, I enriched the compost using this method, stuck the celery root in and mulched with dry leaves.

Yes, it’s a unique kind of seasoning. Give it a try.

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