Terrace garden kits to grow your own vegetables

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Vendakkaai sambar and mullangi poriyal,” says the sprightly Selvarani when asked about the lunch menu. She has just finished harvesting vegetables for the day from her terrace garden — tender ladies finger, bright red radishes and tomatoes, fresh green chillies…. “Yesterday, I made keerai thovaiyal and brinjal puli kuzhambu. Greens from my garden have a natural sweetness. Most vegetables and greens from the market leave a bitter after-taste because of the heavy use of pesticides.”

Selvarani Bernadshaw’s terrace garden at her home in Theethipalayam near Coimbatore is getting a steady stream of visitors. She is visually-challenged but that hasn’t stopped her from growing farm fresh vegetables. “I use vermicompost and panchakavya as manure, which nurture plants, protect from pest infestation, and give a good yield.”

Her roof top garden is in the news now, after the Department of Horticulture has started an initiative to give away terrace garden kits at subsidised rates. Vasanthi Gnanasekar, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Thondamuthur Block, says, “We use Selvarani’s example to motivate people to start a terrace garden. The coco piths that come in the kit serve as a base to grow the plants as it retain moisture. We recommend that people use one kilo of vermicompost manure for each bag to make it nutrient rich and get a better yield.” The objective of the drive is to motivate city dwellers to grow their own vegetables. Selvarani takes technical advice from the horticulture department in Thondamuthur to maintain her garden. A 500 sqft space is all you need to set up a garden, she says. “Basic awareness on avoiding harmful pesticides is important. Every house can easily have a terrace garden to enjoy good health.”

Info you can use

The kits come with six polythene covers with coco pith bricks, 10 pouches with seeds of ladies finger, brinjal, bitter gourd, green chillies, coriander, beans, radish, and tomatoes, bio-pesticides, and a booklet that gives step-by-step instructions on how to set it up

Each kit costs ₹305 and is available at the horticulture department’s offices at Thondamuthur, Lawley Road Perianaickenpalayam, Madukkarai, Karamadai, Annur…

Contact 0422-2618890 or 99940-83241 for details

Source : The Hindu

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