Apr 24, 2020

How to grow Coriander in balcony - The Indian way

Coriander is an aromatic herb used in cuisines to dress the salads and adds a flavor to the dishes. Coriander is a popular herb used in daily Indian cooking from garnishing buttermilk to dressing Biriyani 's.

Garnishing with coriander leaves aids in digestion and prevents infections. Coriander is also rich in fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamins. Coriander is used in a variety of dishes like Coriander chutney or hummus, Coriander rice, Coriander juice, coriander pulao.
How to grow coriander from seeds

    Cilantro Vs Coriander

    In America, Cilantro refers to the leaves and stalks of the coriander plant and seeds are referred to as Coriander. In few places like India, Coriander refers to the leaves and stalk of the plant, and the seeds are called coriander seeds. Cilantro or the coriander refers to the same plant Coriander Sativum.

    Trouble in Germinating Coriander Seeds

    If the coriander seeds are not germinating even after 8 to 10 days. Then poor quality seeds could be the culprit. Use coriander seeds meant for germination instead of using coriander seeds from your kitchen. Use fresh coriander seeds instead of using aged coriander seeds.

    How to Grow Cilantro from seeds


    How to grow coriander from seeds
    • Coriander can be easily grown from seeds (Dhaniya or the coriander seeds used in the kitchen if the seeds are fresh)You can also buy the coriander seeds available in the market for cultivation purposes.The husk of coriander seeds is thick and contains two seeds in it. If the seeds are sown directly the time taken to germinate will be high.

    How to split Coriander seeds

    Take the coriander seeds and cover it in a newspaper. Then lightly crush the coriander seeds with the help of a heavy object like pestle or hammer. Do not put excess pressure onto the seeds, the main motive is to split the seeds into two.

    • Soak the split coriander seeds in a bowl of water for few hours or overnight. This will help in increasing the success rate of germination. This step is completely optional.
    • Spread the seeds directly into the soil. Cover the seeds with a layer of coco peat or soil evenly. Do not cover it with a thick layer of soil as it would be difficult for the seeds to sprout.
    • Instead of sowing directly into the soil, it can done in a tissue paper or seedling tray. But I prefer sowing the seeds directly on to the soil as few of the coriander seedlings may not survive when transplanted.
    How to grow coriander from seeds

    • Water thoroughly and it will take somewhere around 5 to 10 days for the seeds to germinate.
    • These plants are very demanding and require attention. Water them regularly or you could see them drying out. You might not be lucky enough to retrieve them if they dry out.
    • Coriander or Cilantro will be ready to harvest within three to four weeks. 
    How to grow coriander from seeds


    How to Grow Bushy Coriander


    • Pinch off the top plant leaves to initiate fuller growth in coriander. Snip of the cilantro to produce fuller growth in the plant.
    • If you see any visible flowering in your coriander, pinch off the flower. As you do not want the entire energy of your plant draining to produce seeds. Pinching off the flowers will encourage healthy leaves in your coriander plant.
    • Do not place your coriander in full bright sun. This can cause flowering at a very earlier stage.
    How to grow coriander from seeds


    You might be interested in Growing Lemongrass in soil at your home

    Happy Gardening!


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    Apr 23, 2020

    How to make a DIY Miniature Terrarium at home - Easy Home Decor Project

    Interested in experimenting with the plant caretaker in you but lack sufficient space at your home, then Terrariums are for you!!

    Terrariums are fun to make and can spice the elements at your home. Then fit in almost anywhere from Tabletop to Dining table. You can also add your characteristics to the terrarium by creating a fairy theme or a garden theme.
    Come on let's make. By the end of this blog you will learn how to create your terrarium.

    I created a mini-open Terrarium with a Tiger Balm 30g Jar. I have been saving this jar for some time now. And now it has been put to the right use.


    Minature terrarium

    Things you will need

    • Garden soil
    • Compost
    • Stones 
    • Plants 
    • Paper 
    • Glass Jar or container (Any glass or mason jar would do )

    How to Make a Miniature version of Terrarium

    Step 1: Cover the bottom layer of the Jar with small stones or pebbles. I have used aquarium white stones in my project. Placing the stones would store the excess water in your terrarium (acts as drainage). And it protects your plants from rotting.
    pebbles for terrarium

    Step 2: Cut a small paper or newspaper according to the size of your container and place it above the stones. This layer would obstruct the soil from entering the stones and create a more beautiful look.

    Step 3: Add Garden soil to your terrarium.

    Step 4: Add compost to the terrarium as it would add nutrition to the terrarium. I have not mixed the potting soil and the compost to create different layers in the terrarium. You can mix them if you like.
    Fill up the Potting mix and compost to one half of the jar.

