Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Visit to Horticulture Department, Hulimavu


That day was beautiful not only because I met friends from school but also because I visited the Horticulture Department. This place is situated on the Bannergatta Road, Bangalore, next to the Meenakshi Temple and Coconut Development Board. We were greeted by the security guard, and then by lots of trees - mango, coconut, chikoo, and others.

The first nursery that we saw had saplings of trees; you can purchase them. Further down the road, we saw the Herbs and Medicinal Plants nursery . Yes, you can purchase plants from here. The staff members are courteous and patient. They talk to you (unless they are busy). They like to share information. The nursery staff members are really sweet. Loved the experience of meeting them!

Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka, P.B.No.7648, Hulimavu, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore-560076. 
Tel: 080-26582784, 080-26582775
Email: biocentre.hulimavu@gmail.com




Probably, we visited the place at an odd season, because most medicinal plants were dead or had pests or unkempt. But the seedlings or saplings that were for sale were healthy. As I scanned the nursery, I was disappointed to see insufficient soil or growing medium in the containers. A few plants were uprooted from the containers, and had well-grown snails in them. When I returned home with two Bromeliads, I quickly removed the snails and replanted the plants.


I saw some people buying plants without even checking its health. The criteria seemed to be the low cost of the plants. In my opinion, selecting a healthy plant is crucial. My reasoning is simple - Instead of taking home a plant that is priced lesser than anywhere else, I would pay a little more and take home a healthier plant, growing in a healthier soil.

When I went to pay the bill (of purchase), the person in charge (Mr. Chetan) and I struck a conversation, and he promised to show me their anthurium mother plant collection. I have to admire their collection! Unfortunately, the camera and mobile phone was with my husand who stayed back at the nursery. Otherwise, I would have shared the photos with all of you. I also saw rows of seedlings. Beautiful!

Well, I have only these photos for you. Probably when I visit them again, I will have an opportunity to click more photos and collect more information. 



Reference Websites:
Karnataka State Horticulture Department
Preserving Native Vegetables Organically
Purple Capsicum or Black Tomatoes?
National Certification System for Tissue Culture Raised Plants
Horticulture Department's Annual Report (2004-05)
University of Agricultural Science

Regards,
Asha

32 comments:

  1. The Anthuriums look so healthy.
    I too found the staff very courteous, but the nursery was not very well looked after.

    I had heard about that place , and wanted to badly visit. I took an auto from Bangalore east, went on and on till i found the place. The auto driver was very kind, we were caught up in a mini storm, his auto failed, but I got a lot of vegetable seeds for my kitchen garden and a friend in the counter!

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  2. Hi Pattu, that's a lot of effort! Glad that you found good people during this quest, and also good seeds for your kitchen. :-)

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  3. Hi Asha, wonderful discovery. I will also pay more for a good healthy plant unless I really like the plant ;-) Thanks for reminding about the soil as well. The frequent rain and watering have push down the soil in my containers. Will have to repot the plants.

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  4. Hi Stephanie, I control my temptation to buy plants; but sometimes I yet to the temptation! Ha ha. Each season affects the plants, and makes gardeners toil harder/smarter to save their gardens esp container gardens. I'm gearing up for the harsh summer. All the best with re-potting!

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Liked your post on Dept. Of Horticulture. Thought you might be interested in this classic on "Natural Farming" which talks about put nature back into gardening... ?!!

      bye,
      Guru

      Delete
    2. Sorry, Guru, I hadn't seen your posting. That seems like a neat topic; please let me know if a session is scheduled anytime soon.

      Delete
    3. Hi,
      Sorry for the late reply. Saw your comment just now.

      There are many workshops on this topic. Bhoomi Network holds an Organic Gardening workshop in Prakriya Green Wisdom School. These are more related to Organic Gardening. Natural Farming is more about letter Nature rule in your garden/farm. Plants animals and insects have existed since long before humans started walking. Nature was the original gardener.

      You might already know about these books.
      The books 'Natural Farming" and "One Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka talk about this aspect of 'gardening'.

      There are many videos even pdf books available on the Net.

      bye,
      Guru.

