Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

New seed starting… October 19, 2009

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 7:41 pm
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Am embarking on a new season of veggie growing. Like I had written in my last post, I have bought a whole lot of seeds from my native and there is no way i can wait longer before trying them out.

Most of the seeds I have bought are to be soaked overnight before sowing. One thumb-rule I generally apply is, if after one night of soaking any odd seeds are floating around, they are probably no good for germination.
So, here you go,

DSC03889
In the order of left to right and within each row from bottom to top they are: Cabbage, White brinjal, Peas, Cauliflower, Ridge gourd, Chillies, Onion, bottle gourd, Black Brinjals. This is the first time i realize that the so well known Black Cumin Seeds (kalonji) popularly known as kala jeera in eastern part of India is the same that I call here as Onion Seeds 🙂

I normally seed start in the plastic cups that you see here in the pics. The seed starting mix is sand,red soil and compost in 1/3 ratio. I make a small cut at the bottom of the cup for drainage. So far, all the seedling are doing good except the ridge gourd which didn’t germinate. The germination ratio is close to 70-80% in all of the varieties and even 100% in some cases like that of peas.

But looking at germination ratio and the number variety i have seed started some of seedlings probably will never see the full cycle of life. How unfortunate 😦 ‘deep sigh’. Any one in b’lore interested to give shelter to few brinjal, cabbage and cauliflower seedling are always welcome.Please drop me a mail and am sure something can be worked out.

In the meanwhile the seeds are turning into seedlings I am working on the soil and preparing the containers, the new ‘adobe to be’ for the tiny seedlings. For keeping my kitchen garden organic and free of any chemicals I’ll be trying to keep my soil nourished by feeding it with, what is locally available to me. It will include vermi-compost, gobar, all the dried leaves i have collected so far from my garden and li’l bit of powdered charcoal.

Since ladt 2-3 days there is something strange happening with butterflies in my garden. They have almost tripled/quadrapuled in number. I wonder if it has anything to do with the pollution caused by all those firecrackers on Diwali ? I only hope and pray for their well-being. They are such lovely creatures. On that note here is a picture of caterpillar I had taken sometime back in my garden.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

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18 Responses to “New seed starting…”

  1. I also noticed the butterflies even before Diwali, It could well be the sunny days in Bangalore at work. But it was awesome with all kinds of them out there! Hope the firecrackers didn’t trouble them.

    We had the same problem with seed starting, we didn’t expect so much plants which easily filled up all the pots. We gave the rest of the seeds to others. I would like to try cabbage and cauliflower someday.

    • rajapanda Says:

      I guess the number of butterflies has steadily reduced over the last 2 days. May be there is some pattern there.

  2. Binita Says:

    Hi Raja…
    Very nice and encouraging updates of your kitchen garden!! 🙂
    I have one query..I have started growing leafy veg recently. Everything is going fine except coriander. very very few coriander seeds gernimated and out of them none is doing well. I am confused.. what to do… can you suggest something..

    Regards,
    Binita

    • geekgardener Says:

      Binita,

      There could be several reasons why your coriander seeds aren’t germinating. Seed quality, age etc. Soaking overnight might help. Check if the seeds are infested with small mites. Also another important note. The Coriander seed that you sow ( spherical one) consists of two seeds. Yes they can be split and sown. The way I do is spread the seeds on the rough floor and gently rub the seeds with slippers(holding slippers in hand). This way they easily get split and you get more seeds. Last week, I germinated coriander the same way and I got good germination rate. Again, this is just another tip to efficiently use the seeds.

      Thanks
      gg

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Binita,

      For a seed to germinate there are so many factors which have to fall in place at the same time. It’s difficult to pin-point one reason of failure without experiencing it. I too faced the same difficulty with growing coriander in my first 2 attempts. However once i started using a new seed packet, everything seem to have fallen in place. geekgardener has already listed quite a few possible reasons, so what i probably would suggest is to eliminate the causes one by one. May be start with a new good seed packet. Hope you achieve success.

      The idea of splitting the coriander seeds is new to me. I’ll try it out next time. Thanks gg for sharing this great tip.

      Regards
      Raja

  3. ben Says:

    Greets Raja,
    We’re setting up a small garden at the Maraa Media Collective office in Domlur. It’d be great to get some seedlings if you still have a surplus!
    Cheers, Ben.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I would be very happy to share some seedlings with you. I still have some. Do drop me a mail at rajpanda@gmail.com. I stay at Kudlu, off hosur road, approax 5 kms from silk board.

  4. geekgardener Says:

    Hi Raja,

    Welcome back. Soaking seeds works wonders right?. I also use the moist tissue paper method. Looks like you have got a very nice collection of seeds. Enjoy.
    I might be interested in some exotic variety if you have in surplus.

    Thanks
    gg

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi gg,

      Seed soaking reduces the germination time almost by half. I am trying out the seeds that I had got from my native this time. No exotic varieties in this batch i guess 🙂 So i have to see how these plants respond to bangalore climate. Am hoping for the best.

  5. geekgardener Says:

    Hey Raja,

    Where do you get powdered charcoal? Also, I am looking for chicken manure. Do let me know if you know a source.

    Thanks
    gg

    • rajapanda Says:

      I guess at lot’s of places in b’lore we can get charcoal. Just enquire with those vendors and you will see that they offer the powdered charcoal for the cheapest price may be because not many ppl want to buy it. Near to my place i have such vendors on hosur road just after Kudlu junction while going towards silk board and also on the sarjapura road just after Total mall.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Some time back, i too had thought of looking for chicken manure. But then somehow, i didn’t follow it up. I think any small time chicken shop near to our home should be able to support our requirement. What say ??

      • Asha Says:

        Nice post here..
        GG, Are you talking about ashes from firewood? Maids are a good source for powdered charcoal if they use firewood for cooking 🙂
        or else, you can get charcoal from Spar. We bought some charcoal from Bilekahalli – near the people who iron clothes.
        Asha

  6. […] had sowed bottle gourd around 20th of Oct. So, it’s been close to 2 month’s now. Sowing of most these creepers […]

  7. Gowtham Says:

    Hi,

    Can we talk? I am interested in organic market garden.

  8. Ashwini sharma Says:

    I like your blog specially growing of rajma.


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