    Step 5: Add plants into your terrarium. I have added Sedum Angelia golden to the terrarium as it has shallow roots. I have not seen many growing Sedums in terrarium. It has now been almost 7 to 8 days since I have set this terrarium. I find no major issues and plants look fresh and the plants have fixed itself to the soil which is a good sign.
    Minature terrarium
    You can add any humid loving plants like mosses and ferns. Take your time to research and add plants in your terrarium.
    Well known plants that work in the terrarium are Mosses, Ferns

    Step 6: Add small pebbles to the top layer to create a beautiful look.
    Try these terrariums they are simple and straightforward to make.

    Also, check out DIY planter project with plastic bottle 

    Happy Gardening


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    Apr 20, 2020

    Gardening terms every beginner must know


      Annuals

      Plants that complete their life cycle within one year (Plants start from seeds, produce seeds and die)

      Biennials 

      The plant that completes its life cycle in two years. Most of the biennials do not flower until the second year.

      Cover crop

      Cover crops are plants that are planted not to harvest but to manage soil erosion, soil fertility. These plants are grown to suppress weeds, control pests.
      Example: Growing clover fixes Nitrogen in the soil

      Crop rotation

      Growing different varieties of crops in different seasons to increase the yield, increase soil fertility, reduce soil erosion.
      Example: Crops can be rotated between corn (reduce the Nitrogen content in the soil) and Soybeans (Deposits Nitrogen in the soil)By this combination the contents, the nutrient value of the soil is replenished.

      Cuttings

      Plant cuttings are a part of the plant when grown in proper conditions (like moist soil) develops roots, leaves and begins to grow as an independent plant.

      Damping-off

      Caused by pathogens that kill or weaken the seedlings before or after they germinate. This condition is mostly due to the moist and wet conditions of the soil. To avoid damping-off do not overwater your seedlings.

      Deadheading

      Removing the dried out flowers (spent flowers) from your plants to encourage new growth is called Deadheading. The spent flowers are removed as they take a lot of energy from the plant. In other words, removing the flowers before they are turned into seeds.

      Deciduous
      Deciduous means falling off at maturity or shedding their leaves. Plants that shed their leaves at the end of the growing season.


      Direct sowing

      Growing the seeds directly in the garden or into the pots rather than growing them indoors is called Direct sowing.
      Examples: Seeds of Peas, Carrots can be directly sowed.

      Dormant

      Plants exhibit no growth or very little growth during the dormant period. It might look like the plant has dried out - probably the plant is in its dormant phase.

      Evergreen 

      Evergreen plants are those that remain green throughout the retain. These plants manage to retain their foliage even during the winter season.

      Frost hardy

      Plants that can survive frost are called as Frost hardy. These plants can survive in frost and snow.
      Example: Hedera Helix Ivy, Rosemary

      Hardwood cuttings

      Cuttings taken from deciduous plants to propagate and grow them into an independent plant. Evergreen plants can also be propagated from hardwood cuttings. The Hardwood cuttings are normally sturdy.

      Hardening off

      Exposing the plants or seedlings grown indoors to outdoors gradually is called as Harden off. This is very important as exposing the plants directly to the garden may create stress to the plant and die. If the plants are not hardened off they may die due to sudden shock of environmental factors such as bright sunlight, wind, rain.


      Herbaceous cuttings

      Cuttings taken from non-woody cuttings. The success rate of growing Herbaceous cutting is fairly high.
      Example: Coleus can be propagated through Herbaceous cuttings

      Indoor sowing or Undercover

      Sowing the seeds indoors in a protected environment is called as Indoor sowing. Sowing the seeds indoors has great benefits as they can be protected from various threats like sunlight, wind. The chances of the seedlings surviving indoors is high. After this process the seedlings are hardened off before planting them outdoors. This process is also termed as "Sow undercover".

      Invasive

      Plants that are dominant and aggressively spread into the whole area causing a negative effect.
      Example: Weeds (take up the entire nutrient content from the soil)

      Leggy

      An unhealthy plant that is tall with fewer leaves and flowers are termed as leggy plants. These plants look unhealthy and may be a result of low sunlight, space, nutrients.

      Mulch

      Mulch is material spread throughout the soil to retain soil moisture, fertility, suppressing weeds. Mulch can be made of grass clippings, compost, leaves.

      Native plants

      Plants that have evolved or developed naturally in a given geological area are called as Native plants. Native plants grow well in the native geological area. Though the concept of the native plants is a debatable topic as we may not know the validity of the plant is native or migrated.

      Node

      A node is a place where the leaves, flower, branches emerges. When propagating the cuttings the node is the point where the root emerges.