      Delete
    4. Thanks, Guru. I've read the One Straw Revolution book, and reviewed it too. Here is my humble review - http://rake-and-spade.blogspot.in/2012/07/book-one-straw-revolution.html

      Delete
  5. hi , would you like to impart some tips and plants which can be planted in in pots and still be green throughout the year...i am new to bangalore gardening but had a beautiful balcony green space in pune and had to give my 80 pots to a great friend who promised to look after my children
    or please reply to me at ilakumar@gmail.com so that i can connect with you at personal level apart from the forum

    thanks
    ila

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ila. Must have been difficult to leave back your plants. And I am sure your friend will take care of them. Bangalore has a lovely weather, and your plants will like it here. Please start gardening here, and sharing your gardening tips/knowledge with us. All the best!

      Delete
  6. Hi i am interested in terrace gardening can u please give the details when the next course is and about he gardening thank u


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    Replies
    1. Hello! On Facebook, there's a group known as Organic Terrace Gardening. The group has experts who share a lot of information about the subject. Will be helpful if you can join.

      My suggestion would be to start growing herbs - mint, fenugreek, coriander, basil, brahmi, and so on - seeds that are readily available at your kitchen can be used. Just soak the seeds in water before you sow. A good soil mixture would be a portion each of red mud, sand/coco peat, manure. If you buy greens from the market, pick the ones that have roots. Come home, and then replant the roots.

      Check this out - http://containergardening.about.com/od/containergardening101/tp/Beforeyoustart.htm

      All the best!

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    2. Hi Asha,

      Nice to have seen this blog. I am already a member on OTG group of FB, but only as an onlooker as I am yet to start a garden. I was looking for the Hulimavu address to get cocopeat and other material to start a good garden in my balcony, and by chance got into your Blog. Thanks for the address.

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    3. Thanks, Deepa, for stopping by. The department also sells vermi-compost and seeds; please check at the office near the entrance gate. When you buy the plants of your choice, ensure that the roots are well-formed and that the plant is healthy. Some plants were in sad condition when I visited the place. All the best!

      Delete
  7. Hi Asha,

    Nice blog and thanks for providing the contact details of Dept of Horticulture located at Hulimavu. I am planning to visit them to get Brahmi seeds.

    I have been gardening in my balcony for the past 2 years and I grow medicinal/kitchen plants like Palak, Tulasi, Chakramani soppu, Pasale soppu (creeper), methi soppu, etc. I am planning to grow veg plants such as ladies finger, tomato, etc.

    Will visit Hulimavu soon.

    Appreciate your love towards mother nature.

    Cheers,
    Pandian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, for stopping by, Pandian. You can start a veg patch with the available ingredients at your kitchen - potato, peanuts, onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger, tomato, and so on. Let one of the bought tomato ripen; wash off the pulp and seeds. Dry seeds in shade, and sow them. Sow an eye of potato. Sow ginger/turmeric. Soak peanuts overnight, drain, and let them sprout; sow them. All the best!

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  8. Hi i am really impressed with ur experience.. I too visited biocentre quite recently.. I am looking forward for some info about the program they conduct.. Please do reply for this..

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vasudeva, and I'm sorry for delayed response. I'll let you know about the courses, when I get the info.

      Delete
  9. Hi,
    I was browsing and came across your blog. I am wondering if you can direct me to a source of Davana seeds( Artemisia Pallens). Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are at Bangalore, the Davana plants are available at Madeena Nursery, Sarjapur. For online purchase, you can check if amazon.in has the seeds (under "Home & Kitchen : Lawn & Garden : Seeds"). Also check with http://www.agricart.in/.

      Delete
  10. Hi Asha !

    Really nice to see this blog !...I am a total novice to this and was wondering where and how to start as I have a keen interest in terrace gardening. As I was contemplating on joining the training conducted by one of the pioneers Dr. Vishwanath on this topic, I was also given to understand that the horticulture department at lalbagh / Hebbal ( I stay close by to this place) conducts free workshop on this. Request you to share any such workshop details that you are aware of...Thanks so much for your time and help.

    Cheers,
    Madhu

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for writing, Madhu. Yes, Dr, Vishwanath's sessions are interesting, and also you can join "Organic Terrace Gardening" on Facebook. You'll have to get in touch with Lalbagh staff for details of courses or look for ad on newspaper. You can visit University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS, Hebbal), buy saplings and herbs, and also ask them for details about courses.

