Gardening, like other skills in life, needs to be developed. Gardening can be learned through trial and error. As a child, I used to get excited watching my mom grow all sorts of vegetables in a pot. She knew very little about gardening nor had access to any information on it, but anything she planted would grow prolifically. Being the youngest, I would bag the honor of plucking the ripened fruit or vegetable and I would dream of having my own garden when I grew up. It took me ages to have a garden and I barely grew anything in my backyard.I take a stroll I the garden every morning and talk to my precious plants.
I had a small patch in my backyard which had a guava, lemon, curry leaves,a papaya tree and some watermelon and muskmelon too grew once . Strangely fruit bearing trees die suddenly. Twice my lemon tree died when it had almost 100 fruit on it. A mango tree also died all of a sudden.
In south India, we get tiny lemons but the lemons from my tree were the size of a tennis ball and the envy of the neighborhood. I always share them with family and friends. Many have made pickles too.
I have a medium size guava tree that gives few fruits but each is a gourmet’s delight. It weighs almost two and a half pounds each and is very unlike any local fruit available. It is firm but at the same time sweet and delicious. I have shared them with my office colleagues, family, and friends and each one places an order for the next fruit on the tree!
A small mango tree growing in a cement pot bears a few fruit biannually. The raw mango I use to make lemon rice or pickles while the ripe is devoured by yours truly.
Another thing that grows profusely and without any fuss is mango ginger. Yes, it is ginger with the flavor of mango. I planted one piece a few years ago and every Jan, I harvest about six pounds of ginger.
I have no clue about how to keep plants alive but yet I have maintained a fairly healthy garden. I have been writing articles on spectacular gardens in my city and wondering how I can grow some organic vegetables.
Recently, I attended a seminar on organic terrace gardening and one of the speakers distributed a few mixed seeds. I just randomly scattered them on a tiny patch and within a week, I had so many plants growing all over. I had no trellis or cage and I guided the vines of the ridged gourd, cucumber, and yard long beans onto my clothes line.
While visiting a village recently, I was offered goat manure and I used that as compost for these vegetables. In four feet by three feet piece of soil, I had green chilies, cherry tomatoes, ridged gourd, yard long beans, cucumber, a little spinach here and fenugreek there. I started harvesting the veggies in ten days and my joy had no bounds at this heavenly produce.
Now I am determined to grow more vegetables and I have cleared and dug up my lawn for the same. Gardening or planting gives me a lot of happiness and it is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes 🙂
Watch this space for more updates on my green thumb.