      Perennials

      Plants that live and bloom for more than two years are called Perennials. Example: Most of the trees come under Perennials

      Pollinators

      Pollinators are animals that cause fertilization in plants that causes the plants to make fruits or seeds. Birds or bees are attracted due to the sugar or honey present in the flowers. The transfer of pollen grain in the same plant and different species leads to fertilization.
      Example: Bees, Butterflies, Birds


      Pricking

      Seedlings grown in seed trays needs to move out as they need a larger space to grow a healthy root system. Pricking essentially means transplanting the plant without disturbing the roots and transferring them into a larger pot when the true set of leaves are grown.

      Pruning

      Removing the selective branches, twigs to give a definite structure to the plants and thereby encouraging the growth.
      Example: Pruning the dead branches or pruning the Jade to achieve a Bonsai.

      Repotting

      Potting the overgrown plant into a larger plant is called Repotting.

      Seedling

      A young tender plant sprouting from the seed is called as seedlings. Seedlings are generally grown undercover in seed trays and later are transplanted outdoors.
      Self seedling

      Semi ripe cuttings

      Cuttings obtained from partially mature wood after the growing season. The cuttings are reasonably sturdy.

      Softwood cuttings

      Cuttings are taken when they are still tender and soft as they have not matured yet. These cuttings are not sturdy and can be easily bent.

      Transplanting

      Moving the plants from one location to another is called Transplanting.
      Example: Seedlings are transplanted from seed trays to a pot

      True leaves
      True leaves are formed after the development of cotyledons(first set of leaves) These look like the mini version of mature leaves.

      Happy Gardening!


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      Apr 7, 2020

      Incredible Gardening ideas during Lockdown


      The Corona pandemic has created an imbalance and tension in the society. Let's hope for a better tomorrow and create a positive vibe everywhere.

      We are spending most of the time at our home, why not utilize it for a better tomorrow?
      Here I am starting to share a few easy plant projects you can start at your apartment, indoor or outdoor garden with all the vegetable scraps available at home. This is not just a mere entertaining activity like watching Netflix or Prime but putting our efforts into something more productive.

        1)Make Compost Bins for your Home

        The artistry of making compost at home has amazed me. I intended to give it a start as the vegetable waste getting piled up in my kitchen bin was huge. This would give me nutritious compost to my plants for free. We are establishing a tiny step to bring in a healthy environment.

        The process is quite easy to understand 75% kitchen waste and 25% dry waste goes into the compost along with garden soil and 2 handfuls of compost to initiate the microbial action.3 spoonful of curd or buttermilk can also be added to speed up the process. But mastering the process requires time and getting the Green Brown proportion right.

        Compost Bin ideas

        2)Start Preparing seeds for your Garden

        This is the right time to prepare your seeds for sowing. Readily available seeds from the market can be used or you can collect seeds from the fresh vegetables and give it a try. This is a great time for Vegetable Garden hobbyist this is a great time to your Indoor or Apartment Vegetable Garden.
        Seedlings can be grown in a seedling tray or any available plastic containers. Another great idea is to start seeds in a tissue paper eg: Tomato seeds, chili pepper seeds easily grow in tissue papers.
        start prepare your seedlings
        The below mentioned are best to start in April.
        • Spring onion
        • Bell pepper
        • Tomatoes
        • Eggplant

        3)Growing Herbs in your Kitchen counter

        Herbs like coriander, mint, Spring onion used in daily cooking can be a great addition to your Kitchen Garden. Herbs can be a great start for beginners as growing them would not be tedious.

        Growing herbs in Kitchen counter

                1. Cilantro/Coriander

        Coriander is the annual herb used in cooking. Mostly used parts are fresh leaves and coriander seeds. Cilantro plays a major role in Indian cooking. It is also known as a good appetizer.

        How to Grow

        Crush the coriander seeds mildly using a motor and pestle or any hammer-like object. The outer layer of the seeds is thick and breaking them can help the seeds sprout faster.
        Once the leaves are crushed place them in a container leaving and cover with soil partially.
        The cotyledons or the first leaves would come along in a few days.

        Please find the entire guide to grow Cilantro faster here

        If by any chance the above process doesn't seem to work, try soaking the coriander seeds in water for one to two hours.

                2. Mint

        Mint or commonly called as Pudina in India is an important element known for its flavor and aids in digestion. Mint can be easily propagated from cuttings.
        Take few stout stalks of mint and remove the bottom-most leaves. Stick the mint into the soil ensure there are at least 2 to 3 nodes.
        .

        Grow Pudina,Mint at home

        You can also scan the entire guide to Grow and Care Pudina here

                3. Microgreens

        Microgreens are greens packed with nutrients used to dress salads, toppings. The microgreens can be easily grown indoors all year long or hydroponically. The best thing about growing Microgreens is you need not wait for months to harvest. It can be harvested within a span of two to three weeks after establishing.
        Microgreens can be harvested once they have grown a few inches developing true leaves.
        Grow Microgreens


        Happy Gardening!

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