      Meanwhile, you can use different types of containers as planters. For kitchen garden, run to your kitchen. Take a few seeds of fenugreek and coriander; soak them in water for a while and sow them in the containers. If you see that potatoes have growth on their eyes, plant them. Squash a ripe tomato, was the pulp, shade-dry the seeds, and sow them. Cut mint stems and plant them. Ginger and turmeric can be planted too! Happy gardening!

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  11. I am thankful for the nice information given above.I am planning to visit Bio Centre soon to fetch seeds,plants and manure.I want to inform the viewers about growing lettuce in Bangalore.I got some seeds and it came up very nicely.It required regular watering but gave plenty of leaves.Many people thought it is some show plant but I distributed the lettuce leaves and seeds too for any one interested in growing.It is worth enjoying and experiencing.Now we are trying to grow zucchini.My friend has already made 6 plants from 9 seeds got from Germany and I have been able to get one seedling from 15 seeds.If we are successful, we will try to save many seeds for willing growers.We will be happy to try rosemary,parsley,sage,thyme,lemon grass etc. if anyone of you let us know the source of seeds or plants on line or in Bangalore.
    thanks.RBSingh

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    Replies
    1. Congrats on all your experiments and the harvest! Please visit the University of Agriculture Sciences, Hebbal. Ask for Aromatics section; the rosemary, thyme, sage, lemongrass, and other aromatic plants are available for sale. Also visit the fruit saplings section; mango, banana, star fruit, lemon, orange, pomegranate, and other fruiting plants are available.

      Delete
  12. Hi Asha, Nice write up. I stay close to arekere gate but never knew about this dept... Thanks

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    Replies
    1. When you visit the place, see the Anthurium section as well; there's a small lake you'll cross. If lucky, can see birds. :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Madam

      I read your blog, it was very interesting. As i am also working in improving Nurseries and Garden products. Feel like contacting you directly as your ideas are inspiring me., Awating your reply.

      Regards
      Ramya

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    3. Hello Ramya, you can write to me anytime. Thanks

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  13. Hi Asha, Article is good and thanks for sharing your experience/information. Basically I'm looking for Medicinal plants and herbs cultivation methodologies and markets in india and abroad. If you have any details please share.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kumar, sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for stopping by.

      If you live in/around Bangalore, I recommend that you visit ENVIS Center for Medicinal Plants. They have a hospital and a plant nursery in the same campus. The nursery staff is helpful, and maybe able to guide you regarding your query.

      Here's the URL: http://envis.frlht.org/

      I have bought medicinal plants from them, and the plants are thriving.

      I don't know of such facility outside Bangalore/abroad.

      What I do is take plants that require less maintenance and grow them. For example, Doddapatre, Basmati, Lavancha, Brahmi, Ondelaga, Aloevera, White hibiscus, Red hibiscus, and so on. These plants grow well in containers as well as on land, and relatively easy to propagate.

      Regards,
      Asha

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  14. Hi Asha, Nice Blog. I stay in Bangalore in an apartment that has 2 balconies but between both, the total sunlight time is perhaps less than 3 hours ( morning & evening). They do have bright shade though. I have tried to grow plants in containers but I find myself rearranging the pots to give them max sunlight most of the time. Can you suggest some flowering plants and vegetables that are easy to grow and do not require too much sunlight. Thanks in advance for your reply. Regards, Runa

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    Replies
    1. Hello Runa,

      A few leafy vegetables/herbs grow well in bright shade; try lettuce, spinach, mint, coriander, thyme, chives, (micro greens,) and so on. I grow mint under the shade of a tree. Grow plants such as peace lily, orchids, zeezee plant. Move them to area that receives sunlight, once a week or so. Also water the plants only when soil seems/is dry, and aerate the soil once/twice a month. Use milder compost such as vermi/leaf instead of animal manure. Hope this brief info is helpful.

      Please check this website for couple of interesting articles:

      http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/shade-gardening-secrets

      Keep experimenting.

      Regards,
      Asha

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Hi friends,

Thanks for visiting the blog site. Please leave a message to share experiments at your garden or to send me a feedback about my experiments. Even a simple "Hello" would make my day!

Regards,
Asha

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